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Archive for the ‘Sand and Shoreline’ Category

♬ Above the Blue and Windy Sea 🎶

Posted by Jody on August 26, 2014

“There’s a beach in San Francisco?” We get that a lot! In fact, it’s only a very short jaunt from Fisherman’s Wharf to this popular stretch of sand! Simply head east on Jefferson Street, and you’ll find Aquatic Park Historic Cove and the exceptional city-side Aquatic Park beach.

This entire area is part of the National Park Service’s San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Lots of  words…even more fun!

Here you can bike, run, swim, paddle board, play in the sand, or just watch the world go by:

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The next time you’re in the City by the Bay, you can use this handy National Park Service site to help plan your visit to San Francisco’s Aquatic Park Cove beach: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. And you’ll, too, be singing ~ “I Left My Heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me…”

🎶 “My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me”♬

 “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” by George Cory and Douglass Cross

~~~

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Posted in Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

By the Wind Sailor

Posted by Jody on August 23, 2014

Greg and I recently returned from another fantastic visit to the Bay Area (and points north).

Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach

While strolling Stinson Beach one perfect July afternoon, we happened upon a large number jelly-like oval-shaped creatures washed up on the sand. :-( They were the most striking deep blue in color. I recognized them right away, even though I had never seen one of these strange little life forms in person before.

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

Their distinctive “sail” was the give-away!

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

Nobody (except the scavenging gulls) seemed to pay them any mind at all. Harmless to humans, these amazing marine organisms are called “by the wind sailors” (Velella velella ). They live on the surface of the ocean and can be found on both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast of the United States. By the wind sailors are commonly seen scattered about the sands of Stinson Beach during the late spring and early summer, and along the west coast as far north as Washington State, when especially strong winds can cast counteless numbers of these ill-fated critters ashore.

Look closely for the By the Wind Sailors.

Look closely for the By the Wind Sailors.

Harmless to humans: blue stinging tentacles around the rim.

Harmless to humans: blue stinging tentacles around the rim.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SIMoN website:

Velella velella is incredibly stabile and seaworthy by design. The sail is triangular, slightly thicker at its base, stiffened by superficial thickened ridges, and yet still quite flexible. This incredible design allows smooth bending when its sail is under load, recoiling when the wind lets up, and overall minimizes the risk of kinking. The whole animal tilts when under sail, hull broadside to the flow of oncoming water.

Velella velella drifts before the wind, almost always tacking about 45 degrees to the right of the prevailing northwesterlies. This is normally enough to keep them offshore, however southerly or extremely strong onshore winds can cause them to spin around and follow the wind at a much closer angle that brings them toward land. Once washed ashore, the animals die and disintegrate within a few days.

And here’s a little something extra for your next beach/trivia party! According to Oregon State University: The sail is set diagonally to the long axis of the animal. On our side of the north Pacific Ocean, their sails are set in a northwest to southeast direction. On the other side of the north Pacific, the sails are set in a northeast to southwest direction. In the southern hemisphere, sails are reversed.”

Apparently, 2014 has been a bang-up year for the beaching of these remarkable, translucent, ocean-going creatures. Stories of mass sightings abound.

Here are a couple more helpful links in case you’d like to learn more about the (often hyphenated) by-the-wind sailor.

Bay Nature.org

National Geographic.com

Serenity, Sand and (yes) Sharks of Stinson Beach (Stinson Beach)

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Beach Metal Detecting: 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Hunt

Posted by Jody on August 17, 2014

Today’s Featured Writer is Glenn Stock.

Beach Metal Detecting on the Gulf Coast

Beach Metal Detecting on the Gulf Coast

Beach metal detecting is a fun outdoor hobby that can also be very profitable. What makes it so great is the opportunity to explore new areas along with the anticipation of a great find. Beaches are some of the most popular places to explore. You not only get the chance to find lost valuables but you also get to enjoy the great beach weather.

Many a beach metal detecting hobbyist has paid for his/her metal detector, and more, from just a few hours or so of metal detecting. You can too!

Metal Detecting on GalvestonBbeach at the Seawall (Across from Fort Crockett Park)

Metal Detecting on Galveston Beach at the Seawall (Across from Fort Crockett Park)

 

Tip #1: Slow down and have fun.
Remember, this metal detecting hobby is all about having fun. It’s easy to move too fast and just skim across an area believing there are no treasures below the sand – but slowing your search down will improve your odds of finding something. There are times when it may take you forever to find just one thing, but making sure to slow down and appreciate the hobby makes it all the more worthwhile.

Tip #2: Timing
Picking the best time to search the beach is an important factor in getting the beach to reveal its hidden treasures. The perfect time is when most everyone has left. This gives you a greater area to search, and you won’t have so many interruptions, either. When there aren’t as many people around, you can explore closer to the shore and even more remote areas, greatly improving your chances of discovering something valuable. Get up early. Making an early start (before anyone else arrives) is another great time to explore the beach.

Tip #3: Get Dirty
Don’t be afraid to sift through the sand; you have to get your detector close enough to sense something. Often the most prized treasures can be buried just below the surface. So get your hands dirty and start going through everything.

Tip #4: Be Prepared
Time can fly by quickly when you are intensely focused on finding that treasure. Make sure you pack something to eat (high energy bars are good) and also something to drink to keep those energy levels up throughout the day. Also remember to pack a hat, sun-glasses and some sunscreen to protect you from getting sun burnt on those hot days.

Most of all, be sure to be courteous and respectful of others. When everyone shows each other respect, everyone has fun, and the hobby never becomes a burden. Beach metal detecting isn’t only for discovering hidden treasure but also for fun and adventure, so go on, get out, and have some beach metal detecting fun in the sun.

Beach Metal Detecting

Beach Metal Detecting

About the Author: Glenn Stock has, for the last 20 years has been detecting along the Gulf Coast beaches and shallows, along with old historic homes site, civil war camps, parks, fairgrounds and just about any other place throughout the South that’s not covered with pavement. In between detecting trips he manages and writes for TreasureHunterDepot.com and is employed by The State of Texas. Follow Glenn’s tips and check out the following link to stay ahead of the curve: Beach and Shallow Water Metal Detecting.

