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Archive for the ‘Seashells’ Category

Does this mean I’m a shellebrity?

Posted by Jody on July 12, 2016

shellguide

Visual Guide to Collecting Seashells on Florida’s Beaches!

Earlier this year, I was very surprised to find a copy of the beautiful, laminated Visual Guide to Collecting Seashells on Florida’s Beaches on the floor of my daughter’s car. Well, actually I wasn’t surprised that something was on the floor of the family mini-van, but it was definitely a shock to see my very own seashell photos inside the brochure. No kidding! I had been asked to help out with a seashell guide layout last year that I knew was for VisitFlorida.com. What I didn’t know is that it was going to be printed, laminated, and available for any and all travelers to pick up at the Florida Welcome Center! (Silly me, I thought it was going to be an online shelling reference guide. Must have been the “.com” that tripped me up.)

So, the next time Greg and I visited Florida, we stopped in at the Florida Welcome Center which is some 6 miles west of Pensacola on I-10. There we found stacks and stacks of the Visual Guide to Collecting Seashells, in all its glory – showcased everywhere from the Atlantic beaches brochure racks all the way around to the Gulf Coast shelves!

My photographs of bubble seashells, calico scallops, moon snails, a Florida fighting conch, and more – all inside! There is even a special recognition and thank you for me in the credits on the reverse side of the brochure.  I couldn’t possibly be more pleased!

Be sure to stop in and get your free copy of the shelling guide the next time you are traveling through the Sunshine State, and use the handy-dandy checklist inside to keep track of your new found beach treasures.

So, what do you think? Does this mean I’m a shellebrity now?😉

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Jake and Carla’s Texas Treasure Trove

Posted by E.G.D. on July 8, 2016

Today’s guest post, including the beautiful beach treasure photographs, is courtesy of Jake and Carla W.

Hi. I’m Jake and my treasure hunting partner is my wife Carla. This is my first post. The first pics are from 7/5/16, and the rest are from the last 2 to 3 months. We live south of Houston in Brazoria county. We treasure hunt in 3 Texas counties: Galveston, Brazoria, and Matagorda.

The last pics we think might be a partial megalodon tooth! I’ve emailed pics to a professor, but we haven’t heard back. Any input on that from the readers of Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches would be appreciated.

As you can see we like to go to the beach. Carla says its the only place we get along (LOL!). Anyway, enjoy the photos and happy hunting.  -Jake and Carla.

About the Authors: “Jake and I are both in our 40’s and have been together for a little over three years. We love camping, fishing and shell seeking. We seem to have created an unspoken deal where he teaches me how to catch really big fish and I try to teach him the patience and tenacity needed to find shark teeth. I’m more into shells and driftwood, he’s searching for antique bottles and the occasional pirate treasure chest. To an outsider, we must seem odd, as we can go for hours with very little conversation and be content being with one another and our passions. But it works for us.” ~Carla

