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“Where can I find sea glass?”

Posted by Jody on April 16, 2014

Jody:

Here are a few handy tips for our sea glass treasure hunters!

Originally posted on Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches:

Collecting sea glass is such a fun hobby. Many an eager beachcomber has headed to the seashore in hopes of discovering the ideal piece of sea glass (also called beach glass). Finding that perfectly frosted, wave tumbled jewel can make the very best day at the beach even better!

Often times people will ask, “Where can I find sea glass on _(fill in the blank)_?” My answer goes something like this: “That’s a great question. In my experience, the best beaches for finding sea glass are near the more populated locales, especially around areas with bars. Party scene locations tend to produce more glass in the surrounding water. Check for low tides, too. You will most likely find more sea glass when the tide is out and the beach is lengthened. Have a wonderful time! Let us know what you find! ~Aloha”

Sea Glass, Surfside, Texas (©Jody Diehl)

A…

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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Sunday Smile

Posted by Jody on March 30, 2014

Go ahead ~Walking on Sunshine

Strut your stuff!

~~~

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

One Perfect Cold, Rainy, and Windy Day at the Beach!

Posted by Jody on March 29, 2014

Welcome to Padre Island National Seashore

Welcome to Padre Island National Seashore

Cold, rainy, and very windy! That’s how the day unfolded on our recent visit to Padre Island National Seashore, “the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.” You can probably guess what we did! Our family simply layered up, snapped together our raincoats, and went on a lovely morning walk along the park’s Malaquite Beach with Ranger Lee (who, by the way, didn’t even wear a jacket). He was way tougher than we were!

Entrance to Malaquite Beach

Entrance to Malaquite Beach

One of the first things we noticed was that picnickers had left their trash behind at the picnic tables. Seriously? We had our family-requisite handy dandy extra bags in our backpacks so we pitched in and helped clean up. You’ll see one of the full bags in Ranger Lee’s hand. FYI: The Visitor Center hands out free bags so folks can pack out anything they bring into the park and/or pitch in with collecting seaborne trash.

The National Park Service explains: “Padre Island’s location in the northwest corner means that the southeasterly winds prevailing in the Gulf blow many objects, both natural and artificial, onto its shore as well as creating longshore currents which can bring much material for good or bad. Probably the most serious damage to the National Seashore’s environment is done by trash, which washes onto the beaches from offshore. The trash comes from a variety of sources including the shrimping industry, offshore natural gas platforms, and washing out of rivers and streams surrounding the Gulf. Much of the trash is either plastic or styrofoam.”

Our Morning Walk with Ranger Lee

Our Morning Walk with Ranger Lee

I was a bit concerned about getting blowing sand and salt mist on (and in) my camera, but I did try to capture some of the most interesting seashore treasures the Gulf of Mexico tosses ashore along this wild and unique 70 miles of South Texas coastline.

Here are just a few of the interesting sights and beach treasures we found:

Animal tracks ~

Dunes Covered with Tracks

Dunes Covered with Tracks

Pocket Gopher Tracks

Pocket Gopher Tracks

A rainbow colored selection of  Coquina Clam (Donax variabilis) seashells ~

Coquina Clams

Coquina Clams

Squadrons of Eastern Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentali) gliding over the surf ~

Brown Pelicans

Brown Pelicans

Black Drum (Pogonias cromis) skull bone ~

Skull of a Black Drum

Skull of a Black Drum

Ghost Crab (Ocypode quadrata) hole ~

Ghost Crab Hole

Ghost Crab Hole

This next example causes quite a stir, much debate, and even some consternation amongst the seashore’s visitors. Is it a shoelace? Is it pieces of fishing net? Some sort of rope wrapped wire?

No, no, and no. It’s Sea Whip coral!

Sea Whip Coral

Sea Whip Coral

Here are a couple of bone remnants from Hardhead catfish (Ariopsis felis) along with bits of Sea Whip coral and rope ~

Remains of Hardhead Catfish with Sea Whip Coral

Remains of Hardhead Catfish with Sea Whip Coral and Rope

The kicker: The other side of the catfish bones look like this. It’s why the Hardhead catfish is also called the Crucifix fish!

Hardhead Catfish Remains

Hardhead Catfish Remains

So many miles of beach, so little time to explore!

70 Miles of Beach at Padre Island National Seashore

70 Miles of Beach to Discover at Padre Island National Seashore

Now for a cup of hot cocoa (with five little marshmallows)! Care to join us?

~~~

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

I love a good mystery!

Posted by Jody on March 27, 2014

I just love finding pottery shards and stoneware bits on the beach! And I love a good mystery!

Put them together and we’ve got the perfect beach treasure mystery to solve:

Eva Dodsworth found this small piece of pottery on the beach 15 miles south of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, recently. She says: “I’m trying to figure out the history of it. It looks like it may be from the 1800s? I’m not too familiar with pottery patterns but my research shows that perhaps is British transferware?”