~~~

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

I Found the Beach at Lake Livingston!

Posted by E.G.D. on July 17, 2014

It was no easy feat, but I found them: the beaches of Lake Livingston.  After failing to find a beach at Lake Conroe a couple days earlier, I was absolutely determined to find something equating a beach at Lake Livingston State Park, which is around two hours north of the northern reaches of Houston, Texas.  You see, I was passing through Livingston on my way home from Diboll, TX, where I was performing a Mad Science show for the local library.  For those of you who are familiar with that stretch of Texas, Diboll is squarely between Lufkin and Livingston, which are both fairly sizable towns with a lot to offer a visitor.  None of the listed locales, however, boast a beach in any of their tourist literature.  Soooooo, I paid the $5 entry fee for the state park, hopped out of my car, and went off-trailing (the on-foot equivalent of off-roading) around the edge of Lake Livingston in hopes that a swimming pool and an in-lake swimming area edged by a boardwalk were not all the lake had to offer.  Behold!  This is what I found:

This counts, I tell you! (Photo by E.G.D.)

This counts, I tell you! (Photo by E.G.D.)

This one was sort of behind and below the area with the swing-set.  Those are the best directions I can give, because I had to get a bit creative to find it.  Here’s a shot without ducks:

See?  It's totally a beach! (photo by E.G.D.)

See? It’s totally a beach! (photo by E.G.D.)

I hopped around the rocks for a while at this little beach, and then I moved on.  The other beach I found was behind and below the campsites for campers (the sites with water and electric hookups):

This one's rocky, too. (photo by E.G.D.)
This one’s rocky, too. (photo by E.G.D.)

Whether or not you are looking for a beach there, Lake Livingston is quite lovely, and I recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area.  There were many families cycling around the trails (apparently bikes are welcome pretty much anywhere in the park), enjoying the swimming hole, hiking, fishing, grilling… the usual state park camping sort of things.  I get the feeling it’s the local population’s favorite way to beat the heat in the summer.  And hey, there are beaches!  I know.  I found them.

Have a great day (hopefully at the beach) – E.G.D.

