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|
|Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)|
|The pink "stuff" is coralline algae of some sort|
|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)|
See more of my photos from this site in the Flickr set.