Here are some Goodyera oblongifolia or Rattlesnake-plantain in bloom. (My photos don't do this plant justice!) The leaves look like snakeskin, and they send up a tall, beige shoot with multiple flowers. I saw dozens today by the path in a mixed conifer forest.
Unfortunately this pretty aster, Tanacetum vulgare or Common Tansy, is an invasive weed. It was growing besie the parking lot and gravel road, a disturbed area where lots of invasive plants take root. It attracted a wide range of colorful insects.
There were abundant Tolmiea menziesii or Piggy-back Plants (aka Youth-on-age) growing along the moist, shady sections of the trail. I'd never seen so many before. I do like that this plant is named for Vancouver's naturalist, Archibald Menzies.
This bright yellow flowering plant, Senecio jacobaea, or Tansy ragwort, is an invasive, toxic, noxious weed that is very harmful to any animals that eat it. It's definitely a plant out of place, as it's so pretty.
This brilliant 1" caterpillar caught my eye when I saw it on my car! I placed it on the ground for some photos. It appears to be a Lophocampa maculata caterpillar of the Spotted Tussock Moth or Yellow-Spotted Tiger Moth. This moth has a wide range across the country, but I don't remember ever seeing this caterpillar before.
This was an unusual find during the -2.1 minus tide on Indian Island, an Acanthodoris nanaimoensis or Nanaimo Nudibranch. It was 1" long and about 3/4" wide, with the brown-tipped rhinophores and yellow dots of its species, but in its brown phase. (I was helped by others in making the ID.) The little brown and white snail at the left was very interested in this nudibranch and stayed close to it!
I was very excited to find a cluster of Aglaophenia spp., or Ostrich-plume Hydroids, during the -2.1 minus tide at Indian Island. I'd never seen these hydroids before, and they were beautiful, about 2" tall, shades of apricot and looking like thick feathers in the shallow water that remained during the minus tide. According to Andy Lamb, these could be any of six species of Aglaophenia.
It's always fun to find a nudibranch, especially when it's laying eggs! Here's an Archidoris montereyensis (Doris montereyensis) or Monterey Sea Lemon with a large mass of eggs, visible during the -21 minus tide.
I saw several Cancer productus or Red Rock Crabs today during the minus tide. Most were adult, and some were under water, like one photo here. The top photo shows a juvenile molt.
This large 4” Clinocardium nuttallii or Nuttall’s Cockle, was drying out during the -2.1 minus tide on a very hot day, so I moved it under water. There are lots of Nuttall’s Cockles on this beach, but rarely do you see one this large.
I was excited to find two colonies of Dodecaceria fewkesi or Fringed Filament-worms today during the -2.1 minus tide, as I'd never seen them before. Each calcareous tube is very short, a fraction of an inch, and the worms send out their filaments to feed when covered by water. Dodecaceria must have something to do with the number 12.
As always when I walk at Indian Island, I found several egg collars of Euspira lewisii or Lewis’s Moonsnail. This one was about 11" across. I didn't see the moonsnails themselves, however, as they often burrow under the sand to find clams to eat.
Here are four photos of what I believed was a 5" Leafy Paddleworm, or Family Phyllodocidae, but now consider a Nereis. This amazing worm was found under a rock during the -2.1 minus tide. The colors were beautiful, iridescent in places, greenish at one end, and it had thick appendages the length of its body.It seemed to emit a mucus that grabbed sand, as I tried to rinse it off for its photo and ended up having to wipe away the sandy mucus.
This is only the third time I've found Hippodiplosia insculpta or Fluted Bryozoan, and this is definitely the most beautiful! The colonies of bryozoans measured about 1" deep. I found them during a -2.1 minus tide at the edge of the water in a rocky area.
Here are two examples of 1.5" Kaburakia Excelsa or Giant Flatworms. In one photo, the worm is lying flat inside a clamshell, and in the other it's to the left of the chiton and the Plumose Anemone.
I was delighted to finally find a Lepidozona mertensii or Merten’s Chiton. This 1" reddish chiton was found on a rock during the -2.1 minus tide. It was not a flat chiton; it's apex (?) was quite high.
I noticed lots of beige Membranipora villosa or Kelp-encrusting Bryozoan on kelp during the -2.1 minus tide today, mostly large colonies up to 4" across and on tattered fronds of kelp. These two small colonies, each 1" across, attracted my attention because of their freshness and contrasting colors-- golden and blue.
The -2.1 minus tide stranded many Metridium senile or Short Plumose Anemones. Here are several of different colors, mostly brown and cream, and all about 2" across, waiting for the water to cover them again so they can feed.
Today during the -2.1 minus tide, I found an amazing assortment of chitons under rocks. This one may be one I'd never seen before, and today found three- Mopalia spectabilis, a Red-flecked Mopalia. Andy Lamb describes "shells with bright turquoise, orange and red-brown marks give this chiton a gaudy appearance. The girdle hairs have very dense branching secondary hairs resembling miniature bottle brushes."
This project is a warehouse for natural history observations in the Puget Sound country. The project is being launched to support a new natural history course at the University of Washington, but we welcome all naturalists to this project. The platform will be used by the class to record observations in the Puget Sound region and communicate about Puget Sound natural history. For the course, ...more ↓
This project is a warehouse for natural history observations in the Puget Sound country. The project is being launched to support a new natural history course at the University of Washington, but we welcome all naturalists to this project. The platform will be used by the class to record observations in the Puget Sound region and communicate about Puget Sound natural history. For the course, please photograph, geo-reference, and identify a minimum of 100 different species during the 10 weeks of the spring 2012 quarter. Observations that include significant natural history content (phenology, habitat, behavior etc) will get specific recognition (if you are in the class). If you want to get involved but are not in the class, no problem! log in, add observations, make comments on our observations, and add natural history! less ↑