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.
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.
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.
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.
High Tide Region
The high tide region is dominated by hard shelled things - mussels,
limpets and barnicles.
Above the High Tide Line
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.
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.
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
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:49:09 Edit
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