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Archive for the ‘Sand and Shoreline’ Category

Travel Theme: Roads

Posted by Jody on March 3, 2013

Where the rubber meets the sand…

Long-Dun Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Long-Dun Beach, Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Seeing vehicles driving on the sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico is nothing out of the ordinary. Long-Dun Beach in Cameron Parish is a fine example of a rustic beach (no facilities) on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast where beach goers happily drive right onto the sandy shoreline and proceed to pick the perfect parking spot for a day brimming with sun and fun at the beach. These drivable coastlines are treated as byways and standard rules of the road apply.

Long-Dun Beach is a lovely stretch of sand located along the 180 mile long Creole Nature Trail in far southwestern Louisiana. With 26 miles of blissful beachcombing heaven to choose from, the natural beaches of the Creole Nature Trail are perfect for finding driftwood, whelks, oysters, angel wings, and moon snails. With a little luck, you may even find a sea bean or two!

Beach treasures collected along the shores of Louisiana's Creole Nature Trail

These colorful beach treasures collected along the shores of Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail.

Enjoy the ride and have a great day at the beach!

This week’s Travel Theme topic is “Roads.”

More about the Creole Nature Trail and Louisiana’s Gulf Coast beaches:

A Wealth of Wildlife on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast: The Creole Nature Trail

Waves and Welcomes at Mae’s Beach, Louisiana

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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Can you come out and play?

Posted by Jody on February 27, 2013

Play time at McClures Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

McClures Beach

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,

where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

~ John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)

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Greg and I came across this  little pink shovel in the sands of McClures Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore. Not one other soul was in sight on this lovely, peaceful morning.

A Word a Week Photo Challenge – Zoom

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Posted in Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by Jody on February 14, 2013

A Kiss on the Sands

A Kiss Upon the Shore (©Jody Diehl)

Love’s Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
in one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?–

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

~Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

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Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Feeling Better for the Sand Between Your Toes

Posted by E.G.D. on February 13, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I happen to greatly enjoy walking around barefoot in beach sand.  This has very occasionally led to negative occurrences (one memorable occasion on Venice Beach in Florida, I stepped on an old piece of rusty barbed wire and had to get a Tetanus shot), but more often than not the experience has brightened my day and done me more good than a conventional foot massage.  Apparently the science community got the memo, because recently my mom (Jody) found an article on Wellsphere that discusses the health benefits of walking around barefoot.

Pacific Beach, San Diego, California (photo by Jody Diehl)

Pacific Beach, San Diego, California

According to the article, a “stimulating barefoot walk has a multitude of benefits from relieving stress, increasing balance, helping your brain to help you get a good night’s sleep, healing disease, eliminating headaches, eliminating joint pain and more. Research is only just beginning, but the consensus seems pretty clear. Taking off your shoes not only feels good. It is good for you… we get negative charged energy from the earth that combats inflammation and positively charged free radicals in the body.  Now, this information applies to walking barefoot anywhere, but there are already myriad health benefits for people who walk or run on beaches, even if they’re wearing shoes.  According to an article in the Middletown Patch, “walking and running are two of the best cardio exercises… Even better, though, is performing them on the beach in the sand. It is absolutely a superior work out than on the road or a trail as the shifting sand makes traction a challenge.  This causes muscle groups to work harder as you jog. Just walking on the beach in the sand benefits health.”  Of course, even that article notes thatbarefoot is the best way to go for optimum results.”  An article from Hello Magazine says many of the same things as the two previous articles, but adds in that sand and ocean water provide natural exfoliant for our feet and “will result in softer feet in no time, just like a home peel treatment!”  Really, I can see no downside to any of these things.

Ahhhhhh!

Ahhhhhh!

When it comes right down to it, I don’t need experts to give me a special reason to walk around barefoot on a beach, but I suppose that now I can feel like I’m somehow smarter for doing what I would have done anyway.  Three cheers for beach related ways to stay healthy- E.G.D.

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

Travel Theme: Shadows

Posted by Jody on February 2, 2013

Evening Shadows at the Shore

“I could never stay long enough on the shore. The tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.”

~Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Travel Theme: Shadows

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

Japanese Tsunami Debris: What Beachgoers Need to Know

Posted by Jody on January 31, 2013

Yaquina Bay, Oregon Coast

Yaquina Bay, Oregon Coast

Will you be heading to the beaches of North America’s West Coast this year? Beachcombing is one of the greatest pleasures for seashore enthusiasts, and the West Coast is well known for delighting us with a bounty of beautiful beach treasures! From driftwood to Giant Rock Scallops and sand dollars to polished agates, Mother Nature uses time, tides, and currents to provide us with the most fascinating finds.

