Driftline on Display

It was one of those mornings when everything on the driftline seemed to be out on display. I was waiting around, waiting for one of those high spring tides. The ones they call King Tide. The sand was wonderfully clean, and occasional sun breaks let the light in. Waiting gave me time to take a…

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Dreamy Drift Macrocystis

Magical MacrocystisWhat drift landed you on this shore? All still now Macrocystis, like a lot of marine organisms, has a dreamy quality. I came across the drifted mass featured here on May 20th, 2019. Other items from the May 20th driftline and throughout the year are posted at Wrack Line 2019. See how Macrocystis stacks…

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My 2015 King Tide Project – Swell Matters

I have a fascination with very high and very low tides. Who doesn’t – they’re rare events and when they occur, things happen. Low tides are great for the naturalist; everybody’s out digging clams and exploring rarely exposed beaches and tidepools. Very high tides catch just about everybody’s attention. Coastal flooding and beach erosion can…

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Common Marine Algae in the Northern Oregon Drift Line: A Gallery of Images

My post about bull kelp drift masses, back in early December, got me thinking about other algae people might find washed up in the drift line. On my home beaches, bull kelp is certainly the most noticeable. Small clumps of rockweed are abundant, and sea palms, when present, are hard to miss. Fresh giant kelp…

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Bull Kelp Drift: A Subtidal-to-Surf Zone Connection

What do you call a tangled mass of bull kelp on the beach? I’m not sure what you call a great spaghetti-like tangle of floats, stipes, and holdfasts, but after a long summer, masses and clumps of kelp wash onto the beach with the first big surf of the fall season. This clump was 112…

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Oceanic Crab Makes Landfall

Miles of monotonous sand. When I’m not concentrating on surf zone fishes and their prey, or the riches of the rocky intertidal, I’m walking the wrack line. If you look at Wrack Line 2014 or any of my Wrack Line pages, you will see examples of things that have washed up on the beach –…

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They Don’t Call ’em Surfperch for Nothing

On November 23 I posted this image on the TOS Facebook Page with the words, “Chilly morning on theoutershores.  Will the fish bite on these?”  I had an interest in catching a few surfperch, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Why did that happen?  Why no fish?  I might be able to offer an explanation.  My explanation…

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Eelgrass in the Wrack

This is eelgrass, Zostera marina.  A few days ago it was abundant in the wrack line, on the beach and in the surf.  Most of the eelgrass debris was composed of broken stems, but there were a few whole plants in the mix.  Eelgrass lives in estuaries and other sheltered places, not on sandy surf-swept…

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Estimating Flying Ant Day

If you follow TOS at all, you know I’m always checking out the wrack line. First thing I noticed May 8 was the unusual composition of the wrack; kind of a wrack line mystery. The fresh wrack was composed primarily of dead winged ants. The photograph above was taken in the morning, May 8. The…

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Redtail Rush

When I visit theoutershores I’m usually working on a project. Over the last few years I’ve been characterizing the community of surf fishes (see And the King of the Surf is…) and exploring color preferences (see Choices, Choices…Everywhere and Does Color Matter when Camo Rules?). This has left me with little time for carefree nature…

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