Off to the Shore for a Symmetry Beach Party

Welcome to my small celebration of symmetry. This beach party’s a renewal of kinship with animals we share symmetry with and a reminder that symmetry varies in ways worth appreciating. An in-depth survey of symmetry would expose developmental and evolutionary mysteries better left to zoology and comparative anatomy courses. Instead, let’s head to the shore,…

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Accentuating a Flatfish and a Limpet with Negative Space

This little flatfish, one of those pesky pleuronectids, the righteye flounders, was just a babe, washed up as so much sea wrack when I noticed its perky eyeballs protruding from the smooth, featureless surface of a sea of swash zone sand. The experts I consulted believe it’s a juvenile starry flounder, or maybe a curlfin…

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The Crowded Rocky Intertidal Bursting with Life

Surf swept rocky northeastern Pacific shores host marvelous biological diversity and abundance. A good place to witness the profusion is up close, on the dead level with a barnacle. Surrounded by neighbors, a giant barnacle, Balanus nubilus, entertains tenants of its own. Stepping back, viewing the world from the lowermost horizon of the mussel bed…

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Update From theoutershores

We all know someone or have heard of countless humans facing ruin or heartbreak from Covid-19. Before I share what I’ve been up I want to acknowledge Covid-related suffering everywhere and express my gratitude that I have a job that keeps me safe, and that no one close to me has contracted the disease. My…

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Revisiting a Landmark

Below, is the first photograph I took of what is now one of my favorite northern Oregon landmarks. I say landmark, as far as I know, it’s not a landmark for anyone but me. It isn’t a single rock, it’s a pair. Allies rising up together on the lowest reach. Accounting for tides and surf…

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A Simple Pleasure From the Shore

Mazzaella splendens is one of those red seaweeds known for the looks it throws your way. Its iridescence isn’t a given, but when things fall into place, rainbow leaf, as it is sometimes known, lights up the low intertidal. Cut off from the shore, I’m grateful for simple pleasures past. Simplicity Addendum: There couldn’t be…

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Time-Lapse Tidepool

Teeming with anemones, giant greens if you want to get specific, it’s a pool with a lot going for it. Its water is clear as crystal, and tucked away, sheltered from winds, there isn’t a ripple. Its strangest characteristic, though, is its see-through surface, free of diabolical reflections and all the better for surveying its…

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Reflections From the Shore

The seascapes below highlight reflections from beach and tidepool surfaces; transient low tide mirrors. Headlands, outcrops, maritime forests, sea stacks, and even the setting sun serve as subjects. Moody scenery, connections, and a sense of wild are the themes they convey. Faint headlands, forested slopes, and dark outcrops mirrored in an expansive residual sheen. Ripples…

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Invitation to a Tidepool Treasure Hunt

Exposed kelp, brown, in the foreground, and green seagrass beyond, signal low tide, an invitation to treasure hunt. Sea cabbage, Hedophyllum sessile, shines like gold in the morning sunlight. This specimen’s lacy, ridged blades resemble the outer leaves of Savoy cabbage. The cabbage-like look is a clue that the habitat is semi-protected. In surf-pounded settings,…

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Examining Leading Lines in Scenes from the Intertidal

I’m going to argue there are leading lines here. The one I didn’t expect runs between the eyes of the purple shore crab, Hemigrapsus nudus. It plays well against the rock’s curved outline. To my eye, the image has a pleasing flow from lower right to upper left. The lines created by surfgrass sweep across…

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