Oregon Coast Notebook: The Joys of Tidepooling

WC wants to make a moment to praise the joys of tide pooling. At low tide, peering into the rocky pools along the Pacific Coast is about as much fun as any would-be naturalist can have without getting into trouble with law enforcement.

Starfish, Eelgrass, Anenomes and Barnacles, Cape Perpetua, Oregon

The sheer density of life in the hyper-oxygenated pools and rocks never fails to astonish. The plants and animals cling to rocks with an amazing tenacity.

Cape Perpetua Tidepool, Oregon

In the more protected pools, life is crammed in so tightly that it almost defies description.

Mussels and Barnacles, Cape Perpetua, Oregon

What makes the amazing fecundity even more impressive is the harshness of this environment. Exposed to baking hot sunlight for hours, and pounded the crushing waves, life doesn’t just survive but prospers in the environment for which it has evolved.

Mrs. WC enjoying the tidepools, Cape Perpetua, Oregon

And, if you look closely enough, there is treasure to be found.

Hermit Crab, Cape Perpetua, Oregon

It’s a wonderful place to visit. You can be a little kid again, or relive college marine biology courses. Or just enjoy again the sounds, scents and sights of a rocky shore line at low tide. WC asks that you tread gently, walking only on rock and not the packed life. And beware of rogue waves: there’s a lot of Pacific Ocean and it throws up surprises all the time.


2 thoughts on “Oregon Coast Notebook: The Joys of Tidepooling

  1. Great shots! I’m envious. My wife introduced me to tidepooling early in our marriage, and after 21 years of living in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire, we’ve relocated to Downeast Maine. Can’t wait to explore the intertidal zone here, but it can be treacherous — the tide varies from 15 to 25 feet, depending on the moon cycle. Now, to head out to watch the alewives migrate upstream … and all of the eagles and osprey chasing them.

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