Monday, June 22, 2015

More Flowers from the State Fair

Gladiolus Domino at the San Diego County Fair

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Small Waves but Still Some Fun to be Had

The shore was covered with tuna crabs, washed in by the tide.  It was enough to attract a modest crowd.  Some of us busied ourselves, perhaps futilely  returning the live tuna crabs to the surf.  Out in the water, the waves were big enough to push the surfers along for a few moments but not too much more, often cresting from multiple points in the wave at the same time.  Besides, there were probably more surfers than waves to go around.  However, a few of the faithful managed to make some good sport out of the waves, this surfer managing to launch up into the air and, somewhat to my surprise, land back on the board.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tuna Crabs Invade Ocean Beach

Heerman's Gulls, Larus heermannii, fighting over a Tuna crab stranded on the beach.

This pelagic red crab (Pleuroncodes planipes), also known as the tuna crab, is one of many tuna crabs washed ashore during the June 2015 El Nino event. Tuna crabs are one of the more numerous pelagic creatures populating the California current. As such, they they are a favored food of tuna, yellowtail, billfish, sea otters, whales, and sea birds. It is speculated that they wash ashore as part of a spawning event, with the larvae riding the current out into the central Pacific. As they grow larger, they descent into a deeper current with then returns them towards the coast of North and South America.

I searched for the tuna crabs that were still living, despite having been stranded on the beach, and set this little tuna crab and some of his tuna crab brothers & sisters back into the tide.  Futile?  Perhaps...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pictures from the San Diego County Fair

Lots of plants, art, fossils, rocks and animals plus fried food galore!  That's the county fair for you.  Here are a few pictures from a fun day at the fair.

Aloe tomentosa

Dahlia Pee Gee

The amazing racing piggies!

Those little piggies really fly!