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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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August 18, 2010

A Sea of Jellyfish

Yesterday we drove out to our favorite beach area in Tomales Bay - Pt. Reyes National Seashore with our friends, the Taylors.  It was a foggy day when we headed out but it turned out to be beautiful at the coast a little while later.  A warm 65-70 degrees, bright and sunny, once the fog cleared at around noon.

It must be jellyfish season {is there such a thing?} in the bay this time of year because there were literally hundreds of them we could see.  Tomales bay is really shallow for quite a distance from the beach which is perfect for kids to play in, as long as they dodge the Aurelia Jellyfish that sometime hang out there.....and this was the requirement for yesterday's beach trip.

The 'big daddy' in the photo below was taken at the beach line and was the size of a large dinner plate.

With so many of these transparent creatures in the water, it felt kind of like we were being invaded by alien beings.  Eerie and kind of cool at the same time. 

The beach itself was covered with dead jellyfish.  Of course I wanted to know the reason behind this and looked it up on Wikipedia as soon as I got home.  According to them, the Aurelia Jellyfish die after living and producing for several months.  It's rare for them to live more than six months in the wild.  Apparently, the warm water at the end of summer combines with exhaustive daily reproduction and lower levels of food for tissue repair, leaving these jellyfish more susceptible to bacterial and other diseases which in turn, leads to their death.

Now we know why we found hundreds of jellyfish carcass scattered along the beach.  It's always fun to incorporate some education when the opportunity presents itself.....for the kids and myself.

Well, the dead jellyfish provided HOURS of entertainment for the kids.......okay, mainly for Bryce who took it upon himself to collect all of them {with a stick} and pile them up neatly.  Beach 'clean up'.

This was only the beginning.....the pile grew and grew into a blob-like creation.

Paige played on the sand bar while the clean-up was happening.  She didn't want to have anything to do with the jellyfish...dead or alive.

After the clean-up, the kids fed the seagulls.

This seagull scored a wheat thin.

We drove home at around 5p.m.  Here is a photo of the ocean side with the fog lingering and ready to move back in.

All in all, a great day at Tomales Bay......warm, educational, and fun all wrapped up in one afternoon.

Happy Wednesday!
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Pat Tillett said...

Nice post Nancy! I've been there one time and it was totally socked in with fog! we waited for a while and finally had to leave...
I'm glad to see your photos of it...

Dana Gustafson said...

EWWWWWW! I mean, COOOL, but EWWWWWWW! LOL! GReat photos!

Genesis said...

id hang out with paige on the sandbar. no way im going near that stuff, dead or alive. they look pretty gross too. your son is pretty brave.

amy wright said...

I found your blog off of Pioneer Woman's website (OMSH post on home schooling). What you said about a one room school house intrigued me. Then I found your recipe for lettuce wraps, so I stuck around. :)
What breed of dog is that in your profile picture? We have a Coton de Tulear and it looks a lot like it.

Hope you don't mind my snooping.

amy wright said...

Sorry. Sometimes my blog site does not appear.

Robin @ Blommi said...

I only like jellyfish at the aquarium... it hurts like the dickens, when they sting. We used to dig Quahogs (clams... I'm a Rhode Islander) when I was a kid, and bumping into one of these was never fun. Ouch!

Ellen said...

We were just kayaking in Tomales Bay last night. The ones I saw on the beach right at the water's edge were not dead, but just waiting for the tide to come back in.