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Southern California Beaches at Los Angeles' Fringe
Are You Planning a Trip to Southern California?
by Carolyn Allen
Southern California is known for its beaches, its mountains...and its deserts. The beaches give this long Western state a reputation for paradise, and in contrast the earthquakes, fires and mudslides color it with danger. Which is it? Both.
The marine layers that move from the ocean onto land give Los Angeles and Southern California beaches a moody feel during much of the year. California mornings and evenings transition from majestic to sublime as light plays on the ocean, the beach and among the clouds. You can experience California's golden weather from the wilderness of California State Parks along the beaches, in the Mountains, or in the Desert Mountains. Some State Beaches are in the heart of the city, and long streteches of state beaches run along the California coast. They are available for RV or tent camping. Just off the public beaches are condos and bed and breakfasts that will deliver the coveted California vacation experience.
Beds of these native California ocean wildlife look like masses of bejeweled jelly -- anemone babies collect bits of seashells and rocks to glue to themselves as protection against drying out during California's low humidity and low tides when life giving waters recede and the anemones snooze...waiting for the next meal and refreshing bath of Pacific soup.
One of the few dangers of beachcombing are the jellyfish that sometimes invade shallow waters and are sometimes washed onto shore. Even dead tentacles can sting and cause pain or illness. It is wise to bury any jellyfish remains in the sand -- not touching them with bare hands, of course!
Starfish are not fish...and have been renamed seastars. These sluggish creatures come in many shapes and sizes, and are colorful creatures to explore on your California vacation in the urban wilderness. Seastars are not dangerous, so it is safe to gently touch them to feel their gnarly surface. They are most often found near clambeds -- their favorite food buffet.
When you are at Southern California beaches, it is hard to comprehend that you are at the edge of one of the largest cities in the world. But if you fly into LAX airport, you will see in the distance the diverse landscape forms in the area -- mountains, valleys, the coast, the desert. Los Angeles is built in a desert...and fresh water is a precious commodity that is piped in from inland sources. It seems inconceivable that water is precious when you see the vastness of the ocean...but "fresh" is the secret.
At the day's close, people retreat to shelter for the night...but many animals awaken as the last rays of sun arc high into the velvety Southern California sky. Another transition. Another dimension of the wonder found in the wildness of California's beaches.
For more articles about ENJOYING NATUREBotanical Garden Links
California Poppy Reserve
The Botanical Garden and Montreal Insectarium
California Poppy Reserve