“Does anybody know? Thanks!”

A piece of pottery found a few miles south of St. Augustine during low tide at 29 42'17.59"N 81 3'29.18W. I'm thinking 1860s British Transferware?

“A piece of pottery found a few miles south of St. Augustine during low tide at 29 42’17.59″N 81 3’29.18W. I’m thinking 1860s British Transferware?”

~~~

Well, what do you think? Do you recognize this pattern? We’d love to hear from you!

~~~

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

Posted by Jody on March 17, 2014

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore

“May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

~ Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

“The stunning sugar white beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore are composed of fine quartz eroded from granite in the Appalachian Mountains. The sand is carried seaward by rivers and creeks and deposited by currents along the shore.”

Source: Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida District

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

A Friendly Reminder

Posted by Jody on March 14, 2014

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

~ John Howard Payne

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is “Inside.”

~~~

Related Link: Hermit Crab: A Different Kind of Beachcomber

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Using What You Find: Beachcombing Art!

Posted by Jody on March 12, 2014

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Beachcombing Artist Richard Blacklaw-Jones.

About the Author/Artist: Richard is an international beachcombing artist!  He uses what he finds on the beach to make pictures or useful and decorative items. He lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and therefore has the great good fortune to be surrounded by beaches that face the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream. Due to this happy circumstance, he can always find materials for his work. He prefers to use man-made materials, and he says, “even if my work doesn’t sell I can comfort myself with the fact that the beach is a little cleaner following my efforts.” He has pursued this calling for 15 years and has exhibited his works in Wales, England, and France.

"My favourite Pembrokeshire beach" Photo taken 3/11/2014

My Favorite Pembrokeshire Beach

We are looking West, out over the Milford Haven from the North side of the Haven. That’s the town of Milford Haven in the distance, and it’s suburbia in the top right of photo. It doesn’t really have a name, this beach, but it is endlessly fascinating because of its industrial history (it was a boat breaking yard amongst other things) as well as for what washes up. It’s at about half tide in the photo, and you can see the “beach” consists mostly of the remains of some factories which were basically demolished and bulldozed onto the beach in the 1960′s. Even better, in the lower right foreground, you can see two timbers sticking out of the back wall of the beach. These timbers used to support a wooden sea facing wall whose maintenance ceased when the factories went and has consequently rotted away, thus allowing the made up ground behind it to erode onto the beach. This gives a constant supply of mixed domestic and industrial refuse from the late Victorian era to the waves and for me to find and use.

~ Using What You Find ~

I belong to a group of artists who annually organise a large group exhibition at St David’s Cathedral with (at the same time) smaller exhibitions at a number of picturesque, small churches, all of the above in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The exhibitions run under the name Art on the Faith Trail, and our logo is the footprint (referencing the ancient practice of pilgrimage to St David’s Cathedral) which brings me to the picture below.

This is a very big chunk of black plastic, about 4 feet on each side and almost 2 inches thick. The big bolts threaded through it imply it was fixed to something and maybe acted as a hatch cover? It had been in the sea long enough to have some quite large barnacles growing in the bolt holes. This piece washed up at a beach near Milford Haven.

I’ve been looking for something of this sort for quite a while as I need to make some signs for use outside the exhibition venues. I decided to cut two foot-shapes from this.

Using What You Find

Using What You Find

Having cut one of the feet (with a jig-saw), here it is laid on the other half of the slab so that I may trace around it so that I will have a pattern to follow with the jig saw.

Next the jig-saw

Ready for the Jig Saw

Here are the two feet completely cut out. This took most of a day to do as the jig saw blade would get hot when cutting the tighter curves around the toes or heels and would then start to bind in its cut. The only answer was to let the blade cool for some time and only cut short lengths. Such repeated heating and cooling is probably responsible for one jig saw blade breaking and thus adding to the job’s duration when I had to take time to replace it.

The idea is to have one foot standing upright outside a venue so that passers by will see it and come inside. A plastic foot nearly 4 ft tall should attract attention, and I’m going to cut some multiple-coloured plastic letters and attach them to each foot, if possible to spell out “Art on The Faith Trail. ” I say if possible because the width of each foot will determine the size of the letters.

Both Feet

Both Feet

Here’s how I worked the words into the space offered. Now to cut them out.

Template

Template

I then turn to the bucket of scraps and start sorting out what colours I’ve got.

Bucket of Scraps

Beachcombed Scraps

The first two words. I can see it will look very nice and I'm encouraged to press on.

The first three words. “I can see it will look very nice and I’m encouraged to press on.”

Fourth word, third line. Still good.

“Fourth word, third line. Still good.”

All set up, and doesn’t it look fine! I’m very happy with this and feel sure it will catch the attention of passers by. I hope it will prompt curiosity in the viewer to “see what the show is like, as the sign’s pretty good.”

A good evening's work.

“A good evening’s work.”

Completed Signs

Beachcombing Art !

Richard’s online gallery is a veritable feast for the beachcomber’s eyes !

You’ll want to check out more of his imaginative and diverse artwork, beachcombing blog, course offerings, and fun “stuff” at Beachcombing Art!

