One Photo Two Ways: Ahnfeltiopsis and Phaeostrophion

Perspective is everything, so I’m taking this opportunity to show off two common Pacific seaweeds two ways. Both seaweeds favor sand-scoured settings on the open coast. A minus tide is not required to find them, but it helps, especially if you want to enjoy their charms at eye level. As suggested by the habitat description,…

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Tide Pool Shades and Shadows

Shades and shadows are both on display here, where the foreground is shaded, and shadows play in the background as morning sunlight rises above the tops of coastal conifers far behind me. It’s not unheard of to discover a kelp crab backlit and dangling from a drapery of sea cabbage, but it’s always a pleasure…

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Focusing on the Details: Thatched Barnacles

Dropping down on a new reach of shore is disorienting enough that it takes a while to shake it off. It’s not unusual to arrive with questions about how and where to proceed. (Most of these, with a bit of planning, can be answered in advance). Once I’m on a new shore, all preparation seems…

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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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