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 …

Saving the Magnificent Pacific Gaper

It is not often that you see a living horse clam on the surface of the beach unless you have taken the effort to dig one out yourself. That’s why Jocie and I initially thought that the Pacific gaper (Tresus nuttallii) that we found at Miracle Beach was dead. We quickly realized otherwise after touching the extended siphon and watching …

Horse Clam Shells

In my last post I wrote about finding weird but fascinating Horse Clam siphons sticking out of the sand and trying to identify the species based on what could be seen on the surface. Fortunately it is a lot easier to separate the Fat Gaper (Tresus capax) from the Pacific Gaper (Tresus nuttallii) if you’ve got shells that you’ve found …

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 …

Flacid

I love turning over rocks in the intertidal zone – you never know what you might find! Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) with its siphon extended. This rather suggestive looking image is the siphon of a Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) that I found underneath a rock at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I usually see just the tip of the …

Butter Clams at Goose Spit

One of the clams that we discovered on Tuesday at Goose Spit was the Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea). Clams belong in the Phylum Mollusca, Class Bivalvia and are characterized by having two shells or valves. They are filter feeders and take microscopic organisms out of the water that they draw into their bodies through a siphon. Butter Clam (Saxidomus gigantea), …

Flotsam and Jetsam at Goose Spit

We’ve been pretty much house bound over the last couple of days due to the weather here in the Comox Valley – high winds and lots of rain. We made a few short forays out for walks around the neighbourhood between squalls but for the most part hunkered down. When I woke up this morning I was stunned to see …

Jingle Shells

After Monday’s deluge there was a break in the weather yesterday and we made the most of it, taking the kids to Air Force Beach in Comox to enjoy the sun. Surprisingly, we had never been to Air Force Beach before despite the length of time we’ve lived in the Comox Valley. We’ll definitely be back – it’s a beautiful …

Varnish Clams

Walking on the beach at Goose Spit in Comox this weekend got me thinking about clams. I always enjoy sorting through seaweed in the strand line and taking a closer look at shells that have washed up on the shore before returning them back to the beach where I found them. On this walk I found several “old-friends,” including the …