Leo Carillo Tide Pools, Malibu, CA - January 2015

It's rare that a day off from work coincides with a low tide in the middle of the day so when it happened this year on MLK Jr. day my friend K and I jumped at the chance. Our friends V and G joined us.

K recommended Leo Carillo State Beach. I'd only been one time before back in 2009 and didn't find much tide pool life, but that had been in the summer with a low tide of 0.9 feet. This day the low tide was -1.4, more than a foot lower, so I knew it would feel completely different.

Here's where we were:

We parked in the lot, since I have free parking passes by being a member of the CA State Park Foundation, and walked under the PCH through a tunnel to get to the beach.

These pools stretch a long way down the beach so while there were quite a few people there, it didn't seem crowded.

Caves were exposed so it was great to explore those - their sides encrusted with life. It was a day of close observation since there were so many small and immobile creatures like barnacles, mussels, chiton, and limpets.

Mossy Chiton (Mopalia muscosa)
Owl Limpet (Lottia gigantea) with barnacles
Since the tide was so low we also saw a large group of Giant Green Anemone which I'd never seen close up before. There were 4 or 5 in this group.

Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)
A few more photos from the day:

The pink "stuff" is coralline algae of some sort
Snails eating
Purple Olive (Olivella biplicata) and Angular Unicorn (Acanthinucella spirata) snail shells stolen by Hermit Crabs (notice the one leg sticking out!)
Bubbling Striped Shore Crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes)

Another great day on the coast shared with friends.

See more of my photos from this site in the Flickr set.