Paradise takes many shapes for me. Point Lobos SNR (State Natural Reserve) is one. Located 3 miles south of Carmel on the PCH, it’s a gem. My third time there I kept to the south shore this time. Prior visits I poked around the north shore mostly. Lined with rare Monterey Cypress the North Shore has a misty, ethereal quality. I’ve blogged about it before HERE.
The south shore is different, open and rocky.
Layers of rock, some sandstone, some conglomerate in nature cover the shore.
These circular features intrigued me:
Sea Otters frequent the kelp beds:
The tidepooling here is phenomenal!
Saw anemones for the first time. I could sure use a tidepooling handbook to learn what I’m looking at. Getting down, looking closely, those little pools teem with life. Snails, mussels, crabs, other creepy crawlies scamper about at different speeds.
This bird’s sweet, cheerful call (a crested-something-or-another, I can’t recall) serenaded me:
Working further around the shoreline I heard China Beach before I saw it. China Beach was transformed into a nursery for new seal pups. While some seals slept on the sand, other pups dashed (all relative, this is seal speed on land we’re talking about) to the water, the mothers following and herding them safely near the shore. They raced through the water, crawled onto the rocks. It was like pre-school for seal pups. Very cool indeed!
Brown blobs on the sand = seals:
A volunteer stood watch over the Whaler’s Cove beach (also covered with seals and pups, some only a day old.) His description of the mass birthing process sounded like part soap opera and part Lost episode. At times, pups are stillborn and the mothers get nasty, attempting to snatch healthy pups from other mothers. Blood can fly. He’d been watching a lone pup on the corner of the beach that failed to move all day. To his relief, some movement eventually occurred but not enough to be convinced it would make it.
Lastly, seals weren’t the only critters to crawl out of the water. Whaler’s Cove is a SCUBA practice site. Quite a few were in the water.
I simply can’t get enough of this place!