The Beach

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Author: Vansloten

Point Mugu Tradition

One beach that is important for me and my fiancé is the beach at Point Mugu. This beach is important to us because it is where no matter how busy we are during the week we will at least one afternoon a week go there to watch the sunset. We would make this a priority and always made sure to bring our day for the trip and the memories.  We like to go to this particular beach because it is has some distance between the closest city. That feeling of being out of the city no matter how small the distance makes the experience even more better.  We make sure this is our time to escape from the stress of day to day life and really enjoy being with each other without any distractions. Another plus for the whole experience is being able to experience the natural beauty of a sunset together. We have been doing this tradition for about a year now, ever since we moved to Thousand oaks. I hope to continue this tradition for many years to come, if we can’t do it at this beach we will definitely find another beach down the southern California coastline.

This tradition is important to us because we both lead busy lives working and going to school, and sometime having opposite schedules with each other. This causes us to have little time we get to spend with each other.  This time at the beach enables us to strengthen our relationship and to keep our love for each strong. For both of us the beach is some place we go to relax and destress from the week.  Point Mugu serves as a place that serves as a new family tradition and a place to clear the mind and enjoy the company of the people who mean the most to you. For me the beach was home to many special moments in my life, this is going to be another time where no matter were I end up I will never forget the times that me and my fiancé spent at Point Mugu watching the sun set and enjoying each others company.

Lechuza ecosystem

I learned a great deal of knowledge about the rocky  intertidal zone ecosystems last semester when I took a Principals of Ecology and went on my first trip to Santa Rosa island.  I never knew these ecosystems existed before I took the class and I have been going to the beach for most of my life.  A couple month after the semester ended I went to the small Lechuza beach in Malibu and I started to notice some of the species found in the southern California rocky intertidal zone ecosystem. I was shocked the amount of biodiversity I found at this beach, especially being at a public beach. Some of the species I found at Lechuza beach were tegula funebralis, California mussels, aggregating anemone, and I swear I also so a giant green anemone.  This was the first time I was able to apply what I have learned at Channel Islands to my personal life. The rest of the time at this beach was spent searching for any other species I could recognize, unfortunately I was able to find any other recognizable specie. Even though I did find a large amount of biodiversity in a southern California rocky intertidal zone the large presence of California mussels and the absence of starfish the ecosystem is still not in great shape.

Another reason why I really enjoy this beach is due to the fact that I was able to share this knowledge and excitement of the rocky intertidal zone to the younger generation. The moment I saw the species richness of the ecological community for this beach I immediately wanted to share it with someone, I love any opportunity I get to share what I learn in class to any of my friends or family.  Luckily one of my fiancés close friends had two kids, this was an opportunity to show them another side to the southern California beaches that most people never get to experience in their lifetime. When we all went back to Lechuza beach and I was able to finally show them the excitement the rocky intertidal zone offers it felt great being able to pass on the knowledge I gained from Channel Islands.  While I was showing this two kids the different species of the tidal zone they were full of excitement, it was a great feeling seeing other people getting excited about the same things that excites me.  It was especially fun watching the kids touch the sea anomones for the first time. The had the same reaction I had when I touched them for the first time. The time I spent at Lechuza beach showed me how much I love learning about marine ecosystems and how much I love passing on the knowledge I gain on marine ecosystems.  Being able to present the ocean from a different lens to kids and seeing the excitement of the kids while I explained everything to them gives me hope that I made a small difference in their lives. Hopefully this sparked something in them that shows them how important the ocean and all the biodiversity found in the ocean to us and the planet.

Running Till Dusk at Zuma Beach

Two of my favorite things to do in life is exercise and connect with nature. Being able to combine those two activities helps me wind down during any stressful day. One of my favorite beaches to run on in California is the Zuma beach strand, the closer to sunset the better. Going to the beach during the day naturally has a calming effect, but when you add a beautiful sunset and an empty beach you can almost feel the stress radiating out of your body and you start filling with an overwhelming tranquil feeling. One reason I love to run on Zuma beach late in the afternoon and into the night is because every time I run on the beach I encounter some type of wildlife, call it a coincidence or just random luck but I like to believe that I encounter the same sealion each time I run on this beach. Every time I have gone running on this I have also encountered a pod of dolphins most of the times off in the distance but every now and then I will see them just past the waves.

I believe everyone deserves to live a long,  happy and healthy life. One major road block on our path to a long happy, healthy life  is stress. With the society we live in today stress is knocking on our door every hour on the hour.  Two proven methods to help deal with stress is time in nature and exercising. The great thing about the beach and the ocean is the offer you two methods to reduce your daily stress for the price of one.  Spending time at a beach does nothing but promote a healthy life but also gives the average person a chance to witness animals living in their natural environment. On any given day at zuma beach you have the opportunity to see dolphins, sea lions, and various different species of birds.

Zuma may be a popular beach during the day time but once the sun starts setting the crowd starts vanishing. This is the very reason why I prefer to go to the beach, specifically why I  enjoy running on zuma beach during the evening. During this time I get to do everything recommended for a healthy mind and healthy body. I get to run on the sand while the water flows over my feet, I get to reflect on whatever troubling me in my life for the moment, all the while staring off at a priceless sunset, and I get to connect with marine life that share this great planet with us. While I am living here in southern California Zuma beach will always be natures treadmill for me and a 24/7 free therapy session.

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