15 June 2010

Found on the Beach

The beaches of Sanibel Island, Florida were littered with shells and fragments of sea life. Some of my favorite finds were the egg casings of the whelks. After living on Jekyll Island, Georgia for three years I had my fair share of run-ins with whelks and whelk egg casings but I still love them. When you shake the casing you can hear the little jingle of hundreds of little micro-whelks that didn't escape.

When the eggs hatch and the little whelks want to escape they go through the little holes you see above in the detail photo. If a hole isn't present in the casing then the whelks didn't hatch.

We also found a nice selection of seashells on the beach. One of my favorite of the weekend was this large Pen Shell. I especially liked the barnacles that had adhered to the surface. Barnacles always remind me of teaching dock class at Jekyll. I must have taught hundreds and hundreds of children about barnacles. They reall are quite fascinating and if you don't know much about them then you should do a little reading.

I can't even imagine walking on this beautiful beach littered with tar balls or something even more horrific. I know only time will tell before we know what will happen to our Gulf beaches but I'm trying to stay optimistic for now.


Brunswick-Golden Isles CVB said...

I have the great good fortune of living on St. Simons Island and enjoy walking along the beach and finding egg cases, shells and other interesting things. My heart goes out to all my friends and colleagues on the Gulf, and I pray that this nightmare ends soon so that recovery and healing can begin. Godspeed.

Eva said...

I use to live on Jekyll Island for 3 years so I know you have a great area for things washing ashore. I too am hoping things in the Gulf turn for the better.

Thanks for stopping by!