A favorite place

Some think that places such as this are slippery, smelly or, worst yet, dirty. I agree with the first, for marine macrophytic algae produce quantities of mucus to, in part, mitigate the effects of desiccation and temperature extremes. But surely tide pools are neither smelly nor dirty. When the tide is out, these places provide refugia for algae and animals with little or no capacity to withstand the rigors of exposure to the air. They provide windows of opportunity to commune with a rich community of invertebrates that live in the marine inter-tidal. One can see crabs (and a variety of other crustaceans), periwinkles, whelks, chitons, mussels, urchins, starfish, brittle stars, anemones, hydroids, sponges, bryozoa, and even tunicates, going about the business of finding food and make more of their own. I have admired tide pools since I was a kid. I will admire them always. I will explore them as long as I am able to negotiate the slippery substrates they present.

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