Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tongue Point and Schmitz Park

The lowest tides of the season required us to visit Tongue Point Marine Reserve on the Olympic Peninsula.  Rain fell steadily on Western Washington on June 4th and 5th....except on Tongue Point which hid from it all in the Olympic rain shadow.  A few drops fell in the 4th but not enough to even put out a match.  On June 6th the low tide uncovered much less diversity at Schmitz Park than it did at Tongue Point but turned up some individuals that made up for it.
The next good low tide series will arrive July 1st and run through July 6th.   So if you have Seattle on your schedule I recommend you put one of the following beaches on your must visit list.   Alki Beach Park (Constellation Marine Reserve) south of Alki Light House.  Golden Gardens Park (north end of beach),  Carkeek Park (north end of beach), Lincoln Park (south end of beach).  If on the Olympic Pen.
of course it's Tongue Point Marine Reserve (at Salt Creek Recreation Area) 12 miles west of Port Angeles...don't forget to take in Hurricane Ridge (which can be done on the same day as the beach). Check the tide tables for time and plan to arrive at the beach 2 hours before low tide.
I also recommend Togas for lunch in Port Angeles at west end of town for excellent food.
Gretchen (wife) was in seaweed heaven at Tongue Point (not surprising since she is a seaweed expert) and the species diversity is to die for.  She will be offering a seaweed class (what to collect and what to eat) on July 1st.   (more info on this later).
A warning:  If you camp at Salt Creek Recreation Area (great camping spot) watch out for Raccoons as they will rob you blind and when the police ask you for a description of the thieves you just have to say,
"I don't know they were wearing masks".

In a totally different vein, my motorcycle (which is dearly loved) has gone to a new home.  So until my new ride arrives I'll have to borrow Gretchen's.  So the new motorcycle shed has much more space now and all the human powered bikes have space to relax.  Looks like rain today.....so maybe it's a good day for a movie.....Prometheus perhaps.  

Images below are mine and Gretchen's.....hers are the good ones (except for the first one which needs work)

Funny dressed author (looks clueless but has kneepads)
Gretchen F, photo

Black Katy chiton with Leather Limpet hitchhikers (Gretchen F photo)

Codium (dead man's fingers - Gretchen F. photo)

Yellow Lined Cadlina sea slug (Gretchen F. Photo)

Clown Nudibranch Juv. (Gretchen F. Photo)

Giant Pacific Barnacle

Leopard Nudibranch (sponge eater)

Rostanga pulchra (Red Sea Slug feeds on red sponge)

Rostanga pulchra (note eggs at top of photo)

Gretchen the seaweed queen

Garland Hydroids

Coraline Encased Tube Worms

Lined Chiton

Gumboot Chiton

Aggregate Anemone

Beach Naturalists playing hookie

Unidentified fish eggs

Sun Star

Sea Grass at Tongue Point

Green Anemone

Aeolid Sea Slug

Sea Lemons (6 inches) Schmitz Park

Sea Lemon eggs

Monterey Sea Lemon laying eggs

Sharp-nosed Crabs

C-O Sole (Schmitz Park)


Flounder Juv.  Schmitz Park

Lined Chiton

Opalescent Sea Slugs on Moon Snail sand collar

Lined Chiton

Pacific Gaper Clam

Spagetti Worm

Barnacles on Moon Snail sand collar

Graceful Kelp Crab

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