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Posts Tagged ‘sand dollars’

Picture Perfect October Day at Coronado Beach

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2015

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado's Central Beach

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado’s Central Beach

If you’re a beach lover visiting the San Diego area, Coronado Beach certainly needs to be on your “to-do” list! Better yet, make Coronado your destination and have San Diego be the extra thing “to-do.” Coronado Central Beach is one of the most spectacularly wide stretches of soft golden sand we’ve ever visited. It’s definitely worth the trip. And that trip gets even better if you take the 15-minute Coronado Ferry ride across the bay from San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

Coronado’s pristine Central Beach lies along Ocean Boulevard where you just might find free parking – if you don’t choose the ferry ride. You’ll have to be an early bird (or just really, really lucky) to get a nearby parking spot on the weekend. Public restrooms are available and helpful, friendly lifeguards are on duty into the evening hours.

Picture Perfect October Day

Picture Perfect October Day

Coronado's Beach Chair Program

Coronado’s Beach Chair Program

Beach accessible wheelchairs are available to the public, free of charge, at the Central Beach Lifeguard Tower.

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Looking West from The Hotel Del

Looking West from The Hotel Del

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Perfect Day on Coronado's Beach

The Perfect Day on Coronado’s Beach

Coronado Beach is a great family beach. Even Fido is welcome at the far north end of the strand.

October Sky

October Sky

The Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado

Coronado's Wide Beach

Coronado’s Glorious Wide Sand Beach

It’s no wonder Dr. Beach proclaimed Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” in 2012!

Beach Treasures

Beach Treasures

We joined a few folks who were busy tide pooling at the riprap in front of “The Del” during low tide. Little bitty sand dollars were the prized beach treasures on this absolutely gorgeous October day.

~~~ Have a great day at the beach! ~~~

Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 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 »

Festive Sand Dollar Cookies

Posted by Jody on December 15, 2013

Yummmy! I’m making these again this week!

Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

‘Tis the season to be baking. Fa la la la la!

I definitely have my own favorites for our family Christmas cookie line up, and some kind of yummy cut-out sugar cookie is always on that list!

This year I decided to try something a little different. Inspired by my collection of sand dollars, I thought it would be fun to try out an idea for coastal themed Christmas cookies. Of course, these sweet beach treasures are great for any time of year and would be a big hit at any luau or beach picnic!

I used a sugar cookie recipe that I found at Art of Dessert (recipe below).

After rolling out the dough to 1/4 inch, I used a small mouth Mason jar lid band to cut out my cookies. It was just the right size (almost 3″ across) for the sand dollar I was trying to match…

View original post 453 more words

Posted in Beachy Keen Art | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Morro Bay, California – Sea Stars, Sand Dollars & Surfers

Posted by Jody on October 15, 2013

We just love returning to the beaches of Morro Bay, California. Nestled on the Pacific Ocean about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay is home to one of the most fascinating coastal environments you’ll find anywhere.

Sea Star, Morro Bay, California (Photo by Jody Diehl)

Our family loves exploring the tide pools near “El Morro” (aka: Morro Rock). We’re never disappointed with the rich variety of marine life we find near the rocky breakwater.

Heading out to explore the tide pools in almost any weather is well worth the time and energy. You’ll be so glad you did. Keep your eyes open! You’ll have to look under and around rocks to spot the beautifully colored sea stars and sea anemones. Smaller crabs will scurry into the riprap, waving and drumming their pincers to warn you off. It’s a really cool sound (Don’t worry about embarrassing them, though – they never seem put off that you’re laughing at their bravado)! The larger crabs won’t pay you any mind at all. Years ago, Greg and I even came across a young seal resting on the sand. That was a real bonus!

The Crab Who Didn’t Care, Morro Bay, California (Photo by Jody Diehl)

On the way back toward town, check out the bay side water to see if you can catch a glimpse of the very entertaining otters.

If bird watching is your jive, the Morro Bay area is home to over 250 species of birds (including peregrine falcons), a fact that this quaint fishing village celebrates each year with the Winter Bird Festival weekend.

Beach and coastal activities are numerous in Morro Bay. If you check out the beach to the north of Morro Rock, you’ll inevitably find surfers, even if they’re just hanging out waiting for the next set of waves. This strand is also where a bounty of sand dollars can be found (be careful not to collect the live ones).

If you look to the south of Morro Rock toward the placid waters of the protected bay, you’ll see kayaks gliding amongst the moored sail boats.

Kayak in Morro Bay, California (©Jody Diehl)

It always seems to be a bit misty when we’re visiting Morro Bay, and mornings can be pretty nippy out on the water. You might want to wear layers and bring along rain gear, just in case. Your sturdy beach-trekkers will be perfect for climbing over the uneven rocks around the tide pools.

Where is your favorite tide pooling spot? We’d love to hear about it!

~~~

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Northern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Festive Sand Dollar Cookies

Posted by Jody on December 11, 2012

‘Tis the season to be baking. Fa la la la la!

I definitely have my own favorites for our family Christmas cookie line up, and some kind of yummy cut-out sugar cookie is always on that list!

Let's Roll!

Let’s Roll!

