Sunday, April 5, 2015

By the light of the silvery moon

Last night and for the next three nights, our Southern California beaches will see a unique phenomenon - the grunion run.

Grunion are small silvery fish that would otherwise be invisible if not for their reproductive habits. Between the months of March and September, during high tide of the full or new moon, the grunion swim up on the sandy beach to spawn by the thousands.

It's hard to predict what beach they'll choose each time, but generally they prefer wide sandy beaches that are secluded and dark. So, without much of a plan, last night we drove down to Castle Rock beach, just off Pacific Coast Highway on our morning commute. With a couple of warm blankets, we huddled on the sand, watching the waves beneath the full moon.

Alas, after a prolonged wait, no grunion graced our beach.

But we enjoyed the night air, and the light of the full moon on the waves.

Three more nights of this cycle's grunion run - perhaps I'll try again!


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's too bad they didn't spawn while you were there.

I'm due for my vernal pool hike to watch the wood frogs and spring peepers spawning. It's been a cold, snowy Spring, and I haven't heard any peepers on the job yet.

Maggi said...

Once more you've captured a scene from my young life in So. Calif. I never would have guessed grunion would a teen my group went grunion hunting many times....oh the joy of being on the beach...the waves, the bonfire and then a call to come on, theyre running! Those silvery moonlit bodies usually were to fast for us, but oh the hunt was lovely! Thank you for another wonderful short story.....whatever will I do while you're away at school!

David Duff said...

Another illusion shattered! I thought it was 'sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll 'n' peace 'n' love hippies who went down to Californian beaches to, er, spawn.

Mind you, I'd rather watch the fish!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was just an excuse for guys to try to get me to go down to the beach at night when I was young and impressionable. Ha!
Didn't know it was a real thing.