triumphant squirting escape artist of the pacific northwest

Adam and I spent most of the sunny day at Discovery Park so we could luxuriate in the big-time minus tide (-3.4). We took the fabled Giant John Trail down to the beach, so our eyes and ears were open for Magic Dancing Fairies. We saw a face someone had sculpted into the bluff and Adam asked me if the Indians made it long ago. Sweet, he’s catching on…..

My favorite moment from the whole day was when we were peeing together by the old abandoned wood-shake house on Elliott Bay and Adam said “Papa, we’re making our own tidepool!”.

The geoducks (pronounced gooey-duck) were impressive this morning! They’re the largest intertidal clam in the world (and among the oldest….up to nearly 150 years old) but I’d never seen them bulging out of the sand so high. They’re like big beach boners. It’s hard to believe people actually eat these things, but in fact they’re popular in China and a lot of people there eat them because they think it will help them get lucky, if you know what I mean. I’m sorry if I’ve ruined geoduck for you, I apologize. But seriously: They look like big schlongs sticking out of the sand and they pee on you as they try to escape. I can’t think of a more appetizing snack!

Adam made us count exactly 100 sea stars for a vaguely scientific-sounding research project. We also saw dungeness crabs, red rock crabs, hermit crabs, chitons, painted anemone, boring green anemone, weird squishy sea creatures dangling from rocks, herons eating fish and five schools of fish in the eelgrass. As usual, the moonsnails’ sand collars were everywhere. Adam brought a Nuttall’s Cockle home to go with our three smooth red bricks.

We had a scary moment at the halfway point of our day, when Adam slipped on a combination of bull kelp, rockweed, sea lettuce and gross red stuff and sliced the ball joint of his thumb open. He let out a blood-curdling scream when his hands touched the slimy ground but I could tell right away he was more traumatized by how disgustingly squishy it all felt than how much blood was oozing from his hand. What can I say? Despite my best efforts, my son is not the snake-handling and bullfrog-collecting type. Thankfully, he saw the sense of humor in the situation right away.

We splashed our way back to the start of the Giant John trail in ankle-deep water, as the tide came in.

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