The Beach

CSUCI ESRM 335

Author: Caras

La Jolla, San Diego, CA

I had the opportunity just recently to visit La Jolla beach down in San Diego.  I was in aw of its beauty and all that San Diego had to offer.  I am also fortunate enough to have a drone to be able to capture its beauty from above, giving me a perspective that is hard to come by, unless in an airplane.

Upon arriving at La Jolla Shores, I first noticed the smell, and it wasn’t a pleasant smell.  As I got down to the actually beach, there was a great amount of sea lions sun bathing, playing in the waves, and barking at one another.  I was surprised (but not surprised) to see so many people come so close to these amazing, but aggressive, creatures.  Not only are they putting themselves in danger, they are trampling through the sea lions’ homes and the other critters and creatures that live there, a lose lose for both species.  The shores were also lined with many infrastructures, although a very nice view to enjoy, we all know is not a good idea for multiple different reasons.  In a few years, due to sea level rise, those infrastructures will be no longer.

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On another note, I’m a HUGE fan of palm trees, it being my favorite kind of tree, and the road just above the beach was lined with palm trees, and I was in love.  Along the road, there were so many different artists displaying their work, in hopes to sell a few of their finest pieces.

The vibe in La Jolla, and San Diego in general, is just so laid back and chill, a true beach town.  All in all, I really enjoyed La Jolla Shores, and hope to visit again soon, this time having more time to explore in further detail!!

El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA

One of my favorite beaches in the Los Angeles County area happens to be El Matador State Beach.  After class last Tuesday, Sarah, my dogs, and I (Hi Sarah, I know you’re reading this!), took a drive out to this beach in Malibu.  We were just in time for sunset and El Matador never disappoints.  I love going right before the sun sets, during “Golden Hour” to make for amazing photos.  However, this beach is always crawling with people who come from near and far to see this beach in all its glory.  There are always couples taking their engagement/wedding photos, really skinny models posing in the sand making sure their photographer gets just the right angle, and then tourists and locals snapping some selfies.  I prefer to take in the natural beauty, no selfies, and to just watch nature do its thing, and that’s just what we did.

Walking along the beach and looking at all the different rock formations, you can really see the erosion of the cliffs taking place.  Looking at the base of the cliff, where it meets the sand, there are often little nooks that go way back in there, almost like a tunnel.  I’m assuming these nooks of the cliffs are due to the force and energy of the waves crashing up against them during the high tides.  Kind of fun to go back in there and hangout when the tide is low.  I snapped a picture of the cliffs from above with my drone, and the rock formations of the cliffs are just incredible, and they make for a great photo opportunity.  I’m also assuming that erosion is taking place at the tops of the cliffs, maybe due to a different force.  It looks to me that wind is causing some erosion at the tops of these cliffs, due to the nooks and crannies of the cool rock formations.

After Sarah and I were done looking at the incredible cliffs, we explored some of the small rocks that were located down near the water and we were pleased to find some wildlife!  There were a few little green sea anemones, some mussels attached to the rocks, and even a little sand crab.  I couldn’t manage to snap a photo of the crab; the little guy was too fast for me.  Along the opposite end of the beach was of course the dreaded coastal development by the rich.  Although I would love to own one of those houses and experience the sounds of nature every single day, I’m not sure I could handle the constant fear and stress of living on the side of the cliff.  The constant threat that the home could fall (literally) victim to coastal erosion is enough (that and the lack of money) to keep me from purchasing a home like that.

Although I’m a lover of all beaches, El Matador State Beach is one of my favorite beaches in the Los Angeles County, as stated above, for multiple reasons.  If you haven’t had the chance to check this beach out, DO SO.

(P.S): I couldn’t choose which few pictures I wanted to share with y’all, so I chose them all! Hope you enjoy!

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-Amanda Caras

Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara CA

Having lived in Santa Barbara for four years prior to my time here at Channel Islands, I would say my favorite beach to visit and have a good time at is Butterfly Beach in Montecito.  I would come here quite frequently for many different reasons, including just to relax by myself, spend quality time with my friends, to go boogie boarding, and even to observe nature as is.  I took a biology of natural history class at Santa Barbara City College and we were required to visit a beach as well, so I used the knowledge I obtained from that particular class to include in this post.

Recently when I visited this beach, I noticed there to be a significant amount of wildlife in the rocky areas among the different tidal zones.  I observed some colorful sea anemones, a light purple sea star, some barnacles and limpets, and we even found a little octopus hiding in some of the sea grass.  (I’ve attached a few pictures of some of the wildlife, although I didn’t get any pictures of the octopus).  I too noticed the size of the waves crashing and observed the waves to be constructive, depositing sediment onto and building up the shoreline as it tends to do during the summer months.  The beaches in Santa Barbara tend to be at the bottom of very steep cliffs that have probably been created by erosion from the waves.  

As for recreational purposes, there are a lot of locals who tend to visit the semi-secluded beach, but there are also a lot of tourists due to the fact that there is a Four Seasons Hotel right across the street.  This beach is more family oriented in that the kids are building sandcastles, playing ball or Frisbee, the occasional volleyball game, and the typical beach going activities.  Although this was a few years back, there was a Hollywood movie, Friends With Benefits featuring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, filmed here with a shot of the Four Seasons Hotel, along with an aerial shot of the beach and shoreline.

There are so many beaches that I enjoy in Santa Barbara, but Butterfly Beach is by far my favorite beach to enjoy, relax, and have some fun.

-Amanda Caras

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