Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Super Moon's Influence on the Sea

That close encounter with the super moon this week tried it’s best to vacuum up the world’s oceans. Evidence of the moon with it’s accomplice (the sun) ganging up on the sea showed via some especially low tides -- minus 4.3 feet here in Petersburg. Thus, Monday’s tide was getting close to rock or, in places, sand or mud bottom. In contrast, our highest tides run up to a height of over 20 feet.   For those of you in mid-continent, the 0 tide line is supposedly the average of all low tides.  In contrast, sea level is the average of all tides.  Thus, there are two zeros out there -- the 0 tide line and 0 elevation and a never-never land in between.  Of course! 

Wherever one draws a line in the sand, any time Karen and I can walk on the bottom of the ocean and not get our cameras wet, is a cause for an outing -- especially during our just-completed spell of sun-drenched days.  Although we didn’t hit the searing 82 degrees that was forecasted, we did hit a head-for-the-shade, swing wildly at the horse flies, 71 degrees for our morning at Sandy Beach.

Alas, every silver lining has a cloud.  The colors of critters abandoned by the sea during these extreme tidal events seems less intense in sun than during our more normal cloudy days.  In an impromptu game of chicken Karen and I tied because neither of us complained about the effect that golden orb had on our photos.  We just grinned all morning long.  By the time the tide crept back up the beach to chase us back above zero tide and then sea level, we both had the same reaction -- how could time have passed so quickly.  It must have been the super moon.

                               Karen walking on the "bottom" of the ocean.

A Black Leather Chiton, a species of mollusk, clings to a rock while patiently waiting for the tide to return.

                               Bull Kelp left high and dry -- OK, at least damp. 

                                              Touch me in the morning.

             A Greater Yellowlegs takes advantage of the opportunity for some fine dining.

So much for having the beach to ourselves.  Then again who were we to complain about the invasion of three Sitka Black-tailed Deer for whom the extreme low tide provided a short cut around the cove.


Cindi said...

I love seeing the deer down on the beach! The intertidal area isn't just interesting to us humans, is it?!!

Susan Christensen said...

Splendid photos, Don! -sus

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Di said...

Beautiful imagery! Lovely Alaska :)