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Posts Tagged ‘beach rockhounding’

Hermosa Beach Rocks!

Posted by Jody on February 2, 2014

Here’s an interesting beach treasure found by Karen Williams on a recent visit to Hermosa Beach, California:

“Walking on the beach in Hermosa on Monday…”

Beach Treasure! (Photo by Karen Williams)

Beach Treasure! (Photo by Karen Williams)

“Found an interesting rock that appears to be 2 different kinds of rock fused together!”

Hermosa Beach, Southern California (Photo by Karen Williams )

Hermosa Beach, Southern California (Photo by Karen Williams )

“Beautiful weather in the 70’s and no one around!”

We asked our two very favorite geologists for their opinions on Karen’s beach treasure. This is what they told us:

“I think the rock’s finder is correct. This is two rocks fused together. It almost appears to be a quartzite (gray and white) fused together with a volcanic rock, perhaps a rhyolite, or andesite. One thing I can clearly make out is that the crystal sizes are much larger in the gray portion and much finer in the black portion.  I think for this fusion to happen, the volcanic rock or ‘melt rock’ had to have ripped a piece of the ‘wall rock’ off without fully melting it. This means that the temperature of the melt rock was not high enough to fully melt the quartz-rich gray portion and instead incorporated it into its structure as an ‘inclusion’.”

Here is a reference in case you need something:

~Ryan McLin (Geologist, Owner McLin Petrographics)

AND ~ Kristie McLin, Ph.D. says: “It looks like a metamorphosed bedding plane to me. Fine grained shaley rock (black) in contact with sand then becomes metamorphosed, changing to schist and quartzite.

We should say either could be the case, and it is hard to tell from a picture what it really is.”


Either way, it’s one great find!

Many, many thanks to Karen, Ryan, and Kristie. We just love to share!

What’s in your beach bag?


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Southern California Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

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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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Northern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

South Arizona Telephone Cove, Lake Mohave, Arizona (Lake Mead National Recreation Area)

Posted by Jody on December 2, 2011

Shhhhhhh. We have a really great secret that we are going to share with you.  The Lake Mead National Recreation Area doesn’t tell you on their website or in their general park information that there is an awesome swimming beach near the Katherine Landing entrance station. The National Recreation Area’s park newspaper only lists Boulder Beach on Lake Mead (northwest of Hoover Dam) and Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave (east of Searchlight, Nevada) as designated swimming beach areas.  But, have we got a super Friday Find for you!

We stumbled upon an awesome surprise beach while on a roundabout drive home to Albuquerque from Las Vegas, Nevada. Heading into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA) at the Katherine Landing entrance station in Arizona, we had no idea what we’d find.  Passing by the Arizona Telephone Cove sign, we started our “explore” at Princess Cove, the farthest mapped point of interest from the park entrance.  Doubling back to Cabinsite Point and then on to North Arizona Telephone Cove we certainly found the many boat launches and plenty of scenic, shaded picnic areas set aside for park visitors. There was something that caught our eye, though. In the distance, the vague outline of a white, sandy-looking crescent was visible from our North Telephone Cove vantage point.  What exactly were we seeing, we wondered?

South Telephone Cove, Lake Mead NRA, Arizona (©Jody Diehl)

When we reached South Arizona Telephone Cove we couldn’t believe our good fortune! We found ourselves at the end of a dirt road, approaching a paved parking lot. We had found an absolutely gorgeous beach in a truly beautiful setting, complete with a roped off swimming area. “South Telephone Cove” has plenty of sandy shoreline, clear placid water, amazing Arizona desert views, and solitude.

View from the Beach, South Telephone Cove, Lake Mead NRA, Arizona (©Jody Diehl)

The sand along South Telephone Cove‘s shoreline ranges from sugar white (closer to the dunes) to pebbly areas perfect for beach rockhounding.  *You will want to wear your beach trekkers to protect your feet from the sharper pieces of rock.* It will be hard to decide whether to look down for the beautifully colored stones,  look up at the gorgeous scenery, or just look across the serene water for boats crossing beyond the cove.

What will you find beach rockhounding at South Telephone Cove, Arizona? (©Jody Diehl)

This area comes complete with shaded picnic tables and restrooms.  No lifeguards are on duty here, so be sure to follow the posted safety advice.

We cannot wait to head back to South Arizona Telephone Cove on a warm, sunny day! Even on a cool, overcast afternoon we had an absolutely splendid time at the beach.

This Way to the Beach!

Take the scenic route and enjoy the ride!

Posted in Beaches of North America, Friday Finds, Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Beach Stone Collecting Hobby Leads to a Wonderfully Creative Alphabet Book

Posted by Greg on July 19, 2011

Post by Jody Diehl

This is really fun: Turning a beachcombing collection into an artful book!  I’ll never look at beach stones and rocks the same way! These are particular beach stones are real beach treasures, mostly from the “Treasure Coast” of Florida (roughly from Sebastian to Jupiter).

Beachcomber Leslie McGuirk has turned her beach stone collecting hobby into a work of art.  From letters to fish to toast…

Here’s a clip of the article by Peter Pringle of the TC Palm:  “The book— “If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet” — is a photographic collection of seashore-discovered rocks in the shape of each letter of the alphabet, and of rocks resembling objects that begin with the letter.”

I’m inspired to head to the beach, where I might find lions and tigers and bears… oh my.

A Very Pebbly Beach! - Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington (Photo by Wing-Chi Poon/Wikimedia Commons)

WooHooo! One more thing to look for at the seashore: animal shaped beach stones! Who knew?

Have a great day at the beach!

“If Rocks Could Sing – A Discovered Alphabet” by Leslie McGuirk

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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