~~

Texas Gulf Coast beaches: A Sea Glass Treasure Trove – Surfside Beach

Elusive Bryan Beach

Galveston Island: A Texas Oasis

Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast

~~~~

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 could be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of North America, Featured Guest Writer, Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

It’s National Seashell Day!

Posted by Jody on June 20, 2016

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It’s National Seashell Day!

To shell-ebrate, here are just a few posts on some our very favorite Beach Treasures:

Picture Perfect Calico Scallops

Wavy Turbans, Tile & Lots of Fun

Rayed Cone Snails

Angel Wings: A Heavenly Find

Colors of Sunset: Gould’s Wedge Seashells

Kitten’s Paws: Oh So Cute!

Would you like to check out other seashell posts? Simply type “seashells” into the search box (top left), sit back, and enjoy!

How about getting your feet wet with your own seashell post? We’d love to hear from you! Click on the “Submission Guidelines” tab for more info.

How will you shell-ebrate National Seashell Day?

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Holiday, Monday Miscellaneous, Seashells | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

How-tos.

Posted by Jody on May 23, 2016

There is a camaraderie among beach treasure hunters in Venice, Florida, that charms folks into returning over and over again.  Locals and repeat visitors are quick to lend a hand along with plenty of advice. Perfect strangers will plop a load or two of scooped up seashells onto the sand in front of you to get you started. I’ve seen more than one longtime treasure hunter simply pick up a shark tooth on the sand and gift it to someone they’ve never met before. Everyone has a system of finding the treasured shark teeth on the shores of Venice. Some of us have a whole beach bag full of how-tos.

Here are a few tips, tricks, and how-tos we’ve learned along the way. They’re all tried and true!

1.The Dig and Sift

The Dig and Sift is accomplished by simply reaching into the water to get the biggest portion of settled shells possible, then sifting through the seashells and fragments in hopes of spotting the perfect shark tooth specimen. You can buy a fancy pants scooper (sold at the local Walmarts for just under $18.00) which is simply a little wire basket on a pole. Folks ’round here have been known to attach a kitchen sieve to a $1.00 thrift store golf club to achieve the same results. Clever! Right? The cheapest bet: scoop with your own two hands, although you should plan on chipping the polish off of any prettily manicured nails. (Come to think of it, this may indeed be the most expensive option of the three!)

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The Dig and Sift

2. The Sweep and Trap

The Sweep and Trap system doesn’t require braving the surf. You just need to find a section of the beach where the surf is washing over a patch of smallish seashell fragments. Crouch on the sand and start to run your hand back and forth across the small bits and pieces while the surf comes and goes. Now, with this system, you’ll likely see a treasure or two get away before you can actually grab what really did look like a shark tooth. Hence the “trap” part. Quick reflexes are necessary to trap any dark, suspicious form before the waves wash your suspected precious beach treasure back into the sea.

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The Sweep and Trap

3. The Scoop and Toss

Can’t find a place where the waves are washing across a section of seashell fragments? Have a friend simply scoop a colander, bucket, or basket of seashells and sand from the water and plop the load along the surf line for you. Follow the “trap” part of technique #2 from here.

4. The Dig Like Heck at the Shell Banks Left Behind After High Tide

🙂 Self explanatory:

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The Dig Like Heck at the Shell Banks Left Behind After High Tide

5. The Walk and Scan

Enjoy a lovely walk on the beach and just look down. I can’t tell you how successful this system has been for many a beach treasure hunter on the beautiful beaches of Venice. Yes, this how-to is too obvious, but we just had to mention it!

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The Walk and Scan

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The Ultimate Venice Beach Treasure!

Good luck & have a wonderful day at the beach!!

~~~~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells, Sharks, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Morning at Caspersen Beach

Posted by Jody on May 22, 2016

Here’s a look at our awesome Saturday morning on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. What a fabulous day it was for beach treasure hunting!

Hunting for shark teeth is a lot like “Where’s Waldo?” Scroll through the photos and see if you can find a shark tooth or two with us. >>>

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Everyone is out to find those treasured shark teeth on Caspersen Beach

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Dressed for success!

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Anything in there?

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Caspersen Beach, Florida

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Wonderful shelling too!

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We were told by a local fisherman that this character is a Yellow-Footed Bait Stealer.

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Wooohooo! My Beach Treasures!

It’s great to have a waterproof camera. Isn’t it? We have a couple of Fuji FinePix XP70 neon colored wonders just for these occasions!

Have a wonderful day at the beach!

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells, Sharks | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Greetings from Long Island New York!

Posted by Jody on July 3, 2015

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is native New Yorker Maggie Soukeras.

Greetings from Long Island New York!

Summer is upon us and its time for pools, bbq’s and the beach!

After the long and cold winter it has been great to be able to get outside – take long walks on the beach and start collecting shells again!

A favorite pass time of mine from childhood and into middle age – collecting shells has been both relaxing and exciting at the same time.  It is like a treasure hunt that can bring you into an almost Zen like state during the search!

Point Lookout Beach, Long Island, New York. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Point Lookout Beach, Long Island, New York. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

My long time haunts have been on the beaches of Long Island.  As a Pisces I could not imagine growing up anywhere but near the Ocean.  Point Lookout and Long Beach were always the places that I have visited and you can find some great shells.  Sometimes it is easy and sometimes requires a little work! This fall I found a sand dollar for the first time ever on a Long Island Beach!

Point Lookout Beach Treasures. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Point Lookout Beach Treasures. Check out Maggies sand dollar find! Photo by Maggie Soukeras

I have also had success on Shelter Island.  It has been a while since I have been there but we found some great stuff kayaking out to this little island with an abandoned home.

If you like rocks – the north shore of the island is rockier than the south shore.  Head out east – visit the beaches, farms stands, and plethora of wineries!

Off Long Island, my favorite hunting spots have been on Eagle Beach in Aruba, Bermuda, St.Barts,  Barbados (Maxwell Beach) and Florida!   My dream is to make it to Sanibel Island, though I fear I may need to bring an extra bag for all of the shells I imagine I would find there!

Eagle Beach on Aruba. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Eagle Beach on Aruba. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

To all of the happy shellers out there – keep looking – you are never too old or young to go hunting for shells!

Enjoy the summer!

Maggie

About the Author: Maggie Soukeras is a native New Yorker living on Long Island with her husband Dean and their three cats Patsy, Loretta and Dolly.  Growing up on an island and being a Pisces, she always loved the ocean and collecting shells, one of her favorite hobbies!  When she is not collecting shells, Maggie teaches yoga and manages a yoga studio in Oyster Bay. She has worked with children and adults of all ages and abilities.  Maggie enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, reading a good book, and long walks on the beach with her husband.  

