Planting – Sea-Bean Success

Oh WOW! It’s truly how I felt when I checked on my sea-bean sowing a day or two ago. They were sprouting! In about a week’s time the seeds I nicked before soaking have swelled and sprouted and given me JOY! How can I not be happy when new life emerges from a dried out seed, a seed found in a pod among sea drift? I still have no idea if the pod is from a local tree or if it rode the Gulf Stream on it’s path from Caribbean to East Coast. Cape May juts out a bit from the coast so I am hoping this could be a tropical plant. Whatever it might be, it’s quick sprouting has filled me with plans to search out more sea beans for my ocean sprout collection!

“Sea beans come our way from the Caribbean, South America, Central America and the southernmost Florida Keys thanks largely to the Gulf Stream, the north-flowing river within the Atlantic off the East Coast. The beans turn up as far north as Cape Cod, though they become increasingly rare north of Cape Hatteras. Southeastern Florida beaches, on the other hand, are a collector’s paradise, given the proximity to the sources.”
~ Naturalist’s Notebook: Knowing Beans About the Beach

One technique I will continue to use is nicking the shell of very hard seeds before planting. Only the seeds I nicked sprouted. The others are still laying beneath the surface of the soil.

Photo Challenge – Weather Vane Wednesday & Sea-Beans

I spotted the weather vane as we drove over the bridge into Cape May. We were there for a winter getaway. The weather never cooperated…nothing but cloudy sky. Bah! Oh well, we told ourselves, at least the indoor pool will be warm. Bah! The heater in the pool was broken, the water about as cold as the ocean water. I swam one lap in that cold water and felt like a Viking conqueror. It’s been eternally dreary here this past year. We had over 140 days with precipitation, and that doesn’t even include the days that were overcast and grey.

We walked the beach anyway, for only a few minutes though, my husband was one of the unlucky ones who came down with a terrible case of cold/flu that lasted for weeks. In NC, my sister told me, they call this sickness, “The Crud.” Someone even invented a medicine to combat it called Carolina Crud Crusher.

Even though our beach walk was short I found a pod, a sea-bean pod. Determined to make the best of the day, I took that bean pod home, sure it must have followed the gulf stream from the tropics to the beach of Cape May. (It might have, but it is also possible it is a pod from a local tree.) I consider all beach drift a gift from the sea. A love of natural beach detritus will probably never die in me. I put the pod in the pocket of my winter coat and took it home. This past week I added some unknown seeds found on the edges of bay waters to my sea bean cache.

I nicked the edges of half the seeds in the pod and have them soaking in water with a discarded rotisserie chicken container at the ready, filled with potting soil, a stand-in for a greenhouse. I will plant them tomorrow after their overnight soak. I can’t wait to see if they will grow.

Thank you to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge. Take a look at their terrific weather vanes:
The 59 Club – Double Duty
Exloring Colour – Weathercock

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Pleasure & Prose – Sea-Beans from the Tropics

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    A few years ago I first heard the term “Sea-Beans.” Of course, since I love to beachcomb, I was entranced by the thought of something new to search for on my beach walks.

    The definition of Sea Beans, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follows: “Any of various beans or showy seeds of tropical origin that are frequently carried by ocean currents to remote shores and often used as ornaments.”

    The hunt was on. Happily, for the bibliophile within me, I found a terrific book on the topic: Sea-Beans from the Tropics. I have found a few “sea-beans” on my beach walks, but most have been the throwaways of beach picnics, fruit pits, etc. That does not mean I have given up the hunt. One of my best days of finding “beach drift” was on the shore of the Chesapeake bay. I don’t think what I found that day could be considered sea-beans, instead perhaps I should call my finds on that occasion “Bay-Beans.” 🙂

    My dream is to find some tropical sea-beans and somehow sprout them. It has been done, and there is a whole chapter in the book on the how’s and why’s of growing sea-beans.

    Another happy find was re-connecting with a link I had lost, a community page for sea-beans with a link to other forums. You can check out the sea-bean community page here: Sea-Bean Community

    If you are an avid beachcomber, you will love this book. I checked Amazon.com today to see if the book is still available. It is, but oh my, along with the book I found several others listed that look interesting and appear to also be full of great information. It’s going to be hard to keep them out of my "Shopping Cart."

    Listings of sea-bean books can be found here: Sea Beans from the Tropics and Others

    I searched some WordPress bloggers to see what they thought or wrote of sea-beans. I found some terrific posts. Take a look: Sea-Beans on the Keys / Sea Beans and Beachcomber’s Festival / Danielle’s Dives – Sea-Beans

    Happy Hunting!