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The Most Interesting “Boring” Find Ever!

Posted by Jody on January 26, 2012

While Greg and I were exploring the Pacific Coast of Northern California a few weeks ago, we headed out in search of Agate Beach County Park, located near the little coastal community of  Bolinas.  One might assume that a stretch of coastline named after ornamental stones would actually be a beachcomber’s paradise for finding said ornamental stones. One would be wrong.  We didn’t find one agate!

Agate Beach, Marin County, California

Agate Beach offers amazing views of a rocky shoreline and its stunning, though precarious, surrounding cliffs.  The beach was nearly inaccessible during our visit because of the high tide, but the trip was well worth the drive and the very short hike in.

This is where we spied the most interesting “boring” find ever!  We happened upon an intriguing and beautiful  sculpture, supplied by Mother Nature, herself.

Sculpture by the Piddock Family (Marine Mollusks)

This beach treasure is the perfect example of an artistic creation by marine mollusks; members of the Piddock Family (Pholadidae), to be precise. These bivalves are a group of relatively thin shelled, burrowing clams that, depending on the species, are capable of boring into firm mud or clay, soft to moderately hard rock, wood, and/or shells. (Think: apartment complex.) They can be found in temperate and tropical waters.

There you have it!  One of nature’s finest masterpieces crafted by members of the Piddock Family.  This unique piece of art truly is our most interesting “boring” beach find ever!

FYI: During low tide, this beach has nearly two miles of exposed shoreline. Low tide is a great time to visit Agate Beach County Park, as it is renowned for its tidepooling opportunities. It is against the law to remove any type of tide pool life here.  According to, “Agate Beach is part of the Duxbury Reef State Marine Reserve, which includes state and federal agency jurisdictions and signifies its status as a sensitive and highly protected resource area.”

What is your most interesting beach treasure?  We’d love to hear about it.  Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!

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5 Responses to “The Most Interesting “Boring” Find Ever!”

  1. Gunta said

    Thank you for the Piddock fun facts. I’m wondering if this is another, much larger example? (5th picture from the top: Found at Bandon beach. You might notice in the comments that someone apparently from NH suggested it was from erosion and that didn’t sound right.

  2. Russ McCulloch said

    If your into holey rocks try ventura county. Near the ventura pier there are 1000.s. and if you continue south to Oxnard CA. You should check out Ormond Beach. At low tide there are 100.s of 1000.s of tiny clams on the beach and a rainbow of colors.

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