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 in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Shell-plate-Frisbee

Posted by E.G.D. on February 1, 2015

Art by Liam and Oona, photo by E.G.D.

Art by Liam and Oona, photo by E.G.D.

To quote my niece, Oona, from a previous post about Sylvan Beach, “What we are going to do is making crafts out of the shells, like necklaces, and like paper and shells art, and coloring the shells on the paper with the shells.”  She elaborated on this brilliant idea a few days later.  She insisted that we make paper plate shell Frisbees, and she brilliantly decided that these shell-plate-Frisbees should be given to her daddy for his birthday.

What I especially appreciate about this delightfully original craft idea is that Liam and Oona had totally different approaches to the project.  As you can see in the photo above, Oona made a sort of collage with craft paper and shells, and Liam made a cute-patoot smiley-face.  They were both, not unnaturally, very proud of their work, and they agreed to let me share these with the viewing public here at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  Fun, right?  Incidentally, their dad thought these projects were pretty cool, too, which was a very large part of the point!

The kids with their projects (photo by E.G.D.)

The kids with their projects (photo by E.G.D.)

Aaaaaaaaaaaand because Oona was the founder of this brilliant idea, she asked that she have a picture with her plate Frisbee and without her brother:

The mastermind behind this craft (photo by E.G.D.)

The mastermind behind this craft (photo by E.G.D.)

Tada!  We hope you enjoy the fruits of our shell-hunting labor.  See you at the beach- E.G.D.

Posted in Beach Treasure and Seashell Crafts, Seashells | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Walking With the Winter Waves at Sylvan Beach

Posted by E.G.D. on December 31, 2014

All the cool birds hang out here.  (photo by E.G.D.)

All the cool birds hang out here. (photo by E.G.D.)

Sylvan Beach in La Porte, TX, always a treat in the warmer months, can be equally awesome in the winter.  The waves crash with a little more violence and froth, the seashells are as abundant as ever, the clean public restrooms are still open, and the birds are a heck of a lot bolder than they are when there are more people around.  The other day, the kids and I literally had a pelican fly right up to us.  I warned the kids “don’t touch it!  It’s a wild animal,” and it was so close that it was actually necessary to say that.  Liam held up his fingers in a square and said “CLICK!” but by the time I went back to the car for a camera, the blue guy who’d nearly landed on our feet was gone.  We saw a yellow one by the bait shop later, though, and I did get a picture of him.  Anyhow, the entire purpose of this article is actually to give the kids a bit of the limelight.  I invited Liam (currently a second grader) to write an article on his winter beach experience, and this is what he wrote:

We had a great time at the beach.  We collected shells and saw two pelicans.  It was cold and windy.  We also saw baby seagulls.  The ocean was trying to catch me, but it couldn’t.  My feet stayed dry.  The end.

Tada! The second pelican (photo by E.G.D.)

Tada! The second pelican (photo by E.G.D.)

Oona can only write her name without a reference, so she is going to dictate a story:

We collected shells.  We picked purple shells, and shells that are cool, and big shells, and clear shells, and it was a windy day.  I found, what is it called again? A sea bean.  I saw pelicans.  And we had a wonderful time.  And we went to the beach to also play in the sand.  At the water, the sand was cold and wet.  We had a nice time there, and I want to go again with Nana.  I hope we can go with Dadu, also.  We are going to do is making crafts out of the shells, like necklaces, and like paper and shells art, and coloring the shells on the paper with the shells.  We hope we have a nice time there again next time we go to the beach with Aunt Elisa.  I love the beach because it has the shells that I want to see.  The end.

Oona's shell collection from our winter day at Sylvan Beach (photo by E.G.D.)

Oona’s shell collection from our winter day at Sylvan Beach (photo by E.G.D.)

OH, THE GRAMMAR!  Oh, to be five again and not to specially care about grammar!  As you probably already surmised, I edited both for spelling, but not for grammar or syntax.  They are totally authentic.  In any case, Happy New Year, everybody!

Gray, but great (photo by E.G.D.)

Gray, but great (photo by E.G.D.)

See you at the beach- E.G.D.

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

A Stroll on Bryan and Quintana

Posted by E.G.D. on November 29, 2014

Last month, I drove down to Lake Jackson to do a Halloween Mad Science event at the mall there, and I couldn’t possibly justify not going to the beach while I was at it!  Now, as some of you probably know, there are a good number of options in the area, but I wound up going to Bryan and Quintana because it’s the drive with the best signage (I didn’t need a map to get there, and I didn’t have to ask directions).  Now, I have no idea what part of the beach is Bryan and what part is Quintana.  The signs sit on opposite sides of the sand road leading onto the beach highway: quintanabryan

Basically, insert road here.  These signs are even angled so that they sort of face each other.  Anyhow, it was a spectacularly beautiful day!  I found a remarkable number of beautiful shell treasures, none of which I took home (I was in the middle of a move, and when I’m moving I have a pretty strong aversion to the acquisition of things, even if they are small things), and I saw a really amazing array of birds.