Beachcombers in Hawaii, and from California to Alaska, might also expect to find an increased amount of ocean debris washed onto beaches over the next few years. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), due to the massive 9.0 Japanese earthquake and devastating tsunami of March, 2011, tsunami caused marine debris is already arriving on our Pacific shores. (Check out NOAA’s Tsunami Debris Sighting map.)

NOAA is leading efforts with federal, state, and local partners to collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to our natural resources and coastal communities.

There is no reason to avoid beaches. Radiation experts believe it is highly unlikely any debris is radioactive, and the debris is not in a mass. Beachgoers may notice an increase in debris near-shore or on the coast, adding to the marine debris that washes up every day. The public should continue to visit and enjoy our coasts—and help keep them clean.

Sign posted at Yaquina Bay, Oregon

Tsunami Debris Watch sign posted at Yaquina Bay, Oregon

Ocean Conservancy has a wonderful website which includes an abundance of interesting and informative topics having to do with the expected arrival of tsunami debris. Subjects include:

 

Tsunami Debris 101

Get straight answers to the facts and myths of tsunami debris and what we can do to help.

 

What is Tsunami Debris?

How can you tell tsunami debris from regular ocean trash? Our scientist has the answers.

 

Tsunami Debris Field Guide

Learn about the most common items that have been washing onto beaches in large numbers.

We always try to encourage our fellow beachcombers and shore dreamers to “know before you go!”

Tsunami DebrisFind it. Bag it. Leave it. Now we know!

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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Travel Theme: Walls

Posted by Jody on January 26, 2013

The Galveston Seawall

 Every beach has a history!

On September 8, 1900, Galveston (Texas) suffered a devastating blow from a powerful hurricane. The storm surge washed over the entire island, knocking buildings off their foundations and taking the lives of  thousands of Galveston’s citizens.

Galveston Seawall, Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Seawall, Galveston Island, Texas

On September 7, 1901, in an attempt to prevent future storms from causing such massive destruction and catastrophic loss of life, the Texas State Legislature approved an act providing for the construction of a seawall for Galveston’s Gulf of Mexico coastline. The initial 3.3 mile long segment of the new Galveston Seawall was completed on July 29, 1904. Standing approximately 17 feet high, the concrete barrier was engineered to be 5 feet wide on the top and 16 feet wide at its base.  The outer face of the Seawall was curved to carry waves upwards. Riprap was deposited along the base of the Seawall facing the Gulf Of Mexico in order to disrupt wave action and prevent the wall’s foundation from being undercut.

After the Seawall was completed, dredged sand and slush from the seabed were pumped into the city of Galveston to raise the ground by as much as 17 feet above its previous elevation! Isn’t that amazing?

Galveston Seawall Beach, Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Seawall and Seawall Beach, Galveston Island, Texas

In 1977,  the Galveston Seawall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2001, the Galveston Seawall and the regrading of the City of Galveston were jointly named a National Historical Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Today, the pedestrian friendly, mural-painted Galveston Seawall runs for 10.4  miles along Galveston Island’s beautiful, sandy Gulf Coast beaches. It’s a lovely place to take a leisurely walk and enjoy the beachy views!

Galveston Seawall & Grade Raise – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official Video]:

Additional reference: The 1900 Storm

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

A Great Beach Ecology Resource: Beachapedia!

Posted by E.G.D. on January 16, 2013

Don’t let the name fool you: Beachapedia is not affiliated with Wikipedia!  On the contrary, it is an independent beach ecology resource that is staffed by a group of dedicated writers including “scientists, engineers and activists.”

Along the Oregon Coast

Along the Oregon Coast

Prior to this morning, I had never even heard of Beachapedia, which is a terrible shame!  In very little time, I learned from the Beachapedia vegetation page that vegetation on beaches falls into three different categories depending on where the plants grow in relation to the tidal area and the dune.  The plants in each category display certain patterns of characteristics as a result of their respective locations.  While I was at it, I also read an interesting little article on wrack, which The California Coastal Commission defines as “organic material such as kelp and sea grass that is cast up onto the beach by surf, tides, and wind,” and which is important to both plant and animal beach wildlife.  That article links to another very good article from the National Science Foundation called “All Washed Up and Somewhere to Go,” which I highly recommend any dedicated beachgoer read.

