Mole Crab Mania!

I’ve been spending summers out on the west coast since 2006 and I’ve never seen anything like it. Earlier this July, a large number of juvenile Pacific mole crabs made an appearance at Wickaninnish Beach. And they’re still here! A handful of Pacific Mole Crabs (Emerita analoga) found at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Pacific mole crabs …

Beach Hopper Party at Wickaninnish Beach!

Sand fleas, beach hoppers, beach fleas – these are a few of the names given to the (usually) small little jumping things leaping about on the sand in a frantic attempt to escape your descending bare feet. At first encounter they can be a bit hard to love, maybe due to the unpredictable trajectory of their jumps and the possibility …

Deep Bay Marine Field Station

At the end of a crushed shell road lies the Deep Bay Marine Field Station, a research facility run by Vancouver Island University. It’s a gorgeous location overlooking Deep Bay and the station is spectacular in its design, looking a little like a huge clam shell. In addition to being used by Vancouver Island University for aquaculture and marine conservation …

Horse Clam Hitchhiker

One of the fun things that you can do with your kids at the beach is look for the dramatic siphons of the Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) at low tide. Most people don’t connect the somewhat grotesque looking tube sticking out of the sand with the feeding apparatus of a clam but that is indeed what they are. Below the …

Shore Crab Uncertainty

Common shore crabs on Vancouver Island are usually pretty easy to identify. Colour isn’t always a good way to separate out the Green Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus oregonensis) from the Purple Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus nudus) since both have some variability in colouration. The more reliable way to tell the two apart is to look at the legs – Green Shore Crabs …

Hello Hermit … Crab

On the beach with the kids this week and we found a beautiful hermit crab in its shell. All we could see was its blue claws. A shy hermit crab at Miracle Beach Provincial Park. Hello! I thought that with those blue claws this would be an easy crab to identify. I think that it might be a very worn …

Beneath the Mud

There's something going on beneath the surface of the mud at the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area. There’s something lurking beneath the mud in the Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area. Actually, there’s a great deal of biodiversity underneath the nearly 1770 hectares of tidal mudflats protected since 1997 by this WMA. The challenge is getting out to see it without …

Stranded 3 – Scourge of the Surf-line

Moon Jellies often wash up on sandy beaches on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Often when jellyfish are washed up on the shore at Long Beach they don’t last long. At first glance this stranded Moon Jelly (Aurelia labiata) appears to be forgotten. Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi) are active scavengers along the surf-line. A closer look reveals that some of …

Lumpy Crab at Florencia Bay

Earlier this week I spent two hours at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The beach here is sometimes overlooked by tide pool explorers heading to better known locations like the rocks at Wickaninnish Beach, Green Point or Schooner Cove. The boulders at Florencia Bay, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are excellent for intertidal exploration. I love poking …