~~~

A note from our treasure hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches. It would be wonderful if you would join us as our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Beachy Keen Art, Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Run

Posted by Jody on March 11, 2014

“All the rivers run into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full;
To the place from which the rivers come,
There they return again.”

~ Ecclesiastes

River to the Sea - Morning in New Orleans

Sunrise on the Mississippi River

~~~

“Land-based discharges of human-made debris comprise the largest source of marine debris in oceans world-wide (nearly 80%). The Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project seeks to minimize the land-based discharges of marine debris. Just like ocean-based marine debris, land-based discharges of human-made debris are comprised mostly of plastics.”

Source: Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea Project

Related links:

Join the National River Cleanup: American Rivers.org

Find a coastal clean up near you: International Coastal Cleanup

California Coastal Commission: The Problem With Marine Debris

~~~

This week’s A Word A Week Photograph Challenge topic is “Run.”

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

A Seashell in My Pocket

Posted by Jody on March 10, 2014

Jody:

Pocket Seashells

Pocket Seashells

Happy Monday! I just found some of these little beauties on Maggie’s site and thought it was a great time to share these pocket-sized stress-busting beach treasures once again.

Originally posted on Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches:

We’re always looking for ways to use our special beachcombing finds. Here is just one more idea for putting those beach treasures to good use ~ everyday!

You may have heard of worry stones (or pocket stones) – those little, highly polished pieces of gemstone with a slight indention for your thumb.  I’ve often seen them for sale near the cash registers of gift shops and kitschy boutiques. They can be kind of pricey.

Rumored to have originated in Ancient Greece, when held between the thumb and forefinger, worry stones are supposed to relieve stress and reduce worries. Light enough to keep in your pocket, you can readily fidget with one in stressful or nerve-racking situations.

There is another version of the pocket stone that doesn’t have the smooth indentation for the thumb.  They are called  reflection stones and are used as a reminder to stay calm, balanced, grateful, etc. …

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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Monday Miscellaneous, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tiny San Diego Beach Treasures: It Pays to Look Closely!

Posted by Jody on March 7, 2014

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Robyn W.

Tiny San Diego Beach Treasures: It Pays to Look Closely!

Some special little shells have washed up around the county in the past few weeks. I’ve been lucky to be able to sneak off to the beach here and there in the midst of a busy schedule, and was thrilled to find my first­-ever tusk shell in January on the sand at False Point, on the northern end of the Tourmaline Surfing Park. It is a Six­-sided Tusk shell, and there was only one. After looking for tusk shells on and off for the past 37 years in San Diego, this seemed pretty special.

Dentalium neohexagonum from La Jolla, California

Dentalium neohexagonum from La Jolla, California

Dentalium neohexagonum, the Six­sided Tusk shell. It is a little under an inch long. (January 2014)

Then, last week, I took a walk south from the southern end of Imperial Beach, and found a LOT of tusk shells in the drift debris at low tide. These were almost all the Indian Money Tusk, the shell that was prized as currency by the native peoples of the west coast in the past. Two little Six­-sided Tusks were found that day also.

Antalis pretiosum, the Indian Money Tusk

Antalis pretiosum, the Indian Money Tusk

Antalis pretiosum, the Indian Money Tusk. The largest is a little over an inch long. (February 2014)

Back at False Point in January, there were tiny Tinted Wentletraps washed up here and there on the sand. The largest in the photo is about ¼ inch long.

Epitonium tinctum, the Tinted Wentletrap

Epitonium tinctum, the Tinted Wentletrap

Epitonium tinctum, the Tinted Wentletrap. (January 2014)

One more San Diego beach treasure…but from a while ago, are these trivias found in the shelly debris at low tide way back around the year 2000. They were found at Torrey Pines State Beach, and I have never seen them since. They are about ¼ inch long.

Trivia californiana from Torrey Pines, Califoenia

Trivia californiana from Torrey Pines, California

Trivia californiana, the “Coffee Bean”.

Keep an eye out for San Diego’s tiny beach treasures ­ you’ll find them where you least expect them!

~~~

Robyn, what fun! You have quite an eye. These tiny beach treasures are absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your beachy times and your amazing treasure trove with us! I feel as if I’ve just had a great day at the beach too! ~Jody

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Friday Finds, Seashells, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

 
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