Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nudi Beach

When it's beautiful and sunny out (like it has been lately), it would be a shame spending your day indoors. Alicia, Emily and I decided to take full advantage of the nice Monday we had and spent it down at Crystal Cove in Laguna. We walked the bluffs for a while, then went down and played and explored in the tidepools. Being the marine bio nerds that we are, we spent almost 3 hours hopping, splashing, and poking around. I took a bunch of algae samples (I'm determined to brush up on my phycology), we found quite a few sea hares, a few crabs, stars, and urchins. The area was covered in anemones, and we spent much of our time avoiding stepping on them. The highlights of the day were the nudibranchs (yes, that's plural) that I spotted--not just one, not two, but three of them! I was pretty excited with just the first nudi find-it had dark stripes and orange spots (still trying to ID it.) I felt quite lucky and even more excited with the second one I found- a brightly pink one, a Hopkin's Rose. And I was completely ecstatic (as in screaming and scaring the strangers around me) when I found my third nudi, a Spanish Shawl. What can I say, I'm a nerd, and finding small pretty marine invertebrates can make my day. To top our day off, Alicia spotted a Navanax also. It was a pretty great tidepooling day!

Alicia at the tidepool and the Spanish Shawl nudibranch...

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