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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego tide pools’

A Friendly Reminder

Posted by Jody on March 14, 2014

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

~ John Howard Payne

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is “Inside.”


Related Link: Hermit Crab: A Different Kind of Beachcomber

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on February 9, 2013

~Home Sweet Home~

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Take a closer look! You’ll find that this beautiful Southern California tide pool environment is home to numerous species of marine life. Sea anemones, gooseneck barnacles, California mussles, and black tegulas (among many others) all live here in the rocky intertidal zone of Cabrillo National Monument.

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis)

~A Rocky Bungalow~
Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis)

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.

Would you  like to know more about tidepooling in Southern California?  Here are a few helpful links:

Tide Pool Etiquette 101

A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Picture Perfect La Jolla Cove and Beach, Southern California

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Home


Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Posted by Jody on February 22, 2012

Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

By now, you may have noticed that Greg and I really enjoy going tidepooling! Not long ago, we had the pleasure of visiting the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument, located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula (just west of San Diego). This park is an exceptional place to see tide pools chock-full of marine life. We were not so fortunate as to see an octopus or sea stars this time around, though. That would have taken a much lower tide level, and our December morning visit just happened to fall during a higher tide. If you have the luxury of time, check out the tide prediction charts provided by the Park Service (courtesy of  Scripps Institution of Oceanography).  Tide pooling, like beachcombing, has advantages if you can plan to explore at the lowest possible water level.

Gooseneck Barnacles, Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, California

Look Closer! Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, California

Still, even at high tide, if you look close enough and take the time to really peer into even the littlest pools, you’ll see limpets, top snails, chitons, barnacles, and hermit crabs.  Striped shore crabs, aggregate anemones and beautiful green-blue solitary anemones are also plentiful here in the high and middle intertidal zones.

A Closer Look. Tide Pool Chitons, Limpets,Top Snails, and Marine Plants

Do yourself a favor and study up a little bit before taking a trip to the tide pools. A good book on intertidal marine life will serve you well! I’ve seen people just glance around and leave, thinking there’s nothing to see. That’s a shame! Greg and I have always been amazed at what really is living in those puddles of sea water!

Solitary Anemones, Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

If you are planning a trip to the area, be sure to have a look at the Cabrillo National Monument website for Tidepooling Tips and Rules to Protect the Tidepools. Keeping in mind that tide pools are home to an abundance of marine life, the National Park Service tells us: “For all present and future visitors to experience and enjoy the healthy and diverse tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument, guidelines are needed to minimize the impacts on organisms from the high levels of visitation.  The overriding consideration is the preservation of tidepool organisms, so no plant or animal should ever be disturbed if there is a possibility of injury.  These organisms are best enjoyed in their natural state, so the best policy is to simply observe them where they are.”

We’d sure love to hear about your favorite tidepooling spot! Please feel free to post a comment, or consider submitting a Guest Post. Happy Tidepooling!


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Southern California’s Sea Anemones

Posted by Greg on December 21, 2011

Starburst (or Sunburst) Solitary Anemone in a Tide Pool (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

Jody and I had the good fortune of vacationing in San Diego, California recently. While there, we went tide pool exploring at Cabrillo National Monument and along the beaches in La Jolla. Tidepooling was one of the highlights of our trip. The tide pools were teaming with life. We haven’t, in the past, recognized all of the small animals in them. You have to look closely, with some knowledge of what you are looking for, so it helps to do a little research before you head out to explore tide pools.

There are two different types of  sea anemones in Southern California’s coastal tide pools: solitary and aggregate. In the wonderful book, Life Between the Tides by Jeffery L. Brandon & Frank J. Rokop, it says that “the largest of southern California’s anemones is the Solitary Anemone, reaching a diameter of up to 10 inches with it’s tentacles extended, and a column height of nearly 1 foot.”  This variety, when found in a Southern California tide pool, is usually only 3 to 5 inches wide, though.  The Solitary Anemones we spotted were a beautiful green-blue color.

The name Aggregate Anemones  comes from the fact that they clone. That is, they divide in two making two separate animals. As they do this over years, they form a cluster which is called an aggregate.  A Solitary Anemone is one that does not clone.  Thus they appear solitary.

According to National Geographic, sea anemones‘ “bodies are composed of an adhesive pedal disc, or foot, a cylindrical body, and an array of tentacles surrounding a central mouth. The tentacles are triggered by the slightest touch, firing a harpoon-like filament into their victim and injecting a paralyzing neurotoxin. The helpless prey is then guided into the mouth by the tentacles.”

Aggregate Anemones with Black Tegula Snails in a Tide Pool (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

There are more than 1,000 sea anemone species found throughout the world’s oceans at various depths, although the largest and most varied occur in coastal tropical waters. They run the full spectrum of colors and can be as small as half an inch (1.25 centimeters) or as large as 6 feet (1.8 meters) across.”

If you take a close look at the photo on the right, you will see Black Tegula snails nestled in with aggregate anemones. The black tegula snails like to feed on the kelp, algae and seaweed that wash into the tide pools.

We’re looking forward to finding the many different colors and shapes of sea anemones, as we travel and explore beaches and tide pools. If you have tide pool finds you would like to share, check out our submissions page, or leave a comment. We would love to hear about them! Also, if you’re a FaceBook user, we’d love it if you Liked us on FaceBook.

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

Camino De La Costa – An Unexpected Tide Pool on the San Diego Coast (California)

Posted by Jody on December 9, 2011

Last week, Greg and I  headed to sunny Southern California to explore the sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy coast of San Diego. With 70 miles of San Diego County coastline to choose from, we decided the Village of La Jolla would be a great place to begin an “explore.”  From there, we headed south to Pacific Beach, home of the landmark Crystal Pier.  We figured that the best way to really experience what this diverse section of the Pacific coast has to offer is to do so on foot.  Passing by many of the well-known beaches and surfing areas, we enjoyed the ever-changing  ups and downs of the coastline.  We descended well placed stairs, walked along sandy beaches, and just plain scrambled over and across the rocks and ledges that form the coast of this beautiful area of the Golden State.

Camino De La Costa Stairway (©Jody Diehl)

While meandering between La Jolla Cove and Pacific Beach, we found ourselves on a sidewalk that paralleled a more jagged section of the shore. That’s where Greg and I found a wonderful little tide pool area! Clearly others had been there before.  After all, there was a stairway.  Had we been driving along La Jolla Boulevard between the most popular beaches, we never would have seen this beautiful spot just a couple of blocks off the major thoroughfare. We never would have known what we were missing!

Camino De La Costa Rockpools (©Jody Diehl)

This peaceful little tide pool site, jutting into the Pacific Ocean, was teeming with marine life.

Camino De La Costa Rockpools (©Jody Diehl)

Although we are nowhere near expert in intertidal habitats and their residents, we could identify various limpets, chitons, top snails and periwinkles in the Camino De La Costa tide pools. If you zoom in on the photo you may be able to identify so much more!  It’s really amazing how much life exists in such small rock pools of seawater.  Please let us know what you find!

~If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.~ Heraclitus

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Friday Finds, Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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