beachcombing blog ✿

may 4th, 2022

hello sea friends!

i haven't had very much time for beachcombing (and came up relatively empty the past couple of times i went), but i realized i forgot to post my finds from a very fruitful morning in march!

- look at that red and white ceramic! it looks like those (plus maybe a couple more i didn't find) were part of a bigger piece that broke when it crashed onto the beach.

- on the top left, i found two fossilized crinoids AND a crinoid fossil! those are all about 400 million years old. i always have to google how old lake michigan crinoid fossils are before i say it, because i'm like "no no, that is way too long ago". also no capitalism but it's wild to me that a fossil can be that old and relatively worthless.

- look at that vibrant pink piece of glass! i never find color like that!

- also got a few nice, thick pieces like the seafoam piece in the bottom right. also, the bubbly looking green one (on the bottom, fourth from the left) looks to be a piece of bonfire glass.

hopefully the warm weather (and my lack of a morning job from now on) means that i have more opportunities to go out searching for treasures!


february 17th, 2022

i went out twice this past week and found some really neat stuff! i was hoping for a few more ~wild~ finds, especially since i was digging underneath ice sheets and freezing for the love of the glass, but hey, gotta appreciate what i've got!

- look at that dugtrio of hexagon tiles! these are the first hexagon tiles i've ever found that are still attached to other ones!

- that long, clear piece is a bottle stopper. i did a little internet digging and landed on it likely being from an old medicine bottle from the mid-to-late 1800s. glass stoppers were typically used for bottles that were meant to be re-used, or whose contents would be used/consumed over a longer period of time and were non-perishable/non-carbonated. this one has a chipped top, but it's my first one! woohoo!

- that "black" piece in the bottom left corner is actually a thick piece of olive. i assume it's from an older wine bottle, but i can't be positive!

- look at that clear round piece *heart eyes emoji*. that's likely from the bottom of a bottle.

- that neon square is a piece of UV milk glass! i didn't even need to break out the UV flashlight to find that one, it stuck out like a sore thumb. all the others are just pretty colors, a nice thickness, or otherwise pleasing to me. we just got another round of snow, so it'll be a little bit before i can get out to the beach again-- and specifically to places i haven't already dug around in. cross your fingers that i can be the first one to comb one of the new piles once they resurface in the warmth!


february 8th, 2022

plot twist! i went to the beach on sunday and discovered that several of the rock piles aren't completely covered by snow :)

i can't say any of these pieces are particularly unique or stand out as the best, but it was really nice just to get to go on a little hunt-- even though it was definitely below freezing and the sun was setting. i also got to show [boyfriend] what i'm like when glass hunting (concentrated, full of lowkey boring facts, willing to stay out past everyone's point of comfort including my own unless they say "hey let's go home"), and they still think i'm very hot (perhaps moreso?)

hopefully i'll have enough time to go out again on one of the few days it'll be above freezing this coming week!


january 13th, 2022

what the fuck is up denny's! so if you could not guess, i have not been beachcombing much in the last few months since it's been mostly very cold and i've been mostly very busy. there were a couple days in november where it got warm and i was able to find a few things, one of which i'll share!

so this bad boy is, from what i can tell, a fossilized piece of horn coral. these guys were around from 450-250 million years ago, so it's officially the oldest thing i've ever found!

i also got to escape the chilly north and road tripped down to florida for the holidays. since my aunts live near the ocean, i tried to make it out to the beach as often as possible to see what kind of things i could find. i only ended up finding one piece of sea glass, which makes sense since i was only able to go to sandy beaches while i was down there, but i started collecting whatever shells, rocks, and pieces of coral caught my eye. i made what kind of looks like an i spy book page out of some of my favorites.

i'm no experienced sheller, but from what i've been able to find on the internet, here's a list of the shell types i found:

calico scallop, venus sunray, kitten paw, giant heart cockle, florida fighting conch, coquina, lettered olive, worm shell, spiny jewelbox, jingle shell, ark clam, auger, surf clam, oyster, oyster drill, quahog, cross-barred venus, turret, mossy ark, ponderous ark, and what seem to be broken tulip or conch shells that i just thought looked like pretty flowers.

i'm sad that there isn't the same kind of shell diversity up here, but i'm looking forward to the next time i can go down there and explore some more beaches! also if you think shells are cool and pretty and like youtube videos that feel ASMR-adjacent, i've been watching a lot of videos on the SWF beach life channel. the woman who runs it has such a kind voice and good energy.

that's all for now! cross your fingers that we get a random warm-ish day soon and i'm blessed with enough motivation to get to the beach that day.


october 1st, 2021

a late update, but life has gotten the best of me for the time being!

so in my last update i said i spoke with a lady who was also beachcombing at my usual spot and she recommended another beach several miles away that has a lot of glass. on monday i went, and oh my god! she was not kidding! between us [girlfriend] and i found twenty-five pieces of security glass!! i've only found four since i started looking at my usual beach! we found almost every color in the rainbow!

top finds

- colors! NINE pieces of red! my first piece of dark purple (third down on the far right)! a really dark blue just to the left of the purple! lots of dark olives and browns and black!

