Sea Urchin Vase

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Momma gave me this sweet sea urchin vase.  Although, it looks great with a rose from her garden, I may have to fill it with shells.  Tiny shells.

Isn't it sweet?


Homemade Garden with Conch and Whelk Trim

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I have always wanted a garden, but haven't had a yard large enough to accommodate one until now.  Goodness knows I had no idea what I was in for.  I definitely had some ambition, and afterwards, I was so sore I felt like I went water-skiing for 2 hours.  It literally hurt to roll over in bed.  But, now I have a garden, and it looks like some things are still growing.  Here it is, the day I did it.  I am surprised I could lift my phone to get a picture.

Since then, I decided to use my whelks and conchs from shelling as a trim.  I am most positive they will keep out the bunny rabbits, squirrels, our pet woodpecker, and whatever else lives in our backyard and vicinity.  But, who cares, it looks kind of cool.

Conchs and whelks trimming my first garden.

Thyme and purple basil. 

Various peppers.



Flat leaf parsley. 


Heirloom tomato :).




I need to weed, and pick up pine straw.  I'll add that to my list of things to do today.  

What are you planting this summer? 


Prime Fossil Locale: The Beach!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Maybe when you hear the word fossil, you immediately feel tired because you are reminded of elementary school, and boredom.  But, let's be honest.  Fossils are cool.  Really cool.  And, you can find them in the midst of new shells while you stroll along the beach.  I recently found 2 fossil at Ocean Drive, SC.  And, I am such a dork that last weekend they traveled with me home for a weekend with my family.  I had to show everyone.

Can you believe this fossil Sea Biscuit?  A Sea Biscuit is in the Sand Dollar and Sea Urchin Family.  Technically, in the Enchinoderm Family.  This fossil is a smaller sea biscuit; the more prominent ones, and perhaps ones you may have seen before in your Mimi's house that she found years ago, are bigger and also more fragile.  This fossil is heavy because of the fossil's stone sediment.

Front - you can see at the top of the picture two parts of the typical sand dollar star. :)


Mildly obsessed with my sea biscuit fossil. 

Here are a couple pictures of sea biscuits that are not fossils, and ones that I did not find.  (Just so you have something to compare the above fossil to):

Credit: (apparently you can purchase these very easily).


After Tropical Storm Andrea, I found this piece of what was a very large scallop - you can see half of the bow tie.

Scallop Fossil


And, we cannot possibly discuss fossils, without speaking of the living fossil, the Horseshoe Crab.  How flipping cool are these amazing animals (and over 480 million years old - older than dinosaurs!).  I found these two babies on Masonboro Island this past Saturday.

Holy Horseshoe Crab!
Happy Shelling!  And, Happy Summer!


Tropical Storm Andrea

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I love a storm!  Especially a summer storm.  And, although I am not wishing a hurricane on anyone, anywhere, I love what a storm washes ashore.  So, you can probably imagine my excitement (minus having to watch Jim Cantore on TV) when I saw that Tropical Storm Andrea was heading towards the Carolina Coasts.  It brought lots of rain (great for my new garden) and some interesting shells and animals.  I also had the opportunity to explore multiple islands the past 2 days, which has been such a treat.  Here are some highlights:

This is a video I shot the morning after Andrea arrived - she was still around, as you can tell by the sound of the wind.  I don't think the video does the ocean was raging.

Andrea moving north.

Thanks for nothing, but perhaps a cool picture.

The remnants of a spider crab.
Here is a video of a couple Speckled Crabs, most likely freaking out a little since the storm was still very much around.  Aren't they beautiful?!

Blue crab holding out and hoping for the storm to move out soon (I think).

Hog Waties Island

Siren (looks like an eel, but is actually in the salamander family).  Misplaced by Andrea.

Cherry Grove Pier and signs of sunlight.

East Beach, BHI coral.

Baby Skate - there were loads of them washed up on Bald Head Island.

Wedge Piddocks
They were attached to man-made objects.  I caught these live ones in a video.  

More Wedge Piddocks...
Besides these beautiful shells, my other favorite find was this tiny Portuguese Man of War.  Careful if you see one washed up, but better than if you run into a live one in the water.  They can be deadly, and they will still sting you if they are dead like this one.  You can see a dead ant centered on the bubble.
Portuguese Man of War.

Bald Head Island, NC.
Think I may try and check out Masonboro Island today, but may just hunt crabs instead.  Hope everyone survived the storm, and are enjoying what it brought on shore!


Summer Essential: The Tomato Sandwich

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It really isn't summer until you have your first tomato sandwich of the season.  And, we all know the rules of making and eating a tomato sandwich, don't we?

  • Tomato's must be peeled. (Easiest way is to boil water and drop tomato in for 20 seconds or so - skin comes right off).
  • You have to use white bread and Duke's Mayonnaise.  (It may be the only thing that I allow in my house with the name Duke on it).
  • Someone else has to make your sandwich.
  • Don't forget the salt and pepper - or, don't let the person making your sandwich forget the salt and pepper.
  • You can always have more than one.  Same rules apply.

Sunbeam is good white bread, but I am not too strict when it comes to the white bread.  Just make sure it's fresh, and please don't even think about toasting it.
Duke's - the only mayo that touches my tomato sandwich.

Holden Farms on 17 right near Holden Beach, has great produce.  Check out these green onions I picked up for $0.99 a bunch yesterday.  Holy Chernobyl.

These are green onions - and yes, bigger than my big toe.

I diced these up with an English Cucumber, added red wine vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper, and a splash of olive oil.  Great salad to compliment the tomato sandwich.  I don't have a picture of the tomato sandwich, I ate it too quickly.
Cucumber and onion salad.

I hope y'all enjoy a tomato sandwich soon, and here's to summer lasting forever!


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