Junior Marine Biologists

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When we aren’t harvesting food, it’s easy to forget about all the incredible life that inhabits the nearshore waters of Puget Sound. Our friend Aidan came to visit from Montana, and the kids wasted no time in getting down to the beach. We don’t generally harvest any shellfish in the summer, so this was purely an exercise in catch-and-release. In spite of the weather–it came down in buckets with thunder and lightning shortly after we retreated–Skyla, Weston and Aidan spent hours looking beneath rocks, digging holes, and generally grubbing around in the mud. I’m always amazed at how even island kids, who live every day surrounded by water and beach, never seem to tire of these activities.

But sometimes, it takes a visitor from the mountains to motivate us toward something we take for granted. The kids found horse clams, steamers, cockles, mud shrimp, rock pricklebacks (small, eel-like fish that live under rocks), sculpins, shore crabs, kelp crabs, rock crabs, a small Dungeness, pile worms, and a few critters we couldn’t identify. Each new find was celebrated, observed, and gently released. And then, with weather sweeping in, we headed home to eat sandwiches instead of seafood. A great day in my book. Thanks, Aidan, for reminding us to look more closely at where we live.

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