With miles upon miles of shoreline here in the Puget Sound, each summer week we find ourselves back to a beach lifting barnacle covered rocks to see what treasures lie beneath. It is such a favorite time spent with nature, because every visit in these outdoors we find something new and wildlife ripping at the seams.
This week we had the honor of meeting Harbor Wildwatch at Penrose Point State Park, who taught us proper beach etiquette. Who knew that dry hands can hurt some wildlife? Did you know? Always wet your hands before touching these sea creatures!
Each time we visit this favorite hot spot, we always find something a little extra special and this day was highlighted by the massive deposit of squid egg casings laying about everywhere! They are marvelous to see, like a bouquet of flowers and funky to feel. Oh to see an actual Mama in the waters would be spectacular but they are dark loving creatures and so I doubt we'll see one in these long summer days.
Sometimes being careful where you step takes on an entire new meaning when you find yourself standing in a traffic jam of barnacles, baby crabs and hermit crabs. Oh dear, trying to navigate myself and three other children through this little space was a little stressful and thankfully we found a sandy spot right away.
Another highlight were the Orange Plumose Anemones that understandably refused to display their threads and tentacles with so many visitors lurking about. Oh the color!
Now this mischievous mollusk, the gooey duck I believe, and all of his deep burrowed friends seemed to be playing tricks on us this particular day. I haven't known them to be this well-aimed on previous visits but both Nene and I, plus another Mom on the beach, left with wet crotches! Yes, be cautious when bending over in these parts because I imagine these oversized clams are playing a game on us visitors!
July is the month for egg laying it seems. Besides squid eggs, ubiquitous Midshipman Fish bead eggs were discovered under rocks along with their loyal daddys who remain there to protect their babies. You can never accuse a Midshipman male of being a deadbeat dad! The kids loved this by the way, finding a parent with the babies. They questioned and even frowned on those squids who left their eggs to fend for themselves. I love the way children think!
At the end of the spit, with still shallow water, their curiousty and hunger to explore continues as one treads deeper hoping to never find a boundary.
I on the other hand, wanting to encourage this intrepid expedition, have to wade back as my four year old is calling out anxious over the massive amount of water distancing between us.
So we return to land, continue turning over rocks carefully, frozen in squatting positions with the glorious sun beating down on our backs and we delight and worship Him as we meet the details of his tapestry.