I got the opportunity to study abroad an academic school year in Madrid, Spain and while I was abroad one of the things I missed the most was the Southern California beach. The diversity and biodiversity that came with the habitat. It did not take long for me to book my flight from Oakland to Burbank and enjoy some of the Southern California weather by the beach. My first thought was the sun is not out, the weather is so cloudy but as soon as I saw the waves and the sandy beach it was easy to get over the sun hiding behind a few clouds. The water in So Cal is cold but due to the heavy sun, it is usually easy to get in the water and get accustomed to the colder waves. My friend and I wanted to play in the waves and as soon as the wave came to the shore there were tiny crabs beneath our feet that would scurry to burry there bodies as far deep into the sand. Later in ESRM, I discovered how they use their legs as a conveyer belt to move the sand up and bury themselves deeper.
One of the other aspects that called my attention was the amount of nature and dunes that were on the edge of the beach, the one closest to the Pacific Coast Highway. The dunes were overfilled with cactus and other smaller plants that gave a different perspective to the beach and made it feel a little more like home. The beach was not as clean as Santa Monica or the ones closest to the city but there was an abundance of families and kids playing in the water since it was the beginning weeks of the Summer break. The waves were much calmer and the number of people surfing was not as high as during the winter, we went during the middle of the day as well, therefore, the water was easier to play and get into.
One of the best experiences I remember growing up in California was walking the shore and collecting rocks with my mom when I came back with my friend to the beach in Malibu we collected rocks but an even more special opportunity was collecting shells. I have never seen shells so formed and enough for us to collect and truly admire. Walking the shore we also stumbled upon a group of rocks that formed a fish with a dried crab to form the eye of the fish. The beaches in Southern California area home to many not only humans but now other organisms such as the little crabs that dug themselves in the sand and ultimately better the beach’s ecosystem.