What’s this shell? What’s that little creature scurrying across a tide pool? Sure, it’s a crab, but what kind?
If you have questions like that while walking along beaches or paddling along Northwest shores, you might want to take along “The Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest” ($26.95) by J. Duane Sept, a biologist, writer and photographer from British Columbia.
Originally published in 1999, the little book has been revised and reprinted this year with more pictures and snappier layouts, all in full color.
From abarenicola pacifica (Pacific lugworm) to zostera (eelgrass), you’ll find the critters and plants that inhabit our shores from British Columbia to Oregon, at least the 274 most common ones. You can pick up a shell and say, “That’s a boreal wentertrap.” Find a shag rug nudibranch in a tidepool. The kids will get a giggle out of that, no doubt.
A nice section at the end of the book lists the good (and publicly accessible) intertidal areas to visit from Canada to Oregon, most of them in parks. If you want to keep going, there’s a companion book for this one, covering the California coast.
Ron Ramey: 425-339-3443, email@example.com.