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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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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Take a Walk on the Wrackline: A Drifted 2019

2019 wrackline was full of drifted treasures. Some had human origins, others arrived from rocky intertidal, subtidal, pelagic, estuarine, and terrestrial sources. Unravelling the stories of marine drifters, at least trying to, is irresistible. Most of their stories will remain mysteries. That’s what keeps beachcombing compelling. Arranged chronologically below, starting with memories from last winter…

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Beachcombing theoutershores: a 2019 Retrospective

theoutershores’ seventh year concludes with this, my 26th post of 2019. I’ve uploaded lots of images from the Oregon coast and a few from Galiano Island, Salish Sea. The most visited theoutershores pages this year, as in past years, were Wrack Line, all about the wrack line, drift line, tideline, or whatever you want to…

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Favorite Photos from theoutershores, 2019

This being a good time of year to enjoy pretty pictures, I’ve selected a few of my favorites. Most of them, and I hope you’ll forgive me for this, have appeared previously in various theoutershores posts and pages. Sunset lights up the foredune | January 1 Salmon-tinged clouds in a morning mirror | January 22…

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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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The Trouble with Surfperch of a Certain Size

This driftline scene is on the unusual side, not super unusual, but unusual enough to get you thinking. If it’s not clear what’s going on, a double-crested cormorant nabbed a barred surfperch a tad too large. It illustrates that minor mistakes in the everyday choices faced by predators can turn fatal. The thing about surfperch…

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