For a brief time during minus tides, the hidden mysteries of the reef are revealed. Join us for an exploration of the intertidal zone!
Explore the intertidal zone to discover giant green anemones, purple sea urchins, and various species of crabs. Hopefully, we will also come across tiny, beautiful nudibranchs.
We meet bright and early at the parking lot for Agate Beach in Bolinas before the tide has turned, and take a brisk walk along the beach to Duxbury Reef. Herons, egrets, black oyster catchers, and other birds will be on hand for the low tide buffet spread. We head directly to the infra-littoral zone where we will find giant green anemones, purple sea urchins, and nudibranchs. We work our way back to the mid-littoral zone with purple shore crabs, California mussels, and perhaps ochre stars that are just starting to recover after the devastation of wasting disease.
As the tide turns we explore the rockweed zone with lined shore crabs, rockweeds, and black turban snails, and finally the splash zone with barnacles and periwinkles. You will leave with a greater appreciation of the world below the waves, where hooked slipper snails live on black turban snails, seaweed limpets live on the stipe of feather boa kelp, and algae find a home in green anemones, giving them sugars in return for a safe place to live.
Be prepared for a long walk, some of it on slippery seaweed covered rocks, and for getting wet feet!