Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sea Bean Bonanza

It is a myth that the best sea beaning takes place in the Spring.

I haven't been at this game for long but this weekend I got a good lesson in expectation management. Even though we only found a few beans last Saturday we were in for quite a surprise this week.

The weather was changing rapidly as we headed to Matagorda on Friday. We were running just ahead of a strong cold front. The tides had been way up for a couple of days and this weather event would surely stir things up.

After spending some time at MBNP, we decided to head out to the beach for a little beaning. The high tides had lifted the summer's beans up out of the loose sand and had deposited then in compressed lines of wrack. The recent rain had also washed away the sand and the beans were plentiful and easy to find. We covered up and pressed against the North wind and intermittent showers as we filled our bags with these beach treasures.

In just a couple of hours on Friday we collected 235 beans! We had a similar experience on Saturday with a total of 473 beans collected in two days.

The sea hearts are easy to see and are always fun to find. We found 28 hearts on Friday and 46 on Saturday.

We found lots of prickly palms (173 in two days). These will make some nice jewelry.

We found over 100 hamburgers - some red, some brown and a new one I've never found before. We also solved the mystery of the "big black ones". These were more prevalent and seemed to be those that had the waterproof covering compromised. The seed had begun to swell and sprout and given time and the right temperature and soil conditions would take root.

This corky thorn from a Kapok tree was my first.

We also found several smaller seeds - some of which come from local flowers and vines that grow on the beach and some which may come from a certain palm tree.

These are manchineel seeds that have not weathered much.

This is a small flower seed that may contain three lobed seeds.

This is the collection from two hours on Friday afternoon.

This is what a sea heart looks like - "Pick me up!".

Here is a heart and a hamburger side by side. There were lots of multiple finds.

Here is a prickly palm near some sea oats. You can see the effects of the rain in this shot.

Saturday's collection. I even picked up a couple of coconuts for the nature center.

These are some of the more unusual or new finds. In the forground is a Little Marble, on the right is a flat sea purse, on the left is a new type of hamburger, Mucuna holtonii from Belize. In the back are two mystery beans like I found last year. I still don't know what they are.

We found lots of sea purses of every color and pattern.

Another great find was eight Mary's Beans. I found four and so did Tracy.

These are gray nickernuts or sea pearls. If you click on the picture you can see the little contour lines on their shells.

Here are the sea hearts. Not bad for four hours of beaning.

Here are the hamburgers - big and small - and lots of red ones to boot.

We had a lot of fun - just like trick-or-treating only instead of candy we filled our bags with beans!

1 comment:

Tony n margie said...

Great weekend!!! My husband and I have collecting for 2 months and have over 1500 drift seeds so far. We are in Galveston county and found over 400 last weekend also. Found a few fossil teeth and bones from a bison. Going out again tomorrow. Will post pics!