Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beach Creatures and Dinner

During the previous two weekends, we came across many interesting invertebrates along the beaches near Pacific City. Here are a few examples

These volcano-shaped barnacles have been stained by the iron deposits in the rocks at Cape Kiawanda.

Mole crabs are egg-shaped crustaceans that burrow into the sand at the water's edge. They have been molting all over the beach and pieces of their shells are everywhere in the wet sand. The crab on the left, about and inch and a half long, just emerged from its old shell on the right.

We found a large, dead dungenous crab in a pool near the mouth of sand lake. When I picked it up to inspect it, I found a tiny, translucent fish hiding in the seaweed that was growing on top of the shell.

In another pool, we found worm-like tracks in the sand. We followed one set of tracks and found their maker, an olive snail. The ornate little gastropod crawled around on my hand while I held it for a picture.

Before leaving Hillsboro on Friday, we packed our cooler with big bags of greens recently harvested from our garden and CSA farm. We made chard and black bean tacos with lettuce and mustard green salad on the side. We stocked up on hot sauce as well because condiment diversity is the key to a great meal.


Greta said...

I would have liked this post better if it was called "Beach Creatures for Dinner".

EcoRover said...

Yah, I thought that crab might be going in the pot! Seriously, thanks for the tour--tidal pools were always a big favorite when we got out to the Pacific with my daughter.

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