around town…moss beach

It seems like summer weather has arrived in SF. This year was particularly cold and foggy. I attributed our gloomy summer to our new geographic location, but it truly was a colder than usual summer. 

So when the sunny, warm weather arrived, we headed down Highway 1 to Moss Beach, or the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. As a teenager we use to come here to play and explore the tidepools looking for the biggest sea anemone, various starfish and batfish, sea urchins and hermit crabs. Even now, I still love the excitement and anticipation of what the tide pools hold. 

This trip we took a new gadget. I'm told it's a snipe. It's made of 4" pvc tubing with a 1/4" acrylic bottom that serves as a window. It was given to D by a colleague of mine. You simply dip the tube in the water and explore the bottom. I'm also convinced that it acted as a microscope, enlarging whatever was in the viewing window.

I'll never leave home without this when headed to the beach! Super fun. More pictures of our discoveries below.

That's a sea anemone! It's a medium sized green anemone. It's fun to touch the tentacles and see the anemone close around your hand. You can even feel the resistance of their sticky, stinging tentacles. Don't worry, these guys won't harm humans.

D spotted the only urchin of the day. Urchins are my favorite. Their color and shape mesmerize me. These guys are hard and pointy, but still fun to gently touch.

Sea urchin shells. These were all over the place, in the water and on the beach. I find these even more beautiful than the creature itself. Nice variety of color and textures.

Interesting find. It looks like a little clam was growing on old, empty clam shell?

The faceted thing in the middle of the picture is a chiton. I thought it was a fossil because it looked like stone, but Doc quickly corrected me. It was pretty big, about 4 inches long. Chitons are really cool and there is a large variety. More research on these guys is in order.

Just a poetic moment.


TIPS: If you go, make sure to check the tide tables or tidelogs to ensure you'll be able to see the pools while the tide is low. Also, go the website, for more information. Make sure to wear shoes you can walk and climb around in and you don't mind getting wet. Rain boots, rubber boots, water shoes I highly recommend. Also, while you can bring chairs and towels, there is very little beach and the sand is very coarse. I think this is more of an exploring beach than lounging. Either way, it's still beautiful and inspiring.

Happy Exploring,