Lechuza Beach low tide, Malibu - February 2012

I felt the pull of the tide pools once again so even though I had just moved and could have used the time to "nest" I wrangled a friend and a fiance for a pre-birthday tide pool trip to a place I'd never been in Malibu. A friend of a friend suggested Broad Beach so we headed out there on a Sunday to see what we could find. The tide was -1.0 around 2pm.

We knew it would be one of those beaches where the homeowners try to convince you it is private property by posting big red signs saying "KEEP OUT" but we'd already decided not to be deterred. They do not own the beach.

After driving past Point Dume on the PCH we turned left on Broad Beach Rd. and then took that west to Sea Level Dr. where we saw this sign:

Not sure if Lechuza Beach and Broad Beach are the same thing but here we were. There was a gate blocking the road (because it's a private road) so we parked across from the gate and used the pedestrian entrance to walk down to the beach. No one gave us any trouble and after a couple of false starts we found a path down to the sand that didn't cut through anyone's property.

 Here's where we ended up:

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This is one beautiful beach. At Lechuza Point there are some pretty interesting rock formations. I'd never been "tide pooling" quite like this before. Instead of the organisms being in pools below you they were plastered all over the sides of large rocks.

Sea stars galore and plenty of barnacles, mussels, limpets, chiton, anemone with a healthy serving of striped shore crab. At one point, K pointed out something that she described as "alien armor"

I thought it was some sort of encrusting sponge, but it turns out it's a colonial tunicate of some sort (Genus Aplidium). They are a species of colonial sea squirt. Maybe this one which is commonly known as "sea pork"! Pretty cool!

There were some little tunnels and cave-like formations there as well. I'm sure a geologist would have a great time identifying all of the different types of rock. I know nothing about rocks and it seems such a daunting task but they were beautiful to look at.

Here are some more shots from the day.

Long-billed Curlew
Chiton and barnacles and limpets, oh my!
Fossil of some sort?
Check out more of my photos from this location in my Flickr set.


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