You’ll Never Guess What This Yellow Fluff Ball is! Ft. Asterocolax gardneri

The expansive Duxbury reef where we found this interesting creature! Red Algal Parasite, Asterocolax gardneriWhere: Duxbury Reef, Bolinas California When: November 2020, King TideiNaturalist observations:, best photos , second best Like many other iNaturalist observations we would never have figured out what the heck it was, or have had to invest hours of scrolling and come to many dead ends in order to make an identification. But that is the beauty of the iNat community, the…

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My New Nudes, aka my Newest Nudibranch Lifers from the November 2020 King Tide

This past weekend there was a lot of hunting for and photo shoots of nudibranchs, also known as the sea slugs! While we found many of the common crew, the real stars were the ones we’d never seen before, the lifers. The list includes: Graceful Aeolid, Hammerhead Doto, Nanaimo Dorid, Humped Ancula, Laguna Beach Aeolid, and Yellow-head Aeolid. King tides for tidepoolers and naturalists is a calendar worthy event; a time to shuffle whatever else…

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The Micro-Architect Worm Ft. The California Sandcastle Worm

Gorgeous late October day, perfect for a tidepooling adventure! California Sandcastle Worm, Phragmatopoma californica Where: Santa Cruz County, California When: October 2020iNaturalist Post This week’s post was inspired by this repeating pattern I’ve seen recently while tidepooling, but hadn’t investigated yet. The culprit/artist/architect is the California Sandcastle Worm! Also known as the ‘honeycomb worm,’ or ‘honeycomb tube worm,’ you can find this interesting creature from mid to North California down to Baja California. So how do…

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Cutest slug that you ever did see! Ft. The Northwest Onchidella

Northwest Onchidella, Onchidella borealisWhere: Pescadero, CaliforniaWhen October, 2020iNaturalist Post I found the cutest creature in the gosh darn ocean this weekend while tide-pooling near Pescadero, California.  Nudibranch? Snail without a shell? I wasn’t too sure what it was. The lowest point of the tide was in the evening, so we kept exploring with low light and into the darkness. I thought the low light may be confusing me, but I wasn’t too far off!  It’s…

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Best Gall Hunting Spots in the South Bay Area

Interested in gall hunting! Don’t know where to go? Live in the South Bay Area, or nearby? Or interested in this unique, colorful and interesting natural phenomena? Read on! I wanted to create a list for others, but also selfishly for myself for next years gall hunting adventures. While this list is by no where near exhaustive, it’s a start, and I’ll update it as I find more good spots. Additionally, while iNaturalist can basically…

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Who is this bizarre creature? Ft. The Colorful Dirona

Colorful Dirona (Dirona picta)Where: California Coastline: Pillar Point Harbor, Pescadero, & Monterey  When: Nov 2019iNaturalist post A small plastic dish helps confine nudibranchs when it’s picture time. Nudibranchs themselves come in sooo many varieties, shapes, and colors. When I’ve introduced a nudibranch to someone who’s never seen one, they don’t believe it’s real! Bizarre little creatures they are indeed! I’ve loved nudibranchs since high school, but only been serious about finding them in tidepools for the…

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A Fluffy Flying Fairy-like Insect

Woolly Alder Aphid (Prociphilus tessellatus)Where: Southwest British Columbia, CanadaWhen: June-August 2020iNaturalist Posts:First ObservationThird Observation Look at these gorgeous little fluffers! Who doesn’t love fluffy small white things? The quantity of humans walking maltese, bichon frise and pomeranian dogs around cities I think confirms this. I imagine as a small girl I could have created this insect and placed it in a creative world full of funky creatures. These insects might as well be flying tufts…

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Backyard Grizzly Bears

Seeing a grizzly bear is a right of passage for any true Canadian, some may say. As a wildlife enthusiast/aspiring naturalist and having found myself back in Canada during the pandemic, seeing a Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos) was definitely top on the list of must attempt to see wildlife. Thankfully I’m residing in Southwest British Columbia where they are seen during spring when the elevations people reside no longer has snow blanketing the ground, while…

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Backyard River Otters

The two resident North American River Otters of the nearby creek. North American River Otter, cute and playful, or naughty and ferocious? These slinky sausages reside in my nearby creek, where I’ve been able to capture them on wildlife cameras. But their elusive movement can usually be detected by what they leave behind. Be that messy poop or evidence of a kill. Most of the otter activity was during the day, but occasionally in the…

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