EARLY NOVEMBER – FULL MOON – MINUS LOW TIDE – A beautiful full moon created a minus low tide & the reef rocks appear everywhere. Bright green eel grass drapes off the reef rocks in green curtains swaying in the undulating sea lapping at the edges of the tide pools. Tiny fish swim in small round pools between the reef rocks. Harbor seals have a lovely rest off shore on the cool eel grass beds. I spend a few hours speaking to the tons of people walking out onto the reef rocks to keep them back from disturbing the seals. I point out the little fish in the tide pools, tell them the names of the birds & about the lives of the harbor seals. I am motivated to do this because living by-the-sea is my home & I hope that if people know what they are seeing, they will be respectful. The tide pools are fragile & cannot survive if all of the visitors to San Diego take tide pool life home with them to die or damage it to the point that it can’t recover. Buying your children or grandchildren buckets & nets to catch tide pool life for fun may seem like a good idea, but it is not. Finally, the City of San Diego installed a sign near one of the La Jolla tide pool areas saying “Look, Don’t Touch” so that visitors will understand that the tide pools are protected & will not take live sea shells home to die or hurt the tide pool life while they enjoy looking at it I hope these signs can be posted in other tide pool areas in San Diego. Harbor seals are wild animals & this is not a petting zoo either. Enough. I am only one person, but I do what I can do to protect my home by-the-sea.
To create emotional balance, I take a walk on the beach looking at the beautiful sea shells. Sunset clam shells are one of my favorites here. (Every sunset clam shell looks different, just like every sunset is different.) A Heerman’s Sea Gull walks along in front of me picking up shells from time to time. I don’t know what he is looking for, but I am charmed & delighted that he accompanies me. Sitting above the harbor seal colony on the beach, a slight breeze is blowing & ruffles the feathers of the Western Sea Gull sitting near me. I think of petticoats & tutus as I watch the gulls feathers lift & flutter so prettily. Who knew that sea gulls were dancers? The sun sets, it grows dark, tourists leave for dinner & I stand up & say goodnight to the sea.
SAN DIEGO JULY weather has been crazy this year! We’ve had actual thunder & lightning storms on the coast. Beastie Cat is not impressed by rain & doesn’t like thunder at all. The seagull chicks are all fledged now & soaring above with ease. Shore crabs circled a tide pool as if they were dancing in a sea-fairy ring. Sea lions posed elegantly on a rock at sunset & the raccoon stopped by to say hello! Another wonderful week as an artist by-the-sea.
Walking along the beach after a winter storm brings up Gooseneck barnacles to the beach. What an odd creature! I also love finding empty crab claws with their sunset colors & taking them home to sketch. Not too long ago I read about a chef serving Gooseneck barnacles as an appetizer dish. Not for me! When I see Sea lettuce on the tide pool rocks, it just pops out because of it’s pretty & bright chartreuse green color.