Jenny, a friend and fellow member of our parenting group, is a biologist. She and her husband, Mike, and their baby girl, Sophia, guided us (and a few others) on a low-tide beach walk. Jenny, who volunteers as a beach naturalist in her spare time, explained what we were seeing and shared good guidelines for how to teach children (and adults) safe and fun ways to explore the beach while not making a big impact.
Wyatt spent a large portion of the walk happily practicing his seagull impression, laughing wildly, and sucking on the Baby Bjorn. Then he fell asleep. Due to the rain and mist, he also got to sport his yellow rain slicker (compliments of his little friend Aziza), which made him look quite a bit like Paddington Bear.
The rest of us spent two hours exploring the nooks and crannies of dozens of big slimy rocks while being followed by a bald eagle, a flock of seagulls, and the occasional curious great blue heron. All while trying not to slip on the kelp-covered rocks or get squirted by the hundreds of clam "fountains."
In my opinion, the most exciting observations of the day included finding a live moon snail (a seriously ugly creature) and a fairly large red rock crab (lovely color, crazy strong claws). We also found lots of sea stars, sea cucumbers, crab molts, sea anemones, and all types of seaweed -- some of it quite beautiful.
My parents, who were visiting for the weekend, came along. As did several others from our parents' group. We had a great time and were so glad we ventured out despite the rain.
Thanks, Jenny, for a fun and educational day!
|Jenny and her five-month-old daughter, Sophia, guiding the walk.|
|A sea cucumber|
|Sea stars, including a blue one, anemones, barnacles, kelp . . .|
|Molt from a Hairy Crab.|