After a week of getting settled, I would like to show you all a bit of the environment near where I work now, at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California. It turns out that my friend Jordan, from college, was visiting at exactly the time that I arrived, so we spent a lot of time together over the last week.
One night, we walked out to the tide pools on La Jolla Beach. We were hoping to go in the afternoon, but the tides were against us…
The pools are really cool, even in the dark. I’ll go back in the daytime to show you more of the animals.
There’s a small sea cave near the tide pools that we decided to explore. It goes back only about 20 feet, and you have to wade to get in, even at low tide. It was fun to explore, though.
These are shore crabs, and they are everywhere around here. They seem equally at home in the water as on land, and scurry away when you approach.
There’s something magical about the ocean at night, a drive to explore beyond the light. Sometimes it’s terrifying, and at other times it’s inspirational. Usually it’s a bit of both. This picture captures the sense very well, in my opinion.
Later in the week, we went down to the main part of La Jolla, and visited a larger sea cave. The coast is mostly sandstone, which is weathers beautifully and is dissolved by freshwater.
This is the result. Calcium from the rock is dissolved in rainwater, and as the water evaporates it is deposited in unusual formations. This little alcove was only five feet wide, and maybe ten deep, but it was very pretty.
This is the other side. The cave was created by waves eroding the rock, and it ended up shaped like a human face. Kayak tours regularly visit these caves as well.
This is a similar cave viewed from the top of the cliffs. This one opens on the other side, so kayaks can actually go completely through them. The tours provide helmets, which is a good thing considering the size of some of the waves here.
Being used to Eastern Grey Squirrels (and the occasional adorable red), this was a cool sighting. The California Ground Squirrel is very common here, but it has a beautiful patterning on its coat. It can be identified by white patches that extend from the shoulders back, and white speckles on its sides and back. These little guys like to sit on their hind legs and beg for food from the tourists.
I’ll be back with more pictures soon.
~The Homesteading Hippy