Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holiday Cardiffering

For those who don't know, the verb "to cardiff" was coined by Devin Bergquist and me to mean the exploration of tide pools. It comes from "Cardiff by the Sea", a beach location in southern California. Rather than say "explore tide pools" every time, why not simplify it with "cardiff"? we did. Now herping, spelunking, and cardiffering can be on one's list of favorite hobbies.
At any rate, Devin and Diana Bergquist, his younger brother Chad, and I managed to get some cardiffering done this holiday break. With the tide at its lowest point in late afternoon, the four of us set out to see if we could locate marine critters trapped in the tide pools.
With blue jeans rolled to the shins, we would tiptoe from rock to rock while peering into the clear, still water for signs of life. Occasionally, a larger wave would spill over sending us several paces back to shore to avoid soaking our shoes and socks. Eager for some interesting finds, we'd hop back and begin overturning rocks, moving aside kelp, and sifting our hands through the sandy bottoms of the pools.
It didn't take too long before we began finding critters!

Our list of critters includes the following: a shore crab (first picture), brittlestars (2nd and 5th pics--the two pics possibly represent different species), a small, unusual looking fish (3rd), and a kelp crab (4th). Also caught, but unphotographed include: a couple large purple sea slugs, a small black-and-yellow sea slug, several snails, hermit crabs, another fish specie, small shrimp, and what seemed to be a baby lobster.

Not long afterwards, we would celebrate the capture of a critter we had especially wanted to see--a twin-spotted octopus. Before the day was through, we would end up finding several. No other tourists found any, but their cardiffering was less than thorough. Devin and I gained a reputation among those at the tide pools as the two to follow if you wanted to see some interesting marine life. The first octopus was small, its body no larger than my thumb. Others, however, would be a good handful of goo and gripping tentacles.
We didn't know how the octopi would react to being held, but they just seemed to want to get away. They didn't bite, altough a large one did ink me before the day was over. It turned out to be a fun, successful, educational day at the beach!


Drake Family said...

Impressive. Diana is a good sport to tag along for that kind of adventure! Sounds interesting, just don't know if I could have held any. I am not surprised that you and Devin had a reputation by the time you left. Too funny!

mama K said...

I loved reading about this experience. You have some great photos. Love the fact that all those other beachcombers recognized who the real explorers really were. How funny that you all earned a reputation. I am so glad that you have close relationships with Devin and the Bergquists. I would have loved to have seen those critters that close up. Unlike Allie, I think I would have even held them. Not many people have that kind of an experience. thanks for sharing...

da Bergs said...

I have to tell you this is ONE trip I am really sad that I wasn't invited to go on!!! WHAT a great day!!! HOW FUN!!! And, what cool animals you got to see and hold!