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Posts Tagged ‘La Jolla California beach’

Thoughtful Thursday

Posted by Jody on May 2, 2013

La Jolla, Southern California

La Jolla, Southern California

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing –

just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs,

or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”

~ Ralph Marston, The Daily Motivator


Posted in Southern California Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 16 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock! ;-)

Posted by Jody on October 14, 2012

Rock and sand beach, La Jolla coastline, Southern California

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

~Thomas Jefferson

Today we get things rolling with a new category: “Weekend’s Rock!” We’re going to have some fun with this one!  Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, photos and quotes.  We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Today's Special, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Curious about cormorants? So is Rover!

Posted by Greg on July 11, 2012

Today’s feathered feature is the Brandt’s cormorant Jody and I met on our last trip to sunny Southern California.

The Brandt’s cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) is a sea bird common to the Pacific Coast of North America, from California to Washington. The full range, however, is from southern Alaska to Baja Mexico, wherever the food is most plentiful. This sea bird depends heavily on the California Current, which moves south along the Pacific Coast of North America, causing  upwellings of nutrients that attract the bird’s food. Its diet consists mainly of fish, along with shrimp and crabs. The Brandt’s cormorant is a great diver that descends from the water’s surface and uses its powerful webbed feet to swim masterfully. This cormorant commonly dives to depths of 40 feet, chasing prey that they grab with their hooked bill and then swallow whole.

We came across this juvenile Brandt’s cormorant on La Jolla’s beautiful coast.

Juvenile Brandt’s Cormorant enjoying the view in La Jolla, California

Brandt’s cormorants have distinctive white cheeks, making them easy to identify. According to the Channel Islands National Park, California, “Brandt’s cormorants weigh about 4.6 pounds and measure 34 inches in length, with a wingspan of about 4 feet. Sexes look similar; with short black legs, a long black body and neck, and a dark bill with a hooked tip. Breeding adults have brilliant turquoise eyes and a bright blue gular pouch-distinctive among this species of cormorant-which fades quickly after the nesting season. Their breeding plumage also includes white plumes on either side of the head, neck, and back. Like other cormorants, Brandt’s cormorants often spread their wings out to dry after a dive, as their feathers are not completely waterproof and become soaked. This helps reduce buoyancy and allows the cormorant to forage deep under water.

Juvenile Brandt’s cormorants (like the one we met) are brownish black with a lighter tan underside that forms a V-shape where the neck meets the chest.

What’s up?

The picture below shows the result of a pet owner disregarding  San Diego County beach dog laws and commonly accepted beach pet etiquette. Although the bird seemingly remained calm, cool and collected, this unexpected encounter gave Jody and me a good scare! Luckily, Rover was just curious. He didn’t get any closer to the young cormorant before his errant owner realized where he was and called him off.

Uh oh! Fido isn’t on a leash!

The inquisitive pooch was not only off-leash but was also on the beach within restricted hours. San Diego County has a very specific set of hours in which dogs are allowed on beaches, and at all times they must be kept on a leash.

Of course, our pal Rover didn’t know any better, but his human might want to consider planning a visit to one of the four special “Dog  Beaches” on the San Diego Coast. They include Dog Beach-Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island-Mission Bay, North Beach Dog Run-Coronado, and Del Mar Dog Beach-Del Mar. Each of these beaches has their own rules. Stop by the county’s Dog Beaches site for details.

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”  ~Corey Ford, American humorist

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Picture Perfect La Jolla Cove and Beach, Southern California

Posted by Jody on July 9, 2012

La Jolla Cove is one of the most spectacular, photogenic locations on the San Diego Coast!  Good shots of the cove can come from any angle. If you like taking pictures, I suggest that you pick a spot, enjoy the view of the coastline and wildlife, take some breathtaking photos and then move along and do it again (and again).

These pictures trace a walk Greg and I took from the bluffs, down to the beach, and then over to the tide pools.

