Oyster Blog

Mar 10, 2008: Olympic Mountain Ice Cream and Friday afternoons

Farm work

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; our short list includes huckleberry cheesecake, toasted coconut, Kentucky mud pie and Jack Daniel's fudge praline. (Their chocolate flavor recently made this guy's top ten list). Shuckers Juan and Miguelito. Funny stuff. Shuckers Miguelito and Nathan. Shuckers John, Nathan, Roberto with oyster packers Brenda and...

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Mar 7, 2008: Happy Clam Trails

Clams Oysters Tideflat Critters

  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, threatened by a moon snail, or fed-up with their neighbors. They use their foot:   to drag themselves across the tideflats and to dig a new hole. As you walk across the beach you can see little trails in the sand where a clam...

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Mar 6, 2008: Moon Snail v. Butter Clam

Clams Tideflat Critters

  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 Manila steamer clams, they don't sell well in the retail store. But if you want to try butter clams yourself, let us know and we'll dig some for you! But for moon snails, butter clams make more sense, because they're bigger and meatier than...

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Mar 4, 2008: Introduction to the Moon Snail, part 1

Tideflat Critters

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 glide through water, burrow in sand, or to immobilize clams as it feeds on them. Moon snails, like all snails, are gastropods. Below: the moon snail's least flattering angle. We've heard, but find it hard to believe, that moon snails are 'relished' in Norway. Hopefully...

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Mar 3, 2008: Photos Upriver and Down

News from Here

Here are some introductory photos. Most of these (all of the really good ones!) were taken by Paul Harper. This photo was taken just north of the shucking plant, looking up the Hamma Hamma River valley towards the Olympics. Seattleites may recognize the mountain in this picture... The Brothers is one of the most prominent Olympic Peaks as seen from the Pike Place Market area. In the shadows of the lower left corner in this photo you can see the southern bridge across the Hamma Hamma river. But in case your eyesight is bad, here's a closeup of one of...

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