Saturday, January 31, 2009

In the Dunes at Three Mile

The time for the new bean harvest is coming soon but for now I'm still looking back in the dunes.

Here are the beans from the latest picking:

The sea purses and red hamburger bean were really clean - just like a dream I had the night before.

I picked up so of the more common beans but they may not make it to the display bowl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gift Beans From Afar

A couple of weeks ago I introduced a co-worker to sea beans and she took a real interest - especially since her holidays would be spent on beaches in Mexico and Thailand. She found several hamburgers, almonds, and hog plums along with a couple of sea hearts and some that were "unidentified".

This turned out to be the big prize - a Puzzle Fruit. This bean (Heritiera littoralis) comes from the looking-glass mangrove - a large tree with wing shaped nuts, which is most easily recognized by the silvery scales on the underside of its leaves that resemble a mirror.

I was given three beans from her collection - one black hamburger like the one below.

The black hamburger bean is from Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

She also gave me these two beans that are unlike any in my collection.

The pale, round bean is from Ko Samui, Thailand. I'm pretty sure this is a Laurelwood (Calophyllum calaba).

The fibrous bean is from Song Pee Nong Beach on Koh Paluay, Thailand. I need to study this one some more for positive identification.

Thanks Laura for the new beans!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Display Your Beans

After collecting beans for a few months and polishing some of them up, the next thing to do is figure out how (and where) to display them. We saw some shells and other beachcombing items displayed in the shell shop in Rockport last spring and also have seen shells displayed in a coffee table in a store in Matagorda.

My first attempt at "beach in a box" was done using a shadow box.

I liked the result but this has glass only on one side and has to be sealed (glued) to prevent the sand from leaking out since it must be filled from the bottom.

Robyn gave me this excellent wooden bowl for Christmas. It really shows off my collection.

I found this case in Michael's craft store. It is called Finish-It as you need to apply a stain or something to the raw wood. I used linseed oil for the finish. It has a hinged lid and glass on the top and sides. I really like this since you can add or remove items over time.

Whatever method you use, get your beans on display!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Windy Picking

Since kayak fishing was out of the question, a ride down the beach was in order. I felt like I could brave the 20 mph north wind for a little beanin'.

These are the keepers of the day: One red mangrove, two sea hearts, one prickly palm, one red hamburger, and one black walnut.

Here are the sea hearts and prickly palm prior to cleaning & polishing.

And here they are after.

The black walnut (on right) was the biggest I've ever seen. I saw several others and lots of water hickory, pecans, and tropical almonds but I've stopped collecting these.

The red hamburger (on right) was also one of the biggest I've ever seen.

I'm ready for the new beans to arrive. It won't be too long before searching the wrack line in the dunes will become hazardous (snakes).