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Posts Tagged ‘beachcombing in Northern California’

Good and Plenty! ~ Black Tegulas ~

Posted by Jody on March 29, 2012

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis) are extremely common finds along the Pacific coast of the United States.  Also known as Black Turbans, they live along the shoreline and rocks of the upper and middle intertidal zones from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the central Baja California peninsula. These little beauties are often found packed tightly into neat and tidy clusters on rocky surfaces and in crevices.

Black Tegulas in a Cluster

A beautiful deep purple-black, the Black Tegula has a sturdy, top shaped shell.  The very tip, or apex, of the shell is usually worn away, revealing a pretty, pearly white layer just beneath the outer smooth, black surface. The inside of the shell is also a pearlescent white. Members of the Top Shell Family (Trochidae), Black Tegulas are herbivores, feeding on seaweed and algae. These plentiful marine snails grow to ¾” – 1 ¾” high.

Black Tegulas -Tegula funebralis- pictured with anemones in upper intertidal zone.

Black Tegulas are an especially fun discovery in their typical tide pool environment.  Get close, be patient, and watch carefully. What is really living in those shells? Are you actually seeing legs?  Could be! You’ll surely discover that some of these strong, solid shells have become comfortable (and, extremely affordable) housing for hermit crabs!

Picking up vacated Black Tegulas on the beach is the best way to collect these rugged, beautifully colored seashells.  As beach treasures, they are the perfect addition to any beachcomber’s treasure trove!

Have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Pacific Coast Beaches, Seashells, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

At the Beach in “Funky Town” – Bolinas, California

Posted by Jody on February 9, 2012

Bolinas, California (©Jody Diehl)

I have to admit, the moment Greg and I entered the little unincorporated community of Bolinas, California, the lyrics to the song “Funky Town” ran through my mind.  It kept playing and playing, all the way to the beach.  (There it is again!)

Won’t you take me to
Won’t you take me to
Won’t you take me to
Won’t you take me to
Funkytown ~ Lyrics by Steven Greenberg ~Thanks a lot! 😉

If you are in the area, then Bolinas Beach is a must-do stop in my book!  About 30 miles north of San Francisco, off of State Route 1, this beach is jam-packed with personality (personalities, rather)! You’ll see surfers galore, paddle boarders, splashers, and sunbathers.  The Bolinas townsfolk are as eclectic a bunch as you’ll ever see, and many of them are at the beach.  The day we were there, a disheveled man raced past us in the current, heading out to sea from the direction of Bolinas Lagoon. His vessel? Some sort of tiny, makeshift raft, complete with an umbrella set up as a mast. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the shore, soaking wet and on foot, still wearing his leather jacket. His hat was still securely tied onto his head with what appeared to be a white gym sock. We will never know what final destination he had in mind!

Do yourself a favor and set aside some time to watch the surfers at Bolinas Beach.  Better yet, take a surf lesson! The views here are amazing, and the beachcombing is fantastic! We found everything from Giant Rock Scallops and colorful sea glass to beautifully bored mudstone.

Bolinas Beach Treasures (©Jody Diehl)

By the way, be sure to have a good map or GPS.  Bolinas is not signed from State Route 1. The scuttlebutt is that the locals take those pesky things down.

~We took Olema-Bolinas Road and followed through to Wharf Road. Parking was limited at the end of the street.

Have a great day at the beach!

Won’t you take me to
Won’t you take me to


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

Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County, California

Posted by Jody on August 30, 2011

Redwood National Park (Photo: NPS, from Wikimedia Commons)

With 100 miles of stunningly spectacular Northern California coastline, “California’s Redwood Coast”  was able to select the Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County.  Humboldt County, home to the world-renowned California Redwoods, is located about 225 miles north of San Francisco. Many of the beaches on the Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County list are part of the Humboldt County Parks system.  Be warned:  “Because of lack of financial resources, Humboldt County park facilities are considered to be more primitive than facilities managed by other agencies.” You may want to check for specific park facilities before you head for any of the Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County!

Little River State Beach joins with Clam Beach County Park to the south.  Farther to the south connecting to Clam Beach County Park is Mad River County Park.  All three of these beaches made the list of Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County. And all three beaches connect with a continuous ocean frontage of sand and coastal dunes.

The Mouth of Little River (Photo by Greg Kidd, from Wikimedia Commons)

Little River State Beach, with it’s wide sandy shoreline, is bordered on the north by the Little River which itself offers swimming and kayaking. Surfing and swimming are popular attractions at Little River State Beach.

Clam Beach County Park, one of the largest beaches in Humboldt County, allows camping right on the beach with its lengthy, broad stretch of flat shoreline. Clam Beach has the distinction of being awarded a Times-Standard (Eureka, California) “2009 Readers Choice Award” for being the best beach on the North Coast. Beachcombing, horseback riding and surfing are all popular activities here.

Mad River County Park is a popular spot for picnicking and beachcombing.  Here there is a boat ramp into the Mad River which is just right for paddling canoes or kayaking.

Location of Humboldt County, California (Map by David Benbennick, from Wikimedia Commons)

Agate Beach is located in Patrick’s Point State Park.  Semi-precious surf tumbled agates and more precious jade & moonstone can be found while beachcombing here. You might even find a fishing float on Agate Beach amongst the stones, shells and driftwood.

Centerville Beach County Park, with its nine mile stretch of shoreline, is the perfect beach for bird watchers.  Cormorants, sandpipers, gulls and pelicans are plentiful.  Watching harbor seals is a favorite activity too.

Rounding out the Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County are Trinidad State Beach, Luffenholtz County Park, Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, Samoa Dunes County Park, and Black Sands Beach.

Be sure to check out all of the Top Ten Beaches of Humboldt County  beach links for additional access & safety information, and directions.

You’ll also want to have a look at the California National Monument Brochure -Trinidad Gateway. It’s both informative and beautiful.

Leave us a comment, let us know what you’d like to see!  &  please share us with your friends on Facebook. Thanks -J-

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Northern California Beaches, Sea Lions and Seals, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips, Top Ten Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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