Beach Hoppers Rejoice Over Drift Macrophytes

A foggy morning with low visibility and muted colors and sounds. Under these conditions you’ll find more action down at your feet than off in the distance. On this morning the air was still and warm. Sunrise added little more than glare and from the foredune the atmosphere was as oppressive as the view was…

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Bull Kelp Drift: A Subtidal-to-Surf Zone Connection

What do you call a tangled mass of bull kelp on the beach? I’m not sure what you call a great spaghetti-like tangle of floats, stipes, and holdfasts, but after a long summer, masses and clumps of kelp wash onto the beach with the first big surf of the fall season. This clump was 112…

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California Beach Hopper, Megalorchestia californiana

I took this photo on my way to the beach at 5:30 am on June 22, 2013.  Low tide would occur about 30 minutes later, at 6:06 am.  The tide forecast was -2.3′ below mean lower low water.  On this part of the coast you’ll almost never see a lower low tide, so this was…

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River of Sand

October 14 brought the first fall storm to the outer shores. The marine forecast, which called for south winds 25 – 30 KT with gusts to 35 KT, was accurate, and this mixed flock of western and California gulls was hunkered down and hesitant to fly as I approached. I had hoped to be patrolling the wrack…

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