• March 2008

    Here are two grainyhand hermits (Pagarus granosimanus) locked hand in hand. Or claw in shell. The larger male hermit crab, on the left, has his small left claw, which he normally uses for eating, firmly clamped down on the shell of a smaller female hermit crab. He’ll drag her around with him until she molts, […]

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    A Million Little Oysters

    March 27, 2008

      The stork recently dropped off a crate of oyster seed from a California hatchery. Here’s a handful of them:     Jose and Cleo spent an afternoon putting the babies into grow-out bags:     which will protect the seed from predators such as snails and crab. The bags were strung together and then […]

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    There are two types of oyster eater: those who are born loving oysters, and those who grow into the taste. For one local dog, the oyster epiphany came last Saturday at an informal campfire gathering in Lilliwaup. Since puppyhood Area Dog has lived on Hood Canal, but this was the first time he’d expressed interest […]

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    John and Juan at the shucking table. Roberto and Nathan. Roberto’s hand is blurry because it’s moving wicked fast. We only shuck oyster clusters, and save the single oysters to sell in the shell. The shuckers have to shuck both big and little oysters. We sell four sizes of oysters: yearling, extra small, small and […]

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    Long Live the Kings, a non-profit group working to restore native salmon populations, has just completed a 12-year steelhead restoration program on the Hamma Hamma River. The project has gotten great coverage from the Kitsap Sun, check it out here. The really exciting thing about LLTK is that they’ve developed and implemented a hatchery system […]

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    Spider Crab Crawl

    March 19, 2008

    The spider crab looks HUGE! And then he goes into a ninja pose. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLOPj67BP_g Spider crabs, from the family Majidae, are also called majid crabs. There are 900 species of majid crab, and some really are huge– the largest species of crab in the world is the Japanese spider crab, which can weigh up to […]

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      Pacific oysters can grow really, really big if left to their own devices. We keep this monster oyster shell in our store to show to interested customers. It also goes on tour with us occasionally…down to Portland to decorate our booth at the NW Food and Wine Festival…over to Seattle for one of the […]

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    Hermit Crab in Moon Snail Shell Fragment This lovely creature is a Hairy Hermit (Pagurus hirsutiusculus)–a species easily identified by the white bands around its walking legs (which you can clearly see in the middle photo). It came in on the oyster barge and was put back out on the beach after the photo shoot. […]

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    Ham(m)a Ham(m)a

    March 14, 2008

    Hama Hama from way high     This is a scan of an old photo we have in the company office. No one is sure where it came from or who took it. The land in the foreground is the Kitsap Peninsula, the body of water is Hood Canal, and the Hamma Hamma River delta […]

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    Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about sea cucumbers: They breathe through their anus. They have a compound in their skin called catch collagen that allows them to liquefy or melt ( this really great site called it to ‘goofipy’) on command. They use this skill to escape into small, safe crevices to […]

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    Dangerous Dungeness

    March 11, 2008

      Spider crab, shown above, are like Daddy Long Legs… they have a really scary outline, but relatively inefficient pinchers. They might make a mark, but they won’t take off your finger. Dungeness crab, on the other hand, are super dangerous and more aggressive than a rabid wiener dog. But they’re no match for Jim. […]

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    As it turns out, human inhabitants of the tideflats are shyer than barnacles in a shadow whenever a camera comes around. We did some camera habituation this past Friday, when the shucking plant employees were held captive by the intriguing tastes of Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. Debate continues as to which is OM’s best flavor; […]

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    Happy Clam Trails

    March 7, 2008

    According to the Principia Cybernetica Project’s definition of happiness, happy people are characterized by the belief that they are able to control their situation, whereas unhappy people tend to believe that they are a toy of fate. Yet another reason to associate clams with happiness: clams, unlike oysters, can move when they’re feeling crowded, bored, […]

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    As mentioned in the last post, moon snails enjoy snacking on native butter clams. Tangent: humans also enjoy snacking on butter clams… they make amazing chowder, fritters, and clam strips. Grandpa Bart likes them sliced in half and deep fried in the shell. But because butter clams require more work than the simple-to-cook and delicious […]

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    Lewis’ Moon Snails (Euspira lewisii), the largest moon snails in the world, are named after Merriweather Lewis, who first saw them at the mouth of the Columbia River. Moon snails like low, sandy beaches. The big slimy appendage sticking out of the shell is exactly that: a mucous-covered foot. The snail uses the foot to […]

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