A page a day

Life on California's beautiful Central Coast

A fortune made of sand

Sand dollar.

Saturday morning I went for a very long beach run all the way from Isla Vista to past the Naples surf break, which is about five miles up the coast from I.V. The tide is out far enough now to go all that way on the sand, and it was a beautiful summer morning to be out in the sun, running, thinking about things, and listening to good music.

On my way past the beach at Ellwood I noticed that there were lots of whole sand dollars in the surfline. I will often pick up a perfect whole sand dollar, because they feel lucky to me. I’d put them in the same category with pennies found in the road or silver dollar pancakes. You don’t see them very often, and they inspire this perfect little feeling of happiness that is entirely real and pleasant. They’re not always common on the beach here, but maybe this is summer sand dollar season. Lots of luck to go around.

There was no surf to speak of, but there were pelicans, starfish, nice dogs and walkers and plenty of other sights to see. The Bacara looked like a sleepy Meditteranean village perched on a hill. It’s less offensive to me than it used to be, but I really hope the new owners decide to abandon the proposed condominiums that would have major impacts on Haskell’s Beach. The more wild this stretch of coastline stays, the luckier we all are.

By the way, did you know that sand dollars are also called sand cakes, sea biscuits and cake urchins? Baking and the beach – the perfect combo!

Starfish

Orange starfish.

Pelican perch.

Pelican perch. This guy let me get really close to him without blinking. But he was watching me out of the corner of his eye.

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