Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tongue Point June 2013

An unusual weather pattern called an Atmospheric River pointed a fire hose blast of rain onto the West Coast of N. America over the last few days.  Northern California got most of the moisture which is good news for them.  Seattle saw heavy rain showers and even some uncommon thunderstorms.  We picked this period for our annual trip to Tongue Point Marine Reserve on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula, braving the northern edge of the Atmospheric River.  While it rained a little both nights we were camped it rained not a drop during our tidepooling sessions.  So forget the forecast....just go.
Tongue Point is a 1/4 mile rectangular block of basalt the sticks out from the mid-north Olympic Coast into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Tidepool exploration here is as good as it gets in Washington State, and this current full Moon cycle provides some of the lowest tides of the year.
Species are found here that do not occur in the more protected waters of Puget Sound.  The pools abound with marine life both plant and animal.
This year's exploration turned up many species we have seen before but some in numbers we have not experienced.  Slimy Snailfish were common....where we normally are happy to find one.  Red Dorid Nudibranchs mating and laying eggs were common.  Blue Porcelain Crabs were seen here for the first us that is.  We encountered the same research team that we and met 2 years ago studying Purple Sea Urchin disease....still no answers here.
As usual it was a great trip......made better with Gretchen's breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs......
the Southern Comfort didn't hurt any either.
Blue Porcelain Crab

Caloplaca Lichen (splash zone)

Clingfish eggs

Northern Clingfish

Coraline Algae

Corrugated Sea Squirt

Crowded Neighborhood

Urchin, Crab and Cucumber

Graceful Kelp Crab

Green Anemone mouth

Greenmark Hermit Crab

Gumboot Chiton

Gumboot and my boot


Keyhole Limpet covered with Coraline Algae

Lacuna Snail eggs

Leafy Bryozoans

Leafy Hornmouth eating barnacle

Mastocarpus encrusting algae

Mottled Sea Star eating worm

Oregon Cancer Crab

Tongue Point

Sea Sac Seaweed

Blood Stars

Keyhole Limpets

Dire Whelk with Slipper Shells

Red Dorid Nudibranch

Compound Tunicate

Top Snail

Polychete worm

Six Rayed Star

Greenmark Hermit Crab

Six Rayed Star eating snail

Suggestive compound tunicate

Goose Neck Barnacles

Sea Urchin research team 

Spotted Dorid Nudibranch

Tongue Point high tide

Crescent Bay


Bull Kelp blade with spore patches

Mossy Chiton

Woody Chiton

Pile worm

Purple Shore Crab

Red Droids with eggs

Red Dorid eggs on Red Sponge

Red Ribbon Worm

Rock Scallop and Keyhole Limpet

Scale Worm

Slimy Snailfish

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