Growing up in the Midwest my experience with big bodies of water is mainly with the Great Lakes; the continual change in the tides of Puget Sound being one of the many differences from our former environment. This week we’re fortunate enough to experience the lowest tides in 50 years according to some reports, exposing sea-life usually covered in several feet of water.

Today at lunch we went to Rockaway Beach to check out the activity in a pretty constant rain which must have kept everyone else indoors since we had the beach to ourselves save the starfish, nudibranches, gulls and a heron. With the tide out I now fully understand how the beach got it’s name.

This arch is usually covered by water but today you could walk right through it.

Before the starfish were visible, we spotted a lone blue heron (I need more zoom).

The only other starfish I’ve seen this close were at the Seattle Aquarium. As much we enjoy the Aquarium, I preferred seeing them in their native environment, albeit in crappy weather.

The maybe-nudibranch hung out under the rocks and were a little difficult to photograph, the elements adding to my issues. I’m not entirely sure the following photos are indeed of nudibranches but I couldn’t resist writing about them. You should check out these amazingly colorful little creatures in the previous links. If my photos aren’t of nudibranches, then what did we see?

Had it not been raining so steadily I would have tried to capture a geoduck in action but it was not meant to be – and by action I mean spitting water three feet in the air. All in all a pretty phenomenal experience. The weather’s been crap but it hasn’t slowed down the naturalists-in-training.

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