November 01, 2016

March in November . . .

I'm recently back from a four-week trip to my hometown in No. Calif.; I managed to be gone from NE Florida before, during, and after Hurricane Matthew tore through here! Our county was one of the hardest hit in Florida, but since we live west of I-95, our home (and my hubby) stood strong in the Category 3 winds, and the only damage was the loss of two smaller trees in our backyard and a fairly new microwave (and the power for 4-5 days). . .

So, here I sit, almost a week back home and aching to see "my" beach after both a long absence and after the storm tore up much of the coastline in the area . . . I do believe my beach fared well, considering . . . I'll get there this week, but in the meantime will continue my attempt of "catch up" with my photos from March . . .


This lovely knobbed whelk was buried in "muck" (sand submerged in shallow water) near the spot where I placed it after pulling it out and rinsing it off . . .


A wentletrap! I now have two of these gastropod shells . . . this is the larger of the two at 7/8". Yep, not even an inch long! They only reach 1" max., too.


From what I've seen on Facebook, in groups for seashell / beach lovers, finding and collecting heart shapes is kind of a thing . . . I have very few; they aren't easy to find! This one looks nearly perfect, made from an oyster shell.


Sunrise over the Atlantic . . . cannot wait to see one again!


Speaking of oyster shells... here's a cluster of striped acorn barnacles on an oyster shell . . .


Another small beauty, the thick-lipped drill. . . a not-so-pretty name. They reach 1.5" max. This pinkish tone is their natural color.


Another baby's ear . . .


And another lettered olive . . .


An angelwing . . .


. . . A small lightning whelk . . .


And a very nicely "carved" whelk piece.


August 03, 2016

February in August . . .

. . . Another glorious sunrise over the Atlantic, in Feb., the coldest month of the year here in NE Florida. And I do mean cold . . . during one beach visit, my feet were so painfully numb I had to cut the time there short. But the sunrises are worth it!





I continued to find interesting calico scallops in Feb. Above, this scallop has acorn barnacles attached. The gray and yellow one below, was an especially unique find . . .




I found my second common nutmeg shell! Don't let the photo fool you, they only reach a max of 1.7" (4.5 cm)



I thought this was a "turkey wing" ark, but it's a red-brown ark. I only have one turkey wing, from the Gulf Coast. I have about 3 of these red-browns, compared to zillions of the incongruous arks. There are actually 10 types of arks found in Florida.



This royal starfish was growing an arm back . . .



I know it's sad to see a dead sea creature, but I was also fascinated to see a puffer fish on the beach. This is a Spiny Box Puffer, or Striped Burrfish.



I found a mostly buried sand dollar . . . and was surprised that it was a whole one!




Ring-billed gulls were hanging out one morning . . .


As were these herring gulls . . . (note pale pink legs) . . . only seen in winter here.



Royal terns are seen year-round, but it's more fun to see their 'do in winter. The "Florida's Living Beaches" ID book actually notes that "Royal terns shun 'the comb-over' " !



The Forster's terns were chillin' too . . . note the black mottled crown above the eye patch ~ in late winter, their heads darken from masks to caps.



This ruddy turnstone's plumage is transitioning from breeding to winter colors. Ruddies winter along most of Florida's coastlines, but they live year-round along the panhandle coast.

July 17, 2016

January in July

....Now it's been QUITE awhile since I last posted, seven months in fact...so I'm going back to the beginning of 2016, re-starting where I left off... when the beach-combing is at its best no less...



I thought this looked really amazing, a feather floating w/ two water drops on it. (I did not put the droplets there!)




This is one beauty we do not touch!
This was the first Portuguese man-o-war I'd ever seen with its tentacles intact!




A very blustery morning on the beach...
The sand was blowing up the beach in streaks...




A January sunrise over the Atlantic . . .
I still go to the beach right before sunrise . . .




I found some more whole whelks . . .
(Above, knobbed whelk)




...And one Giant Eastern Murex piece . . .




This shark's eye was a deep taupe w/ black markings . . .




Finding whole whelks never gets old  . . . . .






The endless patterns of calico scallops never cease to entertain . . .







...And finding sea urchin tests is still a fairly rare treat!

December 02, 2015

It's Been Awhile . . .


I'm still here, beach-combing on a weekly basis . . . this morning hubby and I had some beach therapy, he mainly sat in a beach chair and chilled, I did my usual stroll & shell collecting. We made it for a lovely sunrise and a major surprise . . .






Ta da! This big gem was mostly buried in sand muck, a few inches underwater, between a sand bar that appears at low tide, and the actual beach. I saw the striking, unusual black/white pattern and dug up this, my first Florida horse conch! The shell is 11" long; they can reach 19" max.



On Monday, I found this nice knobbed whelk. Not my first, but they aren't easy to find so I was still pretty thrilled.

Now that the weather's cooled down a bit, beach-combing is quite pleasant all around.





September 15, 2015

Beach-combing Bonanza

Despite the threatening weather, Beach Therapy on this past Friday was really, really good . . . look closely, there's the juvenile reddish egret wading in the foreground . . . look very closely, you can see a flock of brown pelicans heading north just below the horizon (on the left) . . .



It's always thrilling to find a whole whelk shell . . . this small (1.75") Lightning Whelk has very strong dark brown markings . . .



This is the first whole (double-shelled) Atlantic cockle I've ever found; it's small, but it was still an exciting find!




I do have, somewhere in my shoe box sized pile of "misc. clam shells", another one of these Lightning Venus clam shells, but I don't believe the markings are this distinct.



I found two pieces of aqua sea glass; this was the larger piece, approx. 1.25" wide.




Another first  ~  a Jujube Topsnail !




Not a first, but a second . . . a very small Thick-lipped Drill . . .




It was a very good day for finding whelk pieces . . .  my shell bag runneth over!