Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunflower Starfish at Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom, WA

On Tuesday we went to Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom, WA to enjoy the low -1.4 tide.  The mercurial weather brought both showers and sunshine!  I stayed warm except my fingers got very cold.   And when the sun was out, it felt so nice!  My friend and her sons met us there, and my children and I had such a good time.

One amazing thing was how many starfish we saw.  We saw more types than we've ever seen before.  For the first time we saw what I believe is a sunflower starfish.  They have a lot of arms, and their bodies are soft and rather slimy, and they can crawl pretty fast.

The first sunflower starfish I saw looked like it was bent in half, with half of it's underside folded up so that I could see the tube feet on it's underside moving wildly (I wish I would have gotten a picture of it like that!). It looked like it was in trouble so I reached out to try and help it, but was surprised to feel how slimy it was because usually the star fish we find here are more hard and rough.  I called out for my friend, and she picked it up and put it in the water, and it flattened and spread it's arms out like normal.   Here it is in the water.



After that we found quite a few more sunflower starfish.  Here is a picture and a couple short videos of one of them.



video

My older son took the one below. He got a nice close-up view of its tube feet moving.
video

Here are some more we saw...


In this one you can see a couple smaller
sunflower starfish in the water, and a
(I think?) Ochre Sea Star on the rock.

4 comments:

  1. WOW. Amazing. Never seen a starfish before. And these are wonderful photos.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Hi JayLeigh, I really like the new template. Very fresh, very nice.

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  3. Excellent shots. Isn't the beach fun. I love a low tide and getting to see all the neat creatures. MB

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  4. Thank you so much, Dani! And thank you, Dave! I'm so glad you like the new template! MB, thanks! and yes, low tides are just wonderful! I've lived here most of my life, and it's only in the past year or two that I've begun exploring the beach and the creatures there. I can't believe I took so long! I'm glad my children are learning so much sooner than I did. :)

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