La Jolla Cove, Southern California

From almost any vantage point, we had the perfect opportunity to see the amazing diversity of coastal wildlife that La Jolla Cove is famous for.

California Brown Pelicans, Cormorant and California Sea Lions

After enjoying the vistas from the Coast Walk Trail and paved walkways, we headed down to La Jolla Cove’s sandy beach and explored the boulder-filled tide pools nearby.

La Jolla Cove, A View from the Beach

Although a low tide is better for tide pooling, even at higher tides it’s well worth taking the time to check out the rocky puddles. There is usually a fantastic assortment of coastal critters in the high tide zone, too!

At the far end of the beach – pass through to the explore tide pools at La Jolla Cove.

 Keep your camera ready! This next shot was totally unexpected.

California Sea Lion at La Jolla Cove

Back to tide pooling…Watch your step! These rocks are slick.

Beautiful solitary anemones are plentiful in the La Jolla Cove tide pools.

If you look closely, you’ll find that these are (mostly) hermit crabs.

Rush hour in the tide pool!

Rough Limpets and barnacles in the tide pools at La Jolla Cove.

To fully experience the calm waters and undersea world of the “look but don’t touch” San Diego-Jolla Underwater Park, many visitors scuba dive or snorkel to discover a wonderful variety of colorful, semi-tropical fishes and other marine life. Kayaking and swimming are also very popular activities here.

If you plan to spend the day at La Jolla Cove, you won’t run out of things to do. Enjoy the wildlife;  swim, splash and play on the sandy beach; bring a picnic or buy a box lunch and relax at the nearby grassy Scripps Park; and stroll the cove’s coastline to your heart’s content. Whatever you choose to do with your day at La Jolla Cove, you simply can’t go wrong!

The beach at La Jolla Cove has nearby restrooms, showers and picnic areas.  Lifeguards are stationed at the cove year-round. Paid parking is available in the area, although it’s really a breeze to use San Diego’s award winning public transit system (MTS) to get to the beaches.

Sign posted at La Jolla Cove (Photo: Jody Diehl)

If you do plan to tour the La Jolla Cove tide pools, be sure to wear good beach trekkers, or at least something more protective, and slip-proof, than dime store flip flops! You might also enjoy this previous post on tide pooling and tide pool etiquette:  Tide Pool Etiquette 101.

Have fun at the beach, and don’t forget your camera!

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Monday Miscellaneous, Sea Lions and Seals, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Welcome to the Children’s Pool, La Jolla, California

Posted by Greg on December 20, 2011

Photo ©Jody Diehl

Welcome to Children’s Pool, indeed. This area was created in the early 1930’s as a safe area for kids to swim. Time and tides have changed the area as sand has filled it in. Harbor Seals have moved in as the changed landscape has made it ideal for them to make it a seal rookery.  As with any wild animal, you should make it a point not to get too close to them. The laws are such that you are not allowed to disturb them deliberately in any way.

Children's Pool, La Jolla, California. Photo ©Jody Diehl

According to the City of San Diego’s official site, “The Children’s Pool is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. This is a very picturesque beach with a panoramic view. During much of the year, seals and sea lions are present on or near the beach and a reserve for these marine mammals, called Seal Rock, is just offshore. Several small beaches are nearby including Wipeout Beach to the south and Shell Beach to the north. This is a popular beach for scuba divers because of the reefs just offshore. These same reefs can create very strong currents and other hazards, particularly in high surf conditions.”

Seals near Children's Pool, La Jolla, California (©Jody Diehl)

Every time Jody and I have been at Children’s Pool in La Jolla, we have seen the Harbor Seals. You might not want to plan on swimming at this beach, though. Because of all the seals, sea lions and birds, there is a high e-coli bacteria content in the water. It is mostly worth the visit because the wildlife is really fun to watch.

If you have a place you would like featured, please let us know!  Please, by all means, feel free to submit a guest post, leave a comment, or make a request on the questions and requests page. And, please don’t forget to Like us on FaceBook.

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sand and Shoreline, Sea Lions and Seals, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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