Sunday, November 11, 2007

Surprises at East Coast

I love Sundays mostly because I can do whatever the hell I want.

Yesterday while we sped along the coast on our bicycles we spotted this extensive shallow sand flat exposed due to the afternoon low tide. Dumping our wheels on the sand, we skipped in to explore, only to mentally smack ourselves silly for neglecting to bring our cameras. The entire place is bloody sand dollar central! This less explored part of ECP heralded a pleasant surprise, as prior visits to the intertidals along ECP were markedly disappointing (but still alive with low diversity) and one time -- gruesome.

Today I scooted down there at low tide, this time armed with the camera, to nudge the critters and check out the awesome sunset. Sand dollars were out in full force, their marks in the sand easily mistaken for doggy paw prints. But under the water, partially exposed sand dollars made for a pretty, starry sight.

Pity that the tide wasn't low enough to explore the extensive sand flats. What little was explored showed low diversity, but massive numbers of sand dollars amazed me, and a few amusing critters were out in the daylight. One interesting find was this lone carpet anemone that looked like it was being smothered with sand each time the waves came in. There must be more further out but I couldn't spot any other along the entire flat that was explosed. Special 'nem indeed. I tried taking photos of a 'nem I suspect is the Bob Blob, but failed miserably.

A shy but sluggish moon crab mooned me several times and in my attempt to finger him, I realised that he(she?)'d just moulted. Better hide you from the nearby kids going crazy over button shells. We spotted some moon snails on the move yesterday but they were no where to be seen today. I also saw some tiny solefish that moved too quickly for me to capture on film.

My growling tummy and the rising tide told me it was time to scoot home for dinner. And looking up from the water, I took some quick photos of the gorgeous sunset before leaving.

ecp sand dollar central


samuraibunny said...

that one-clawed hermit crab looks like gong gong. that seafood stuff!

koksheng said...

wow, lovely part of east coast! Wish I was there