After looking at trees all day, we were ready for some beach action. Our friends discovered that a ranger-lead hike of the tide pools at Ruby Beach several miles up the road would occur the next day. Tide pooling is a popular pass time, so it pays to know what you are doing, since it is so easy to destroy habitat. We arrived by 8 AM and headed for the beach just as sunshine was reaching the near shoreline.
There are several zones of activity in tide pools, the lowest zone, mid zone, high, and the splash zone. These squishy creatures inhabit the mid zone. Sea stars and anemones. You can see a few anemones are open while others are closed. Sea stars are essentially the predators.
These are muscles. They inhibit the high zone. They also like to take over as much area as possible. So they are expansionists. Barnacles inhabit the high and splash zones as well.
I believe these are snails. Notice the Sea Star nearby. He is probably thinking lunch.
An anemone that is open. They sift the water for food and can sting whatever comes by. DO NOT touch one of these creatures. You will regret it.
More squishy anemones of various sizes.
Tide pooling requires low tide. The difference between high and low tide is 6-8 feet!
We revisited Ruby Beach, but at higher tide. Here you can see water reaching the rock face of the beach.
During the tide pool session, we were nearly to the distance rock in the fog on the right. You can see the splash zone on the near rock covered in barnacles and some muscles.