by the sea.

by the sea.

You know, some days it works out and other days it just works out differently.

We had a little family vaca to Oregon last week, and our first morning greeted us with partly sunny skies being tossed around by a brisk and cold wind. The boys and I sneaked down to the beach, chasing the waves out into the ocean and letting them chase us back to shore, while Hank ran into Newport to grab coffee and breakfast. No camera, just the kids and Hank and me out there. It was amazing. I haven’t played with them that carefree in a while – life has been busy with birthday parties and karate and other after-school activities – and it was oh so good.

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The weather pushed us back inside for the rest of the day, which was fine. We explored in other ways.

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We spent the afternoon at this amazing place called the Hatfield Marine Science Center and poked around in their tide pools and learned about sea otters and blue whales and the giant Pacific octopus named, “Raven” (you can visit the live OctoCam here).

Below: Sea Stars look like this right after they’ve eaten, instead of the flat way we usually see them.
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Gangster sea star – throwing signs and stuff. 
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This male octopus weighed about 60 pounds (they get up to about 110 pounds in the wild) and was named after the boat to which he was stuck. And did you know that they only live about four years? Yep. The females lay about 100,000 eggs, but only about 2-3 survive. Raven will be released back into the ocean when he’s ready to get back out there.
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I love learning about things like this – about how we’re all connected and how dire things would be if some animal or plant disappeared. For instance, if the sea otters went away, there would be too many sea urchins, which in turn would be bad for kelp forests. (See this abstract for just one example of that.) Seriously. It boggles my mind how much of a domino effect there is when just one thing is out of balance.

Anyhoo. Being no scientist, I should probably move on to something else before I go all tree-hugger on the Internet.

More tomorrow.

 

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