Sunday, September 04, 2011

Vacation Trip - More Water & Angry Crabs

When I first moved to Sandpoint, people were quick to point out how little public access there is along the lake's shoreline, and how aggressively residents guard their private land from watercraft considering a landing. In fact, that is one of the reasons I am ensconced in a "caretaker" house on my landlord's property. Kopachuck State Park on the Kitsap Peninsula is a small gem of public access along Puget Sound fighting a battle to stave off private development. It has been targeted for possible closure due to the State's budget crisis, which would be a real shame. Sherrie has blogged repeated about the Harbor Wildwatch Outreach Program's activities such as Get Your Feet Wet, and I wanted to see for myself. So off we went to talk to the volunteers, view the touch tanks and walk the beach.

There were lots of shells one could pick up and study and the "touch tank" where live specimens were waiting for your inspection.

I declined any actually touching, especially when I spotted this small but "angry" crab.

So the volunteer did the touching, holding up this Red Rock crab for us. He looked angry too.

Apparently, most people are more interested in the underside of these things; I was having a hard time getting through to the volunteer that I was more intrigued by that beautiful red back.

This crab has a sad story. The barnacles have formed along the line where the crab would normally split its shell to molt. The crab for some reason, has not been able to scrap them off so is trapped in its shell and will eventually die. Poor crab.

After this orientation, we walked along the beach, the Olympic Mountain range barely visible through the haze. At these events, kayaks are also available for rent through a private company, but we passed that up. Instead, Sherrie showed me how the sand dollars, oysters and others each had their own "community" rather than co-existing. I'd never been on a beach like this before, my experience with ocean beaches mostly showing what had washed up on the beach dead.

Once we'd had enough of the beach, we walked along the trails leading back up the wooded hillside to the parking lot. I was taken by surprise by this brief stretch of stone steps. Couldn't resist a shot.

This is rain forest country, where trees can be heavy with moss.

Sherrie alerted me to these ferns, a shaft of light highlighting the spores on the underside.

You didn't think I'd come away from my trip without some pictures of undulating tree trunks, did you?


Felicity said...

What an amazing trip, Sheila! Love all the photos and info - and actually I especially love those stone steps, I have a 'thing' about old steps that are barely visible! Glad you mentioned tea because I was so engrossed, I forgot to drink my own! I'm sure you must have brought back inspiration to last quite a while!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Wonderful, fabulous post! You're a natural journalist, and I didn't even see you taking notes! I get sad every time I think of that poor crab trapped in her shell, but I guess that's life.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Stay tuned - more to come, Felicity. Sifted through the last of the pics today and DO see some potential ideas for future art. And hear I just thought I was snapping away tourist style. ;-)

Thanks Sherrie, high praise from someone in the business. Funny you should think me a natural - my dad was willing to pay for more schooling for me to become a journalist/newscaster because he too seemed to think me a natural. I politely declined as I did not like the whole deadlines and on-camera thing! But I love doing this sort of thing on a blog. No, didn't take notes, learn to fudge around details I can't remember and do a lot of research on internet to fill in the blanks. There, now you know my secret!