Does it get any better than this?
Posted by Jody on December 12, 2013
Does it get any better than this?
Posted by Jody on December 10, 2013
You can visit with The Sandcastle Man on the beach just outside the Hotel del Coronado!
Check out the live webcam at the Hotel Del to see if you can spot him on the beach today!
Posted in Beachy Keen Art, Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: beach, Christmas, Coronado California beach, Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego County beach, sandcastle, The Sandcastle Man | 7 Comments »
Posted by Jody on December 2, 2013
How do you celebrate Christmas with seaside style? Does your favorite beach community dazzle holiday revelers with an annual lighted boat parade? Does Santa Claus arrive on your sandy shores riding a jet ski? Or does the jolly old elf hang ten on a surfboard?
New Mexicans celebrate with a traditional family friendly holiday river cruise! We head to Carlsbad, New Mexico, and hop onto pontoon boats that set sail from the Pecos River Village docks – directly across the Pecos River from Carlsbad Lake Beach Park. The boats travel along the Pecos for prime time views of creatively illuminated back yards and colorful twinkling river islands. Quite happily, our extended family gathered together on this year’s opening night for the ever popular “Christmas on the Pecos” sparkly winter wonderland tour!
Here, we’ll scoot over a bit so you can join us for a festive ride aboard the lovely Bella Sera:
Now it’s your turn to tell us about your favorite beachy Christmas event! ~ Pretty please ~ with a sea star on top!
According to New Mexico.org: “Christmas on the Pecos River has been awarded one of the top 100 “must see” events in North America by the American Bus Association every year since 1996.”
Related links: Home and Garden …and Beach!
Posted by Jody on November 26, 2013
Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Marjorie Callahan Beck of Tide Line Still Life.
As an art history major in college, still life has fascinated me for many decades. Still life is defined by the Tate Museum as art that focuses on “anything that does not move or is dead”. From paintings of food on the interior of Egyptian tombs to meticulously crafted mosaics from Rome, artwork that consists of carefully arranged inanimate objects has been a part of the history of art from ancient times. The objects found in a still life can be natural or man made, and the artist deliberately arranges found objects, considering their size, color, perspective, and overall balance with one another. Flowers, fruit, vegetables, and just about any imagined object has found its way in to still lifes; whatever the artist decides to include is acceptable. It is my love of the sea, and all things marine, that draws me to famous still lifes that include marine life.
I have a passion for the sea, and I have been walking beaches for my entire life. Several years ago I began noticing arrangements of objects found on the beach, and I was amazed at the artistic perfection of many of the compositions. It is important to note that the objects in my photos are never rearranged or positioned. Unlike still lifes in museums, the photographs are not contrived; I photograph the objects exactly as I find them. Yes, I have “lost” many perfect arrangements because I was too slow with the shutter and the tide was too quick!
I suppose that at this point I could become fairly philosophical about nature’s creations trumping man made compositions. I could easily argue (unsupported by research), that the earliest still life artists were inspired by what they found arranged in nature. Instead though, I will simply state that the ocean (and rivers and lakes) is an organic system responsive to the life it holds, and contributing to the world that surrounds it. Regardless of its power and grandeur, though, it offers me snatches of sweet serendipity when I walk its tide lines. And more often than not, I am able to find perfectly composed arrangements of pebbles, shells, feathers, and sand. These are not man made, but instead created by the ebb and flow of the sea, the wind, and the blowing sand. These compositions are my beach treasures.
What I look for when I walk the tide line is a balance of color, form, and texture in the arrangements, in the same way that these three elements are present in still life paintings. As I walk, I look for compositions that offer surprising splashes of color, or sometimes truly magnificent monochromatic compositions. Compositions with pebbles often present lovely clusters, and this past summer common mussels were a source of endless inspiration. Recently, our local beach has been full of migratory birds, so there have been feathers aplenty! The objects, the weather, time of day, and my overall mood all contribute to what I notice as I walk the beach. I am fascinated by what the different seasons wash ashore on the same stretches of sand. Several of the storms this fall contributed to captivating arrangements when the sea retreated.
Most of my work is done walking my local beaches in New Jersey, USA. I do, though, take time to photograph tide lines whenever I travel anywhere near the sea. I have walked the freezing winter tide line in Northumberland, England, and I have sun-blistered the back of my neck midday in the sub-tropical summer. Each sea’s tide line presents its own assortment and arrangements of objects. Lately, my favorite time to photograph has been in the early morning. The shadows are quite striking as the sun rises, and they often create a very different still life than is possible on a cloudy day.