Seashells galore! (E.G.D.)

Seashells galore! (E.G.D.)

So many nice shells! (E.G.D.)

So many nice shells! (E.G.D.)

I saw plovers, pelicans, and a family of seagulls that included chicks!  At least they looked a lot like the seagulls in coloring, and they were hanging out with the adult gulls.  What do you think?

Baby Gulls?  (photo by E.G.D.)

Baby Gulls? (photo by E.G.D.)

Whatever they were, they were super-cute!  Anyway, aside from shells and birds, I came across a good many people picnicking, fishing, using metal detectors, walking dogs, and swimming, and I also came across a very clever and enterprising ice cream truck.  Here in Texas, a lot of our beaches are actually designated highways, so this system actually works:

Ice cream at the beach, anyone? (photo by E.G.D.)

Ice cream at the beach, anyone? (photo by E.G.D.)

I didn’t wind up buying anything, but I was amused.  In all, it was a really delightful walk, and I certainly get the impression that everyone on the beach that day was having a really wonderful time.

Fun times! (E.G.D.)

Fun times! (E.G.D.)

Right before I left for home, the shadows were getting long, and I got artsy with my camera.  I’m not going to insert a slide show here (though I probably could!  I got a whole series of seriously artsy shots), but for fun, here’s an interesting shot of a buried driftwood branch/log. DSCN0230Aaaaaaaaaand that’s the story of my most recent trip to Bryan/Quintana.  Fun, right?  It’s a lovely beach, and I recommend it to anyone, but bear in mind that there are no restroom or shower facilities, and there didn’t appear to be a lifeguard on duty.  On the other hand, there was ice cream!  If you’re going to have to choose your amenities, that might be the better way to go on a hot day. Have a great and beachy holiday weekend, everyone! Thanksgiving, not Halloween.  Better late than never- E.G.D.

Posted in Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Summery Day on the South County Shore

Posted by E.G.D. on July 22, 2014

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Robyn Waayers: 

Gary and I took a little trip yesterday to explore the beach just north of Imperial Beach and south of Silver Strand State Beach. A lot of organic material had washed ashore, including masses of California Mussels, as well as much kelp.

Mussel mass with surf grass

Mussel mass with surf grass

Some of the mussels had Leaf Barnacles attached.

California Mussel with Leaf Barnacles

California Mussel with Leaf Barnacles

This is a beach popular with clammers due to its concentration of Pismo Clams. What I presumed to be immature clam shells were here and there on the shore.

A small clam - about 30 mm in length

A small clam – about 30 mm in length

 

A larger specimen, but nowhere near the final adult size!

A larger specimen, but nowhere near the final adult size!

Most of the shells on this beach are heavily wave-worn, like this Chestnut Cowrie.

Chestnut Cowrie, after much rolling around in the sand and surf

Chestnut Cowrie, after much rolling around in the sand and surf

The beach was surprisingly bird-filled, with Willets, Marbled Godwits, and Forster’s Terns being present in numbers (the Forster’s Terns in large numbers as they fished in the huge anchovy schools off shore). We also saw the occasional Royal Tern in full breeding plumage. A lone Long-billed Curlew graced the beach and we saw several more in the Tijuana Estuary area later.

Long-billed Curlew, with the Silver Strand and downtown San Diego, as well as the Coronado Bridge, visible in the background

Long-billed Curlew, with the Silver Strand and downtown San Diego, as well as the Coronado Bridge, visible in the background

We saw easily over a half dozen Snowy Plovers skulking in the higher, drier portions of the beach as well. Signs discourage people or dogs from walking in their territory, but no fences exist, as we saw in Oregon last month for the protection of this species. The plovers are extremely well camouflaged, and tend to move in short bursts of activity, as opposed to just meandering around as the Willets do.

Snowy Plover standing at the edge of a tire track!

Snowy Plover standing at the edge of a tire track!

We also saw a merganser hanging around the edge of the water, and occasionally entering the shallows. A scoter (probably a Surf Scoter) was seen fishing in the shallows, as well.

Scoter in shallow water.

Scoter in shallow water.

About the author: Robyn Waayers has lived in San Diego since 1977, and teaches biology at three local community colleges. In her spare time, she is a lover of all­ things ­natural­ history, roaming the region with her camera and an eye for new things. Her website is Shoreline Ramblings, to which she has also posted this articleAll photographs are the property of Robyn Waayers.

~~~

Posted in Beach Birding, Featured Guest Writer, Pacific Coast Beaches, Seashells, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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