a rolling abode
under the heavens’ mastery
he beckons his lady.
plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus)
Thanks to the gravitational pull of the moon and sun, intertidal zones are covered during high tide and uncovered during low tide.
Many phenomenal creatures reside among the ebbs and flows. Sea lettuce, armored hairy chitons, goose barnacles, breadcrumb sponges, purple shore crabs, rainbow sea stars…intertidal biodiversity is absolutely remarkable.
For fish, the flooded comfort of high tide is in stark contrast to the exposed desert of low tide. During low tide, some fish stay safe in rock crevices filled with seawater (i.e. tide pools). The plainfin midshipman, a toadfish, lives life more dangerously.
During high tide, males emerge from the ocean depths and burrow under intertidal rocks. Next, these gentlemen produce humming sounds to attract females to their rocks. Females affix their eggs to the underside of the rocks and then vanish into the dark as the tide lowers. The dedicated fathers stay put during low tide and brave desiccation to protect offspring developing under their rocks.
Now go visit your nearest intertidal playground!
Vancouver Island, Natalie Sopinka