Friday, August 5, 2016

Nature Study at the Beach :: Negative Tide and Other Neat Sights

Last month we made an early morning trip the coast to hit negative tide.  It was a gray day, but low tide always makes up for that.  (Besides, I actually like gray days!)

see the shore crab?

crustacean fossils

the cliffs -- often the water is right up to the cliff line

strata of fossils -- SO neat

these curious furrows in nearly solid rock -- we were thinking of Madam How and Lady Why!

And just to tack on some other interesting beach finds from this summer:

Vincent found this sand dollar split open lengthwise and still in tact.  I've never seen one so neatly parted like this!  The inside is so delicate.

On our last beach trip, the lifeguard alerted us to this dead stingray right next to us on the beach.  It was only about seven inches across, but it was so neat to get a peek at his spine (the underside of him was a bit more mangled and bone was exposed).

This one was fun: we found what the kids called "the most gigantic (dead) mole crab we've ever seen!!"  It did look like a mole crab, but apparently it's called a spiny sand crab, and it eats the usual mole crabs we see.  It was as large as my palm!

drew was enamored with his "cwab"

Another day we found purple waves hitting the shore.

see the purple tinge?
As we got closer, we noticed it was tiny purple dots within the waves casting the tint.

Apparently those tiny dots are zillions of purple salp.  Weird, right?

Okay, that's all my unusual sightings from the past couple months. :) Have you seen anything particularly remarkable lately?


  1. Celeste, just BEAUTIFUL! :) We haven't had anything too unusual...lots of crickets and grasshoppers here this time of year. When we walk in the grass near the house they hop up hitting the side of the many of them, which is sort of fun. Our new home has so many American Goldfinches. They come and eat seeds, I believe, and they drink and bathe in the puddles on our driveway. I saw 15 of them once. I've been trying to write down sunrise, because of our gorgeous views and haven't done it faithfully, but fun to see how it gets later and later starting in June. There are so many beautiful things I want to add to my journal, but I've fallen into bad habits about just not doing it often.

    1. I know what you mean -- I don't have near as much time to journal as I'd like to. Whenever I notice something I'd love to be able to stop right then and there and take some time to sketch or write. Maybe when I'm "retired"! LOL

      The goldfinches and crickets and grasshoppers sound like fun to watch for the whole family!

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Malgosia! This was at Capitola. If you hit it at negative tide, you can walk through all these fossil-laden rock formations that otherwise aren't accessible because the access point is blocked by the waves.