I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a beach person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean, but laying on the beach all day has never really interested me. I much prefer exploration to relaxation on any of my travels. But I don’t let that keep me from visiting beach destinations. In my past travels, I have learned that there are often many other diversions besides sleeping in the sun at beaches.
When researching Malibu, California, one theme kept coming up – go to the beach. Sun, sand, and the added bonus of potential celebrity sitings seem to be the lure for these beaches. But while Malibu may be known more for its glamorous beaches, it is also home to some of the best tide pools in Southern California, harboring all kinds of animals and begging to be explored.
When I visited Malibu, I skipped the high-class beaches and headed straight for Matador, a public beach interspersed with large rocky outcroppings, creating excellent habitats for tide pools and the animals that live in them. In this photo essay, I’ve selected some of my favorite animal shots from my tide pool exploration.
Mussels clinging tenuously to the wave-smoothed rocks.
A cormorant soaks up some sun after a dive in the Pacific Ocean.
A starfish hugs some of the only available real estate on a mussel-encrusted rock.
The same starfish, up close.
Mussels compete for space on the rocks in the tidal zone.
A hermit crab dashes across a shallow, sandy basin in a rock.
To me, exploring the tide pools and seeking out the animals that inhabit them is one of my ideal ways to spend a day along the coast. I’m fascinated by the animals and plant life that call these areas home, and the rocks that form tide pools often contribute to some of the most beautiful and dramatic stretches of coastline – creating a perfect day at the beach for me.
Have you ever explored tide pools? What kinds of animals did you see?