Monday, September 8, 2014

Sharon Lovejoy's charming gardening books

Joining Sharon Lovejoy's Grimy Hands Girls Club by posting this photo.

Sharon Lovejoy published her first book in 1991, Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages, to introduce children to the wonders of nature through gardening.  Her passion for the natural world is reflected in award winning nature, gardening, and children's books she has written and illustrated with charming watercolor paintings.  I have several of her books in my library including:

Sharon posted a photo of a photo of a by-the-wind sailor mini jellyfish seen along the beaches near San Luis Obispo were she spotted thousands of them recently.   After seeing them on the beach on Balboa Peninsula in  Newport Beach the last week in August, I had done some research myself having never seen them during my years beachcombing in my home state.

 The unusual sightings of by-the-wind sailor jellysfish (vellela vellela) have been reported up and down the California coastline. They were seen in masses earlier in San Francisco and Washington, and more recently from north of Oxnard to San Diego. They’ve been seen only a handful of times washed up on local shorelines in the past few decades.

The creatures are usually found floating on the ocean’s surface in warm waters, off the coast of Baja California, but could be here because  of “warm water intrusions” thanks to a possible El Niño on the way. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there’s a 65 percent chance of El Niño this year, which brings warmer ocean temperatures to the area along with strong storms in fall and winter.   Large numbers of the creatures were spotted in the early '80s which coincided with the big El Nino in 1982 and 1983.

The creatures sre carried by the current and the wind blows them on shore. They have a sail-like flap on the top of their blue bodies, which stands up straight  putting them at the mercy of the wind when it is blowing. When they dry out on land, they look like a piece of plastic. Though they look like jellyfish because they are gelatinous in nature, they are not, and don’t have the sting associated with the jellies. They travel in groups, and can pile up to a foot high when they wash ashore.

Her blog can be enjoyed at:

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