Stop and See the Seaweed

Battle Rock Beach

We rise and shine and walk to Battle Rock Beach with a goal in mind… to head south for a mile, past the familiar shoreline of rocks, nooks, and crannies to Hubbard Creek and back again. I promise myself not to take any pictures until we reach our destination and turn around. I keep my word.

We arrive to where the creek pushes away the sand and ripples into the sea and the picture-taking commences.

Shore birds feast on tiny sea critters the battering waves uncover from beneath the sand.

In front of me, looking west…

Behind me, looking north toward Battle Rock and the Port of Port Orford…

We leisurely walk back, looking down, looking beyond, and stopping to explore.

Bright green seaweed hugs this rock like a post-it-note…

A large rock tattooed with embedded stones, shells, and fossils…

Pools of water trapped inside white rocks… lying underneath soggy seaweed toupees…

The rocky shore…

Wet rocks glistening in the sun… (Jeff thinks the largest rock in the middle looks like an alien. And no, no agates today on this beach…)

A dead crab washed up and stuck between some rocks at low tide…

A bad hair day…

A rock stack, almost up close and personal…

A tidal pool with 2 large sand borers… Can you spot them below? They look like mole crabs.

Can you see them now?

Seaweed trapped in a tidal pool…

Rocks you can walk out on and take some pics from…

As the tide slowly comes in, we walk closer to the shore and discover a washed up starfish surrounded by pieces of driftwood sculpted smooth by the waves.

As the waves ebb and flow, they leave a curvy outline of seaweed and crab pieces in the sand highlighted by claws and body shells picked over by the shore birds. It’s unusual to see a whole crab.

As we approach Battle Rock I focus on capturing different views of the beach beyond, taken from the rocky shore.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pet…

Port Orford Heads and the Dock in the distance…

Strange jelly-like creatures appear closer to Battle Rock… From afar they look like scattered bird feathers until we examine them up close.

At first we think these oval-shaped webs have something to do with mussels that are similarly shaped. Do bivalves shed?

A little online researching identifies these jelly-like “skins” as Velella velella. They are small predatory clusters of identical cells drifting on the surface of the open ocean. These chondrophores or porpitids look like a single organism but are actually a colony of specialized individual animals that perform unique tasks and cannot survive outside the group.

Velella are transparent sail-shaped membranes with a texture like cellophane.  They are filled with gas and prey upon micro-plankton. (

Apparently it is not unusual to see a large collection of these sea creatures washed up onto the beach when changing winds and currents propel them ashore instead of pushing them out into the ocean.

More common names for Velella include sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, and little sail. (

While I take pictures, Jeff and I also search for unusual rocks and seashells, always hoping to find an agate or two.

We don’t uncover any agates, but we do find lots of spiral-like seashells and rocks for Jeff’s “planter”.

(He has found 3 seeds in his marijuana stash and wants to plant them to see if they will grow. So…. He purchased this acrylic vase at the Dollar Store in Brookings, Oregon when we traveled the 55 miles south to grocery shop at Fred Meyer which is owned by Kroger, the familiar chain of our hometown, Cincinnati.)

I explain to him that a bed of rocks and lots of dirt in a large container are not the best way to plant tiny seeds. I suggest he buy a small clay pot so the seeds can take root first and later transplant the growing plant. Meanwhile, his rock collection grows. He just needs to find a small clay pot to set inside the vase and atop the rocks to see if the seeds will grow. (Or we can root from an avocado or sweet potato…)

She sees seaweed and seashells by the seashore… 

Can you repeat this 3x fast?

One thought on “Stop and See the Seaweed

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