Trees in the Mist

Trees in the Mist

Washed Ashore!

Santa Cruz, California, West Cliff Drive shoreline. Watercolor 6x9 inches.
Along the Monterey Bay shoreline, there is endless entertainment for the person who takes a little time to inspect what the ocean's waves leave behind. You'll find shells, of course, like the lovely blue-black shells of the super-abundant California Mussel:

Three views of a California Mussel shell.
Or a less common Moon Snail shell:
Or, at low tide, a Leafy Hornmouth shell (sounding more like an insect than a snail!):
Leafy Hornmouth shell.
What you likely will not find are abalone shells that some folks may wish for (abalones, of which there are several species in our region, were harvested down to meagre numbers in decades past, and their populations have never rebounded).
But there are plenty of others to enjoy...

and so much more, like pieces of crab shells (exoskeletons):
Rock Crab carapace (a single piece of shell that covers the animals' back and sides)
Or pieces of fish, like this vertebra (backbone piece):
Three views of a fish vertebra.
Lovely pieces of seaweed:
Odd rubbery things that are animals (or colonies of them) called tunicates:
Thee kinds of tunicates washed ashore and an unidentified squishy red sphere.
Even clusters of teeny snail eggs!

Go and explore the stuff that's washed ashore, and enjoy a world of shape and design, color and texture, mysteries and answers--in short, the usual wonder of nature!