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Posts Tagged ‘California tide pools’

It must be a sign!

Posted by Jody on May 9, 2012

Protecting tide pool creatures and their environment is serious business on the coast of Southern California. How serious? Well, I didn’t even see any evidence of a tide pool area anywhere near this sign posted on the sandy beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado!

Coronado, California

The sign reads: “PROTECT TIDEPOOL AREA. Please do not remove or disturb sea life, shells or rocks. Thank you.”

Cabrillo National Monument, California

The sign pictured above was purposefully placed to warn everyone on the path approaching the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument near San Diego, California. Note that even the sand is protected by federal law here!

La Jolla, California

La Jolla has many wonderful tide pooling areas up and down the coast. The La Jolla Underwater Park is a protected State Marine Conservation Area. The signs are quite specific here, and “Look, Don’t Touch” sums it all up perfectly!

Have a great day tide pooling, beachcombing or just chillin’ out at the shore!


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good and Plenty! ~ Black Tegulas ~

Posted by Jody on March 29, 2012

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis) are extremely common finds along the Pacific coast of the United States.  Also known as Black Turbans, they live along the shoreline and rocks of the upper and middle intertidal zones from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the central Baja California peninsula. These little beauties are often found packed tightly into neat and tidy clusters on rocky surfaces and in crevices.

Black Tegulas in a Cluster

A beautiful deep purple-black, the Black Tegula has a sturdy, top shaped shell.  The very tip, or apex, of the shell is usually worn away, revealing a pretty, pearly white layer just beneath the outer smooth, black surface. The inside of the shell is also a pearlescent white. Members of the Top Shell Family (Trochidae), Black Tegulas are herbivores, feeding on seaweed and algae. These plentiful marine snails grow to ¾” – 1 ¾” high.

Black Tegulas -Tegula funebralis- pictured with anemones in upper intertidal zone.

Black Tegulas are an especially fun discovery in their typical tide pool environment.  Get close, be patient, and watch carefully. What is really living in those shells? Are you actually seeing legs?  Could be! You’ll surely discover that some of these strong, solid shells have become comfortable (and, extremely affordable) housing for hermit crabs!

Picking up vacated Black Tegulas on the beach is the best way to collect these rugged, beautifully colored seashells.  As beach treasures, they are the perfect addition to any beachcomber’s treasure trove!

Have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Pacific Coast Beaches, Seashells, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Awe Inspiring Kehoe Beach, Northern California

Posted by Jody on February 29, 2012

Kehoe Beach, located within the Point Reyes National Seashore, is one of the most gorgeous stretches of coastline Greg and I have ever visited. A little more than a 1/2 mile walk from Pierce Point Road, you’ll find a startlingly beautiful strand where golden sand meets the sea. Majestic, peaceful, awe inspiring…

Today, the pictures tell the story.

Awe Inspiring Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

Looking South, Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

Looking North, Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

A Sea Star’s Friendly “Hello” ~ Low Tide at Kehoe Beach

Goose-Necked Barnacles and California Mussels, Kehoe Beach

“So Long”

Gorgeous Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

Kehoe Beach is absolutely gorgeous. What more can I say?

Have a beautiful day at the beach!

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Northern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What Will You Find in a Southern California Tide Pool?

Posted by Jody on October 28, 2011

Question: What will you find in a Southern California tide pool? Answer: An amazing variety of marine life!

The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council compiled a list of tide pool organisms and helpful descriptive information for what tidepoolers might find along California’s captivating Pacific Coast. Here are some examples of common Southern California tide pool creatures and a portion of their descriptions from the O.C. Marine Protection website.

Black Turban Snails (Steve Lonhart (SIMoN/MBNMS)/Wikimedia Commons)

Sea Urchin “The sea urchin is a slow moving animal with an obvious appearance. It is covered with hundreds of sharp spines that serve as an adaptation to discourage many potential predators.”

Sea Star “Sea stars are often found in the harshest intertidal environment: among the rocks,ocean currents, pounding waves and tidal surge.” 

Sea Anemone “The sea anemone adapts to its tidepool environment by disguising itself as a harmless flower or plant, similar in color and appearance to other marine plants.”

“Mussel Bed”, California Mussels (Pfoto by Tewy/Wikimedia Commons)

Hermit Crab “Hermit crabs are different than most crabs because they have a soft body and no shell of their own. They live in abandoned black turban and striped dog winkle shells which is why shells should not be collected anywhere along California’s coastline.”

Opaleye fingerlings “When young, opaleye live in tidepools and can actually breathe air when the tidepool is exposed during a low tide.”

Octopus “Octopi are carnivores and they eat a variety of crabs, shellfish and small swimming fish. …They can change their shape and color patterns within seconds to match the surrounding environment.”

What fun!  You could print out this handy list, complete with illustrations, check off the tide pool sea critters as you spot them and learn more about each one.   This family friendly game is strictly “Finders… NOT Keepers.”  (see “Tide Pool Etiquette 101.”)

Exploring a Southern Caifornia tide pool:  Mother Nature’s best scavenger hunt!

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Friday Finds, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

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