Pillar Point Tidepools (2/26/2022)

Today we went tidepoolin’! The original plan was to tidepool at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, but where we wanted to go was closed off for Harbor Seals (the cutie-pies). So, Plan B was Pillar Point. And, it was a tidepool wonderland!

We took a back trail to get there, and we were entertained by House Finches, California Poppies, Honey Mushrooms (?), Rosy Sandcrocus, and Lupine (Varied Lupine?) before we got to the tidepool action.

Once there, I couldn’t believe how much we were able to see and get close to. It was almost TOO close? It was difficult to avoid stepping on snails and anemones and mussels at one point. If I’m to return, I’d feel more comfortable taking even more time to take care where I stepped. Maybe attending with a CAS group would be the best thing to know where to step when out there.

First tidepool bit spotted was a large orange sea star. Mottled Star? Logan soon spotted a yellow sea slug, Monterey Doris? Then Sunburst Anemones were everywhere I looked and stepped near. Beautiful Brown Tegula (?) shells with super small crabs inside were bright orange treats here are there.

Then, Logan found SCULPIN. So tiny! So many varieties! Tidepool and Woolly? I had no idea they were minnow size. They are really great at keeping really still when you get close.

Saw some bright red-orange things – anemones?? Saw Chiton. And, Pink Volcano Barnacle. And, Black Oystercatchers, Snowy Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, and a Black-crowned Night-Heron. Such a variety of creatures!

Ren and Mike joined us, and I will likely never send another person a GPS map point screenshot of where I am showing that I am actually IN the ocean ever again.

I couldn’t help but notice a bright yellow sluggy thing at the edge of surfgrass – Sea Lemon? Hoping Logan got better pics than me of it. It had a bunny tail. I kid you not!

We came upon what looked like red/orange slime mold on a rock and more Sculpin before we decided we were done for the day. What an incredible place. It bugs me that 99% of the people there were there to take live things from the tidepools/ocean. It’s an unfortunate consequence of being out in nature at times. The visual of people only interested in what they can take home with them from nature. That it is simply ours for the taking. I’m honestly not able to come up with something more hopeful after this experience. But. I appreciated it. I observed it. I am sharing it. I intend to protect it. And, that’s what naturalists do. So, I can do that.

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