Beachcombing theoutershores: a 2018 Retrospective

This concludes theoutershores’ sixth year. I wrote 26 posts, including this one, and uploaded a bunch of images from the Oregon coast. I even added a few images from Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands, in the Salish Sea. I added photos of new species to my pages on flowering plants, red and…

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A Twist of Serpula Tubes

Larval calcareous tubeworms start out life in the plankton- it’s a badge of honor among tide pool inhabitants. Once they settle, young worms secrete calcareous tubes within which they reside for the rest of their lives. Below, six or seven red trumpets, Serpula columbiana, have laid down loose coils around a giant barnacle shell, Balanus…

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A Dogwinkle’s Aggregation

Renewal in Nucella canaliculata calls for a crowd. Winter and spring aggregations of channeled dogwinkles, that’s their common name, copulate and lay eggs over a several week period. In the finale, females deposit eggs in straw-colored vase-like cases. I took the photo above on April 19, 2018. If I am interpreting it correctly, the cases,…

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A Betrayal of My Backpack: Its Contents Revealed

My pack is with me on every sandy stroll, every tide pool tumble. It’s been swamped and dunked, rained on a lot, and sun bleached too. It fits good and carries all my stuff. Plenty of people have seen it, some know it well. There are people who know my pack better than they know…

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Variety in the Intertidal Reds

Since I laid my hands on the new edition of Druehl and Clarkston’s Pacific Seaweeds, I’ve spent hours letting it guide me through the diversity of west coast seaweeds. It’s a celebration of morphological variety. Chapters on green, red, and brown seaweeds are organized by morphological theme- crusts, cylinders, simple blades, branched, bushy, feather-like, and…

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Sitting it Out

Settled on a vertical face in the highest intertidal, Lottia digitalis sits out low tide clamped down tight. With the surf pounding just below, there is silence in these shells. Note to arachnophiles: While preparing this post I noticed a red speck on the shell of the middle limpet. That’s a red spider mite (Neomolgus…

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Beachcombing theoutershores: a 2017 Retrospective

Here’s a brief look back at theoutershores’ fifth year. I wrote 27 short posts and uploaded my share of Oregon coast images. I added new photos and updated most theoutershores’ pages, like the ones on reds and browns, and opened up new pages on sponges, sea anemones, and jellies. Here, I highlight the three most viewed posts I…

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Cup and Saucer, Constantinea simplex

Cup and saucer is eye-catching in morning light. Feelings are a rarity in my 1993 edition of Seashore Life, so when Kozloff remarks that C. simplex is “a real oddity,” I take it seriously. If he means singular or whimsical, I agree. There’s never a time I’m not pleased to come across cup and saucer.…

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Gastropodestrians

Strings of periwinkles, tiny rock-dwelling gastropods, take advantage of low tide to make a crossing. Here, they glide, en masse, from the tip of rock in the lower left, to new grounds on the rock stretching across the top. Pioneers mark the crossing with mucus. Less adventurous gastropodestrians follow along, single file. But not all…

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Corallines and Chitons Layer the Lower Intertidal

In an intimate scene of layering, two crustose reds overtop one another. This is their way. Pink over purple, purple over pink. They in turn, are overtopped by hardened upright corallines, bladed reds, and chitons that blend in. In the upper left, a lined chiton, Tonicella lineata, occupies a layer between red crust and red…

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