Thursday, April 08, 2021

Botanical Beach


Easter Monday: I planned to work in the garden, perhaps do a little sewing. Tim looked at the tide tables and suggested a trip to Botanical Beach. No contest there. I packed a lunch while he made a thermos of tea and off we went. Botanical Beach is on the west coast of our island, just where the Strait of Juan de Fuca begins. The point of land barely visible in the above photo, across the Strait, is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States. 

An easy 20-minute trail from the parking lot leads through quiet and deeply green forest to the beach. A strip of sand littered with driftwood logs is the perfect place to perch while watching the waves roll in from the Pacific. 

The real draw to this beach is the exposed rocks and tide pools where one can get closer to the ocean's surge and fall. 

Watching the waves build and roll in, then crash against the rocks, and throw up sheets of spray and foam never ever gets old. The beach itself is a geology lesson where all sorts of rock types and formations are found. Some are there because of glacial movement; others formed from weathering and erosion. 

In tide pools, purple sea urchins live in hollowed out sandstone, in perfect circles that fit the urchins beautifully. Granite and sandstone, igneous and metamorphic rock combine to make this a truly diverse environment.

Tim spotted this bird crouched on a rock among the millions of mussels on the beach, just resting. After checking our bird book, we are pretty sure it's a long-distance migrant American Golden Plover en route to the high Arctic where it breeds. It winters in southern South America, so it has traveled a very long ways and deserves a good rest. 

Here's yours truly on the beach changing camera lenses. 

Each time we visit this beach I find something new to enchant me. This time it was a tide pool where limpets lie like scattered and intricate gold coins on richly coloured velvet lichens. We crouched low and watched the action in this one pool for a long time. Tiny snails, ranging from 1/4 to 1 inch crawled with hairy legs in and around the limpets, doing their job of scraping algae. These pools remind me of a Klimt painting with their opulent colours and bits of gold. 

The Psalmist wrote "There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number - living things both large and small." 


  1. I live 70 km from the sea , but we can’t go for months. I love the sea and would like to move there when my husband gets retired within 3 years.
    Yes, I forgot to notice that on the thatched house roof there is mud and iris.
    Love your pictures and enjoy the sea!

  2. Your photo of the waves reminded me of the Japanese 'Wave' woodcut. I'm sure a day out with a picnic was so much better than gardening or even sewing!

  3. That photo of you is cute! You look like you're in your happy place!

  4. Ahhh...a walk on the beach. So beautiful. It sounds so relaxing.

  5. Oh wow! What a fun adventure!

  6. I was ooohing and ahhhhing so much that my husband looked at your post too. We couldn't believe the views you have and are intrigued by the limpets! I'll have to search and learn more about them! How gorgeous! What a beautiful place to spend time! WOW!

  7. What a beautiful post! With large photos. And no competing sidebar, to interfere with the enjoyment of them. Yes, I do love the way your blog 'looks' and how it is laid out!!!!! -smile-

    How perfectly wonderful, to be able to visit such a spot. Lucky, lucky you!!!

    Thank you for taking me along...

    🎀 💟 🎀

  8. Well, the is an adorable photo of you!!!!!! thanks for including the talented woman!

  9. That’s a fun adventure! I like your photo of the limpets. The colors are amazing in that photo!

  10. It is magical, this glimpse of Botanical Beach and its treasures! Never have I seen a sea urchin, nor a limpet! Thank you for sharing these!

    Love the photo of you too, Lorrie!

  11. Always a lot happening on the shore, from crashing waves to weather to quiet anemones waving their arms.

    We read that whole Psalm at every Vespers service and rejoice in the wonderful Creation it describes. Glory to God!

  12. What a beautiful beach! I could just head the waves crashing and smell the salty air.

  13. Dear Lorrie, Since I can't be there to enjoy the crashing waves seeing your beautiful photographs is the next best thing.

  14. Lorrie, this post is beautiful and amazing. I become more and more in love with your part of the world with your every post of the magnificent beauty it holds. I would have probably had to have been drug by the hair of my head in order to leave. Keep the photos coming, I do love them.

  15. What a nice trip and visit.
    A lovely post, you certainly captured the ocean's surge and fall in your photographs.
    That's a great one of you too :)

    All the best Jan

  16. Love the tide pool photos. So cool. Such great dramatic shots of those waves hitting the rocks!

  17. Love the wave shots! I can almost feel the water splashes!

  18. What a place! Gorgeous photos.


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