This year I decided to try something a little different. Inspired by my collection of sand dollars, I thought it would be fun to try out an idea for coastal themed Christmas cookies. Of course, these sweet beach treasures are great for any time of year and would be a big hit at any luau or beach picnic!

I used a sugar cookie recipe that I found at Art of Dessert (recipe below).

I used a small mouth Mason jar lid for the cookie cutter.

I used a small mouth Mason jar lid band for the cookie cutter.

After rolling out the dough to 1/4 inch, I used a small mouth Mason jar lid band to cut out my cookies. It was just the right size (almost 3″ across) for the sand dollar I was trying to match. Once the cookies were cut and placed onto the cookie sheet, I pressed five whole, blanched almonds into the shape of the sand dollar design in the bottom center of each cookie dough circle. For some of the sweet treats, I used a plastic drinking straw to push a hole through the top of the cookie (for hanging). Before placing the cookie sheet into the oven, I sprinkled the cut-outs with sugar. For the first batch of sand dollar cookies, I used a lighter sugar crystal. Thinking that I’d like the remaining batches of the cookies to look a little more “sandy,” I used a darker “raw” sugar for sprinkling on the rest.

The first batch is ready for the oven!

The first batch is ready for the oven!

Second batch (sprinkled with "raw sugar") ready for the oven

Batch #2 (sprinkled with the darker “raw sugar”) is ready for the oven.

Of course, hanging your tempting sand dollar cookies on the Christmas tree is optional. You might want to wait until just before the guests arrive to keep these goodies safe from dogs, kids, elves and cookie monsters of all ages!

Festive Sand Dollar Cookie Ornament

Yummy and Festive Sand Dollar Cookie Ornament

You’ll need to use a sugar cookie recipe that would make a sturdy enough dough for setting the blanched whole almonds into the sand dollar design.

Here’s the basic recipe I used:

Egg-Free Sugar Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies (This size of sand dollar made 30 cookies)
Allergy Note: contains wheat and dairy ingredients

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I’m thinking of adding a touch of almond extract to my next batch.)
1/4 cup milk

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract and milk.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Divide the cookie dough in half, form them into discs and wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until slightly firm.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, take out one of the discs and roll it to about 1/4 inches thick. Cut into shapes and transfer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. (Here’s where I pressed in the whole, blanched almonds and sprinkled on the sugar “sand”.) This dough can get a little too soft to handle at room temperature so you may have to return it to the refrigerator after rolling and cutting your first batch of cookies. You can bring out the second disc when you’re ready to roll and cut the second batch for baking.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the golden brown around the edges.

For Santa

For Santa Claus

You might want to consider making a double batch if you want to have any left for Santa!

~~~~~~~~~

Pismo Beach Sand Dollars

Pismo Beach Sand Dollars

~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Beachy Keen Art | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 47 Comments »

Cha ching! Sand Dollars. Fun to find.

Posted by Greg on November 23, 2011

Walking on a beach and finding sand dollars is a beachcomber’s delight. They often can be found on beaches where there is not much else to collect.

According to Cheryl Page at the Gulf of Maine Aquarium, sand dollars are from the class of marine animals known as Echinoids, spiny skinned creatures. Their relations include the sea lily, the sea cucumber, the star fish and the sea urchin. When alive, the local species, Echinarachnius parma is outfitted in a maroon-colored suit of moveable spines that encompass the entire shell. Like its close relative the sea urchin, the sand dollar has five sets of pores arranged petal pattern. The pores are used to move sea water into its internal water-vascular system which allows for movement. “

Sand dollars from Pismo Beach, California (©JodyDiehl)

There are several legends about the sand dollar. One version goes like this: There are five dove shapes locked inside the sand dollar. They hold a hidden promise. After a sand dollar dies and is broken open, the doves are released and come to life, ready to take flight and experience their freedom.

Live sand dollar (Photo from http://www.animalpictures1.com)

Many of us have not seen a living sand dollar. We might think of them as bleach white because that’s what washes up on shore after they die. When they’re alive, they are actually very colorful. Some are green, some are black-purple and some are brown. If you have yet to see a living sand dollar, it is probably because they prefer to dwell under the sand. If you go snorkeling or scuba diving and run across a cache of the white, expired sand dollars, chances are that live ones are in the sand right underneath them, so please do not disturb.

You’ll want to make sure that the sand dollars you collect are not alive. There are fines involved in many beach areas for collecting live shells, and in many places sand dollars are included. According to Karie Partington of  Naples News.com (Naples, Florida), “The live ones are tan in color and have a fine hairlike coating. They also secrete a yellowish, iodine-based substance that gets on your hands if you pick them up. The dead ones are white and hairless. In addition to the legality issue, there are other reasons to steer clear of collecting live sand dollars, said Jose Leal, director of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel Island. ‘Sooner or later the live ones are going to ooze and get slimy and smelly if you take them,’ he said.”(We’ll assume then that live sand dollars in the Naples, Florida area are tan in color.) The live sand dollar pictured in my hand (below) on a Southern California beach was purple and did not secrete anything on me.

Live Sand Dollar – Underside (©Jody Diehl)

Happy beachcombing!

More reading: Beachcombing? Shelling Regulations Abound. Know Before You Go!

Yummy and festive: How to make your own sand dollar cookies!

~~~

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

 
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