Sunday, October 13, 2013

Botanical Beach

I almost didn't include this post, but felt I couldn't leave it out.  Botanical Beach is an iconic site of rocky beach ecology, even though it's actually the shore platform, not the beach, that really gets the biologists excited. And the tide was far too high on this visit to get much sense for what it looks like during a summertime low tide, when the sea has retreated and left sandstone ledges pot-marked with tidepools.

I still thought the biology was impressive. Thick rain forest, small pockets of sandy backshore and dune grass, rafts of kelp tossed on the shore, and fresh bear scat near the high tide line (no signs of the culprit).

Google Maps:  AERIAL VIEW

There are actually several small pocket beaches along this exposed stretch of shoreline. The geology is cool, with sediments juxtaposed with much older metamorphic rocks, sometimes in spectacular ways - like these beautiful chunks floating in the sandstone. There are similarities to the exposures at Sombrio Beach and I'm guessing that the coastline sort of follows the contact between the Leech River rocks and the Tertiary sediments. I will proffer my normal lament - I wish I'd had a real geologist along!

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