It was like stepping off the boat into a salad. That’s what it was like at Point Brown when Allen Marine dropped a group from the Sitka Conservation Society on the east side of Kruzof Island.
Sunday morning saw the lowest tide of the year, minus 3.21 feet. Around the time of summer solstice the Earth is closest to the Sun. When the new moon sits between the earth and sun everything is pulling in the same direction. That was Sunday.
Slogging through the salad we reached the dark volcanic sand with sea weed, shells, drift wood and various crabs and starfish arranged like a giant collage. I kaleidoscope of bits scattered across the sand and reefs formed by lava flow.
We explored the squishy parts as well as the sand, the exposed reefs and hundreds of tide polls. We lifted rocks to see what was underneath and put small creatures in clear plastic cups to get a better view before carefully returning them to their polls or under their sheltering rocks. We had instructions to put every creature back the way we found it, not upside down, for instance, and to replace every rock. Some people catalogued what they found, taking pictures to post on Sitka’s Big Year Project at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sitka-big-year-project. Citizen scientists are trying to identify as many species of plant or animal as possible during 2017.
I may post some of my pictures on inaturalist.org but, aside from a bald eagle or a raven I probably will not be able to identify the creatures. But others will be able to tell me what I took pictures of. Most of my pictures from this trip are trying to catalogue either human activities or to publicize “found art” arranged by the tides, on Point Brown Beach.