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I’ve always had a fascination for the small and hidden things in life. Little gems that you find on the road, beauty in the minutiae and discovery of the wild. Nothing quite brings the three together like tide-pooling. Give me a good set of tide-pools and my trusty camera and I’ll be happy as an ocean clam basking in the low-tide sun. Indeed, if I could color myself purple and crawl into the rocks with the starfish I’d be THERE baby.
Thankfully there are easier ways than starfish transmorgrification to enjoy the tide-life of the sea. All you need is a few good lenses, inside info on where to find the spots and a timetable on when to go, all of which you can find right here on the Oregon coast.
Now for those not “in the know” tide-pools are small rocky pools filled with seawater that “reveal” themselves at low tide. They contain a unique set of ocean life specifically adapted to the changing tides. The Oregon Coast abounds with tide-pools and the you can find both a map of locations, and daily tide-tables at any of the State Parks. Plan to arrive around an hour ahead of low tide and then enjoy the performance unfold.
There are no less than 8 excellent spots within a short drive of our home here at Bullards Beach State Park and I’ve been hitting several of them over the past weeks, basking in the wonder of life that lies right beneath our feet. When my cousin was in town we explored the excellent pools at Cape Arago (lots of mini-crabs and anemone), and this morning I loaded both Paul and Polly in the car to roam the extensive pools at Coquille Point right around the corner in Bandon (masses of starfish and seaweed).
Each site has hundreds of hidden gems from weird seaweed to fascinating barnacles and colorful starfish. The fact that all these creatures survive both the changing tides and exposure to air, wind (it’s alwayswindy on the coast), sun and rain only make them all the more fascinating. Top it all off with the fact that you get to enjoy a splendidly sunny day on a truly magnificent coast and you really can’t get much better than that.
Alas my words do but poor justice to the picturesque splendor of these wonders and my camera merely manages to grab a fleeting look. All I can do is share what little I brought back in pictures and encourage you to come over here and see for yourself.
After all this is free ocean theatre and no-one should ever pass up a good performance.
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