Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seed Dispersal

The weather report indicated lots of rain on Friday with high tides expected.

While this means our weekend fishing will be messed up, these are perfect conditions for beachcombing.

We enjoyed lunch at Spoonbills and headed for the beach shortly thereafter.

Sea beans are seeds that are dispersed worldwide by way of rivers and ocean currents. These local seeds are dispersed on the dunes and contribute to the vegetation which helps hold the sand in place.

We found several good beans including plams, hamburgers, purses, hearts, nickars, and a sea coconut.

The best find of the day was another thick-banded mucuna. You can see in these photos how different it is from a tpical hamburger bean.

Not only is it significantly larger in size, the hilum is much wider and is bounded by a light colored stripe. This is only the second one we have found. The other one is shown on this post.

I also picked up a large bone from a spine, a coconut shell, and a sea coconut in the husk that will soon become part of the collection at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Padre Island Beans

On a recent work trip to Corpus Christi, I took two of my co-workers to the beach on Padre Island to look for beans. Hurricane Ida had been kicking up the Gulf and even though it had turned east and was far away from our location, the tide had risen to the point where some of the access roads were closed and there was a well defined wrack line to search.

Here are Dharma and Alexandra heading to Malaquite Beach to look for beans.

We found a nice selection of beans and everybody went home with some.

Alex had some walnuts, almonds, sea coconuts, and hamburgers.

Dharma had some of the same along with some palms as well.

We found some fresh sand dollars like this one and the one on Tracy's Onesnap Blog.

As Tracy describes in her post, I cleaned the stinky sand dollars up and hit them with some diluted bleach and the results were spectacular.

The two we brought home came out a dazzling white and have little or no smell.

These are real treasures from our trip and one day I hope to return to Padre Island for some more searching.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mangos and Corky Thorns

When the fishing is done, there is always time to take a stroll on the beach. If you keep your eyes open, there is no telling what you might find!

Here are some beans we found on this trip.

This is a mango seed - the first I've found on the beach. ID provided by Sergio.

These smaller seeds add a lot to the collection. I think one is a soapberry and one is a railroad vine.

These are corky thorns from the Kapok tree. The one on the left is broken in half.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beans for Utah

My compadre Sergio stayed over an extra day from his trip to go to Matagorda with me and see if he could find a fish or some sea beans. The fishing was a little slow but he found several beans to take home to his family in Utah.

Some beans like this sea purse are hard to distinguish from shells.

This sure beats a day at the office!

This Mary's Bean was just sitting there waiting to be found.

Sea bean picker extradornaire.

This is a sweet find anytime but especially when you have limited time to look.

Have a safe trip back to Salt Lake City and say "Hi" to the girls!