Zoology Trip to Point Arena

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I was lucky enough to attend a trip with my husband’s Zoology class to Point Arena. We stayed at the Point Arena Feild Station near the lighthouse. It’s maintained by Santarosa Junior College (I think). Here’s a view of our house for the night:

 

 

 

 

We went out to see the waves at low tide. There were plenty of grey whales out in the water according to the professionals that accompanied us. A few waterspouts were seen, but most f the time the coast was clear.

 

 

 

 

The Zoology instructor took the group for a walk on a trail near the field station. It’s mid-November and the air is filled with smoke up here in Northern California, the lichen loved it. So many different species clung to branches of coastal cypress.

 

 

 

 

My favorite part of the whole trip was the river otter family we met in a cove. I learned from one of the researchers that ocean otters don’t come up this far north on the coast, and were much bigger than the ones we saw.

 

 

 

 

The sea palms were one of the most interesting non-mammals I saw. They’re prokaryotes, not plants. Biologists tend to consider them like animals. I was so confused.

 

 

 

 

More than any other type of cute fuzzy sea animal we saw, seals were most abundant. They were all over the place, lazying around on rocks or hunting for food between the rocks below the waves.

 

 

 

 

There was a washed up sea jelly on a protected beach we had the pleasure to visit.

 

 

 

 

On the same beach, abalone shells were everywhere. I guess all the beaches in the area would look like this if humans didn’t take the shells home.

 

 

 

 

Blood red colonies of bacteria lived along the walls of this rocky cove. Waves came through the other side of this cave making a weird crashing sound through the small tunnel.

 

 

The biggest event of the trip was visiting the lighthouse in Point Arena. This is a view down that I took after 145 steps up  a spiral staircase.

 

 

A bluff below the lighthouse:

 

 

 

 

This is Arena Mina, she lives at the lighthouse and supplies visitors with love.

 

 

 

 

Some type of whale rests outside the lighthouse doors.

 

 

 

 

And that was pretty much it. We all had a great time, it was like a dream. The only downside to the experience was the smoke-filled air from the fires hundreds of miles inland. Air quality was so bad here that visitors weren’t allowed to visit the top of the lighthouse the day before.

I dedicate this post to the people affected by the fires and the families of those who lost their lives.

 

 

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