Helpful links: Lake Livingston State Park: “At Lake Livingston State Park, you can swim (in the lake or pool), fish, boat, hike, bird, camp, picnic, mountain bike, ride horses, geocache and study nature. We have activities for the whole family!”

Alligator Safety Tips (YIKES!)

Texas State Parks Swimming Safety Tips

 ~~~

E.G.D., you are absolutely right! It does count. The definition of a beach according to Merriam-Webster is “a shore of a body of water covered by sand, gravel, or larger rock fragments.” :-) We beach fans take them where we can get them!

Thanks so much for sharing your find!

Posted in Inland Shores, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Looking for Ripley … or Possibly Luke

Posted by Jody on July 12, 2014

Jody:

I simply love Maggie’s take on shoreline scenes!

Originally posted on Tide Line Still Life:

20140708-080532-29132999.jpg

One in an occasional installment of humorous photos. Can you see what I see?

View original

Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s National Clean Beaches Week!

Posted by Jody on July 5, 2014

Feeling the Love on Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi

Feeling the Love on Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi

Celebrated annually (July 1-7) as the “Earth Day” for beaches, National Clean Beaches Week is a friendly reminder that the planet’s shorelines deserve a little tender loving care. The Clean Beaches Coalition leads the way with a “network of coastal organizations and individuals committed to promoting clean, healthy and well managed beaches around the world.” Who doesn’t think that’s a great idea!?

Here’s our very own up close and personal look at why our beaches need to feel the love too:

Yep!

Yep!

Not really feeling the love!
Not feeling the love!
Still not feeling the love...
Still not feeling the love…

 ~~~

OK, so now I'm feeling the love!
OK, so now I’m feeling the love!

~~~

The Clean Beaches Coalition (CBC) certifies deserving beaches as “Blue Wave.” Blue Wave Beaches are accredited according to their active participation in embracing and promoting the “7 Blue Wave Ethics.”

They are:
1. Leave no trace
2. Move your body
3. Don’t tread the dunes
4. Know your limits
5. You are what you eat
6. Feed your mind
7. Respect the ocean

Is your favorite beach a Blue Wave Beach? Or perhaps it has a different certification? We’d love to hear about it!

Rockport's Blue Wave Beach (Texas)

Rockport’s Blue Wave Beach (Texas)

~~~

Helpful links:

Blue Wave Beach Certification

Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi (Photo #1)

Rockport, Texas  ~Texas’ First Certified Blue Wave Beach~ (Photo #6)

 

 

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beach Metal Detecting: 5 Metal Detector Maintenance Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Machine

Posted by Jody on June 2, 2014

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Michael Bernzweig.

When you invest in a metal detector it’s important to care for it properly so you can get as much use out of it as possible. To help, we’ve compiled this list of metal detector maintenance tips so you can be sure you’re taking care of your machine correctly for years of trouble free treasure hunting.

Metal Detecting in Rockport, Texas

Metal Detecting in Rockport, Texas

Use a Carrying Case

Keeping your machine in a protective carrying case whenever it’s not in use ensures that it will stay safe and dry. You may also want to consider an additional cover for the search coil to further protect this very sensitive piece of your metal detector.

Clean Your Metal Detector After Each Use

Keeping your machine clean is essential. Metal detectors can become quite dirty out in the field, especially when treasure hunting at the beach or in the salt water. Using a soft rag and/or toothbrush you can be sure all the dirt, sand, and other particles are out of all the nooks and crannies of your machine where they can cause a range of different problems.

Remove the Batteries Before Storage

Before you store your machine, always take the batteries out. Removing the batteries before storing your metal detector is important so they don’t get corroded in the machine. Plus, it helps you keep them charged so they’re ready when you need them.

Metal Detecting in Santa Cruz, California

Metal Detecting in Santa Cruz, California

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Be sure to avoid extreme temperatures when storing your metal detector. This means, for example, don’t leave it in the back of your car, or in the garage. Instead, choose a closet or other environment that feels comfortable to you and doesn’t experience intense temperature fluctuations. Also, make sure wherever you store your metal detector is dry as well. For some this will mean not storing their machine in the basement, either! Damp, humid conditions can rob your machine of years of proper functioning, so find a nice dry space to store your metal detector for best results.

