Footprints in the Sand

I’ve loved the poem “Footprints in the Sand“, by Mary Stevenson, since I heard it a million years ago.  It always has a more special meaning during the times where there are only one set of footprints.  Needless to say, because of the loss of our baby grandson, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately.  I can see that his parents are being carried through this time and the love and support of their families, especially their teenaged daughter, are an incredible blessing.

What kind of animal made these tracks on the beach?
What kind of animal made these tracks on the beach?

This is what got me thinking about footprints in the sand today.  It’s got to be some kind of bird, right?  I can’t even tell which direction it is going.

Tracks compared to women's size 8.
Tracks compared to women’s size 8.

The print is a graceful pattern.  I’m not sure how to look up bird tracks but I gave it a shot and came up empty.  I’ll have to ask my friend, Shawn, at Fish & Wildlife.  He’s always found the answers to my questions about the local Oregon wildlife. 🙂

Holy Moly!  Was it a small harbor seal?!  On Tillicum Beach?

Looks like he came in on the extra high tide.  Then, when the sun came up he noticed the tide was at -1.9 and the others were gone.

Eating pattern around a Palm Kelp
Eating pattern around a Palm Kelp

This is another pattern, and cycle-of-life, that I find interesting.  The kelp washes up onto the beach.  Overnight the sand fleas start eating it.  The fleas burrow in the sand nearby, loosening the sand around their food.  I’m not sure if they loosened the sand when they “hatched” out or when they went back under?

Baby Crab - Dungeness?
Baby Crab – Dungeness?

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