Sunday, June 30, 2013

Low Tide

Another catch-up post (I promise one of these days I'll actually publish something that isn't a month old!) 

In search of starfish

Late in May, I used one of my precious Fridays off to get the carpets cleaned.  Not wanting to waste the entire day, I requested an early morning appointment.  The carpet guy was great - he arrived sooner than expected, which meant an earlier than anticipated finish.  Wanting to keep the dog away from the still-wet carpet, there was but one thing to do.  Head to the coast!  And since the carpet man was so speedy, I could still catch low tide.

Rock peek-a-boo

Low tide on the Oregon Coast is awesome.  The retreating sea uncovers small pockets of marine life.  Hidden on the rocks below high water line are some amazing creatures.

Bear runs on ahead

Anywhere on the Oregon Coast is wonderful, but I especially like the area near Cannon Beach.  Today's plan was to visit Humbug Point at Acadia Wayside and, if time permitted, Hug Point.

Lovely purple seastar

Bear and I arrived at our first stop a half hour before low tide.  Once on the beach, I unleashed my dog and let him run.  There's nothing Bear loves more than romping along the sandy plain.

This tidepool was full of life

Close to the parking lot, a large group of rocks were emerging from the water.  Walking among them though, I didn't spot any colorful sea creatures.  I was really hoping to see some starfish - my very favorite.

Shy seastar

But up ahead I spied a large rock, with a few smaller boulders behind.  With Bear leading the way, I made a beeline for these stony outcroppings.


It was here I hit the jackpot.  The retreating seas had uncovered a slew of bright orange and purple starfish, clinging to the barnacle-encrusted rock.

Peaceful beach view

In addition to the seastars, huge clusters of gooey, one-eyed anemones dangled from the rocky surface.  Where still underwater, small spiky tentacles lined their openings.  But once uncovered, these creatures suck in their tentacles and turn into slimy aliens.

Hairy anemones

Naturally, the best tidepools were just out of reach from dry land.  In my excitement to get on the beach, I'd neglected to change into my sandals.  No matter, I wanted photos bad enough that I waded, shoes and all, into the water.  It wasn't super-cold, and once wet, I didn't really care.

Birds congregate on the rock

I ran into a man climbing among the rocks, photographing birds.  He and I had a brief discussion about all things camera-related (it's always fun to run into people who enjoy the same hobby!)

Loved the colors of these anemones

The man mentioned he'd seen a bunch of starfish on the other side of the rock that were much more accessible.  Although now getting used to wading for my shots, my preference is to stay on dry land.  I decided to check it out. 

Cool beach rocks

Reaching this area required climbing through a field of small, slippery rocks.  It wasn't as easy as it looked.  Bear whined, but finally gingerly followed me into the stony maze.

Bright orange starfish

My new photography friend was right!  The concentration of sea creatures was much greater here.  Dozens of starfish clustered in large groups, brightening up the barnacles.  And between the rocks, tidepools were everywhere.

Waves splashing the rocks

I had a blast discovering sea creatures amongst the rocks.  Who knew that anemones came in such a wide variety of colors? 

Very weird, colorful anemones

Yep, I practically filled my memory card wandering around this place.  But finally tiring of scrambling over sharp rocks, I decided to head back to my car and drive to Hug Point.

Lots of rocks visible at low tide

The shoreline south of Cannon Beach was used as a wagon route back in the early 1900's.  The most dangerous place was Hug Point, where drivers had to "hug" the rocky headland to pass by, even at low tide.

Approaching Hug Point

Around 1920, frustrated locals blasted a narrow shelf into the rocky cliffs of Hug Point, making the road accessible even in high tides.

Pioneers blasted a rock ledge above the sea

I'd never explored this area, and was delighted to discover not only the historic roadbed ledge, but also numerous sea caves and a small waterfall nearby.  By now the tide was starting to come in, so Bear and I definitely had to use the old wagon route to stay dry.

This tidepool was chock-full of creatures

On the other side of Hug Point was a pretty cove with a nice beach and a couple small caves.  But there was also a few really great tidepools.  One was so full of anemones that I had to be careful where I stepped.  It didn't help they blended in with the rocks.  These anemones were different from the ones I'd seen at my first stop.  They were a light brown color with delicate pink tentacles.

Blue reflection on the sand

A great day for the beach!  I saw tons of cool sea creatures, wore out my dog, and filled my memory card.  And came home to a house with clean, dry carpet. 

Linking to:  I Heart Macro and Weekly Top Shot and Share Your Cup Thursday.


  1. Oh, how this brings me back to our visits to those places, and makes me want to return!!
    Of all the places we've been, the Oregon Coast is my ultimate favorite. How lucky you are to have it close enough to head to on a day like this!
    Awesome photos!!

  2. Fantastic images, Linda. Makes me want to hop in my car and head for the coast.

  3. Love coastlines like these. First saw them in Washington state around the Forks area. Great pics!

  4. I love the Oregon coast! That old road looks so narrow.

  5. FABULOUS post - can I like it twice?? Just another reason why I have to get out to your area some day. Thanks linda!

  6. How gorgeous! We have beautiful beaches here in Florida but not like yours! Sounds like it was a perfect day, even if it was a day from a month ago. Your photography is just as amazing as the beach and the sea life :)

  7. Wow Linda.. amazing photos! Thanks for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro!

  8. How interesting! We don't have those here. I've only seen them at Sea Life. They're really fascinating.

  9. My gosh, I could hardly read your words for looking at the pictures. So incredibly beautiful!

  10. Beautiful! I haven't been in that area for years and it was just to drive through). I LOVE starfish too--but the other sea creatures were truly amazing!
    PS: Dogs are SO fun to take to the beach:)

  11. Oh my goodness, these photos are simply stunning! I have never seen anything like this before. I'm so glad your carpet guy got done quickly so you were able to catch the low tide! I really enjoyed these photos :)

  12. What beautiful images..breathtaking!

  13. very beautiful photos! love the seastars!

  14. It's wonderful to see all the surprised revealed by a low tide!

  15. Cleaning your carpets paid off in more ways than one.

  16. Reading your adventures is so fun because you're not afraid to jump right in, shoes and all, just like me! I went for a bog hike in the rain the other day. Forgot to pack my rubber boots I bought last fall for just such occasions. Luckily I was wearing my older hikers so I waded right in up to my ankles, just like you. These shots from the beach are some of my favorites that you've posted.

  17. Nice series- interesting colors on the creatures.

  18. Wow~ this was fantastic. Great photos. Thank you so much for showing them to us. You don't see these every day.

  19. What an incredible coastline you live near, beautiful photos.

  20. These really are alien life forms to my British eyes, used to subdued sea life! I must go back for another look - I can hardly believe how weird and wonderful some of these creatures are.

  21. Wow Linda, I have never seen so many wonderful sea creatures at one time. You really hit the jackpot! Thanks so much for sharing them with SYC. Oh, by the way; have to mention that we ate barnacles in Spain. Let's just say, once was enough for me. lol!

  22. Beautiful shots! My husband and I took a great trip on Rt 1 exploring the Oregon coast. I was into photography, but I only had one memory card, and it was small. This is on my bucket list to not only return, but to see some of the neat sea creatures you did. Thanks, Linda, for getting me closer than I went!


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