WHERE AM I??
Quick.......try to guess where this picture was taken. Yes, that's a beach, and there is a creek in the distance where the tide and melting snow meet head to head. It is one of my favorite places to find Moon Snails, Surf Clams, Razor Clams, and of course, Hermit Crabs. The beach faces south, so there are usually interesting items that wash in from the ocean. Do you have enough clues? I hope you have guessed......Totman Cove! I hiked down a very snow crunchy trail to reach the beach. The snow from our last storm still clings to tree branches and shoreline rocks above the tide line. I was intrigued with small ice disks that had washed in. Maybe it was due to the extreme (down near zero!) weather we have been having. I had never seen those ice pieces on a beach before.
I always am on the lookout for interesting flotsam and jetsam, and am rarely disappointed. Pretty quickly, my pockets began to fill up with Moon Snail shells. I found no live animals. Actually, I forgot to report finding a tiny urchin in the "fingers" of a kelp holdfast recently. I am always picking up these holdfasts and pulling them apart in search of the sea life that seems to have a fondness for hiding there. It is there you may find delicate Brittle Stars that hide in these fingers, but I'll settle for an urchin. Here are some of the Moon Snail shells that look to me like eyes reflecting the setting sun. These wonderful animals, when alive, are the ones that wrap their foot around something tasty - like a clam - and drill through its shell to get at the meat. In this cove, it is quite possible to find these snails in the process of such activity but not today. I didn't go wading, I have to admit.
I climbed the snowy hill to look south over to the campground in the distance, and West Point on the right. As you can see, the picnic table is well iced in. A nearby bench is crusted with snow, and not very inviting.
I made my way back up the hill to my parked car, using the foot steps I had made on the way down.
After several severely cold days, we are now anticipating a warm spell. All that snowy crunch may be slush on my next hike. And by the way, a beautiful Red Fox ran across our shoreline property in West Point. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a camera shot, but take my word for it! 1/6/08 Ronnie in Totman Cove.