- colorful ceramic! it's hard to tell from the picture, but that one piece in the center has five different colors on it! by far the most colorful piece of ceramic i've ever found.

- so many tiles! we found a lot of those greyish-teal rectangular tiles and those square cream-colored tiles. it looks like someone must have dumped a bunch of them nearby, but no hexagons here! [girlfriend] and i joked that we should tile a whole bathroom in our future house with found tiles.

something interesting i noticed about that beach though is that the glass there is a lot less well-tumbled than the glass at my usual beach. i think it's because Insane Glass Beach is almost in a little mini-bay, and it looks like there might be some kind of underwater barrier to stop the waves from getting too wild closer to the shore. Usual Beach has a much wider area for glass to come in and out and get knocked around.

it's also interesting that there's so many more rare colors there than at Usual Beach. [girlfriend] said it may be because a the lakefront was used as a dumping ground after the chicago fire, and it's more likely that a lot of trash would have been dumped near that location than further north. i love when her knowledge of history helps us figure out glass mysteries :)

inconvenient that parking is expensive by this new spot, but hey. anything for the glass, baby.


september 24th, 2021

HOO WEE, FRIENDS! the waves got up to 21 feet these past few days! they finally subsided overnight, and i was aboslutely chomping at the bit to get outside this morning. i woke up at 6am, headed to the beach, and ended up staying for four hours lmao. i may have a slight problem, but let's just call it a healthy obsession. hobbies are good.

top finds from the first pic

- SO many big stone pieces!! the top left piece isn't stone though, it's an old rusty bell! i just thought it was neat!

- the grayish-brown piece on the top right under that big piece of stone could possibly be asbestos tile-- thankfully it's not dangerous since it's still solid!

top finds from the second pic

- those holey stones in the top left are hag stones! in folklore they're amulets that offer healing and protection to those that wear them. i may have to put them on a necklace!

- just under those there's a very funky, bumpy piece of ceramic!

- tbh, all the ceramic in this picture is amazing! there's that huge piece of light blue floor tile, the white and blue pattern tile that's pretty big, some pieces of tableware with green stripes and red stripes, and it looks like another one of the ceramic pieces has little trees on it!

- the blue pieces were amazing today too! there's that one big pice of deep sky blue glass (the biggest i've ever found!) and that other piece of larger cornflower blue (again, the biggest!).

- it's hard to tell, but a few of those green pieces are absolute thick monsters! it looks like the glass may have gotten melted and formed into a ball? i'm not sure where glass that thick would have come from otherwise.

- see the long tube on the left? it's copper with some waxyish red stuff inside. after some googling (and spreading the red stuff out on paper) it looks like it's an old tube of lipstick from the 1920s!

lmao i feel like i really abuse exclamation points on this blog, but i can't help it! i'm so jazzed about the things i find!! so sorry, not sorry!!!!

i chatted for a little with a woman who was also looking for sea glass, and she told me about another beach that is "so full of glass it's not even fun". ma'am... that sounds incredibly fun to me. so since me and [girlfriend] are off on monday, that's our date day plan :)


september 22nd, 2021

surprising absolutely no one, i couldn't wait until the waves subsided to go out again haha. i was hoping a big wave would crash on the shoreline and deliver a real fat nice piece! i didn't get anything too wild from this haul, but i did find another piece of security glass! this is the fourth one that i've found, and after i find one i've so far always found a second the next day. fingers crossed that pattern continues!

i'm very confused about the red square. i was thinking it could be from a piece of jewelry or a piece of old wall tile. either way, a pretty mystery!

another one i like is the light blue piece with a cursive A on it. i'm thinking it might be from an old coca cola bottle?

letdown of the day: i thought the rock in the top right corner was a puddingstone with some jasper in it, but i think it's just regular ol conglomerate and the red stuff is brick. you live and learn!


