We go to the park every year to see monarch butterflies that come there on their annual migration from the Rocky Mountains.
The butterflies settle in eucalyptus groves which provide food (eucalyptus flower in winter) and shelter from the cool ocean breeze.
I could get quite close to them too.
Having spent an hour looking up into the trees, we strolled to the beach to see an abundance of sea creatures under our feet.
|Anemone in a tide pool|
Natural Bridges beach is named for rock arches carved out of shoreline cliffs by the Pacific Ocean. Here is a glimpse of one of the three bridges along the coast.
This is a good spot to look out for seals, sea otters, and birds.
Shoreline cliffs are made of soft mudstone, and years of erosion and moss growth have created beautiful patterns that look like Nature's version of Monet.
The rocks a little closer to the tideline are completely covered with mussels. I should have brought a fork and a glass of Chablis.
I was so fascinated by this profusion of mollusks and sea anemones and starfish that I waded knee-deep into the water even though the average February ocean temperature in Santa Cruz is 54F. Ten minutes later my legs went into spasm, and I yelled to my husband to come to my rescue before I dropped the camera. I never thought I would be that crazy, all for the sake of a blog post!