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Botanical Beach
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On the West coast of Vancouver Island, near Port Renfrew


Botanical beach is about two hours north of Victoria on a twisting, winding road, with no gas stations for at least 180 km.  The low tide I was chasing (a 1.2 foot) turned at 8:45 am, so it was a 6 am start. 

Wave Crashing OverWave Broken

In The Tide Pools:
Tide pools are like little windows into another world.  The rock at Botanical Beach has a variety of pools carved into - from 1 litre to the size of swimming pools.  Each little pool is a microcausem of life - sea anemones filtering out bits of food, snails scraping algae of the walls and sea weeds fighting for light.  Sea anemones are one of my favorite because there is nothing like them that grow on land.

Anemone And MusselsBig And Little AnemonesMussels In Tide Pool

Aggregate Green AnemoneBlack TurbansThree Closed Anemones

On the Rocks:
In the low tide area there are exposed rocks with a variety of life growing on it.  Black Katy Chitons were common, peaking out from under pieces of kelp and occupying the holes that would normally be filled by a sea urchin.  Rocks near the water were pitted with circular indintions, many hiding purple sea urchins, as if they had made those homes themselves.  We only found one sea star - a Ochre Star hanging on for dear life on the under side of ledge.

Two Types Of ChitonsChiton Under KelpOchre StarPurple Sea Urchins In Holes
 
Sea Weeds:
Depending on how high up the beach you go, you find a variety of sea weed species.  Many sea weeds are specialized at find ways to trip visitors, or encourage a nasty fall.  Compared to land species, these are relativly simple plants (they don't have flowers, or specialized roots), but they have a beauty all their own.

Feather Boa FloatsFeather BoaRainbow-leafDead Mans Fingers

Short Sea LettuceRock WeedWaves Of Grass

High Tide Region
The high tide region is dominated by hard shelled things - mussels, limpets and barnicles. 

  Mussels And BarnaclesLeaf BarnacleShield Limpet And Ribbed Limpet
 
Above the High Tide Line


Rock Margin
Botanical Beach has both rock surfaces and sand above the high tide region. Paricularly low tides often follow particullarly high tides, so after exploring the low tide region, it sometimes fun to go beach combing at the high tide region to see what has washed up recently.
Tufts Of Grass
 
On my April visit, there were several large balls of bull kelp washed up on shore.  Bull Kelp is a seasonal plant - it grows most durring the summer so the kelp that washes up now is in pretty bad shape.

Knot Around AnchorKnotted KelpGreen Knot



Dead Mans Fingers
Species: Halosaccion glandiforme (Sea Sacs)
Tags: kelp
Aggregate Green Anemone
Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Aggregating Anemone, Clonal Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Waves Of Grass
Tags: kelp
Rock Weed
Species: Fucus gardneri (Rock Weed)
Tags: beach, kelp
Wave Broken
Tags: beach, kelp
Black Turbans
Species: Tegula funebralis (Black Tegula, Black Turbans)
Tags: tide pool
Wave Crashing Over
Tags: beach, kelp, wave
Shield Limpet And Ribbed Limpet
Species: Lottia pelta (Shield Limpet), Lottia digitalis (Ribbed Limpet)
Tags: beach
Rainbow-leaf
Tags: kelp
Big And Little Anemones
Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Aggregating Anemone, Clonal Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Mussels In Tide Pool
Species: Mytilus californianus (California mussel), Corallina officinalis (pink coralline Algae)
Tags: kelp
Feather Boa Floats
Species: Egregia menziesii (Feather Boa)
Tags: kelp
Tufts Of Grass
Tags: twin
Mussels And Barnacles
Species: Mytilus californianus (California mussel), Pollicipes polymerus (Goose Barnacle or Goose Neck Barnacle)
Tags: BC fauna, beach
Short Sea Lettuce
Tags: kelp
Leaf Barnacle
Species: Pollicipes polymerus (Goose Barnacle or Goose Neck Barnacle)
Tags: beach
Green Knot
Species: Nereocystis luetkeana (Bull Kelp)
Tags: beach, kelp
Feather Boa
Species: Egregia menziesii (Feather Boa)
Tags: kelp
Rock Margin
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Anemone And Mussels
Species: Anthopleura xanthogrammica (giant green anemone)
Tags: Botanical Beach, tide pool
Knot Around Anchor
Species: Nereocystis luetkeana (Bull Kelp)
Tags: beach, kelp
Ochre Star
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: beach, sea star
Chiton Under Kelp
Species: Katharina tunicata (Black Katy Chiton)
Tags: kelp
Knotted Kelp
Species: Nereocystis luetkeana (Bull Kelp)
Tags: beach, kelp
Three Closed Anemones
Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Aggregating Anemone, Clonal Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Purple Sea Urchins In Holes
Species: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Purple Sea Urchin)
Tags: beach, sea urchin, tide pool
Two Types Of Chitons
Species: Katharina tunicata (Black Katy Chiton), Tonicella lineata (Lined Chiton)
Tags: tide pool
Tags: kelp(14), beach(12), tide pool(7), twin(1), BC fauna(1), sea star(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Botanical Beach
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Port Renfrew > Botanical Beach
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Tofino BB > Botanical Beach

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:49:09 Edit
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