"Wrack"

“Wrack” – Silver Strand State Beach, Southern California

Now, as you can see, I was looking specifically for “Wild Wednesday” wildlife material for this article, but Beachapedia has information on everything coastal-environment-related from A to W (X,Y, and Z apparently don’t start any beach related topic words).  It’s a really useful website, I think, especially if you’re looking to learn about the nuts and bolts of how beaches function.  Also, you never know when you might want a clear and very detailed definition of beach related terms like “estuary” or “neap tide.”

Galveston (Texas) Seawall Beach

Galveston (Texas) Seawall Beach

It never hurts to take a little time to better understand our beaches!  After all, whatever would we beachcombers do without them?  Happy beachgoing, everyone- E.G.D.

For more information on beach ecology, you can also visit these other Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches articles:

The Sand Beneath our Feet

Seaweed – Trash or Treasure?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

It must be a sign!

Tide Pool Etiquette 101

And to some degree or another, most  Wild Wednesday posts!

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Travel Theme: Glass

Posted by Jody on January 14, 2013

A visit to Glass Beach is on many a beachcomber’s bucket list. The “sand” here is mixed with rainbow colored eye-candy! Being that this stretch of Northern California’s rocky coastline was (once upon a time) a municipal trash dump, the shoreline is now a colorful mosaic of wave polished ceramic bits and sea tumbled glass.

Old Glass Beach Finds

“Old” Glass Beach Treasures

Many years ago, when Greg and I first visited Glass Beach, the evidence of the citizens of Fort Bragg, California, and the surrounding area dumping household garbage straight into the ocean was stunning. Old cars (and their parts), ceramics, housewares, appliances and glass poked out of the bluffs and littered the beach. By the early sixties, attempts were made to control what was dumped, and the dumping of toxic materials was prohibited. Finally in 1967 plans were begun for a new dump away from the ocean.

Glass Beach Sand

“New” Glass Beach Sand

Today, the old dump has been cleaned up and what you’ll now find is beautiful, sparkling, sea glass-speckled shoreline “sand.”

Would you like to know more about Glass Beach in Fort Bragg (Mendocino County), California? Here are a couple helpful links: Glass Beach: Where Trash Turns to Treasure, “Top Ten” Mile Coast Trail

Travel Theme: Glass

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Also: Fort Bragg, California

Getting There: From Highway 1, turn west on Elm Street (Denny’s is on the corner) and drive a few blocks to Glass Beach Drive. Park at the intersection and walk down to the beach.

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Monday Miscellaneous, Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , | 35 Comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by Jody on December 31, 2012

OK, maybe it doesn’t come close to the Sydney New Year’s US$6.9 million fireworks extravaganza from the steel arch Habour Bridge, and it has nothing near the glitz of the First Night celebration with the well known Zambelli Fireworks spectacular over Boston Harbor, but it is a room with a great view and a fireworks show!

So, Happy New Year with all the glitter and glow from Waikiki Beach’s man made Hilton Lagoon (aka: Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon)! The ocean beach next to the lagoon, Duke Kahanamoku Beach, has been named the #2 beach in America for 2012 by the well-respected “Dr. Beach.”  This is where world famous Waikiki Beach begins.

The Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon is the setting of a free fireworks display, hosted by the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, which takes place every Friday evening. It’s one fine show!

A room with a view, Honolulu, Hawaii

A Room with a View, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

Hilton Lagoon, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

View of the Hilton Lagoon Fireworks, Waikiki Beach

The Hilton Lagoon has always been one of our favorite sandy spots on Waikiki. This family friendly, kid pleasing swimming and recreation center boasts five full acres of splashable fun that is open to Hilton Hawaiian Village guests and the general public, alike. It’s also the spot where you can catch a parade of brides and grooms posing for dazzling and dramatic wedding photos, with sun-drenched Waikiki Beach and iconic Diamond Head as their backdrop. This is the perfect place to catch those amazing Hawaiian sunrises, too!

By the way, do you recognize this unique building?  It’s the Ilikai, where Detective Lieutenant Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), the head of a special state police task force, is standing in the opening credits for the original Hawaii 5-O. “Book ‘em, Danno.”

Here are a couple helpful links: Beachcombing on Waikiki Beach (includes family friendly freebies near Waikiki Beach)

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Lagoon, aka: The Hilton Lagoon

Aloha and Beat Wishes for 2013!

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

 
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