Seahurst with Silver Fox, Plus Cryptopod: Why Did the Green Bug Cross the Road?

It’s been a busy social week for this introvert! On Wednesday, I drove down to pick Silver Fox up from the airport and take her to Seahurst Park on her layover. Since I-5 has basically been a parking lot between my new place and downtown Seattle, I took Highway 99. This meant I had to go through the Viaduct. I always white-knuckle it through there, begging the Cascadia subduction zone not to rip right then, please. Then I took a wrong turn and ended up on I-5 anyway, which was okay because it was below the jam. Then I took a wrong turn out of the cell phone waiting lot at the airport and had to drive around trying to find a way back to the terminal. It was a comedy of errors, but I did at last manage to collect Silver Fox, and we found our way to Seahurst without incident.

It’s a lovely park with lots of beachfront.

Image shows Seahurst Park's beach, looking over the Sound. There's a brown strip of beauty bark in the foreground, then the beach berm with sand and drift logs, then a narrow green strip of beached seaweed, the blue water, and the Olympic Mountains and various islands in the distance.
Puget Sound from Seahurst Park.

The view of the Olympic Mountains must be spectacular when they have snow on them and the air isn’t filled with dead burnt trees. We’re supposed to get a good soaking over the weekend, so that smoke problem should ease up. Hopefully eastern Washington will get drenched and stop being on fire.

Seahurst has a very nice waterfront stretch. There’s a nice little concession stand, and some picnic shelters, and a lovely sweeping view up toward Brace Point.

Image is looking north. The beach curves inland. In the distance is a long, forested arm ending in a bluff. There are lots of houses on top and along the waterfront.
Brace Point from Seahurst Park.

The Fauntleroy-Vashon Island ferry takes off from just behind there, so we got to see what seemed like a million ferries departing and arriving.

The beach was absolutely covered in seaweed, and it filled the water. You can see it as a dark emerald line in the waves here. You can also spot one of the ferries in the far distance.

Image is looking over Puget Sound to the distant Olympics. In the foreground, the water has a thick strip that has a lot of seaweed floating in it, making the water a green-blue mix.
Seaweed!

As you can see, we had a bit of cloud cover over the mountains, but not much. It’s been like that for a while, but it’s a lot cooler than it was in July. Silver Fox and I had nice breezes to keep us from frying in the sun. We couldn’t see much through the seaweed, but we did get to a clear strip of shingle between the strandline and the water, where we were able to find a few shells and lots of interesting rocks. Do you know how refreshing it is to be with an actual professional geologist and have them not know what the pebbles are? I sometimes think people don’t believe me when they hand me a river or beach rock and I tell them I don’t know what it is. But they’re really hard to identify when they’re just fragments that have been turned into water-rounded pebbles and are out of their context. We did spot some volcanic breccias, which she’s better at seeing than I am. I found us some nice gneiss, and we found a few bits of quartz and jasper. A jasper pebble came home to live with me, along with a black pebble that once had barnacles on it, and a very Zen gray rock.

We saw this really neato shell that had a puddle, pebbles, and lots of living barnacles in it.

Image shows an oval white shell on its back, resting on the beach pebbles and coarse sand. It is filled with clear water, some smaller black and tan pebbles, some tan and darker sand, and lots of tiny pinkish-white barnacles.
Shell with barnacles and pebbles.

I love the colors and the textures.

Crop of the previous image, focusing on the pebbles and barnacles.
Such lovely textures!

It will be so cool if that shell gets buried and fossilized and our future octopoid overlords dig it up and put it in a museum somewhere.

After time in the sunshine, we decided we’d like some shade instead, so we made our way back to the trees and picnic benches. On the way, we encountered a pebbled ring with flowers.

Image shows a ring of gray and light brown pebbles in a ring in the sand. Inside are scattered several brilliant yellow dandelion flowers.
Dandelion ring.

I imagine some little kid made that bit of art using nature’s art supplies. I wish I knew who they were, so I could print this image out and hand it to their parents to put on the fridge.

There’s some nice hiking trails, which I shall eventually explore with my local adventurers, and a creek with a bridge over it. There’s a wee waterfall, which is peaceful and pretty.

Image shows a stretch of narrow creek flowing between banks made of either glacial debris or a lahar - I'm not sure which it was down here. There's a tiny waterfall framed by overhanging greenery in the center of the picture.
Wee waterfall

I’m going to name it Silver Fox Falls. Because I can.

We parked ourselves on a bench in the shade, and had a magnificent view of the Sound, and the Olympics beyond.

Image shows a stetch of blue water and mountains rising in the hazy distance.
Olympics across the Sound.

They looked really gorgeous behind the island, which I think is Vashon Island, but don’t hate me if I’m wrong.

Image shows a long, low island and the ridge of tall mountains behind.
Island with mountains.

