Alaskan Octopus

Do you see what I see?

 Last night we were treated to a rare sighting of a Giant Pacific Octopus in the creek out front!   It mostly tried to hide along the bank but did come out and do some swimming.   It was wild to see it in such shallow water, although from a little internet research I found out that they often live in dens under boulders very near the low tide line, not always out in the depths like I thought.

When this color changing lovely stretched out to swim it could nearly span the entire creek, you could see it taking water in through its mantle and then pushing it back out of its siphon to swim.

The Octopus Next Door

Two fun facts that I learned this morning is that octopi have blue blood!  Which if you live somewhere where people eat octopus regularly then you probably knew this, but I had no idea.  Instead of hemoglobin in their blood they have hemocyanin, a copper containing protein rather than the iron containing one that we humans have. To top that,  they have three hearts!

Turns out these are the largest octopus species in the world, live 3-5 years and are quite smart to boot, opening jars and such.

Octopus Mantle

All in all it was quite the hullabaloo, everyone was excited to see this majestic creature in their “front yard.”  Check out the video to see it swimming:

I’ll leave with a couple views from our new place,  which make all the chaos of unpacking worthwhile.

Henny Ridge

Looking down at the Creek

Much more peaceful than looking down from the loft or looking at the kitchen, ugh.

The Mess

more mess

But I must admit that being serenaded to sleep by salmon swimming is pretty wonderful.  These Pinks, otherwise known as Humpys are grey in color and blend in with the river rocks below.  The creek is full of them right now, and they swim all night, swishing us to sleep.

Pinks in the Creek

17 thoughts on “Alaskan Octopus

  1. Thanks for the great pictures and nature lesson.

    Glad we got to see your new “neighborhood” while we were visiting. Lets us enjoy the pictures even more. Humpys jumping sure beats crickets, motorcycles, and cars we hear at night.

    Enjoy

  2. The octopus is beautiful!! I can’t believe the animals and wildflowers you get to see… right out your door! The octopus reminded me of the patch you made for Brandon many years ago 😉

  3. Pingback: Anti-caturday post | Pharyngula

  4. Pingback: Anti-caturday post : Pharyngula

Leave A Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s