The cypress trees along Morro Bay have seen the tides come and go over the years, but as the sea level rises they more often taste salt water at their roots.
In November, December and January, the Earth, Moon and Sun align in a way that amplifies the gravitational pull of the tides on the ocean, driving the highs and lows of the year: what are called royal tides.
King tides hit San Luis Obispo County over the weekend in a dramatic display that some scientists say is an example of what normal tide levels could look like decades from now as sea levels rise. the sea would rise due to climate change.
Sea level rise will have impacts on natural habitat and what humans have built along the shoreline, they say.
Near the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History on December 4, the tides at their highest point of 5.7 feet lapped under the cypress trees along the coast, before falling back to a low of -0.9 feet more late in the day.
For those who missed the natural phenomenon this time around, San Luis Obispo County will see high tides next from January 1-3.