SHELLY CAT BY THE SEA:  ADVENTURES AT THE BEACH is a children’s book I’ve written & illustrated.   Here is an excerpt from the book about the day they discovered sea weeds!

Sometimes the high tides wash up all kinds of seaweeds onto the beach.  Marv had read a wonderful book on seaweeds of the Pacific Coast & knew lots about seaweeds. Marv thought it would be a fun game if they all could see what kinds of seaweeds they could each find. 

Shelly Cat found a long frond of feather boa seaweed.  It was quite damp, but Shelly Cat liked it very much as a scarf.  She draped it around her neck & did a little dance while humming. 

Louis found some bright yellow-green lettuce seaweed & immediately sat down to have a snack.  The seaweed lettuce had been freshly washed & salted by the sea.  Louis thought it was delicious while he munched on it.

Marv was very excited to find a purplish-red, seaweed blade that was covered with bumps.  He picked it up & ran to Shelly Cat & Louis to tell them all about Turkish Towel seaweed!    Who knew that you could find a Turkish Towel at the beach?  Since it was dripping with ocean water & wouldn’t dry anything, Shelly Cat & Louis just laughed & laughed.  Marv didn’t care because they all had another fun day at the beach exploring living their lives by-the-sea.

Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast by Jennifer Mondragon & Jeff Mondgragon

Turkish Towel – chondracanthus exasperutus

Sea Lettuce – Ulva spp. – Ulva is widely used for food.  It can be dried, toasted or eaten fresh in salads, soups & other dishes.

Feather Boa Kelp – egregia menziesil


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.


GREAT BLUE HERON, SNOWY EGRET & GREAT WHITE EGRET – My photographs along with small illustrations of a few of my favorite shorebirds.