Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Well, today at the tide pools we will try to find out!
To continue our Sunday Funday we are going to the Crystal Cove Tide Pools to check out all the little critters. The tide pools or rocky spots occur all along the Californian coast but the Cyrstal Cove State Park is a protected area for the wildlife.
Address: 8471 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Park in the lot and pay the fee or be like us and pay only once for the hike and use the ticket to get into this place for FREE. The trail will lead you down to the beach with several sets of stairs.
The tide pools are a magical place where the ocean meets land and us humans can easily view and enjoy the wonders of nature. I have always been fascinated with them since a kid and still to this day.
The tides are able to be timed and all working with the earth and the moon and today was an extra special and was not planned but the Super Moon was this evening (Nov 13th 2016). So with the low tide after our hike we were able to walk where it once was several feet of water. Seeing pictures and videos of ocean plants and life is one thing but being able to touch it brings everything into perspective of just how the Earth works.
As a Foodie and a fan of mussels it may surprise some people that the elegant dish in a restaurant once lived on a rock like this. Looking closely at the mussels I saw other barnacles living on top of the mussels like a crowded cityscape.
Looking closer along the rocks and cracks I was able to find several sea anemones that have been buried by the outgoing tide but still ready for a meal. Their tiny little arms or tentacles are able to grab and pull in little fish; think of it like a venus fly trap. When I touched the outside of the tentacles then tried to stick on and pull me in but I was a bit too big.
I tried to guide this fish towards the sea anemone to watch a show but that did not happen. The fish in the tide pools are under attack from most of the ocean creatures and the birds too!
The local birds are lined up at the ocean buffet to get their fill of fish and anything else they see that looks good. Watching this bird carefully walk in the water to not disturb and then a quick strike to catch the fish was impressive. I will need to practice my fishing skills to be like that.
Just by sitting still on a rock and watching everything move I was in awe. The army of little hermit crabs was every place I looked. I picked up a handful to get a closer look. They froze in my hand and then when they thought it was safe they came out of their shells to scurry away. Being in these tide pools lets you really appreciate Mother Nature and all her creatures so be respectful and do not harm them.
At the County Fair you can hold rabbits but at the tide pool, you can hold a sea hare! These odd creatures are like giant slugs you find in your garden if you think about it. I was able to spot one and have it crawl on my hand so I could get this shot. Once out of the water, it seemed unphased and curious on what was going on.
After I gently released the sea hare I spotted another one with a weird pattern in the sand. This sea hare was going in circles at a very slow pace. I sat and watched to see it was not being chased or going after anything to make it going in circles. I touched the sea hare to startle it and have it swell up as a defensive measure and then shortly after returned to its circle path. I decided to find some more entertaining creatures now.
As the tide started to come back in I watched the seagulls perched on the rocks waiting for fish and me to get out of their way it seemed. I was definitely a guest in their house. Time to head back to dry land but I will be back later.
I took a lot of pictures along the way and most did not make the cut for the blog but I have them posted on my Flickr “Brian Holt 87” in the Photostream, if you want to check them out.
Written by Brian Holt