Puget Sound at low tide is a joy well known to many in the region. It’s a formative experience for many children here, overturning rocks to see all the tiny crabs and sea stars that live amidst colorful seaweed, kelp and barnacles.
But few people are as versed in the lesser-known critters that live in the tidal zone as Seattle naturalist Kelly Brenner. She specializes in anything without a backbone. Brenner is the co-founder of an online event called #Invertefest, which challenges anyone who wants to take part to find and help document the lesser-known or less-celebrated creatures in our midst. She also wrote a recent field guide to Seattle, which includes chapters on marine life.
We waded into the saltwater together during a recent low tide at Constellation Beach, near Alki, so she could show me around — and introduce me to some of her favorite invertebrates.