Exploring the Often Overlooked Tidal Zone

As an adult I’m often driven by ‘missions’, meaning I’m focused on a particular task I’m hoping to get accomplished. But how often did we do that as a child? Seems like back then I was more engaged in just experiencing the moment, with nothing more noble than searching out something new. I recently had the chance to relearn that lesson while ‘browsing’ through the tidal zone.

Tidal Zone


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Behind the Photo

Having spent an afternoon exploring the variety of sea life living the various sized pools in the tidal zone during a falling tide, I decided to try and capture the wonder of that area. Specifically the fact that the zone, although that as dramatic as the backdrop of the Point-of-Arches, it’s just as expansive. Better yet, use a little ‘forced perspective’ to show a comparison between the two.

That called for getting low. In fact my camera is just off the sand and a moment after this shot I had to raise the camera over my head to keep the rushing wave from soaking it. But just that small change of height of a few feet allowed me to get both in the photograph.

Tidal Zone

The tidal zone, also known as the foreshore and seashore and sometimes referred to as the littoral zone, is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide. This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals, such as starfish, sea urchins, and numerous species of coral. The area can be a narrow strip, as in Pacific islands that have only a narrow tidal range, or can include many feet of shoreline where shallow beach slopes interact with high tidal excursion.

Of course here in the Pacific Northwest you can trade coral for rocks as the bow of my kayak has had the occasional misfortune of experiencing during a surf landing or two.



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