Bull Whips

I was walking along Bishop's Beach, taking in the sunset, when I spied some drift in the sand up ahead. From a distance, it appeared to be cables of some sort. On closer inspection, I found it to be a tangle of bull kelp, or what is commonly referred to as bull whips. I'd never seen such large specimens before.

The stipes on some of these kelp were 4-5 inches in diameter, and up to fifty feet in length. They were covered with brightly colored plant bits that contrasted intensely with the dull browns of the kelp. I was mesmerized.

I've been informed that the appearance of these behemoths on the beaches is a sign of fall. Their knotted forms foreshadow the seasonal change. In hushed tones - almost unheard - they speak of things to come.

(click on photos to enlarge)