The Park features three miles of Pacific coastline, plus wooded canyons, open bluffs, and offshore waters designated a Marine Park. Dozens of gregarious cliff swallows were catching insects in flight, often very low to the sand.
The edge of the shore was a carpet of sand crabs. No bigger than a thumbnail, a sand crab spends most of its time buried in shifting sand except for spring time mating. And the Caspian terns were twisting and diving over the water. We all felt wind-tossed like the birds.
The Coast Turkish Rugging (Chorizanthe staticoides), is still blooming on the bluffs. It is slowly declining in Orange County and is now a plant of concern. Sea Rocket (Cakile Edentula) in the mustard family and native to our shores, is beginning to bloom on the sandy beach just above the high tide line.
There was a lone surf-caster with his big pole at the water’s edge with a bucket of surf perch and the stormy clouds behind him were threatening us with rain so on we hiked with gusts of rain at our backs. I looked out towards the bobbing kelp and imagined a pair of Sheephead gliding along a rocky cliff under the surface of the choppy water, all calm and quiet.
The history of our coastal waters is one of astounding abundance of life and the new Marine Protected Areas I hope will inspire us all to better protect the marine resources we have today.