Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Swans, Anemones, and So On

Sunday we went out to Neah Bay. That way we were seeing new territory for PG, and it's all the same ocean as long as it's the outer coast. :-) Stopped to duck-watch near the harbor in Neah Bay, and then on out to Hobuck Beach. (Sam Beebe's glorious aerial photo shows everything: Hobuck Beach in the foreground, Wa'atch River, Neah Bay on the near side of the Strait, then the Strait with Vancouver Island behind.) The tide was going out.

Sunny Mid-Day, Neah Bay, November 6, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

It's really quiet out there, compared to the wild high-energy feeling of Rialto Beach, for all that it is the same ocean. PG asked me, "What's straight out there?" pointing perpendicular to where we stood, compass bearing west in intention if not in fact. We had to wait until we got home for the answer, looking on the big globe. Straight west is Sakhalin Island, not Japan as it is in everyone's imagination.

(Click for larger image.)
Barely a Soundscape, for Cee

The tide was going out all afternoon. We wandered. We didn't have the bird survey pack with us, but found three beached birds and looked at one very carefully, trying to retain enough information without ID book, measuring tools, etc to identify it when we got home. (Maybe pigeon guillemot, we think, just like the living mystery bird we had the day before at Ediz Hook.)(Later: sent the dead-bird photos to JL, my beached-bird mentor; she says the one we looked closely at was a common murre.) There were fish skeletons, mounds of kelp, lots of limpets and sand dollars. Hobuck is an accumulation beach, what arrives there stays there. I found a chiton plate, the first I have found on my own without a beach companion spotting it and giving it to me, since I'm known to be mad for chitons.

When we returned to our starting point, the tide was well out, and we could look for tidepool critters.

Where the anemones were (Click for larger image.)
Only a couple of sea stars (Click for larger image.)
Lots of anemones and barnacles (Click for larger image.)

It was the day of the time change. We kept track of our time, so we could make the two hour return part of our driving loop in daylight and PG could see more new territory. Along the Wa'atch River just behind the beach, the swans were there. They must winter there, you can often hope to see them. OMG they are so beautiful. We watched them for quite a while. I didn't try for a photo, it wouldn't have come out.

Birthday Portrait; I am holding an enormous sand dollar that PG hoped to get home intact in her tiny overstuffed carryon luggage. (Click for larger image.)


quillside said...

lovely portrait! what a great place to spend a birthday :)

robin andrea said...

Love the portrait. A perfect way to spend a birthday.