That picture gives you a good idea of how low the tide was this past Tuesday. We drove about five minutes from the farm to this point on the coast of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (very close to Salt Creek Campground and the remains of Fort Hayden--This gives a good, brief description).
I felt like a kid again jumping from rock to rock, walking over a sea of mussels, exploring the recesses of the tide pools, and basically pushing the limits of where we could be--all the way to the edge and back! We saw a lot of neat sea creatures and even got to rescue a starfish, which we affectionately named Patrick. He/she was probably the biggest starfish I'd ever seen in my life (my foot's there for scale):
We put him in one of the tide pools because he was just sitting on a big rock, baking in the sun. Poor Patrick. Hopefully he's happy and eating lots of what starfish eat.
I also managed to capture several pictures of crabs. Two of my favorites are a crab in an empty mussel shell and Alex holding a tiny crab:
I'm also amazed at how colorful all the creatures in the tide pool were. I saw a small ruby red starfish, a neon green sea anemone, and a big purple starfish.
I really, really enjoyed the trip to the tide pools and I would love to catch it again some time, but I'm not sure how often the tide gets that low. I have to do some more research on that. I'm really interested in seeing what that area looks like without the tide being so low--it would be cool to look out on to the strait and try to figure out where we were walking during the low tide, and imagine what all those lovely creatures down there are doing.
It's times like the trip to the tide pools, that make all the drama worth it (at least in retrospect). I am in this place for a reason--to learn how to appreciate the natural beauty of the Earth and to learn to care for the Earth while producing food for myself and others--and I am learning that. I have a very deep appreciation now for all that I took for granted even just a few months ago. I'm rejuvenated by the quiet and beauty of the pastoral mountains. Yesterday when we went into Seattle it was hugely stressful and only slightly gratifying, and I felt so relieved when we finally made it back to the Port Angeles area. There is no substitute. The city does not have my heart like the country does now.