Thursday, December 14, 2006

Collecting on the Road

This goes back to my remarks earlier about Lucy collecting rocks along their trip in "Long, Long Trailer". I'm usually pretty good about resisting these temptations...but it's not easy. While out West, I did want to collect rocks - there's such a beautiful array of colors and textures you just want to keep a 'piece' to remember it all. I think I did permit myself two or three thumbnail-sized rocks...they were so small I've lost them by now.

But seashells are too hard for me to resist. Especially when I'm close to home and I'm heading that direction. Then I'll allow myself. Actually, Andy will allow me to. He's more disciplined about such things then me. And the Gulf Coast is so splendid for shell-collecting.

I wanted to show you the new additions to my collection:
The total gathering from this two-month trip.

And, here are some of my special finds:
A Gaudy Natica.
I've found some different moon shells over the years, but never found this pretty, or should I say "gaudy", shell.
Banded Tulips.
These shells are so delicate that it is very hard to find them in one piece.
A Horse Conch.
Oh, I have many, many conch shells scattered around my house - but mostly Queen Conchs or Florida Fighting Conchs. One winged conch. This is our first Horse Conch. He's a little weathered and we had to chip off some of the barnacles, but I don't throw back my "firsts". I already had to give up several Crowned Conchs because they were occupied - either by the original owners, or crabs.
Lightning Whelks.
Generally, not an unusual find. But look at the one on the's different. It curves in the opposite direction and has a flatter cone up front. I'll have to find out what this one is.
Again, not an unusual find, but I liked the colors on these three. The picture doesn't do them justice.
My "Sunset Collection"
Scallops, Coquina, Jingles - all in pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, and reds.
In the rear - some type of a Fig shell. According to my shell book, it is commonly found off of western Mexico to Peru. So, albeit weathered and dull, still a keeper.
In the front - Apple Murex. Another uncommon find for my collection. Especially with color.
The other two? Not so sure - sorry!

One of the reasons I enjoy collecting seashells so much is because of the environment. Imagine yourself on a white-sand beach with the Gulf gently lapping at your feet and the sun setting off to the west. Breathe in the fresh salt air. The pelicans are diving for fish, dolphins breach, the fist-sized sandpipers are darting along the water's edge, the gulls and terns just stand there and watch you stoop and walk, stoop and walk. If you get too tired of the stooping and walking, you can sit and dig through the sand at your feet. Shells are buried about a foot deep in spots. It feels like a vacation all in itself. You forget your worries, or let your mind casually process life. And with all of this surrounding you your eyes are looking for that special shell - it could be the color that strikes you, or the pattern, or knowing that you find a fragile one in one piece, or it is one you haven't found before. But each one is unique and beautiful like a piece of art.

So, now what that I've collected another mass of shells? I have to find more glass containers to store these in. My current containers are all full :)



At 9:13 PM , Cathie Martin said...

well Diane, you got you wrote about gathering shells..was absolutly meditational for me.
i've enjoyed over the years of you and Andy's travels..the stories, pictures and fun you have shared with us..but this one gave me goosebumps and took my shoulders out of my neck. Thank you so much for sharing.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2007 to you and yours from me and mine..Cathie Roy and Rick in Arizona..awaiting your next trip here!!!!!

At 12:51 PM , Diane said...

Thanks for your comment Cathie - I'm glad I could remind an ex-Floridian, who is now landlocked, what it is like to wander our gorgeous beaches. Believe me, I'm planning on heading your way...once we start making money! Luv ya and keep writing comments - I love to read them!


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