Tag Archives: beaches

Beachcombing at Seahurst Park

I could spend hours gawking at the scenery at picturesque Seahurst Park on Puget Sound.

I love that you almost can’t distinguish the clouds from the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Almost.

Not sure what those gray splotches in the sky are. Definitely the work of an amateur photographer, not alien invaders.

There’s more than spectacular scenery to enjoy. The beach is teeming with plant and animal life during low tide. But after awhile, I began to worry that this would be the most exotic wildlife we’d see:

Tired of seafood, this bird was hoping for a nibble of Rue’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Don’t play coy with us. We’ve got your number.

And then, we hit payload at the rocks:

Purple Sea Star and Sea Anemone

Clam–this one’s still alive.

Hermit Crab

Red Sea Cucumber

And my favorite: Acorn Barnacle.

Yes, the barnacle is my favorite. Here’s why: I’ve always thought of barnacles as nautical nuisances. Something to be scraped off, discarded. But thanks to the amazing beach naturalist from the Seattle Aquarium who was on hand, I learned that:

a. Barnacles attach their heads to hard surfaces, such as rocks.

b. Barnacles are related to crabs–that thing sticking out is kind of like a pincher.

c. Barnacles eat things like plankton.

d. And here’s the coolest thing. If you put your ear really really really close to these acorn barnacles, you can hear the sounds they make! It’s kind of a clicking-sucking sound. I think it’s more beautiful than the sound of waves in a seashell. And no, they don’t pinch.

And how cool is it that there are tiny barnacles stuck to the larger ones?

I am absolutely in awe of barnacles.

The Seattle Aquarium will have beach naturalists at beaches throughout Puget Sound during the summer, primed and prepped to talk to visitors about the remarkable things that low tide exposes. These folks are locals who volunteer their time to share their love of the Sound and increase our awareness that life is all around us.

Case in point: the barnacles. They’ll talk your ears off.

Check out this crazy animal in jeans and fleece at the beach in the middle of June.

Nacho Man couldn’t resist poking fun at my beach attire.

We’re not in Maui anymore.

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