The West Coast is made up of so many different micro-climates. From the northernmost part of Washington to the border of Baja, it’s a magical Mediterranean environment. Think sweeping coastal beaches full of marine life, and seasonally mild temps. However, venture inland and you’ll find yourself amidst a unique combination of surroundings—snowy, towering Sierras and redwood covered forests, flat, rural farmlands, and eventually a hot, dusty desert landscape. With such a rich and varied ecosystem, it’s no wonder the Pacific Coast is a welcoming habitat for so many wonderful plant and animal species.
Avocado :: Though avocados originated in south-central Mexico back in 500 B.C., the sun-kissed soil and cool California breezes create the ideal climate for growing this delicious green, creamy fruit. The most popular variety, the Hass, is actually a California native—discovered by Rudolph Hass in a backyard in La Habra Heights. Today, there are nearly 4,000 avocado growers in California, producing around 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop.
Shop our Avocado Graphic Baby Tee
Birds of Paradise :: A flower of striking shape and color, the stunning Bird of Paradise gets its name from its bright, showy blossom which resembles a tropical bird in flight. Closely related to the banana plant, with large fan-like leaves, the largest of the species (Strelitzia nicolai) can reach heights of up to 30 feet. It also happens to be one of the few flowers that is actually pollinated by bird’s feet—who knew?
Grizzly Bear :: The official state animal of California since 1953, the grizzly bear is a majestic symbol of the wild. A North American subspecies of the brown bear, the grizzly is one of the largest and most powerful carnivores—gorgeous to look at, but not one to make friends with. In fact “Grizzly”, as formally classified by naturalist George Ord, was meant not to describe the bear’s golden and grey tips of hair, but rather its fear-inspiring character—they average nearly 800 pounds! While at one time over 10,000 grizzly bears roamed the valleys and grass lands of California, the iconic giant has been extinct in the state since the mid-1920’s, and is highly endangered in other regions of the Northwest.
Lucky for you, we’ve captured the infamous roaring bear in a colorful pop-art graphic for your little ones.
Pineapples :: This sweet and juicy fruit has, for a long time, been a symbol of Hawaii, and while they are not native to the islands, you’ll find them all over! Fun fact: Pineapples, or ‘hala kahiki’ as Hawaiians call them, are not a single fruit, but a group of berries that have fused together, more technically known as a “multiple fruit”.
Where to get a fresh taste? Next time you find yourself in Honolulu, hop on the Pineapple Express for a tour of the Dole Plantation. But for now, peruse our collection of pop pineapple prints: Trapeze Dress, Pineapple Cargo Romper + Print Pocket Romper, Print Pocket Tee, Twirl Skort, Capri Leggings, and Raglan Tee.
Pufferfish :: One of the sea’s most curious creatures, there are two different families of pufferfish: smooth and spiny. The most common of puffers found in Hawaii is the Spotted Pufferfish, a member of the smooth puffer family. Reaching up to 20 inches in length, these guys like to hunt close to the reef during the day and hide out in caves at night. Also found hiding beneath the Hawaiian tides, the closely-related spiny pufferfish runs on a completely opposite schedule, laying low during the day and feeding at night.
While these fish might appear small at first glance, it’s true—when alarmed, they inflate themselves with water, puffing up to more than double their size. This causes their spines to stand up straight, creating a defensive and deterring look for all predators who come their way.
Sea Turtle :: Of all of the fascinating wildlife beneath the ocean’s surface, the Hawaiian Sea Turtle has to be one of our favorite creatures to encounter. There are seven species of sea turtles, five of which call Hawaii home. Olive ridleys, loggerheads and leatherbacks are tough to spot unless you’re diving in deep offshore waters, and the Hawksbill tend to hideout until its time to come ashore and nest. The green sea turtle, or honu, is by far the most social of the group. Despite their status as an endangered species, they are spotted quite frequently swimming around the coral reefs of Hawaii, and soaking up the sunshine beach-side.
Fun fact: Contrary to common belief, the Honu’s name has nothing to do with the color of its shell which is often a brown, grey or dark olive color. The truth is, green sea turtles get their colorful name from the green chlorophyll they absorb from their food, which turns their body fat green.