A Study in Translucency



As you may know, I love jingle shells. Their simplicity and fragility belies their origin in the tumbling, violent ocean. That any of them make it to the tide line is a point of amazement. This particular shell had just arrived with the last wave, hence the small bubbles within. The morning light spotlighted this tiny shell’s translucency, shining through to the sand beneath. The shell’s placement beside the opaque shell fragment makes this quality even more stunning.

In the Bright Morning Light


When I was a child, I tried collecting jingle shells (the yellow shell in this photograph). I thought that a whole jar full would have been really lovely. The problem is that in a child’s bucket, these fragile shells crumble immediately, so my jar never was filled.
I am still enchanted by these delicate shells. Their appearance on the tide line seems impossible when one considers the fury of the sea. This one greeted my morning just a few weeks ago.