June 24, 2008

tidal wave

Ever since I've lived in California, I've heard of Grunion runs, but I never really knew where or when they happened, or how they worked, other than that a Grunion is a fish. I saw in the paper that the aquarium was hosting a Grunion run event, so while my friend Kevin was in town visiting for the rodeo, I checked online to see what was up with the Grunions. Several times a year, Grunion swim ashore on the beach and they mate and lay their eggs in the sand on the beach and then swim back into the ocean. Their eggs stay in the sand and hatch at the next high tide, which carries the newborn back out to sea. It turns out that the Grunion mating ritual is so predictable based on the moon and tides that they publish a schedule - down to the days and specific hours. I wasn't sure if they only spawn at specific spots or not, but we walked down to the beach during the hours the schedule said. Sure enough, the edge of the beach was covered with silver fish jumping into the sand and flopping back out. It was really amazing. But what was even more amazing was that at near the end of the time window listed on the schedule, suddenly there were no more fish. It was like someone just turned off the switch. Even in LA, the best shows are often by nature.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

that was very interesting, I've never seen anything like that before in my life. THANKS!