I realized recently that I'm most happy when I'm at the beach. Not just any beach, but a beach with stones scattered about. Picking through rocks and discovering treasures is when I feel completely rejuvenated. Alive.
There is one beach nearby (El Pescador) that I feel the most drawn to and I've been there more often than any of the others.
Here are a few shots from visits over the last year...
Before people realized that birds migrated, it was believed that barnacle geese grew from these gooseneck barnacles (Pedunculata). We call them "troll toes" in our family.
Shore crabs (at least I think they were crabs) were the most abundant in August.
Notice the rock in the distance, in the water. The next time we went (just last week, below) it was completely dry and we could walk out to it because the tide was so low. This was the first time we have seen such a low tide.
Here's the same area above, but at low tide so we could walk out to the rock.
It was completely brimming with life.
We saw seven ochre sea stars, which seems like much less than I've seen in years past, perhaps the ochre sea star disease has something to do with it.
Countless anemones (aggregate and even starbursts including green and white which I don't see as often) to the point where it was difficult to walk for fear of stepping on them.
I found a chestnut cowrie (Neobernaya spadicea) and while they are supposedly relatively common on our beaches, this is the first one I've found in 14 years.
A banged up purple sea urchin. Only found one this visit. There used to be many more here and I've learned that they are the first to die off in polluted waters.
The only new discovery this trip was a few brittle stars. I've never seen them at the shore before. I don't know if this is a seasonal/low tide thing or if it is because there are just more of them now.
In the past, we've seen moon jellyfish (dead, washed up on shore), an octopus (alive and slinking fast! through the rocks) several sea hares and colorful nudibranchs. As well as hermit crabs, mussels, barnacles, snails, limpets, etc. I have photos of all of these but they are all archived on backup hard drives as they are from years ago.
We're headed to the beach again tomorrow!