Thursday, July 26, 2007

low tide

robin and i were looking at the tide tables on tuesday eve. we like to walk the shores at low tide, poking around among the rocks and pools to see what's there. wednesday's low tide of -0.3 at 8:39 am was not as interesting as the -2.1 coming on 7/29, but was certainly low enough for me to find a clam or two.

i found 10 clams fairly quickly, though i did have to dig more holes than other times to get 10. enough for a meal. i wandered off to check out the rest of the low tide area. walking upstream along the meandering low tide channel of chimicum creek i came upon a large oyster. i mean BIG. so i hustled back to the car to drop the bucket of clams and shovel and grab the camera.
this is a pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, imported from japan in the early 1900 hundreds. not this individual of course, but its ancestors. the native oysters had already been over harvested to the point of collapse by then.
the minimum size for legal harvest here is 2.5 inches, because the native oysters rarely get that large, and the state is working to restore the native population. this one is possibly legal, and could be either species.

this could be a native. Olympia oyster (Ostrea conchaphila)

this is a view of the tidal flats and the low tide channel of chimicum creek. the strong sunlight in the early morn made the camera produce this kinda moody view. the big oyster was found somewhere in the near foreground. that is sticky, sticky mud.

there is no middle view out here. just the small world at one's feet, or the broad expanse of flatness.

i am standing in water 10 inches deep here. i love the clarity of the water.

we did do more house readiness stuff too. but it was boring. we also took a nice walk in the forest at fort worden state park. that was not boring. robin took some nice pictures and may post them soon.

don't forget to submit pictures for good planets by friday to sbgypsy AT hotmail dot com.

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