Like a flower opening its petals to greet the sun, this anemone had its tentacles unfurled at sunrise to greet not the sun but the ocean. There is a chiton to the upper left of the anemone that I hadn’t noticed until I got home and looked at the pictures.
I was pretty excited on this morning, it’s not every day that I get to discover alien life right here on our own planet! As soon as I saw this sea star, it was so much larger than the other stars, with so many more legs, that I knew it was from out of this world.
I set my tripod into the soft sand but I could hear a voice in my head telling me not to take the picture. I picked up my tripod and began to walk away before I rejected the star’s mind control and reset the tripod onto the wet beach. Sadly, when I got back home from my trip to Redwood National Park, I discovered that this is not a newly discovered star from the stars, but rather an already discovered terrestrial variety with latent Jedi powers.
Like the ochre sea star, the sunflower sea star also comes in shades of red, orange, and the purple seen here. With a few of the legs upturned, you can see the tube feet that let the stars grip the rocks on the beach, move about the tide pool, and grip their prey. At the time I thought it was sitting still, but looking at the pictures when I got home I could see it was slowly moving its legs.
I’m lucky I escaped with my life.
When researching my trip to Redwood National and State Parks, I expected to find redwoods (because I’m just that clever!) but I was surprised to see that the park included coastal areas as well. On the last morning of my trip, I visited the tidepools before starting up the coast towards my home in Oregon.
There are a couple of species of anemones in the tidepools of the Northwest, this is a giant green anemone. I’m a little disappointed in the name, while they are a lot larger than aggregating anemones, any creature you see in the ocean with a name that starts with “giant green” ought to be a huge monstrosity that emerges from the depths to wreak havoc and destruction along the coast.
Pity the starfish that does not take advantage of the cover of high tide to relieve itself. This poor fellow clinging to a large boulder was left high-and-dry by the receding tide and could do naught but cross its legs and hold it in. Waiting for the inevitable return of the sea but tortured always by the sound of splashing water …