December 16, 2020 Paradise Cove

Our original plan for this day was to visit Point Dume to look for tide pool stuff. I wasn't so keen on climbing down the rickety staircase to the beach but we decided to at least check it out. As usual the 6 parking spaces were all taken. There was also a park ranger there so we chatted with him briefly. He told us that they had just demolished the unsafe stairs and that they were in the process of building two new staircases with completion dates being in February. That's sort of good news but also bad news as it will just draw more people there.

We thought about walking from the parking lot down below around the point (of Point Dume) as we really wanted to be south of the point but I wasn't too keen on this option either knowing how rocky it is and how rough the surf can be there. So we were planning to go to Leo Carrillo. However we were very close to Paradise Cove and I thought I recalled that Paradise Cove was supposed to have good tide pools--of course that was at least 20 years ago, before it became the hipster, instagram place that it is now.

We drove down to the parking area and the gate was blocked off but you could drive around the gate. There were a few construction workers there and one other car in the parking lot. We decided to see what was happening and the person we asked said that since the restaurant was closed and the construction people were there we could park for free. Since they normally charge the astronomical price of $35 for parking, we definitely got a bargain and decided to investigate.

We ended up walking about half way to Point Dume. The tide pools were a mixed bag. There were lots of snails and limpets. Particularly abundant were purple dwarf olive snails, either with their original owners or as shelters for hermit crabs. We didn't see as much variety as we had hoped. However we did find a few cool things. There were several bat stars including a cool white one. There were many anemones, primarily aggregating ones but a fair number of starburst anemones too. I also found a few small things including some tiny shrimp as well as an interesting isopod.

I have a feeling that the tide pools probably improve the closer you get to Point Dume. I would imagine the amount of people coming to this beach (I always see a mob scene at the intersection of PCH with people trying to park to go down there) can't be good for the wildlife. Though we didn't see many people almost everyone we saw had at least one to three dogs off leash. In fact only one woman had a dog on a leash (I'm not even sure that's permitted) and that was because I heard her tell her companion that they had to watch out for the dog that attacked her dog the prior day. So I'm sure that has had an impact on the tide pool life.

Recommendation: it might be a cool place to go at really low tide if you have the time to walk all the way to Point Dume.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, December 18, 2020 03:36

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Purple Olive Snail (Callianax biplicata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 16, 2020 04:23 PM PST

Description

Paradise Cove

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 16, 2020 04:35 PM PST

Description

Paradise Cove
Basing this ID on several other observations of this species along the coast. For example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5021096

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 16, 2020 05:11 PM PST

Description

Paradise Cove
There were a couple of large schools of these very tiny fish that were swimming very quickly. It appears they are at different stages of development as you can see some are clear and some not--or perhaps they are different species. Difficult to photograph they may have been about an inch long and very thin and fast

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 16, 2020 05:12 PM PST

Description

Paradise Cove

Photos / Sounds

What

Bat Star (Patiria miniata)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

December 16, 2020 05:45 PM PST

Description

Paradise Cove
Another cool bat star in a color I haven't seen before

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