LOW TIDE EXTRAVAGANZA....

This was a week for getting down to the shoreline to explore sealife at an extremely low tide. I wonder if you recognize this scene taken in late afternoon at Totman Cove looking south across the exposed tidal flat. In the far distance a clammer was raking for Surf Clams, while other clammers dug at a fast pace for Soft Shelled Clams. It is so refreshing to see such activity at this area after its being closed for a couple of years due to pollution.

I went back later and scouted the shoreline to the left of this scene. I walked over eel grass beds that were lying flat, hunting for Moon Snails and live Sanddollars. I wasn't disappointed. Here is some of the bounty I found. Have fun counting up the moon snails, some of which had their large foot exposed in an effort to escape. One in the middle was found high and dry with its operculum closed. It is just starting to open that doorway again. I thought one Moon Snail shell was empty, but noticed jointed legs were emerging in an effort to right itself. There is one live Sanddollar and two others that have succumbed to the forces of nature. A large, but empty Waved Whelk also made it into the picture. The large white shells, I'm sure you recognize, are those of the Surf Clams being excavated nearby. One clammer had high boots and was raking up clams with his dog splashing around in the water! On the seaweed at the bottom of the picture are some coiled cases of Spirobis, a marine worm. For some reason, these often coat the seaweeds in Totman Cove.

We also checked out the activity at Head Beach where on the shore of Joe's Head we were able to easily find Sea Stars, a few small urchins and lots of biting crabs. One Rock Eel was caught and temporarily shared space with two small lobsters. Remember, folks, this is mid November, and we are still finding these animals on our shoreline. The sun was setting and visibility was poor, but we even found Hermit Crabs. Some had dug down in the sand for safety. All this goes to show that fall and colder temperatures don't mean an end to our animal hunts. It bodes well for their sticking around for warmer weather.

It was so clear last week that we could see Mt Washington (90 miles away, I'm told) from Joe's Head. The land in front of the picture is Gooseberry Island.
11/16/08 Ronnie by the sea.