Clam Pass

Clam Pass is a portion of the beach that includes an inlet to an inland river. At high tide the sea water connects the beach to the river. Recently the sand around the pass through has shifted and the water can’t pass through to the river.
Eventually the mangrove trees that enjoy salty water will die off. If the mangrove don’t stay alive, the birds, fishes and shells that depend on the mangrove will be affected.
Concerned volunteers shoveled out a path for the high tide when we walked the beach. Kids, parents and grandparents piled up the sand on either side of the pass so the sea could flood the tidal pool into the river.
Sometimes it only takes a storm or two to change the land at the beach. Any little change can have a big impact on other sea life nearby.
Because it was windy we found these examples of sponges on the beach. They look heavy, but they are light as a feather when they dry out.

This sponge is red and has a little sparkle to it.

This sponge is red and has a little sparkle to it.

This is a gray branch of dead man's finger.

This is a gray branch of dead man’s finger.

I can imagine how these sponges got their name. It must have been spooky to see them waving about in the ocean if you were on a ship.
Sponges have no brains or organs. They have been around for over 500 million years and may have been the first animals with more than one cell!

 

This looks like a ruffled collar on a shirt. Surprise! It's an egg casing for a tulip snail.

This looks like a ruffled collar on a shirt. Surprise! It’s an egg casing for a tulip snail.

“What’s an egg casing?” you ask.

Some gastropods, like the lightning whelk or the tulip snail, lay their eggs in a strong but flexible ‘case’. This takes a week or two. Then the parent leaves the casing with the hundreds of babies. This casing was attached to a Penn shell so it wouldn’t  drift away. Each one of the little bugles contains many tiny replicas of the parent. Eventually one tiny tulip snail may emerge from each bugle.

The casings dry out to be like rubber, but when they are washed up they are are flexible and contain a squishy substance. It’s the most interesting ruffle on the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Clam Pass

  1. What interesting finds you have shared! Love the photos and I’m a little jealous that you can walk and discover secrets from the ocean.

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