|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.
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.
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.
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.