I simply love Maggie’s take on shoreline scenes!
Posted by Jody on July 12, 2014
I simply love Maggie’s take on shoreline scenes!
Posted by Jody on July 5, 2014
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:
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.”
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!
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: beach, Blue Wave Ethics, Clean Beaches Coalition, Harrison County Sand Beach, Mississippi Gulf Coast, National Clean Beaches Week, Rockport Beach Park Texas, Texas Gulf Coast beach | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jody on July 3, 2014
For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Posted by E.G.D. on June 17, 2014
The other day, one of my many jobs sent me to Nederland, TX, which is about two hours east of the part of Houston in which I live. I needed to be in Nederland for a grand total of two and a half hours. Crazy, right? I drove a total of four hours for a job that lasted fewer than three! Suffice it to say, I felt the need to justify all that driving with a bit of fun, and I wound up driving an extra 20 minutes east so that I could visit McFaddin Beach (and I highly recommend you click that link, because the article is EXTREMELY worthy of note, especially if you are interested in finding fossils on a beach). McFaddin Beach, also known as the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, was on fire last time I passed it by. Mom (known more commonly here as Jody) and I tried to visit Sea Rim State Park on our way to Louisiana last summer, and we didn’t make it very far because there was an extremely smoky brush fire raging there. McFaddin is immediately past Sea Rim State Park on the same road, and I am happy to report that it was absolutely fire-free this time around.
In fact, I had the great good fortune to enjoy it on a truly beautiful day! I was at first disappointed that I arrived at high tide (the water was all the way up to the knee-high, three-yard-wide pile of seaweed that separates the parking area from the water), but over the course of the two or three hours I wandered there, the tide receded somewhat, and I found a startling array of truly remarkable shells! I found no fewer than nine whole and completely undamaged angel wings, two brightly colored and unoccupied shark-eye snail shells, and some very nice whelk pieces, among other things. I even found a very nice piece of green sea glass.
While I wandered, I passed kids playing in the silt, a good number of adults wading, swimming, and sun bathing, and an older gentleman searching the beach with his metal detector. I watched whole flying and floating flocks of some sort of very large bird I never managed to identify. I discovered a weathered coconut, looking rather lonely and a bit out of place on a Texas beach. I startled a few ghost crabs back into their holes, and I returned a couple of beached, live snails to the water (those were actually before I discovered the two unoccupied shells). I will say, though, that I did not pass anything at all along the lines of bathroom facilities, showers, or lifeguard towers. If you plan to visit McFaddin beach (and if you happen to be anywhere near Port Arthur, you really should), bring a jug of water to rinse your feet off and go to the bathroom before leaving town! While you’re at it, I recommend that you pack a picnic, sun block, a hat, and an extra large bag in which to stow your shelling treasures. You’re in for a fun and productive day at the beach!
Fun stuff! Have a great day, hopefully at the beach. -E.G.D.
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: Angel Wing seashells, beach, beachcombing, McFaddin Beach Texas, sea glass, Shark Eyes, Texas Gulf Coast beach | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jody on June 15, 2014
Posted by Jody on June 10, 2014
It’s easy to see why these beautiful bivalves are the seashell collector’s dream. Each and every Calico Scallop (Argopecten gibbus) is a colorful, unique, and fun-filled piece of eye candy! They can be found in variations of pink, white, orange, brown, purple. Keeping only one is virtually impossible for even the most tried and true beachcomber! Commonly found on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, they range from Delaware Bay to Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, and south to much of the Caribbean Sea.
These variegated seashells are especially plentiful and very easy to find undamaged on Florida’s sandy Gulf Coast beaches. The color-splashed Calico Scallops in this collection all hail from the world-renowned shelling beaches of Sanibel Island, Florida.
Growing up to 2 1/2 inches across, Calico Scallops are almost circular in shape and very easy to identify. These seashells have about 20 strong, well defined, smooth (non-scaly) ribs. Look for each shell’s “ears” to be about equal in size.
Seriously, who wouldn’t be tickled pink to have a basket full of these picture perfect beach treasures in their collection?
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: Argopecten gibbus, beach, beachcombing, Calico Scallop, Sanibel Island Florida, Sanibel Island Florida seashells, seashells | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jody on June 5, 2014
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
~Jacques Yves Cousteau
Posted by Jody on May 28, 2014
“Angel wing” is the perfect name for this beachcombing favorite! Easy to identify, these beautiful seashells are well-known collector’s items.
Angel wings (Cyrtopleura costata) are very fragile seashells. Somehow, quite a few of them seem to make it to the beach unchipped and in one piece, but it can be a bit of a challenge to get one of these brittle beach treasures all the way home intact!
Angel wings can be found along the Atlantic Coast from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to the northern West Indies. Their range includes the Gulf of Mexico and reaches as far south as Brazil. Our family found many of these wing-shaped beauties on Brazoria County’s Gulf Coast (Texas).
These delicate, snowy white bivalves are members of the burrowing Piddock family. Angel wings bore deep into the soft sandy mud (up to 3 feet below the surface). Filter feeders, they feast on the microalgae and tiny zooplankton in their mucky home, where they can grow up to 8 inches in length.
“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.” – George Eliot, English novelist
Have a heavenly day at the beach!
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: Angel Wing seashells, beach, beachcombing, Brazoria County Texas beach, Bryan Beach Texas, Cyrtopleura costata | 9 Comments »