Category Archives: Beach

“Shelly Cat By the Sea: Adventures at the Beach” has arrived!

“Shelly Cat By the Sea: Adventures at the Beach” is the delightful story of Shelly Cat and her two “marvelous” mice friends, Marv & Louis, who live by the beach.  The three friends build sand castles and collect sea shells, but also have adventures at the beach seeing dolphins, sea lions and harbor seals.  The inquisitive cat and mice watch pelicans plunge into the sea for dinner, snowy egrets “dance” on the beach and see cormorants with turquoise eyes and throats.  Each adventure is an opportunity for education about the beach environment on the west coast.  Shelly Cat and the mice even spend time picking up trash on the beach.  Shelly Cat is a very happy cat and clearly enjoys her life by the sea.  She wears assorted hats and necklaces.  Marv & Louis, the two mice, each have distinctive personalities.  Marv is the serious one who likes to read books and watches out for Louis.  Louis is shy and has a childlike silliness.  Louis often carries paper umbrellas used for drinks that he found at the beach.  One day the mice discover that they are talented at weaving baskets and hats from reeds growing in the marsh on the bay.  Another day the three friends run away from the waves with the tiny Sanderling birds.  Together they collect and learn about sea weeds and about the hermit crabs living in sea shells in tide pools.  Shelly Cat, Marv & Louis go grunion hunting under the full moon and collect pine nuts from pine trees.  They watch sea gulls raise their polka-dotted chicks.  Every day is a marvelous adventure at the beach with Shelly Cat By the Sea and her two mice friends, Marv & Louis.  Both adults and children will enjoy this book.

“Shelly Cat By the Sea: Adventures at the Beach” is written by Nancy Lee Artist By-the-Sea and is illustrated with Nancy Lee’s watercolors.  Nancy Lee previously published “A Guide to San Diego Sea Shells”, a sea shell education book with her watercolor illustrations and photography of sea shells in Southern California.



This week little seaweed plants on tiny 1 inch (or smaller) stones washed up on the beach. I brought a few home to sketch & watercolor & that is what is on my art studio table this morning. After doing 2 paintings, I moved these tiny sea bouquets out to my patio table! I had the perfect mini flower pots for these magical seaweed bouquets. They are already dry, but they smell too fishy to be inside.


SAN DIEGO TIDE POOL DISCOVERIES – Every day walking on the beach brings a different experience.  A brand new moment of the beauty of nature.  The Sanderlings run to & fro trying to outrun the incoming tide while they feed between waves.  Their tiny legs moving so quick-quick in a blur are like cartoon road runner legs.  A mussell shell filled with sand makes a lovely container sparkling like an abalone shell in the sunlight.  A kelp crab, still alive is huge & gorgeous.  I return him to the sea where he belongs.  Scallop shell tapestries fill my mind with the desire to paint.  A sand dollar with sand designs around it is like a comet.  Make a wish.  The real surprise of this day though is a pile of sand dollars some unknown person put into a pile shaped like a heart & they left it for me to find.  Every day by the sea is lovely.