It was a lovely day with a wonderful person in a place I’ve never been. A total success. I just wish I hadn’t had to take Silver Fox back to the airport so soon, but hopefully she’ll be able to stay over a few days sometime, and we will go adventure together, and everyone will be totally jelly.

Now, it’s time for your cryptopod! You’ve been so patient, unless you weren’t and scrolled down til you got to it.

Image shows a bright apple-green, shield-shaped bug standing on the tip of my finger.
Cryptopod I

This little feller was crossing the road in B’s new neighborhood. We were hanging out for the first time since breaking up, trying on this friendship thing and taking a walk round the new area. People, it is spectacular. We go just a little ways down the street, and there’s this incredible view across the Puget Lowland to the Cascades. I didn’t take photos of it because the smoke in the air kind of ruined the effect for the camera, but you’ll love it when they air’s cleared and I get some shots.

On the way back, we saw this little critter crossing the blacktop. I took it up on my finger because I didn’t want it to get squishied by a car. Its little feetses tickled!

A closer view of the bug, or beetle or whatever. Its wings are just visible as a gray oblong below its bright green wingcases. It's got a teeny little head with adorable short antennae.
Cryptopod II

When I offered my finger, it hopped right up like, “Oh, yes, please, madam, this pavement is very hot and I would like very much to have a ride over to the cool green bushes.” It posed patiently as I tried to convince my camera that I wanted to focus on it. I could only get this one shot, but at least it turned out quite well.

B and I had pleasant times and are going to go to the movies next week, so the friendship thing is turning out fine. That’s great, because he’s always been one of my favorite people. Then I came home and took Misha outside, where she proceeded to cuss me out for blocking off the bridge again. She’s so cute when she stands there and yowls crabbily. She had a nice lie-down in the sunshine by the creek after she got over being angry at me.

Image shows Misha, a small tuxedo cat, lying in dappled sunshine on the bank of our creek.
Misha in her creekside sunbeams.

Then S came down to put the canopy up and protect our non-outdoor furniture. She got very angry at him for harshing her mellow, and took off after his ankles. He thought it was hilarious. She’s too old to effectively chase people anymore, but it’s adorable that she tries.

We had a nap, and now we’re all in bed together. When I say all, I mean that Boo came and joined us, because she was bored and lonely. As of the time of this writing, Misha hasn’t noticed she’s in here yet. They’re both being sleepy and totes adorbs. I love kitties so very, very much.

Image shows Boo, a kitty with large black and white patches, lying on her back by my blanketed feet, her little front paws folded over her chest. D'aw!
Boo being cute as can be.

It’s been a good couple of days.

I plan to do much cooking and cleaning today, then spend most of Saturday working on the Mount St. Helens guide, so I’m going to take Saturday and perhaps Sunday off from blogging. I have so much content planned for next week I don’t know what to do with it all. And there will probably be more cute kitty pics coming, because of course that’s what the internet is for. See you soon, my darlings!

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Seahurst with Silver Fox, Plus Cryptopod: Why Did the Green Bug Cross the Road?
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5 thoughts on “Seahurst with Silver Fox, Plus Cryptopod: Why Did the Green Bug Cross the Road?

  1. 1

    Looks like a shield bug of some sort. Harmless except for occasionally ruining raspberries for human consumption.
    Boo looks very much like my mother’s cat, who will fall off a lap rather than claw a human. He even puts up with my little niece and nephew, who are admittedly quite gentle with him. When he gets tired of their admiration he walks away slowly, the two of them following behind, though he has an entire basement to flee into if he wanted to.

  2. 2

    Yep, that’s a stink bug (Pentatomidae — one of the families of shield bugs). Always great to appreciate one of the classics. :) It’s harmless, unless you’re a) a plant, or b) one of the people who reacts to the smell of the stuff they put out when they’re stressed.

    It’s hard to be sure from this side, but it’s probably Chinavia hilaris. They’re pretty common around here.

  3. 3

    Wow, a waterfall named after me!! (After my pseudonym, anyway, which surely is the same thing.) Oh, and it will make a great TLA (three-letter acryonym): SFF. :-)

  4. rq
    4

    Yep, definitely a stink bug. A true bug, as it were – all insects are nicknamed bugs, but only shield bugs are actually bugs.
    Love the shell, it looks pretty huge, too. Damn you warm ocean people, the biggest I can find is roughly a third of my palm. :( And the circle of stones with dandelions kind of looks like a memorial to someone/-thing. Still pretty, though!
    Yay for a good time, and yay for fun with kitties (even when that fun is relaxing)!

  5. 5

    We do indeed have some large shells, including geoducks. (Pronounced gooey-duck.) This one doesn’t look as big as that, perhaps what’s known as a horse clam.

    As for the bug, I was at least able to get it in the correct order, hemiptera.

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