West Seattle beaches: Carved art; low-tide sights

Seen along local shores:

Scott Bessho shared photos of carvings on a driftwood log along Lincoln Park’s north beach. He said he spotted people working on it with professional-looking carving tools on Friday; when he went by again late Saturday, they were gone, but the carvings were clearly visible, what appears to be a whale, and a whorl – here’s a closer-up look at the latter:

We haven’t seen them in person ourselves, but since it would be quite the operation to move a log like that, we’re guessing they’re still there.

If you were out on any local beach at midday today, during the first of four mega-low tides continuing through Wednesday, wildlife was the big attraction:

From Lowman Beach, John Legge shared that photo of what he identifies as opalescent nudibranches – and a spotted one, too:

Then from Alki, Katy tweeted this photo, wondering what it was, since she had seen so many today:

We’re 99 percent sure it was made by a moon snail – let us know if we’re wrong! Meantime, tomorrow’s low tide is even lower, -3.7 at 11:19 am.

29 Replies to "West Seattle beaches: Carved art; low-tide sights"

  • Machel Spence June 3, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    It’s a moon snail egg casing,they are composed of snail eggs sandwiched between layers of mucus coated with sand. About half way through the summer, the eggs hatch and the collars fall apart. The free swimming snail larvae become part of the zooplankton in the ocean until they are ready to settle down and transform into little moon snails.

  • BeachDriveGirl June 3, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    That rubbery “sand collar” is, indeed, the work of moonsnails. It’s a composit of sand and moon snail eggs. Go ahead and touch them but, please, don’t leave them out to dry in the sun. They’ll be much happier tossed back in the water.

    • WSB June 3, 2012 (4:33 pm)

      Thanks for the confirmation and elaboration! – TR

  • MAS June 3, 2012 (4:41 pm)

    Ugh, spray paint or carving tools, graphiti, this time in a natural setting – so annoying.

  • Jennifer June 3, 2012 (5:21 pm)

    Really? I love the carvings. To each his/her own, I guess!

  • comment June 3, 2012 (6:01 pm)

    I love the carvings. They are attractive, unoffensive, and on drift wood. Not hurting anyone or anything.

  • DM June 3, 2012 (6:04 pm)

    It is driftwood. The tree itself is no longer living-providing a symbiotic relationship to the community. Why not celebrate the carving?

  • DC June 3, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    Great carvings! My kids especially have enjoyed this beautiful artwork! Its about time we have more creative people in our community and letting everyone know how great West-Seattle is!

  • let them swim June 3, 2012 (6:31 pm)

    mas——-you are annoying -artists’ work not hurting a living thing!

  • WMF June 3, 2012 (6:33 pm)

    I think the carvings are a great addition, and I’d like to see more like them.

  • Harry Reems June 3, 2012 (6:43 pm)

    Love the carvings! Thanks to the artists that carved them!

  • enviromaven June 3, 2012 (6:45 pm)

    Love the carvings!

  • Rob June 3, 2012 (6:45 pm)

    Sue the loggers that cut that tree down. I’m sick and tired of trees washing ashore on MY beach!

  • let them swim June 3, 2012 (7:09 pm)

    Rob, that dead tree log has been there for how long?
    Did it fall by nature?
    Did it fall by a city park employee?
    How did it end up there?
    That’s right let’s sue the loggers.
    Maybe it was a home owner IN 1889 that didn’t like the nature of it and decided to let it float away to YOUR BEACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • seewhatsealionsstart June 3, 2012 (7:33 pm)

    beautiful carvings, like them and the nudibranch!

  • JayDee June 3, 2012 (7:42 pm)

    @MAS….Graffiti is self-aggrandizement. This is a salmon and a spiral…I’ve not see these used as gang tags around here, so I’d consider these art. Neither functions as an advertisement, and they do not affect the general use of these logs as driftwood (which I am sure there is some benefit to). I can show you graffiti everywhere in West Seattle and this isn’t.

  • petert June 3, 2012 (7:47 pm)

    So long as it’s not anything link “Brank125” or anything obscene, I’m OK with carving on driftwood. I mean, after all, it’s there a couple of days, and then perhaps gets turned around or washed out. Or even if it stays – it’s dead organic material – kind of like any of us skipping a clamshell back into the water. It’s not in the natural state it was when it washed up…

  • datamuse June 3, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    Uh, let them swim? I’m pretty sure Rob was joking.

  • VBD June 3, 2012 (8:27 pm)

    I like THESE carvings, but I wonder if such behavior will inspire more “art” that is a bit less appealing. I’ve seen some pretty amazing spray paint murals too, but the vast majority of sprayed paint is just plain vandalism. Over all, it is no different than if someone painted the wood.

    You all say it’s dead, so it’s OK. Park benches are dead wood too. As are the rocks and pavement. Would you be so accepting if someone decided to begin carving “art” on them as well? Perhaps not. As cool as it is, it’s still graffiti.

  • let them swim June 3, 2012 (8:49 pm)

    and I wasn’t?

  • DC June 3, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    ( used with a plural verb ) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood’s decline.


    This is clearly art and not graffiti as some would have us believe. These are not park benches, this is driftwood and it is clear that the artist or artists here are carving and not spraying any obscene material that is degrading our neighborhood.

  • Phoebi Crawford June 3, 2012 (9:31 pm)

    Can you please tell me when the lie tide is on Wednesday? The carving are nice, but you clearly can’t please everyone all the time.

  • West Seattle edge June 3, 2012 (10:35 pm)

    I recognize this area of the beach and welcome the art. Better to see this then what could be worse. Love the moon snail casing, when I first saw them 10 yrs ago thought they were wash up from a car, wow education does a lot to a mind. The second year we lived here actually saw this casing being made, did not realize the gift that is till now, have not seen it since.

  • tk June 3, 2012 (10:58 pm)

    Lowest tides:
    Mon. 11:19am at -3.7 ft
    Tues. 12:05am at -3.8 ft
    Wed. 12:53am at -3.4 ft
    Thurs. 1:40pm at -2.6 ft

    • WSB June 3, 2012 (10:59 pm)

      TK, thanks. (Tues/Wed are pm, not am) FYI for anyone who wants to doublecheck on a daily basis, we have them posted for each day in the WSB Events calendar btw along with the hours that Seattle Aquarium naturalists will be in West Seattle – https://westseattleblog.com/events

  • bosslady June 4, 2012 (9:18 am)

    The carvings in the photos are beautiful in my opinion. I especially like the one that looks like a nautilis — I would pay $ for that.

  • Rick in the park June 4, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    The two Artists finished up the salmon and the moon snail this morning. A really nice job for all to enjoy on Lincoln park beach.

  • DF June 4, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Leave it natural.

  • dsa June 4, 2012 (10:21 pm)

    This is not an appropriate use of a scarce, (yes scarce) public resource.

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