• The tideflats are full of life… much of it too small to notice. This little guy had lots of personality but didn’t photograph well. Even in person it was hard to tell what was going on. How many legs does it have? Or are those antennae? Could it be a molted hermit crab?

    The flatfish below is also hard to see, but only because it’s got some excellent camouflage. There are lots of juvenile starry flounders living in sloughs on the flats.

    Like all flounders, these fish start out as symmetrical larvae, but as they develop one eye migrates across to the opposite side of the body. The result is a very confused looking fish.

    Scientists say that a flounder’s orientation (whether it’s lefteyed or righteyed) varies with geographic location… according to this study, righteyed and lefteyed flounder occur in equal proportions in San Fransisco, but lefteyed founder become more numerous in the North Pacific and Asia. In Japan, starry flounder are 100% lefteyed.

    We didn’t pay close enough attention to this fish to notice whether it was lefteyed or righteyed. Stay tuned for more posts featuring starry flounders.

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    Things We Carry

    July 30, 2008

    dry soda

    Made in Seattle, dry soda comes in lavender, rhubarb, kumquat, and lemongrass.

    miscellaneous soda in glass bottles

    Pictured, from left: Bubble Up, Empire ginger ale, Green Mountain apple soda, Waialua pineapple soda, Jackson Hole strawberry rhubarb soda, Dr. Dublin, Boylan’s orange seltzer, and Kutztown birch beer.

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    Moon Jellies

    July 29, 2008

    The cosmopolitan moon jelly is found all over the world, frequently seen from the decks of Puget Sound ferries, and occasionally found dead on the beach at Hama Hama farm. Not sure if that qualifies them as a tideflat critter… but we’ll blog about them anyways. Moon jellies, unlike other species found in Puget Sound […]

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    Gladys at Work

    July 28, 2008

    Adam and Miguel head out on the Gladys to pick up oysters and clams at high tide. They use the crane to pick up the oyster tubs. And then take the shellfish to the plant for processing.

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    Ghost Shrimp

    July 24, 2008

    Ghost shrimp are supposed to be white, but the ones we find are normally pinkish. They still live up to their name, though, by being super wily and rarely seen. The tiny shrimp burrow through the sand in search of plankton and detritus, and they’re about as popular on a shellfish farm as moles on […]

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    Rambling Post about Oyster Shell Color

    July 22, 2008

    The fringe, or bill, is the most colorful part of the oyster shell. Sometimes the bill is dark, sometimes it’s very light: Or even multi-colored: This analysis of oyster cultivation in Korea claims that an oyster’s shell color, along with its growth rate and spawning season, is determined by growing location. According to this study, […]

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    Oyster Barbecue Tips

    July 18, 2008

    This tip is from a customer in the seafood store, who got it from Mo’s Seafood Restaurant in Newport, Oregon: Fill a tray with rock salt and put it on the barbecue, and then set the oysters on the tray to cook. Apparently this ensures that the oysters stay moist, and don’t overcook. It sounds […]

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    Teensy Crab, Big Attitude.

    July 17, 2008

    The tideflats are covered with miniature crab. They skitter around the beach, hide under oyster clusters at low tide, and go into attack mode when they sense someone overhead. But they can also be kinda cuddly: Some of the teensy crabs have huge, Popeye-on-spinach forearms. There are probably several different species of shore crabs, as […]

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    Crab Cannibalism

    July 15, 2008
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    Mais non non!

    July 14, 2008

    Strange happenings in the world of oyster aquaculture: 1. Today’s LA Times ran an article about the West Coast’s V. tubiashii outbreak that is worth reading. Among other interesting things we learned from the article: the fact that the bacteria can be wind-dispersed, “launched into the air by bubbles bursting at the ocean’s surface.” 2. […]

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    How to Barbecue Oysters

    July 11, 2008

    In light of the previous post exhorting everyone to cook all shellfish, we thought it appropriate to offer a guide to barbecuing oysters. You need: Barbecue. Or fire. Oyster knife (or equivalent), plus gloves, hot pads, and/or tongs for handling hot shells. Pot of melted butter and garlic, hot sauce, horseradish, lemon, etc. Oysters. If […]

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    New Rule: Don’t Eat Oysters Raw When It’s Hot

    July 11, 2008

    Right now we’re recommending that everyone cook their oysters… and not just oysters from our farm, but oysters from anywhere. The reason? The oysters may contain a naturally occurring salt-water bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus that can make you very sick to your stomach. Here on the Olympic Peninsula, the weather is just starting to get […]

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    a bird’s eye view

    July 10, 2008

    Our friends Rita and Jamie from Wyoming Aero Photography stopped by a month or so ago and took these amazing shots of Hood Canal and the Hama Hama tideflats. All photos by Rita Donham. Hood Canal, looking north. Hama Hama tideflats from the north. Hama Hama tideflats from the south. The cluster of buildings on […]

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    Sea Urchins

    July 7, 2008

    Sea urchins are echinoderms, and are related to sea cucumbers and sea stars. They’re covered in protective spines, use tube feet for locomotion, and normally feed on algae. Sea urchin gonads, known more appetizingly as uni, are a popular food in Japan. The little urchin above lived up to its name by stabbing Oyster Fan […]

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    Hoodsport Fourth of July Festival

    July 7, 2008

    Every year the nearby town of Hoodsport outdoes itself putting on a Fourth of July extravaganza. This year we got ourselves together and participated in the street fair on Friday, selling barbecued Hama Hama oysters with a butter and garlic sauce. Saturday was the really busy day in Hoodsport–with live music, a raffle, and a […]

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