Living Waters
The waters around us, from the local pond to our lakes and seas, support a huge variety of life. Many of these species remain in the water their entire life. 
Others, like sea lions and seals, spend a great part of their life in the waters, but do go onto the rocks and the shores.
Some prefer to be in the sea but the changing tides leave so many of them exposed to the elements. These include the many species of star fish.

This is also one of those exposed and with all those spikes should be relatively safe. But the Sea Urchin is one of the main foods for the star fish as each does not move with any great speed.

Others that are left on the shores by the tides, may be the only glimpses that many see of the different species that abound in these waters.
Where tide pools exist, there is often a whole new world of sea life.  With anemones like the huge green anemone and the aggregating anemones.  These life forms just wait for passing particles to drop in and then they quickly close up.
It is not just the low tides that leave so many interesting species for us to see, many are simply washed ashore. The Gumboot Chiton in the center, is usually quite safe as it adheres itself to the rocks, but after a severe storm they may be ripped off and deposited on the beach. Again, this may be the only time they are seen. The image on the right is another type of barnacle, the goose-necked barnacle. While the picture on the left is the Pacific razor clam, Siliqua patula.
As the fight for their own space evolves through all the different forms of plants and animals, a search goes on for a safe habitat for many.  The Sea palm is one plant that has found its own niche in life.  It grows on rocks that bear the blunt of the severest storms where no others can survive.  It is usually only visible out of water at the lowest tides of summer.
Other rock clingers include barnacles and mussels. Acorn barnacles are common on intertidal rocks; some members of this group are specialized for life attached to whales.
Mussel is a loose term for this species of clams, it is applied to those clams where the shell is longer than it is wide. This term is also used when the color is of dark blue shades or even brown.
As the tide recedes, we once again have the chance to see more of the plant diversity of the waters
One of the colorful seaweeds that occasionally is found on the shore is the Coralline Algae. A reddish plant that is very impressive in its design if one takes a little time to look at it closely.
Crabs also are at times stranded on the beach where they are unable to bury themselves. With all these elements along the shores it is a wonderful place for the birds to congregate and search for food.

The seagulls dive into the shallow waters and bring ashore enormous shells. They drop them from a few feet onto the rocky shore to open them.

They say you have to have a lot of patience if you go fishing, well the herons have plenty of that.  They usually stand in a few inches of water and wait for something to pass bye within reach.
Others birds swim the waters and walk the shores, Mergansers, Oystercatchers and Scaup are but a few.
Oystercatchers patrol the waters edge seeking out any small crustaceans that may be visible at low tide.

Keeping a watchful eye also are the birds in the trees, including the bald eagle, a scavenger, but is quite capable of picking off one of the ducks if they drop their guard at all.