Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day(and Thursday)

High tide has been in the afternoon this week so I've been trying to get there as early as I can. I can find shark teeth no matter what but when the tide is low, obviously there is more beach to work with. And I've always liked exploring the tidal pools. There are always some kind of fish or other animal that gets stuck and has to wait for the tide come back in to return to it's home in the waves. Wednesday I expected to run into all kinds of varmints since last weekend's shoreline was full of really deep tidal pools. For some reason the beach was flat that day. But I did find a few live things.

Since it was Earth Day, I have to bring attention to this plastic bag that was washed in. Apparently some anemones had attached themselves to it and were now stuck. I would have detached them from the plastic and given them a good throw back into the waves but unfortunately for them, they were all dead except for one.

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This one. So I gave him a good throw and put the plastic full of dead anemones in the garbage. Hopefully this guy didn't get washed back in. I have to preach a sermon here so bear with me. People please do NOT bring plastic bags or plastic ANYTHING to the beach. Sea turtles, that are highly endangered mind you, mistake them for jellyfish and suffocate. So I get livid when I see plastic floating around. Or just plain throw your trash in the garbage. It can't be that hard, probably an extra few steps. I don't go to your yard/neighborhood and throw my trash there so kindly don't do it on the beach please..... or anywhere for that matter. How lazy does one need to be who can't clean up after themselves? This is disgusting. When I see people doing that, I can only imagine what their home looks like and whether or not they keep themselves clean. This really shouldn't be an issue. This is the only planet we have to live on. Remember that.

Ahem, ok moving on I found this shark egg case. And you know it made me really happy. It was empty so hopefully that means it hatched and will grow into a big shark whose teeth I will someday find...

Turning it over, I saw that it too had an anemone attached so, of course I threw it back into the water. Actually my day was full of that: finding stranded anemone and sea cucumbers, feeling sorry for them and throwing them into the ocean, hoping they they don't get washed back in before high tide. To do otherwise would have made me feel bad. What can I say, I'm a big softie for animals, even the ugly ones.

According to my field guide, this is Green Fleece algae which I had mistaken for Dead Man's Fingers. The latter name sounds more interesting doesn't it? But I like the shape even if it is a little slimy.

This looks like a pile of throw up. It is actually what's left of some kind of tube worms. That yellowish spiral shaped looking thing are egg cases-unhatched. It looks disgusting doesn't it? Yeah, I threw it back in the water too, gross. I had no choice. The tide was coming in at this hour but what if it didn't come in fast enough to keep the eggs alive? I would have felt responsible.

Another shark egg case or stingray egg case. And yes, I was happy about this one because it was empty too. I've heard them called Mermaid's Purse, which is a cute name. You can see dead tube worm remnants attached to it too. No anemone so I left this one alone.

These next few pics have an interesting story. As you can see in the first 2, this in an osprey that has caught himself a really big fish. He was having trouble holding on to it when I noticed and started taking pictures.

You can barely see in the one above but I used my computer to zoom. You can see how huge this fish it caught was.

Too bad, he dropped his big fish. Here he is looking for it. I love ospreys. The black stripe across their eyes make them look so badass. I imagine they work as sunglasses to help with the glare from the water while they are fishing. There's a pair who live in a pine tree across the lake from my building that I'm always watching. I wondered if this was one of them.
I was so busy admiring his beauty, as I always do, I almost didn't notice an even bigger fish or small dolphin jump out and I'm assuming grab MrOsprey's dropped fish.

I looked around to see if anyone was there so that I could say OMG!DID YOU SEE THAT!?? But, as always, there's never anyone there when stuff like that happens. I wrote later in my journal that every time I get a private glimpse of nature's beauty like the one I had Wednesday and I realize I am the only person on Earth who got to see that, how thankful and privileged I feel. Of course it would have been better had I been quick enough with my camera. dammit

< I stood there for a long time smiling, hoping that big fish, which was either a small shark or juvenile dolphin, would jump out and flip again but no luck. But the only ones who missed out were you guys because I left that beach with a huge smile on my face which lasted for hours.
These pics were taken Thursday. This is a juvenile Willet. My guide says they "probe for coquina clams and mole crabs" and there plenty of those around.
< It was as if she knew I was taking her picture because she turned around and stood up straight.
< Thursday's tide line was full of tide pools this time, which makes looking for shark teeth a bit less challenging because the water acts as a magnifying glass. I saw what would've been a really pretty snail shell(Lightning Whelk) to add to the collection on my window sill. But as you can see, it already had an owner.
< Another person would have simply detached this guy and took the shell home and I'm glad I didn't. Because I looked it up in my field guide and this is a hermit crab anemone. These 2 species live together in cooperation trading travel for sting protection. The hermit crabs they live with are known to take their anemones with them when they upgrade to bigger shells. They are total BFFs
< I didn't see any legs sticking out of this shell but it's highly likely there was a hermit crab in there so I'm glad I put them back in the tide pool. I took a pic in case no one believed me. It was a pretty shell but I'm not that selfish.

As you can see my shark teeth finds were not wonderful but so what?


Mariposa said...

I enjoyed the tour! I was supposed to be in the beach this weekend... :(

LittlePea said...

Take pictures when you finally do get to go and post(!). I haven't seen the PI since I was 19....

Whiskeymarie said...

Every time you go to the beach & take pictures, it makes me want to pack up & move to wherever you are.

So. Jealous.

super des said...

Hey I got to take beach pictures too!

And you're so sweet for saving all the little animals. :)

LittlePea said...

I do my best...

hele said...

oh. that sky, the birds and all your finds - it makes me wish i lived in your neighborhood.

you might enjoy this:)
Wake Up and Smell the Planet is an antidote to the overwhelming amount of choices we all face regarding our individual impact on the globe. A compact, humorous and resourceful handbook, it covers a full 24 hours of the confusing and often contradictory options that lie in wait everyday. From the moment you get up in the morning, until you finally lay your head down at night, Wake Up and Smell the Planet will get you through the day with your sanity -- and values -- intact

LittlePea said...

thanks hele, i'll check it out

sexy said...


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I simply love your posts about walking on your beach. LOVE them.

Plastic bags are killing sea creatures in the Pacific, too. You are so right about how disgusting it is that people have so little regard for our beautiful planet.

You were blessed with your private vignette of the natural world because you appreciate it. I'm so glad you got to see that and to understand how special you are. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Laurie said...

This is an awesome post. I loved your rant. Feel free to rant about that type of thing anytime. As a matter of fact, since this is YOUR blog, you should feel free to rant whenever you want about whatever you want. You GO girl!