Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mudflattia.

Boundary Bay at low tide. Once past the barnacled cobbles that mark high tide, there are hundreds of acres of mud and sand, interspaced with shallow tide pools, to explore. The mud is a Christmas cake of clams, crustaceans and worms, perhaps preferable to whatever Christmas cakes are otherwise made of.


It can be a bit of a game of chicken, walking to the distant edge as the tide is turning. The water doesn’t come straight back in, like the pulling up of a sheet, but rather sneaks around the far ends of the gentle rises, out of sight. You can suddenly be on a rapidly shrinking island, with the stretches of water on all sides getting wider and deeper --and colder!


A lonely Heart...Cockle (Clinocardium nuttallii).

Three sets of Varnish Clam valves (Nuttallia obscurata---introduced from Asia). Something in their hydrodynamics leaves most of them external surface-up when the water recedes. Their inside surfaces are prettier

A particularly attractive heap of lugworm poop.


4 comments:

Wren said...

Lugworm poop? I don't know which to say first:

1) Gross!
2) Cool!
3) How do you know these things?

Hugh said...

Wren,
3) I was a teaching assistant for marine biology and invertebrate zoology, thus know more about mud than is helpful.

BerryBird said...

That is attractive poo... thanks for sharing!

Swamp Thing said...

Mudflats are amazing habitats. Nice work!