Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tolmie State Park - June 16, 2011

We headed out to Tolmie State Park for low tide again today.  We went last month, too.   It was a totally different beach this time.  While there were hundreds of dead crabs covering the beach last month, there were only a few, comparatively, this month.  We saw plenty of sand dollars again, but not in the same numbers.   We did get to see a bunch of cool things we didn't see last time.

A small sunflower star

Cute green hairy shore crab

Great Blue Heron

Josh was freaking out when we first arrived because there were tiny crabs everywhere.  By the time we left, he was holding one.

Red Rock Crab - biggest one we saw today.

There was no keeping Madelynn out of the water.  I kept having to chase after her because she was getting too deep for my comfort.  I had to brave knowing there were crabs below the sand (could feel them moving sometimes) and tiny Pacific Staghorn Sculpin everywhere, not to mention all of the slimy Dwarf Eelgrass.  I don't do slimy well.

Maddie thought the sand dollars were cool.  We learned today that it is illegal to remove any sand dollars from a state park.

A moon snail.  Mika would have loved to have this shell had it not been occupied.  She's been interested in conchology ever since we read about it in our science textbook this year.  He put him back into the water so he wouldn't suffocate.

While this looks and feels like discarded rubber, it isn't.  It's actually a moon snail egg case.  It is made of eggs sandwiched between layers of mucus that is coated with sand.  Cool, huh?

This poor little fish had a hard day.  It's a Pacific Staghorn Scuplin.  It somehow swam into a child's loose water shoe.  The poor girl freaked out because the sharp gills poked her; she thought a crab was biting her. 

This cutie is a Red Rock Crab.  Obviously, Sam isn't afraid of them.

Maddie and Sam joined some kids digging and building in the sand.  Maddie apparently didn't need the top half of her swimsuit anymore.

This sea star was pretty cool.  You can see how it lost a ray and is now growing it back.

We had a great visit to Tolmie State Park with some homechool friends.  We think we timed our visit perfectly because as we were walking back towards dry ground to eat lunch, this arrived...

A large school group.

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Emily said...

Wow! You got to see lots of great stuff! We went to Belfair State Park this time, a first for us, but were disappoint with the wildlife. Lots of little crabs and sea shells, no sea stars. :(

Unknown said...

What a fun and educational day. We are reading Pagoo right now and it talks alot about tidal pools int he beginning of the book. This would have been a great trip for us.