Oyster Blog

Apr 7, 2008: Sticky Fingers

Tideflat Critters

Sea stars, the echinoderms formerly known as starfish, have neither brains nor blood. Their circulatory system uses filtered sea water, and their central nervous system is spread out among the rays, or legs, which scientists believe communicate sensory information to each other whenever the starfish... whoops, sea star, decides to move or eat. Severed sea star rays normally grow back, and a tropical species known as Linckia can regenerate an entire sea star from a single ray. Some sea stars, like the one above, are predators that feed on mussels, clams, and oysters. The stars first pry the bivalves open,...

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Apr 1, 2008: Hood Canal History

News from Here

Hood Canal, circa 2008. The near dot in the picture is a seal, the far dot is a boat. In the mid 1800s, before Washington was a state, civic minded leaders in the territory decided that they needed to do something to distinguish their homeland and themselves. People on the East Coast still thought of the Washington residents as wild, wooley and completely uncivilized. One astute resident of Union City, Washington, a Mr. Samuel Hood, who'd made a fortune in the shipping industry, took a vacation to New York in 1852 and noticed the considerable fanfare and wealth generated by...

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Mar 28, 2008: In case you didn't believe us:

Store News Tideflat Critters

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, at which point he'll fertilize her eggs. Visit our March 17th post to learn more about hermit crabs. (Sorry that we can't link directly to the post. It's a work in progress.) Today's hermit crab entry is dedicated to the little girl who just stopped...

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Mar 27, 2008: A Million Little Oysters

Farm work Oysters

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 placed out on the beach. In 3 months, the oysters will be big enough to face life on the beach without the protection of the bags. And after another 2 years or so, the oysters will be big enough to hit the market as beautiful, and...

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Mar 25, 2008: Area Dog Discovers Taste for Oysters

News from Here

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 in oysters. (Caveat: only in Lilliwaup, where the hens lay soft-boiled eggs and the lemonade springs, would it be o.k. to feed world-class shellfish to a dog.)   Area Dog signals interest in oyster... gets ignored... and then finds the stash. Would somebody please just...

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