The beaches in Santa Barbara are beautiful. And, if you
time things just right when there is a really low tide
you can see amazing things in the tide pools.
This is a Starburst Sea Anemone. And, contrary to the title
of the image it is not a plant. It is actually a meat eating
animal, a cousin of the Jellyfish.
The color however, is all plant (or mostly anyway). It comes from a symbiotic algae living in
the translucent tissue of the animal and can range from blue-green,
like this, to a much deeper green, or even near white if the animal lives in shade.
The rocks in the low tide around here can be covered with
these. When they are in the air they fold their tentacles
in and you can only see the outside which is covered with
broken pieces of shell and rocks. So, if you are walking on the
beach, and see a rock that seems to be covered with
a bunch of broken shells, it is probably covered with Anemones
just under the shells.
This picture is for my Mom. She has always loved tide pools
and I have many great memories of wandering on the beach
looking for exciting things at the edge of the water with her.
Unfortunately, when she visited Santa Barbara, the tide
was a little too high. Next time, we will check the tide charts