This is not the most interesting of still life compositions, but it is buried treasure for me. It has been decades since I found one of these, a whelk egg case. When I was a child and spent summers on New Jersey’s barrier islands, I would come across several in a season. This one was peeking out of the dune on the south end of Hilton Head Island, SC. It is jarring when memories like this are evoked as I walk the tide line. It is like déjà vu, but more vivid and heart-filling.
This particular egg case had completely hatched and was empty, but seeing it I could still ‘hear’ the sound that the infinitesimal whelks make when they are shaken in the egg case. I have not heard it in decades, but the sound is a delight-filled memory. Finding one of these when I was little (particularly when I had my magnifying glass with me!) was like uncovering one of the sea’s mysteries.
Like discovering buried treasure.