I’m not much of a beach person. That is to say, I’m not much of a lay on a towel in the sand, or splash around near the sandy shore type person. In general, I much prefer the rocky shores, where I can roam over the tide pools gazing into the tiny universes of diversity filled with spineless creatures of all sorts, each foot of receding tide uncovering new treasures.
But I’ve been spending a lot of time out on the beach lately, mostly for CMA’s Spring Program.
Here we have small class areas on the beach where about 1000 children a day learn about tide pools, whales, grunion, purple striped jellies, and either pollution (for the older group) or pinnipeds for the younger. I’m really enjoying doing spring program as much as I enjoyed tours, maybe a little more, because it’s really energizing to see all those young people out there, learning and having fun, while being myself out in the warm sun on the white sand.
Last night I was again out on the beach for the grunion run. It was CMA’s Fish-tival, where not only did we have the Meet the Grunion events, but art and craft events, and our traditional tin foil hat contest.
My daughter’s best friend and her sister, who both recently moved to Los Angeles County, came down to see their first grunion run. I didn’t work the beach last night (for the first night since volunteering for grunion runs) so I could hang with Marj and her sister.
No photos of the grunion run last night. The run itself was just O.K. in my opinion… not as good as the big run we had a month ago, but pretty good for the HUGE number of people on the beach last night. Despite the numbers, the crowd was probably the best behaved group I’d seen, following instructions about lights, staying out of the water during the early part of the run. Tonight was the last run in closed season, so next run will be a bit chaotic, as people run down the beach to capture the grunion to take them home to eat.
Next week I’ll start volunteering at the Aquatic Nursery, so that’s a whole other level of fun for me. I’m really interested in the research going on at the Aquarium, and perhaps learning more about some of the programs in the nursery, like Sea Search.