september 21st, 2021

[girlfriend] and i went beachcombing yesterday. she started her own collection! hooray for spreading the hobby, but also now i'm legit jealous of some of her finds lmao. she found a couple deep teal pieces, a half-red-half-clear piece, and a couple really big olives! but this picture here is the best of my finds from the day...

top left: a crinoid fossil! the first i've ever found! this one is likely millions of years old, and possibly up to FIVE HUNDRED MILLION YEARS OLD! isn't that insane?!

bottom left: a big piece of security glass! the glass was reinforced with wire for added protection in order to make windows and doors that were harder to break into. since it's got a bluish tint, that means it's pretty old!

right side: just some pretty colors :) i love the pink so much!!

the waves are going to be wild for the next couple days. tomorrow they're supposed to get up to 18 feet! i can't wait to see what kind of stuff washes up on the beach!


september 19th, 2021

(scene from yesterday) me, sitting at my computer, refreshing every hour to see when the small craft advisory would end, which signals the end of big waves time and the start of good beachcombing time.

and it was worth it! while i didn't find any crazy colors (minus a teeny tiny red piece), i did end up getting a lot of really nice round pieces and some really thick pieces, which usually means older glass.

this piece on the right is the best find of the day. it might not look like much on the surface, but see the air bubble in the top left corner? that's the result of older manufacturing processes, which means the glass at least a hundred years old and may be from the 1800s. with the dark green color, it's probably from a very old wine bottle. cheers, baby!


september 14th, 2021

another day, another piece of hexagon tile! the past two days in a row, actually. i've been finding surprisingly good pieces even though the waves haven't been very big and no storms have come through. unfortunately the horse flies were aboslutely insane today. usually they're only at the north end of the beach, but today they took up the entire shore line. i had to have gotten bitten at least a hundred times. all for the love of the glass, though.

i'm excited about the coral-tan piece of clay, because i've never found a piece with any leftover slip/glaze left on it! i also really love the the tiny aqua piece-- the color is so much deeper in person. the light purple manganese glass is also really pretty.

these ones to the right are some others i didn't take a picture of by the lake. the triangular stone pieces are so big! i like how you can tell that the top left triangle is just a newer, less worn-down version of the bottom right triangle. the round ceramic piece remains a bit of a mystery to me, but when i took it to the lab (my girlfriend) she said maybe a button or a furniture knob. i'm also really happy about how many little pieces of ceramic with blue and white designs i've found! most of the ones i find have color that's really faded from being in the water so long, so it's nice to find some vibrant pieces!

on a side note, i discovered that when you're [redacted], sorting your sea glass collection is a very pleasant tacticle activity!


september 10th, 2021

no major recent finds to report, but in the last few months i've found so many of these hexagon tiles! they've all been the north end of my usual beachcombing beach, so i assume some tiling company must have dumped a bunch of them off the shore back in the day. i think this kind of tile was a pretty popular choice for buildings built in this area in the 1920s or 30s. they perfectly match my current bathroom tile (and the bathroom tile in my old apartment too)! give me several more years and one day i might have enough to tile my future bathroom in half-broken hexagons.


september 2nd, 2021

since there were some high winds and big waves last night, i went out beachcombing before work today. i still haven't gone through the haul to see what all i got, but i wanted to share something else!

when i started collecting, i put all my pieces in a big glass jar on my shelf. eventually i had collected a lot of pieces, and that one jar grew into five jars-- basic glass, warm-colored rarer glass, cool-colored rarer glass, ceramic, and neat rocks.

unfortunately, that meant a lot of my neat finds were hidden! you'd have to pick up the jars and turn them a few times to get a glimpse at just a fraction of the pieces.

so a few days ago, i decided to buy a little seashell dish and pick out all my favorites to put on display!

i'm so happy with how it turned out! i already feel like i should have gotten a bigger dish... if this is what i'm working with after only beachcombing for the past year, i can't imagine what my collection will look like a year from now. i'll also have to figure out how often to rearrange it to show off any new cool finds!

some current favorites include: the blue ceramic scene in the middle, the yellow ceramic, and the polkadot red.


september 1st, 2021

since i always take pictures of my glass hauls and have a lot to say about certain pieces, i decided to create a blog specifically for my glass finds :) this find was from a few nights ago when i was hunting with my UV flashlight. i found some small shards of green UV glass like i expected, but then i came upon this very strange orange object...


even in the dark i could tell it was a rock, but why was it glowing?! well friends, that's a mineral called flourescent sodalite. it's very common around lake superior and in the upper peninsula, so i'm surprised this little guy made it all the way to the tip of lake michigan! fingers crossed i find some bigger ones in the future~