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Upper Newport Back Bay 2

Third trip to Newport Back Bay~ Didn't get to go kayaking this time, but I remembered to bring my camera to the tide pools for once, derp.

Unfortunately, we didn't make it during low this time, so a lot of the really neat things were submerged. Dang.      

Mussels and barnacles forever.

A type of green algae called sea lettuce.

Barnacles. Goose neck (pointy) and acorn (roundish). Some mussels stuck in there as well.

Brown algae.

Always lots of brown algae washed up onshore.

Hm, would not mind waking up to this view everyday, lol.

Sea anemones.

After poking around the tide pools we headed over to the estuary at Upper Newport Bay. I've blathered about this place enough on my last post, lol. Basically, it's an area where fresh water meets the ocean. Estuaries play many, many important ecological roles. From filtering pollutants being washed upstream to providing an important sanctuary for migrating birds. Most of California's coastal wetlands are gone, so places like this really need protection.

This is a pretty common salt marsh plant called pickleweed. Most of the plants living in the estuary are adapted to living in highly salty conditions. Pickleweed stores excess salt in the tips of the stems. They eventually turn red and fall off, ridding the plant of excess salt~

Saltbush retains salt in the leaves, another adaptation of living in a salty environment.

A parasitic plant called dodder. It is also known as "witch's hair". Gee, I wonder why.

Coyote brush, a common coastal sage scrub plant.

Stinging nettle. Defensive hairs covered with a number of chemicals, including formic acid, cause a burning itch when in contact with skin.

Biggest stinging nettle plants I've ever seen. Geh, can you imagine falling into these?

Leaves of a cottonwood tree.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
May. 25th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
May. 25th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
May. 25th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
Gah You guys must have had a great time! Thank you for posting pics <3 That nettle looks both fabulous and dangerous. I think pickleweed is my favorite of this batch though, only because I never knew that aspect about them! So cool!
May. 25th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
Very fun! Thanks for looking at pics, haha. Nettle is evil. I stepped on some at Basara cosplay shoot and cried.
Pickleweed is great! Was looking for some with red tip, but couldn't find any. Must not have been a very salty day, hahaha.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )