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Posts Tagged ‘Brazoria County Texas beach’

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!

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

Angel Wings: A Heavenly Find

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, Bryan Beach, Texas (Brazoria County)

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.

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

“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: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Surfside Jetty County Park (Upper Texas Gulf Coast)

Posted by Jody on April 9, 2013

Surfside Jetty County Park, Texas

Surfside Jetty County Park, Texas

Surfside Jetty County Park is the perfect day-trip destination on the Texas Gulf Coast! Two of my top reasons for heading to this particular family friendly beach park are 1) the ample paved parking available right up close to the beach and 2) the well maintained permanent restrooms (both are very hard to come by on this part of the upper Texas Gulf Coast). The park offers so much more, though: a grassy lawn for flying kites and a play area for the kids to romp, covered picnic tables, a sandy beach, and a .6 mile long jetty jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico that’s just right for a leisurely stroll.

Surfside Jetty County Park on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast

Surfside Jetty County Park on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast

The Surfside Jetty was packed with folks fishing from its protective riprap on the sunny spring day we visited, but there was always room for us to pass.

Surfside Jetty, Texas

Surfside Jetty, Texas

The adjacent sandy beach is a wonderful place to beachcomb for seashells. According to the Village of Surfside Beach website, “600 known shell species found among our 27 miles of sandy beaches of Brazoria County.”

It’s also the perfect place for children of all ages to build sand castles, watch the surfers, and swim or splash in the water. *Note: No lifeguards are stationed at Surfside’s beaches.*

Beaches Full of  Treasures at Surfside, Texas

Beaches Full of Treasures at Surfside, Texas

Lots of families came  much better prepared than we were – with camping tents, shade shelters, furnishings of all sorts, well-stocked coolers, and enough packaged food to stock a couple of small convenience stores… I do believe I’ve heard these super organized, ultra-ready people referred to as “beach contractors.” Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, we’ll come better outfitted (with own big top and plenty of provisions) to sit back, relax, and spend the whole day having fun on the sand and shore.

Beach Contractors at Surfside, Texas

Beach Contractors at Surfside, Texas

~~~

 Here’s a peek at some of the beach treasures we found at Surfside Jetty County Park beach!

Surfside Beach Treasures: Oysters, Scallops, Cockles, and Ark Shells

Surfside Beach Treasures

~Oysters, Scallops, Cockles, and Ark Shells!

~~~

Have a great day at the beach!

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

A Sea Glass Treasure Trove – Surfside Beach (Texas Gulf Coast)

Posted by Jody on February 7, 2013

Surfside Beach, Texas

Surfside Beach, Texas

The Village of Surfside Beach, Texas, is a little bitty seaside hamlet located on the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, birding, picnicking and kayaking are just a few of the choices beachgoers have when they visit the shores of this little coastal community.

This stretch of sandy beach on the Texas Coastal Bend is already well known for its wonderful shelling. In fact, according to Surfside’s website, there are 600 known shell species that can be found along the  27 miles of Brazoria County’s beaches. Our family searched and searched for those hundreds of types of seashells and did find many a fine specimen, but, sadly, quite a few had been broken to bits by the trucks and cars that are allowed on so much of this section of  Texas’s coastal beaches.

Surfside Beach, Texas

Surfside Beach, Texas

Never fear, though! All is certainly not lost. (It never is on a day at the beach!) In my book, Surfside Beach is one of the absolute best strands that I’ve ever come across for collecting sea glass!

Beach Treasures from Surfside Beach, Texas Gulf Coast

Beach Treasures from Surfside Beach, Texas Gulf Coast

Greens and blues, pinks and browns, lettered and patterned and smooth; all types of glass in every stage of sea-tumbledness can be found on the sands of Surfside Beach. I won’t share how I think the wave-worn beach glass originates, but I will site rule #11 from the village’s Beach Rules web page, which states: “NO GLASS CONTAINERS ON THE BEACH” (all caps). *This is a great place to caution you to wear shoes on this stretch of shoreline.* The vehicle traffic that easily crushes those 600 species of seashells also breaks glass into pieces which can result in some very sharp edges. Discrimination is the key. It can be very hard for kids of all ages to resist picking every beautiful, glittering, colorful beach treasure they see, so little ones need to be closely supervised here!

Evening Picnic at Surfside Beach, Texas

Evening Picnic at Surfside Beach, Texas

Before or after you’ve filled up your buckets and bags with sea glass and shells, you may want visit Surfside Beach’s Jetty Park which runs along the Freeport Jetties.  It has picnic areas, restrooms, a playground and fantastic views of the gulf and ship channel. You can walk the jetty, fish from the rocks, or simply settle in and watch the huge container ships come and go through the jetty channel.

Surfside Beach is located in Brazoria County, 15 minutes southeast of Lake Jackson, Texas where TX-332 meets TX-257 (Bluewater Highway).

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 20 Comments »

The Regal Great Blue Heron

Posted by Jody on June 6, 2012

Great Blue Heron on the Texas Gulf Coast

Great Blue Heron, Preparing for Flight

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Greg, the kids, and I have had the pleasure of seeing Great Blue Herons in many different settings.  It’s no wonder, since they are found throughout North America.  Their range extends from Alaska to Florida, into the Caribbean and Mexico, and even farther south to northern South America.  Found on saltwater coastlines, freshwater lake shores, riverbanks and creeksides, the Great Blue Heron has a diet consisting primarily of fish. Mice, lizards, insects, frogs and turtles are also on the menu.

The largest of the North American herons, Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) are wading birds, some standing up to 4½ feet tall. They strike quite a dignified pose, with their long legs, graceful necks, blade-like bills, and subtle blue gray plumage. They have a definite, bold black stripe above their eyes that extends to the back of their heads.

When in flight, they reveal two tones on the upper side of their wings, dark flight feathers with light coloring forward.  Their wingspread can measure 6½ feet! In flight, their necks curl into an s-curve and their feet stick straight out behind their bodies. What a majestic sight they are!

The above photo series of a stately heron was taken from the west jetty at Quintana Beach County Park, on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. I imagine this beautiful Great Blue Heron was hoping for fish, just like the many tackle-toting visitors to the jetty!

Quintana Jetty, Quintana Beach County Park, Texas Gulf Coast

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has lots of information on the Great Blue Heron.  Their website has audio recordings of the different calls, as well as a live webcam of  Great Blue Herons nesting, giving us a wonderful opportunity to get even more up close and personal with these regal birds.

~ Happy beach birding! ~

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit

Posted by Jody on June 5, 2012

Quintana Beach County Park:

Our family gives this 51 acre beach and park complex a definite “two thumbs up!”

“Natural” Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park is located on the upper Texas Gulf Coast on the tiny man-made island of  Quintana, the “Gateway to the Gulf.” We think it offers one of the nicest beach experiences on the Texas coast. Here you’ll find a “natural” beach that is maintained by the tides and weather.  Expect to see seaweed and driftwood strewn across the sandy beach. This simply means that Brazoria County leaves it to Mother Nature to care for her Gulf Coast shoreline. You won’t find the county regularly raking or “cleaning” the sand, and this just makes beachcombing that much more interesting.

There are so many reasons to visit Quintana Beach County Park! Here are just a few:

Sea Bean Collection from Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

1) While beachcombing on the 1/2+ mile of sands within the county park’s boundaries, we found a wonderful assortment of seabeans (also known as drift seeds), driftwood and delicate angel wings.

The Quintana jetty, locally known as the west jetty,  is the eastern border of the county park. It offers plenty of fun on its own!

2) The fine folks at the county park told us that the jetty measures about 1/2 mile long.  It’s a lovely walk. While strolling along the Quintana jetty, you can try to find the shape of the Lone Star State embedded in the concrete. I think it was our 5 year old grandson who spotted it first!

The Lone Star State

3) One of my favorite activities at the beach park was just sitting on the rocks of the jetty, watching the tugs go out and the ships come in through the Freeport Ship Channel.

Watching the Banana Boat

4) Our family doesn’t fish, but it was easy to see that surf fishing, pier fishing, kayak fishing, and fishing from the extra long jetty are all the rage at Quintana Beach County Park.

View from the Quintana Jetty

5) Birding, too. Most notably, we watched pelicans in flight and the regal great blue heron.

6) Swimming – NOT from the jetty! (of course), although there are no lifeguards at the beach.

7 & 8) Surfing and kayaking are very popular sports here.

Kayaks on the Gulf of Mexico

9) Clean, well maintained camp sites and rental cabins are available just off the beach. Special event pavilions can be reserved for day use, too.

10) There are lots of amenities and a few historic sites just beyond the dunes. Be sure to use the dune preserving crossovers! Nice washrooms and showers are available, along with picnic tables and vending machines.

Dune Crossover

Pick a reason, any reason, to visit Quintana Beach County Park and your family will have a great day at the beach, too!

~~~

 

Posted in Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Elusive Bryan Beach, Texas Gulf Coast

Posted by Jody on May 18, 2012

Bryan Beach is a beautiful strip of golden sand on the Texas Gulf Coast.  We found this fine, wide, “natural” beach by studying a visitor’s map of  Clute, Texas and its surrounding cities. The beach isn’t even specifically labeled on the brightly colored tourist maps of the area, and it’s even harder to find official information on the internet! Just ask one of the  friendly locals if you need help with directions. Take my word on this one… Bryan Beach is worth searching out!

Beautiful Bryan Beach, Brazoria County, Texas

Bryan Beach, with its wide expanse of soft sand, is the perfect kite-flying beach. You can walk for miles and beachcomb for a wonderful variety of beach treasures. But look out for the cars and trucks!  They are allowed on the beach here. I understand that weekends can be quite crowded, and it’s no wonder, since you can camp on Bryan Beach free of charge.

Bryan Beach, Texas

The Gulf of Mexico is very generous to the visitors at Bryan Beach. Our collected beach treasures ranged from colorful coquinas to sundials, sea beans and driftwood.  There are plenty of goodies to go around on this lovely, elusive strand.

Bryan Beach Treasures (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

Delicate angel wings adorn the sand at the water’s edge.

Angel Wings in the Sand

According to the  Texas State Historical Association, “The 878-acre park was acquired by purchase from private owners in 1973 and named for James Perry Bryan, who built a home there in 1881 and operated a store at nearby Peach Point. Covered with dunes, some up to ten feet in height, the undeveloped park is home to a wide variety of coastal vegetation, including various grasses, shrubs, and forbs. Native animals include ground squirrels, gophers, grasshopper mice, rice rats, cotton rats, rabbits, and opossums. Shorebirds are common, and waterfowl and other migratory birds can be observed.”

Take County Road 1495 for about 3 ½ miles south and west of Freeport, Texas and you’ll find Bryan Beach State Recreation Area.  We didn’t actually see any evidence that this undeveloped area was a state park. In fact, I was told by the helpful folks at the Freeport Visitor Center that Bryan  Beach is maintained by the City of Freeport.  The only official nod to civilization here is a couple of porta-potties placed near an entry point to the beach!

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Angel Wings: A Heavenly Find

Posted by Jody on May 10, 2012

“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, 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, Bryan Beach, Texas (Brazoria County)

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 lots 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.

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

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!

~~~

*Republished on May 28, 2014*

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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