Thursday, 01 July, 2004

Tide Pooling

Debra and I got up this morning to go tide pooling.  We walked down to the beach and then out onto the rocks to view the sea life that gets left in the holes, nooks, and crannies when the tide goes out.  There's always a wide assortment of sea urchins and sea anemones, plus rock crabs, striped crabs, hermit crabs, mussels and barnacles.  Limpets, sea slugs, and starfish are less common, but we saw a few of each.  The thing in the picture at left is a limpet, or so Randy's Audubon book leads me to believe.

The tide pools are protected by law, but that doesn't stop people from picking things out of them to take home.  Taking shells and other dead debris is one thing, but many take crabs or small fish for their aquariums and some even pull off the mussels and other shellfish to make fish stew.  While Debra and I were hopping from rock to rock trying to avoid stepping on anything alive, others were running straight through the mussel fields, stepping in the pools, and generally destroying the sea life wherever they tread.  I even saw one guy trying to peel a starfish off a rock.  Sometimes I wish I could just smack some sense into these people.