Friday, April 14, 2017

A potpourri of sea life

There is a saying that when the tide is out, the table is set.  There is a healthy, 100% natural, and easy to get opportunity for a meal right there in those photos.  The greens and reds are various seaweeds, most seaweeds are edible, and the little fountains are coming from clams expelling water from their siphons.  Clams can have toxins filtered from the environment in their flesh which can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), but in our area it is very rare.  There seems to be a certain amount of fear and paranoia increasing among some people regarding this but statistics and facts show that your odds of getting PSP (in the Wrangell area anyway) is extremely low.  I'd rather take my chances with wild clams than with most of the packaged, manufactured "food" sold in every grocery store.

Some starfish on the rocks at low tide

Starfish close up

This is what sea anemones look like at low tide when their tentacles are retracted.

This sea lion was extremely content basking in the warm sunshine.  This seems to be a preferred relaxation pose for some sea lions as I saw several on this morning in this position.  Sea lion sun salutation!

The previous 3 photos were of a female sea lion and her pup playing in the water.  While sea lions tend to look like big, smelly, loud, grumpy, obese bags of blubber while they are laying on the rocks of the beach, they transform into beautiful, graceful, water dancers when they are in the water.  It was a lot of fun watching these two enjoying each other's company and the beautiful morning.  The red on the sea lion in the first photo is blood from some recent altercation.  I couldn't see the wound but it must not have been too bad as it was fast asleep.

A close up of a sea lion "foot".  The big furry thing is one of the several giant male sea lions that were hauled out on the rocks.

The setting sun on the water.  It was another pretty sunset but not a spectacular one but then this humpback whale worked its way toward me letting me get this slightly blurry picture of it.  I heard a report that there were some herring showing up in the area and there have been some dense flocks of gulls and sea ducks feeding so this whale was probably taking advantage of an easy food source as well.

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