Sedimentary rock of taffy San Onofre Breccia swirls is a glorious sandstone with a color as vibrant as butter that abuts our beaches. Sea Wrack, the brown seaweed and Giant Kelp that washes ashore in abundance from the storms and natural action of the waves surround us while I enjoy the morning with my sunny friends.
Perhaps this is obvious but because the tide rises up and down twice a day things at the top of the shore get much less water than things at the bottom. The ocean is so moist and glistening and heavy and fecund and the California Breccia rock formations barely 20 yards or more away with the Coastal Sage Scrub up above are as crispy and dry and brown as some parts of the desert.
I am amazed at this dramatic contrast – it is so distinct – you can close your eyes and be immediately transported into another world…
At our point of entry to the beach at Reef Point there is a family of California Gnatcatchers in the dry scrub, chattering away happily. Down on the beach if you are lucky you can see Western Snowy Plovers tucked up in seaweed resting from the winter storms. Both birds are on the Endangered Species List. Both birds live in entirely different habitat but exist and shelter together within 100 yards or less of one another.
And then ‘trip-out’ and think of the weather zones beneath the ocean… 20 and more Big Blue Whales seen in a day on our whale watching boats out of Dana Pt recently. (Click on Photo) Remarkable. We saw them blow two miles off shore – they have two blow holes side by side and their blow is huge and quite visible from the beach. Big Blues can grow close to 100 feet, the largest living animal ever known on earth. They follow the Krill and are normally seen more in Central California than this far south. There is a world of weather under the ocean that I know nothing about but them Big Ole Blues, they know.
January 1st is D-day when the Marine Protected Areas of Laguna Beach will be officially implemented – I think of all the ocean’s marine creatures that will benefit from this protection and I am happy as I stroll along the shore with the walking group.