On a Beach Walk: No. 5

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I am not a sheller, but they form a line as to say “Walk this way.” I am not a sheller but I give them the quick once-over as I walk. Even though I am not on a stroll or a hunt, sometimes one catches my eye – a design or a color – a fragment or a whole – small, medium, or large – so I stop to look as the water continues to refresh my feet.

I am not a sheller, but their colors begin to grab me as I pass. The colors of the rainbow they are not, but that spectrum occasionally shows itself on the inner surface if the light is right. Most of the outer colors are ranges of brown and gray. Sometimes the brown combine with red to provide orange – but sometimes the red appears. Some grays with so little white that they are black – yet a few with so little black they are white – let alone when they combine in different arrangements of colors in bands, streaks, or blotches.

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The colors tempt me to create my own spectrum with shells – yet I resist by keeping my steady pace – but over time, I cave in to my urge.

Colors that can signify a species or possibly an age – even a variation of colors within a species just as the colors of human hair differs from person to person.  But the more I walk, the more the colors and designs affect me. Oh the diversity of life!

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I am not a sheller, but as I walk its defined line on the sand, I notice the ridges and grooves. Some are quite pronounced, yet others are so slight that we think the surface is smooth – at least until our light touch moves across the surface. Pattern can be vertical, horizontal, or both – and even random – yet the frequency of these pronouncements of nature can be many or few.

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So many patterns that must signify different species within the a beautiful living world. Patterns and colors that are present for a reason that are part of the adaptations and variations in the intricate web of life.

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Wonder fills the nature around us in our slice of creation – even in the half-mooned shells of calcium carbonate found along the sand as one walks … but only if one takes the time to look as they walk and refresh the feet.


41 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 5

  1. Beautiful, Frank! I enjoyed seeing the variety you found on your Alabama beach. For a self-identified “non-sheller,” I think you have gained a very personal understanding of the significance and contribution of the shells and their creatures to the diversity of the natural world. They speak to me, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      If I recall, you are a sheller .. and my guess is the shells in your area are different than the northern gulf. Here’s something to keep in mind with this series, a reminder that I have a biology background, which (I think) comes through a lot.


  2. We may not all be shellers, Frank; yet your continuing walk on the beach is a simple and profound pointer to the intricate web of life in which humans constitute no more than another link. The animated pics of shells in several patterns are equally interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raja,
      Many thanks for the kind words … and I especially like the fact that I can hit profoundness with simple words. The diversity in the web of life is fascinating, as is the connections within it. Glad you continue to enjoy the walks … more to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When ever I find myself near a beach which is not all that often.. I love to look for shells.. especially love those tiny tiny ones, and I have a jar full of the ones collected over the years..
    So enjoyed my walk and the slide shows Frank..
    Happy Spring Days walking Frank..
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marina,
      Glad you enjoyed the walk. Interestingly, many of the ocean beaches here don’t have many rocks/stones – thus very sandy. However, rocks are very commonly found on the shores of large lakes (such as the Great Lakes). When we were in Italy during the fall, I was surprised at the number of rocks/stones along the water’s edge – which was also fascinating. Yes, we did bring some stones home. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elyse,
      We brought into the condo many more shells than we took home. My wife wanted some for home, (which she’s still trying to determine exactly what to do – which is ok). Yes, they have interesting beauty, and even more so when one take’s the time to look closely.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No slight of hand involved in these “shell games.” All are on display and what a display they provide. As I indicated before I was a sheller in my youth so I can identify with the wonder of finding these beautiful, unique works of nature. Nice to revisit that time in my life here Frank. A fine walk indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce,
      You caused me to wonder why I didn’t think of using “shell game” in this post. Great addition. Agree … so many intricacies in their beauty, but only if one takes time to notice. Glad this post was able to rekindle some memories … and cheers to your past as a sheller.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. fun shell game, Frank! I have a thought about this post in particular…if I may?
    you begin this stroll with, “I am not a sheller”
    I think you have a delightful poem hidden amidst this stroll.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roxie,
      Thanks for the kind words. It terms of writing a poem, I don’t have any idea where to start … but I will gladly give someone permission to transfer these words into a poem. Besides, as long as I get an asterisk or footnote as the source of inspiration. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you want to chase down a poem, you can start anywhere, and trim to bare emotion, vision, or other sensation to convey your thoughts.
        Free form poetry is not formulaic, but other types are. Sometimes the fun is fitting the words into form, and other times just the freedom to go with the flow is enjoyable. But, writing your posts for others to read your work and get inspired is a gift that keeps giving!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Good shtufffs, Teach.

    Am not a sheller either, but I ‘shelldom’ pass by them without admiring. And, have been know to throw them back, especially the exceptional ones, back into the ocean, naively thinking am sending them home -back to where they belong. Yeah I know, they wash back up.

    The crescent beach at Philipsburg on Saint Maartens is almost if not entirely made up of crushed shells and very little sand, due to currents and geography I believe and the absence of an outer reef. It took me a day or two of laying on it to figure it out that something was different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Calvin,
      I can understand the thought of toss them back into the sea. It is interesting how many shells eventually become part of the sand … and yes – this effects the beach’s color. Believe or not, there is a future beach walk about sand. 🙂


  7. For a non-sheller, you sure amassed a lovely collection.
    There is a beach on St-Bart’s which is only shells… not a grain of sand can be seen and yet you can walk on it without fear.
    This was a particularly soothing walk.

    Liked by 1 person

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