Field Journal: Scenic Beach State Park

Early this year I researched the lowest daytime tides of the spring and summer and made plans around those dates. One of those plans was a visit to Scenic Beach State Park, along Hood Canal in Washington, where we’d camped last year during my 365 Nature Project. I had seen some great intertidal life along the beach like tiny sunflower stars and kelp crabs and hoped to find more during the upcoming low tides.

We arrived just before low tide on a Friday morning in late June and immediately went down to the beach. I spent a couple of hours wandering into the water and up along the rocks exploring. There was a lot to see, but it wasn’t obvious at first glance. The more I scoured, bent and flipped, the more I found. There were a few sea stars scattered around, most of them…

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Field Journal: Saltwater State Park CNC

The second day of the Seattle City Nature Challenge promised to be sunny and to make the most of it I headed again to the beach hoping to add to the biodiversity for Seattle. This time I went to Saltwater State Park, just south of Seattle. I had been there a couple of times before and remembered it was a rocky beach with a freshwater stream emptying out into Puget Sound. Again I arrived an hour or so before low tide and started to make my way down the rocky shore to the water’s edge.

Along the way I stopped to take a closer look at the rocks and patches of standing water. I found barnacles still active, their cirri waving in and out of their shells. As I observed them, I saw cirri, their legs, curling in and out as they filtered small…

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Field Journal: Following Gray Whales

During spring break earlier in April I booked an excursion on a whale watching boat with my daughter to see if we could find some whales. I waited until the week before to consult the forecast before making our reservations as our Seattle weather has been quite a roller-coaster. Fortunately the day turned out to be just as nice as the forecast promised with some sun and only light wind.

Puget Sound was relatively calm and when we arrived we were glad to hear they had spotted Gray Whales on their morning tour. As we left the harbor in Edmonds, we spotted our first wildlife, a harbor seal basking on a dock while a few cormorants perched on posts. We rounded the jetty and set off north towards Whidbey Island where they had seen the whales a few hours earlier.

The tour company claimed the boat we…

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Field Journal: Point No Point and Foulweather Bluff

With a sunny but cold forecast for this weekend I wanted to get out before we returned to rain next week. I had been exploring quite a bit of the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula near the end of my 365 Nature Project going to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Ediz Hook Reserve for the BirdsFort Flagler and Vashon Island and I wanted to keep visiting the area. I had seen Point No Point mentioned a few times in various books and decided to visit there yesterday. Point No Point is on the next small peninsula south from Fort Flagler, located directly west of the southern edge of Whidbey Island. The landscape reminded me very much of Point Robinson on Vashon Island with a lighthouse and a curved, sandy beach lined with driftwood. The main nature draw of Point No Point is that the waters off its…

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