This picture was taken at the lowest of tides. It is a wall of sea anemones, and it reminds us of all the joy we derive from living near the ocean. We look forward to the lowest tides several times during the year. At that time the ocean stages a magnificent open house. Walls of reef appear encrusted with mussels, clams, sponges and other species. Some have windows where pelicans and seagulls survey the ocean framed in these new openings. Some of the reefs look like small hills and carved within them are caves, where crabs and starfish and other sea creatures attach themselves. The sea lions and seal climb up these mounds and sun themselves
Attached at the bottom of the reef walls are anemones. These creatures are firmly rooted to the reef walls using their adhesive basal disc. They stay in the same spot unless the conditions become untenable, then they move on to more hospitable walls. The anemones in the Pacific coastal waters of Santa Barbara are iridescent turquoise blue and their insides rimmed with green. They have transparent tentacles that keep moving to create motion in order catch their food. When touched the anemones close up, to capture their prey.
For us the beach is a place of solace. We often refer to it as our conference room. We go to the beach to clear our heads to breathe in the salt air, to watch the dolphins play and to marvel at the pelicans flying in formation. We feel a primal connection to the ocean and the rhythm of the waves. We love the patterns the water leaves on the sand, the colors and the wealth of life the ocean supports. We enjoy watching the dogs frolic on the beach, the kids digging channels and building castles, the volleyball games, the surfers, the kayakers, and the paddle boarders walking on water. We never tire of it, and as we head home, we make plans to return.
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