It was really quite cold walking the tide line yesterday, but it was also almost magical. The ocean spray had frozen over the rock jetties and the pilings, and the high tide’s standing water had frozen solid over the sand.
Today it is colder – 12 Fahrenheit, snowing, with 25 mph wind making the wind chill temperature -9. … But the wind is from the west and the storm is clearing out. That combination might be making for a fierce, furious, and magnificent ocean this morning. It would be dangerous to spend any time walking the tide line, but I hope I can manage to at least see the beach in its furious glory!
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.
A perfect confluence of tidelines and an ancient whelk. This was a real delight to find!