Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sea Urchin

At long last the weather in Newfoundland is allowing more varied pursuits. Spring is slow to emerge here so on days like today, with brilliant sunshine, one is reminded of the many cool places to visit. I am never disappointed with the beach. Just sitting there is awesome and Newfoundland has miles of secluded coastline.  It is especially cool to visit a beach with kids because there will always be something new and exciting.

Check out most any tidal pool and a sea urchin or two will be waiting.  They are common throughout the world. These spiny green beasts look really dangerous - with 2-3 cm spikes. If you step on one with your bare feet you'll be in pain and will never forget it.  Be care if swimming/walking in the ocean because beds of them are often sitting just out of view. Fortunately, they are fine to touch and can be picked up by children. The spikes are very pointy but when handled gently its not much different than holding a bunch of sharp pencils against your hand.  Every year I pick one up because it's wild to handle something so fierce looking.

On most beaches you'll find empty sea urchins with their insides eaten by gulls. Usually bleached pale green by the sun, a hole in the bottom and without spikes, they make a cool summertime collector's item. 


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