CALIFORNIA IN WINTER – La Jolla’s California brown pelicans crowd the bluffs & soar in the sky. The adults have colorful winter plumage & blue eyes. The juvenile pelicans are brown and will not get adult plumage until they are 3 years old. Meanwhile the harbor seal colony rests on the beach with many pregnant seals who will soon give birth.
Wavy Turban Shells – These shells can be very tiny all the way up to 4″ high, the interior of the shell is similar to mother of pearl. The exterior of the shell has strong brownish sort of furry layers, which give the shell strength as it grows. Sometimes Wavy Turban shells wash up onto the beach after large storms. Still alive, local residents and beach goers kindly put them back into the ocean and tide pools. If you look at the bottom of a living Wavy Turban shell, you will find a grooved piece called an operculum, which is attached to the end of the mollusk and is used to seal up the shell very tightly. It’s like a door! Operculum’s are in the same category as Tiger Eye’s, which were used to make jewelry with. On rare occasions I have found the operculum on the beach and thought they were like special worry stone shells because my fingers fit perfectly in the grooves! One of my favorite shells! I have written an illustrated book titled “A Guide to San Diego Sea Shells”, which can be purchased on Amazon.
TIDE POOL LIFE – Illustrations from my photographs. After large winter storms, clumps of sea weeds & sometimes a branch of coral wash up onto the beach. One winter lots of living Wavy Turban shells ended up on the beach, too. Hopefully the high tide arrived & took them all back to their home in the sea. Decades ago Shell Beach in La Jolla had wonderful tide pools filled with sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea urchins & lots of sea shells. Spending time at the beach has always been soul fulfilling. When I spend time looking at these photos & creating illustrations from them, I remember that I will always carry this beauty in my heart.