September 8, 2021 Jalama Beach

I've always enjoyed going off the beaten path to explore. Unfortunately, with social media, it's much more difficult to find places that are not overrun with people. With that in mind, I took a short trip up to Jalama Beach and the Lompoc area last week to see what I could find.

Jalama Beach is definitely not off the beaten path as much as it was ten years ago when I last visited. It boasts a big campground, small cabins you can rent and many RV spaces. So if you're a camper, a surfer, or just a day tripper visiting for their self-proclaimed "world famous Jalama burgers" this is the place for you.

Still, in spite of the pretty large crowds and a completely full campground on a September weekday, I did some of my exploring in the marsh...less a draw for visitors than the expansive beach. The weather was great. Tired of the omnipresent heat of the Los Angeles basin, it was such a pleasure to bask in the foggy damp environment of Jalama. The temperature was probably 68 degrees at its peak and though the sun did poke out briefly around noon, soon after a heavy fog rolled in and stayed in for the rest of the afternoon.

The marsh was pretty overgrown and the paths were narrow. It's a pretty small area but still inviting for the nature enthusiast. I've found that marsh areas seem to harbor lots of insects so it's a great place for me to find new things. Probably my best insect finds were a red-lipped green lacewing, a very cool fly called a Tephritis rufipennis and some very interesting small bees of the subgenus nomadopsis on heliotrope . There was also a beautiful large flowering Island mallow bush. Though I've heard that many have been planted in areas along the coast, the one at Jalama was in the marsh area so I'm thinking it might be the result of seeds getting distributed from the Channel Islands by one of the many sea birds that visit Jalama. Speaking of which, there were several snowy plovers at the beach and I noticed one was banded so I'm awaiting information on it's history.

Finally, I did walk down the beach. Cool, foggy and with visibility no more than 25 feet in front of you, you almost felt as if you were hundreds of miles from civilization. While I didn't find too much on the beach. I did see many Pyrosoma atlanticums--something that many people have spotted on our local beaches but I have yet to find in the LA/Ventura area. And though, not fully ID'd. I found this interesting creature on the back of a washed up sand dollar--a Cnidarian. These are fascinating creatures that I was not familiar with so I'm so glad I found one.

Coming back to the parking lot, it was teeming with people, so in spite of my interesting finds, I was glad to leave it all behind.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, September 18, 2021 00:24

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 01:45 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach
Cool fly

Photos / Sounds

What

Island Mallow (Malva assurgentiflora)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 01:49 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-lipped Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla rufilabris)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 01:56 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 02:09 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach
A small number were at a different patch of heliotrope

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 02:10 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach
A good dozen or so on the beach--probably more

Photos / Sounds

What

Symmetrical Sessile Barnacles (Order Balanomorpha)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

September 8, 2021 02:30 PM PDT

Description

Jalama Beach
Going with AI. This was attached to this sand dollar

Photos / Sounds

What

Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Description

Jalama Beach
Must have been at least 20 on the beach. This one is banded

Comments

Thanks for sharing! Lovely observations, especially of the Cnidarian attached to the Sand Dollar. I hope someone will narrow this down a bit!

Posted by andreacala 3 months ago (Flag)

Thanks Andrea. It's so great to find interesting new things.

Posted by naturephotosuze 3 months ago (Flag)

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