West Seattle weekend scenes: On the beach at low tide

Thanks to everyone who shared photos from this afternoon’s low tide – tomorrow it’ll be a bit lower, before the tides start edging upward again for the next few weeks. The victorious toddler is courtesy of Jim Clark, who took photos at Lincoln Park and shared a gallery link in the WSB Forums; next, Lisa‘s daughter took a close look at a moon snail at Constellation Park:

(Side note on moon snails – Beach Drive Blog has been tracking someone who gathers large quantities – see the story here.) Finally, at Lowman Beach, Amy spotted this octopus starfish (see comments):

Sunday’s low tide, lowest of the month, is just after 1 pm. (P.S. When tides start getting low again on Memorial Day weekend, it’ll be this year’s first time out for the beach naturalist program run by the Seattle Aquarium [WSB sponsor], including naturalists here in West Seattle – more info here.)

10 Replies to "West Seattle weekend scenes: On the beach at low tide"

  • Cheryl May 16, 2010 (12:00 am)

    Great shots as always… we spent the afternoon BBQ’ing at the beach in Lincoln Park but missed the best part of low tide today. We even talked about Moon Snails! Gotta love West Seattle. :-)

  • Noelle May 16, 2010 (12:39 am)

    That is what living in the Northwest is all about!

  • Mark May 16, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Sorry to disappoint, but that’s not an octopus. That’s a common starfish (sunflower). Here’s a useful link on them:


    • WSB May 16, 2010 (10:39 am)

      Sorry, the sender wrote octopus and with the draping I couldn’t tell. Will fix when I am off mobile and back on laptop. Was a little worried about out of water octo anyway, glad to hear it wasn’t – TR

  • Lisa K May 16, 2010 (8:30 am)

    The previous commenter is right: the last photo is very cool, but that’s a sunflower sea star: note there’s too many arms for an an octopus, and there’s a great view of the many tube feet on the underside. Sunflower stars can grow to 3 feet across, and although they start life with the typical 5 arms, they grow more (in pairs) up to 44. “The Great NW Nature Factbook” by Ann Saling reports that it is the world’s fastest, largest and most active sea star. So even tho’ it’s no octopus, it’s still a pretty darn cool find.


    Also, it may be tempting to cart off “just one” of those empty moon snail shells, signs posted at Constellation Park and other Seattle public parks inform you that it’s illegal to take them from the beach. This is a time your mom was right: “if everybody took one, there wouldn’t be any for other people to look at.” And who knows what little critter might look to them for a home, protection, etc.

  • Maxine Rippberger May 16, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    The “victorious toddler” is Maxwell (aka Maxi-poo) White, resident of West Seattle and son of Ian White and Sandy Corliss. He’s also our grandson, I’m proud to say. What a treat to see his picture, since we reside in Oregon, and don’t get to see him and his sister nearly enough! Thanks for the great picture….we love West Seattle!

  • clark5080 May 16, 2010 (11:07 pm)

    Maxine I have more of Maxwell and would be glad to send the files to you if you would like/ Just send an email to jimclarkphoto at gmail.com and I will send them to you

  • moxilot May 17, 2010 (10:02 am)

    The link to the woman harvesting moon snail shells is disheartening and rather frustrating. What the heck is she doing filling up bags and bags of them? Other animals on the beach depend on those shells, and the empty moon snail shells existence on the shore is a whole lot more important than their existence on her shelf.

    I was on the beach last Saturday and would like to also remind parents to watch their children as they are exploring sea life. Seeing little ones get curious and exuberant while interacting with all of the cool critters is one of the reasons I love low tide. On the other hand, I came across two sea star arms, dead and lifeless in the sand. I’m assuming a child (or foolish and irresponsible adult) heard sea stars can regenerate their arms, and then ripped them off. Low tide gives us the opportunity to appreciate sea life, not to harm it.

  • Rhonda Porter May 18, 2010 (9:42 am)

    moxilot, this woman has been “harvesting” bags moon snail shells for at least a year now…that’s when we started documenting her on the blog. I cannot imagine how many shells she has removed from this area of West Seattle.

    She doesn’t care when she’s been confronted and pretty much tells me to just “have a nice day”. You can see in the all the photos, she has a large bag of shells. She does this on the beach below Emma Schmitz Park (which is a marine preserve) and on private property south of Emma Schmitz.

    More neighbors are becoming aware of her and are prepared to ask her to leave if she’s removing items (shells) from private property and to call the Fish and Wildlife Department if she’s doing so on the marine preserve.

    Many folks are unaware that property lines along the beach vary quite a bit depending on the legal descriptions. I don’t think anyone of the property owners (at least the ones I know) really care if folks are walking on the “private property” as long as they’re not removing items, like the shells.

  • erica brown May 19, 2010 (2:22 am)

    what fun! that “victorious toddler” is my nephew who i miss terribly. i live in philadelphia, pa and don’t get out to wonderful west seatle often enough. what a treat to see my max playing in the mud. (i loved doing that too when i was little). i hope you all enjoyed the low tide. wish i could have joined you!

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