Test Your Metal Detector Regularly

To help your metal detector perform its best, and verify that there are no mechanical issues you need to attend to, you’ll want to test your machine regularly. Your metal detector instruction manual may have some advice on testing your specific detector. We generally just hunt known targets in order to calibrate the machine and help us ensure everything is in working order. Testing the headphones and other accessories this way is important too.

These metal detector maintenance tips are very simple, yet, if they’re not performed regularly, a variety of complex problems can result. So, instead of having to pay for repairs or even a new metal detector, be sure to give your current machine some regular TLC and it’ll be finding you treasures for years to come.

About the Author: Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written on the subject of treasure hunting and metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He enjoys traveling with his metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use of metal detectors in their explorations.

Helpful links: What are the best metal detectors for metal detecting on the beach?

Safe, Fun, and Successful Beach Metal Detecting!

~~~

 

 

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

In Honor of Memorial Day

Posted by Jody on May 25, 2014

USS Lexington, Corpus Christi Beach, Texas

USS Lexington, Corpus Christi Beach, Texas

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.

Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~

USS Lexington: The USS LEXINGTON, CV-16, is a World War II-vintage Essex Class aircraft carrier.

KA 3B Sky Warrior Aboard the  USS Lexington

KA 3B Sky Warrior Aboard the USS Lexington

U.S. Memorial Day.org

~~~

Rainy Day on Corpus Christi Beach

Rainy Day on Corpus Christi Beach

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Sea of Windswept Sand

Posted by Jody on May 14, 2014

The Land of Enchantment has some absolutely wonderful beaches. But where do New Mexicans go when it’s still a little too chilly to head to our state’s beautiful shorelines? We might just head to the biggest gypsum sandbox on earth! That’s exactly what Greg and I did with our grandchildren when they came for an extended visit recently.

White Sands National Monument is the located on the world’s largest gypsum dune field. Nestled in south central New Mexico, at the northernmost edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, White Sands is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and explore a small slice of the 275 square miles of cool, powder fine, glistening white sand dunes. Barefoot is definitely best! Walking in the silky sand, sans sneakers, is the ultimate in luxury for winter-weary tootsies!

On the spring day we arrived, the air temperature was in the mid-80’s, and it was windy, which is typical for the Tularosa Basin. The sand was blowing, and our views of nearby mountains were slightly obscured by the dust in the air. Yet it was the perfect day for sifting, rolling, sledding, and just plain trekking up and over the seemingly endless, wavelike dunes.

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through:

There is water here, hidden below the uppermost layer of sand. Indeed, throughout the extensive dune field, highly mineralized water is just a few feet from the surface. The depth of the ground water varies from about five feet below the surface on the east side of the dune field, decreasing to one to three feet below the surface nearer the western end.

In the evening we joined in on the ever-popular, no reservations necessary, ranger-led Sunset Stroll:

There was a beach here once upon a time:

“The gypsum that makes up White Sands is ultimately derived from marine rocks. Shallow seas covered much of New Mexico throughout the Paleozoic Era (570-245) million years ago). Marine deposits as old as 500 million years are present in the San Andres Mountains, but by far the most abundant sedimentary rocks in southern New Mexico are Permian in age (290-245 Ma). In the Permian Period, North America was part of a great megacontinent called Pangaea, and present day New Mexico was submerged in a tropical sea just south of the equator. The limestone mountains at Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks represent the remains of a large barrier reef that was part of this Permian sea. In the middle of the Permian Period there was a major fall in sea level, causing vast stretches of water across southern New Mexico to nearly dry up. It was during this drying-up phase that large quantities of gypsum rock were deposited.”

Source: Geology Fieldnotes, NPS.gov

All resources within White Sands National Monument are federally protected.  Collecting sand, natural objects, and historic items is strictly prohibited. We took home some wonderful memories and these photographs. The saying goes: “Leave only footprints,” but even our footprints were not left behind in the windswept white sands of south central New Mexico.

Have a great day at the beach (or former beach)!

~~~

Helpful links: White Sands National Monument home page,  Plan Your Visit, and park brochures galore

Alamogordo Visitor’s Guide

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve 

Posted in Inland Shores, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

“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…

View original 359 more words

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

 
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