I saw these barnacles at South Beach on San Juan Island. They are pretty large (about 1.5 in. diameter) and are found on most large rocks and the balsaltic rock formations, especially near the water and tide pools. Barnacles are sessile and attach themselves permanently to hard substrate. They use feather-like appendages to draw in plankton.
I saw this Gadwall floating at UBNA after my class. I was really stumped when I saw this bird! At first I thought it was a female Cinnamon Teal, but then I saw that it has bright white speculum feathers, while the Cinnamon teal's are edged with blue/black. The beak is also too small to be a Cinnamon Teal. Fortunately, someone knew it was a Gadwall! I will have to add this species to the waterfowl website.
This is Mona the camel. She lives at the farm down the road. I know this isn't a wild species, but it is pretty unique to see a camel in the PNW! She has one hump, shaggy fur, and if you get to close she will mistake your hair for food and try to eat it.
Finally, a seaweed that I recognize! Bullwhip kelp has a green, long (many feet) tail that ends in a round, hollow (sometimes whitish) bulb. Attached to the bulb is a cluster of long ribbon-like seaweed. This kelp is edible and I actually ate it in a chutney last week during a lesson about foraging.
This seaweed is found all over San Juan Island. It has semi-transparent ribbon-like pieces attached to 2 lobed pouched filled with air. I imagine these make the seaweed somewhat buoyant, assisting it in some way. I wish I knew of a better resource for identifying seaweed!
This little crab was dead when I found it on the beach. It is very small (2 in) and the coloration is white and orange, although I don't know if the colors faded after it died. These small crabs are commonly found under rocks on the beach, especially when the tide is out at the bay.
I saw these sea anemone in a tide pool at south beach. They have little "feelers" around the perimeter of their mouths that respond to movement. If you brush them with your finger they suction closed around it. This is somewhat similar to the terrestrial venus flytrap.
I'm not sure what species this seaweed is, but it is thin and stringy like hair.
I am not sure what to make of this plant. It is brown and kind of spiky, which reminds me of burdock...but I do not think this is the same thing. Any ideas?
This picture is a little blurry because the chinese hats are underwater in the tide pool. They are too difficult to remove because they suction to the rock. I have always called these organisms chinese hats, as that was what I was taught when I was young. Their shell is shaped, predictably, like a chinese hat!
From the shell, this little guy looks exactly like a hermit crab except smaller. However, rather than a crab body, a little snail lives inside! I found this one in a tide pool in the balsaltic rock formations.
I found these hermit crabs in a tidepool at South beach. They have iridescent, colorful shells and go into their shell when they are disturbed.
Another white flowered plant near Deadman Cove. These flowers are especially small ( shape. I think it could be Saxifrage?
I saw this young conifer near Deadman Cove. I'm not entirely sure what species is, so I wish I had a better picture. Based on the form I think it could be a Grand Fir?
Yet another white flowered plant with light green leaves! I'm not sure if this one is different...there are red thorns on the stem and it was quite small. I found it in our yard on Westcott Bay.
Pacific Madrone trees are extremely common on San Juan Island, especially near the coast. I identified this tree by its peeling red bark.
I saw this plant on San Juan Island near Deadman Cove. I identified it by the woody stems, leaf shape, and downward facing white blossoms.
I saw this plant while walking from the road down to the beach at Deadman Cove. I identified it as thimbleberry because of the white flowers with 5 petals and golden center and the light green leaves with 5 points and serrated edges.
The Pelagic Cormorant are commonly seen roosting on the pilings at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. I identified the species by the body shape, iridescent black feathers, and the white patches and crests (breeding plumage). I observed them nesting inside the pilings and on top, some of them outstretching their wings to dry their feathers (cormorant plumage is not waterproof).
This is a fun shot because it has two interesting species pictured! I know the bird is a bald eagle, but I'm not sure about the tree? I think it could be a Douglas Fir...
I know this is not a very good picture, but there are many ravens near our home on San Juan Island, WA. There is a spot near Roche Harbor where they feed the eagles on Friday evenings. There is usually quite the assortment of birds, including these black ravens. They resemble crows, only bigger, with shaggy, shiny black feathers and a black beak. This one was diving for a scrap of meat left over by the bald eagles. Ravens are very smart and have a strong predatory nature. The ravens on the island are known for raiding seabird colonies.
I saw this white-tailed deer at South Beach on San Juan Island, WA. This is a very unique ecosystem, with prairie near the ocean. There are many invasive grasses on the prairie, and deer are found very close to the beach. This particular deer was in a group of 4 in the tall grass, approximately 500 feet from the water.
I saw this male Mallard waddling around in Red Square. I know it is a male due to it's plumage (green head, colorful).
I saw this conifer on Stevens Way (at UW Seattle) while walking to class. I noticed it has a curving trunk, which I do not see very often on trees of this type. I'm not sure what species it is (I will have to try and get a closer look at the cones and needles). Does anyone know why the trunk curves?
The dandelion is sometimes bright yellow (as pictured) and is sometimes a seed head. This plant is a pervasive weed found all over North America and Eurasia. It is edible (although I did not find that it tastes very nice) and can be used to make other products such as dandelion wine. The seed head acts as an extremely effective method of seed dispersal (relies on wind).
These gulls were on the lawn outside by George cafe on the UW campus looking for food scraps. They seemed to be waiting for people to leave their tables. They have an impressive wingspan and strong, sharp beaks. I have seen them dropping shells onto hard surfaces while in flight in order to access the meat inside.