Matthew Chretien

Sea Surprises

My favorite place is a tide pool on Sand Beach. But really there are thousands of tide pools on the coast of Maine. A tide pool is an incredible garden with draperies of seaweed on its walls. Walking along the rocky shore you might go right by a tide pool and never notice it. But you would miss a lot.

Get close and keep looking. You will find yourself
Animals and plants live everywhere in the pool.

The neighbors are under or out of the water. Her
the rocks. Also on the rocks, you see patches of small whi
barnacles. Close to the barnacles are limpets with striped,

Below the barnacles and limpets are crowds of bil mussels. Then there are rubbery bumps on the rocks. The are anemones. They look like overgrown gumdrops. Near Next there is a creature that looks like a pin cushion. This balloon as it floats along the water. It is a jellyfish. Its tent

Most of the plants in a tide pool belong to the san colors on rocks. Some look like ribbons and shoelaces. Off
thin and light as spider webs. Some are hollow. Some have knots, and some have little gas-filled balloons in them.

The tide pool plants do not feel like land plants. The ones on the bottom of the pool are like a thick, bouncy rug. The short, bright-colored ones growing on rocks and shells feel like velvet. When you touch the bigger ones that are attached to rocks and floating in the tide pools, they feel slippery and rubbery. Seaweeds float, bend, and sway.

The seaweed is like a jungle full of animals. There are more animals than you can count. Little fish were left there when the tide went out. So are shrimp. You can see right through them. There are baby crabs, as small as a dime or smaller. There are baby sea stars and tiny sea worms. Snails hang and crawl on the seaweed. If you peek into the splits and holes in the seaweed, you will see baby snails. There are egg cases and bubbles on the seaweed. But everything there is not small. Sea urchins and big crabs live there too.

Since I have been wandering through the tide pool, the tide has been coming in. It is time to head to dry ground. All of the wonders of the tide pool will soon be hidden by the sea. There are many wonderful surprises at the edge of the sea.