#2 in the 2018 series of guest blog posts by Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists Bobby Arispe and Jen Strongin.
Message from Bobby:
The 2018 group of Seattle Aquarium Beach Naturalists have been hard at work training for the new season. We have lots of new volunteers and plenty of returning volunteers—who you can spot by their faded red hats. I am starting my third season and I am still learning so much every time I go out on the beach. The veterans really help to train the eyes of the newer naturalists. So much of what we are looking for while we are on the beach is for smallest of indicators of a creature. It could be a color that stands out against the rocks and algae. It could be a quick movement that catches the light. We learn to look for the habitats of the creatures. I am still amazed when a fellow naturalist finds the tiniest of creatures—something I would have looked right past.My fellow blogger and photographer Jen works with a new beach naturalist to help identify a creature.
As I am regaining my “sea-legs” for the season lets take a look at some of the critters we found on our final low-tide training walks at South Alki and Golden Gardens beaches.I love to photograph anemone, especially when they are still in the water. This painted anemone was tucked under a rock and had all of its tentacles out in the water.A large male Red Rock Crab holds a female close, waiting for her to molt, in order to mate.A sea lemon is hidden between the rocks. They are a type of nudibranch that likes to feed on encrusting sponges.Pacific gaper siphon. This one blasted my camera lens with water as it retreated underground.A Moonsnail burrows itself back into the sand.A tiny Acorn Barnacle holds on to the back of a colorful Lined Chiton.Jen found a disoriented Dock (Coonstripe) Shrimp in the Sargassum.A small Stiff-Footed Sea Cucumber (aka, White Sea Cucumber) pokes out from under a rock.
A couple photos of an Orange Sea Cucumber with it’s oral tentacles out and a close up on the body with the tentacles pulled in.
I am excited to be back out on the beach this summer with all my fellow naturalists. Be sure to say hello if you see me, I will be the one with a felted orange sea star on my red hat.
Meet Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists on local shorelines this summer! Check our website for dates, times, locations and directions.
This is Bobby’s third year as a beach naturalist.
His passion for the Salish Sea started when he and his wife moved to Seattle four years ago from San Antonio, Texas.
Bobby is an avid photographer and enjoys capturing his adventures of the Pacific Northwest. During the week you will find him biking to work where he leads a creative team at a local marketing agency.