Most of my photos are taken with a Nikon D3200 with an 18-55mm lens. I have been known to quick grab my iPhone for a photo if my camera is not with me, and I want to remember an interesting array of flotsam or jetsam. I am afraid that I have a bit of a compulsion to walk very long distances with my head facing down towards the sand. I do not want to miss that one perfect arrangement! I have quite a bit to learn about the technical side of this craft, but am concentrating on identifying compelling arrangements at this time. I do only a minimum of processing work on the pieces that I publish. Because of convenience, most of the work is currently done on my iPad using Snapseed. There is so much to learn about the technical side of this craft, and I will be digging in a bit more in this area over the winter.
About the Author (by Jody): Marjorie Callahan Beck (Maggie) has inspired me to take my time and look a bit closer at the tide line on my upcoming visit to the seashore. Her fabulous Tide Line Still Life blog is an absolutely delightful beach photo journal showing the beauty and solitude in the very smallest details “created by the ebb and flow of the sea, the wind, and the blowing sand.”
Posted by Jody on September 16, 2013
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: beach, beachcombing, beachcombing on Texas Gulf Coast, seashells, Texas Gulf Coast beach | 11 Comments »
Posted by Jody on September 4, 2013
Going to the beach is awesome; getting sand in your house and car, not so much. It’s funny how a great afternoon playing in the sand and running in the waves can be dampened when you realize how much of a mess you’ve made tracking all that sand back inside with you. It almost looks like you tried to bring the beach home. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent your car and house from looking like a hurricane hit them by getting the sand off your feet after you leave the beach. Some are inventive, some are obvious classics, but they’re all worth incorporating into your next beach day.
Seriously. Toss a bottle of baby powder into your beach bag and get ready to have your life changed. When you leave the beach, apply a nice heap of powder to your feet and rub it in. This absorbs the moisture that’s causing the sand to stick to your feet, and you’ll be able to brush off the excess and walk away. Plus, now your feet smell nice and clean.
Portable water supply
One of the best ways to wash sand off your feet is to use, well, water. A lot of beaches have shower-type stalls where the sand meets the parking lot and you can spray down your legs and feet and knock off the worst of the dirt. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. (And sometimes you’ll still have to cross some sand to get to your car, in which case, you’re back to square one.) The solution? Pack a small plastic tub and a big bottle of water before you go, then use them when you’re standing next to your car. It doesn’t take much; just enough for you to submerge your feet and rinse them down. Then you can towel off, dump the water and be on your way.
This one’s so obvious that most people overlook it. Take a welcome mat with you — or buy one for the occasion that you can leave in the car — and set it down next to your vehicle before you get in. Use a towel to knock off the bigger chunks, then wipe your feet on the welcome mat to clear out the rest of the sand.
Dry sand can actually adhere to the wetter sand on your feet and help to remove it. It’s a little like how lint sticks to itself, so a ball of lint can help you clean the lint trap in your dryer. When you’re ready to leave, scoop up some dry sand and rub it along your feet and legs, making sure to rub it into the wet sand that’s stuck to you. The dry sand can help slough off the wet stuff, making it easier to just dust off your feet with a towel before you go.
Staying sand-free is such a problem that there are a growing number of specialty products available to help you clean up after a day at the beach. For example, Sand-Off uses a special mitt that comes with a powder built right in, so all you have to do is apply the mitt to the sandy part of your body, let the powder squeeze out and wipe away the sticky sand. It’s good for multiple uses, and it’s a small enough product that you can toss it in your beach bag and forget about it until you need it.
Keeping excess sand out of your car and house can feel like an endless battle during beach season, and there’s always the chance that you or your kids will track some home no matter what you do. However, with the right preparation, you can go home clean and happy and leave the beach behind.
About the Author: Emma Roberts, a frequent contributor for SummerNanny.com. Read her contributed article 20 Blogs With Crafty Ways of Using Beach Sand. She can be contacted at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!
Posted by Jody on June 17, 2013
We left the Brighton Wheel and headed off up the pier for the rides. Brighton Pier started off life as the Palace Pier, built in 1823 to service passenger ships arriving from Dieppe. Over the years it grew and grew into the attraction it is today. I was quite astonished to find that over its long history it has not once been destroyed by fire, flood, or fractious young fellows with far-fetched foibles (ie kids with matches).
~~~You can read our family's very own Brighton Beach memoir here: Brighton ~ A Top 10 British Memory.
Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: beach, Brighton beach England, Brighton Pier England, English Channel beach, shingle beach | 3 Comments »
Posted by Jody on June 17, 2013
The Abaco bay known as Rolling Harbour is a 3/4 mile curve of white sand beach, protected by an off-shore reef. The beach is pristine. Or it would be but for two factors. One is the seaweed that arrives when the wind is from the east - natural and biodegradable detritus. It provides food and camouflage for many species of shorebird - plover and sandpipers of all varieties from large to least.
Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells | Tagged: Abaco Bahamas beach, beach, beachcombing, beaches of The Bahamas | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jody on May 14, 2013
~Patterns in the Sand~
~ Making Patterns in the Sand ~
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Pattern.