Exploring Oregon’s Rocky Shore
Today was the first 5:30 a.m. call time for the departure of the van to our destination of the day. I woke up around 4:30 a.m. with my roommates and we made some breakfast (toast with cottage cheese, apple slices, and some honey) to fuel our day. We changed into our clothes which consisted of a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and a rain jacket. I laced up my hiking boots and headed out the door.
After a quick drive to the field, we arrived at our low tide destination, which was a barren sea covered in seaweed and mud. The smell of the dying seaweed was not very pleasant, but after a while, I was able to get past it. We started our excursion by exploring some of the outer tidal areas before moving more inland. As we walked along, we found rocks that we could lift up and see what was living amongst them. Within these habitats lived some of the coolest vertebrates and invertebrates along the west coast. Some of the invertebrates that we stumbled upon included sea stars, barnacles, sea slugs, sea urchins, and anemones! We even got to see some vertebrates like fish and eels.
One of the challenges of this section of the mudflats and rocky shore was trying to walk around. Some of the portions of the terrain were very slippery and slick with seaweed. Navigating the rocky surfaces was a bit of a challenge but most of the fun while being in the field comes with working through the wobbles! Getting to discover new creatures and experiencing them firsthand is something that is so special!
Finding different creatures and getting out to explore nature is something that I look forward to every day!