Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Exploring Rockpools

Exploring rockpools together is one of our favourite things to do on our island holiday. We go everyday, to the rocky outcrops on the shoreline, to explore the salty pools left by the outgoing tide. 

A rockpool waiting to be explored.

On our trips to the rocks over the past week, our son has marvelled, like he always does, at the life he discovers in and around these rockpools. He eagerly searches for crabs, and when he finds these shy creatures hunkered down in crevices, he pulls us over (our tender feet rushing over sharp, crusty rock) to see them too. Many wave their nippers as we approach but somehow, I don't think this is a welcoming gesture!

A shy crab trying hard not to be noticed!

Small and extra-small fish dart away under rocks when we cast shadows into their pools so we have fun figuring out how to watch them without scaring them off. Usually, this sees us sneaking up and crouching over (our knees scraping on sharp, crusty rock) in an effort NOT to send them swimming for cover, with varying degrees of success.

Stripy fish in a deeper rock pool.

Floaty anemones, spiralling shells and squirty sea cucumbers who spit out seawater as receding waves retreat back to sea are found upon close and careful inspection of these wet, rocky habitats on the edge of the ocean. 

 A sea anemone takes up most of the room in a tiny rockpool. 

 A jelly-like creature that looks like it's been set in a circular jelly mould.

 A beautiful, pointed shell with hints of blue surrounded by barnacles.

Sometimes, creatures normally best avoided, can be studied up close in these rockpools. That sparks valuable conversations about what to touch and what to leave alone!

Beware of the stinging blue tentacles of the Bluebottle Jellyfish.

Tender feet, scraped knees and the odd drenching from unexpected waves aside, exploring rockpools offers up many treasures for a nature-seeking child (and grown-up).