Objects On the Beach – The Common and Uncommon

clamshell resting in the sand

As a second part to my winter beach scene wanderings , not all moments were spent looking straight ahead. Looking down allows you to explore the common and uncommon objects you may find on the beach.

Having not been to a beach for some time – especially in winter, the initial propensity was not just to clear my head, but to photograph objects along the shoreline. Thankfully my reading of the tides worked well as did the sunshine. The wind – not so much.

sandy path leading to coastal shoreline
Footprints in the sand leading down to shoreline.

After taking in the coastal surroundings and landscape, walking more slowly I began looking down – but NOT at a cell phone. Rather looking down at the sand and what objects – common or uncommon may be resting in it. The low tide was perfect for further exploration.

The more common suspects were to be expected – such as various sea shells. Some whole, others in pieces. An all too painful barefooted memory of stepping on broken seashells while playing in the sand in the summertime!

But now with a camera the experience was more of wonder and curiosity. Like that of a toddler seeing things for the first time. It took on a whole new interest and I found myself much more observant and engaged. Even the blowing sand and cold became somewhat more tolerable.

The Common Suspects – Various Sea Shells

As in the photo at the opening of this post, a big clam shell – well worn, was to be expected. A closer look and you can see all the colors in its shell. From rings with shades of grey to reddish browns – reminiscent of the alternating light and dark growth rings of a cut tree. 

Closer to the shoreline, this grey scallop shell with its fan-like shape and perfect ridges. I love the little indentations this one had left in the sand. You can tell the water had washed over it and left little pools when the water receded and tide went out.

solitary grey scallop shell embedded in sand
Grey scallop shell at low tide with its ridges and indentations in the sand.

It wasn’t just the objects to discover, but the sand itself. The glistening wave-like ripples of the sand was fascinating. There was the illusion of both stillness and movement – but at that moment frozen in time. It was very zen-like when you stopped to take it in. It’s undisturbed perfection.

The wonders of nature when you truly look at them!

wave-like glittering sand ripples
Wave-like ripples of the sand.

Remnants of Crabs

What’s left of a disembodied blue crab may not hold an appeal to everyone.  But its shades of blue on the claw with its bright orange tip was pretty cool. And you can even see the water line in the photo – where the claw ultimately came to rest. It’s not often you can get up close and personal with a blue crab – even if it’s just a singular body part.

blue crab claw washing up on sand at low tide
The remnants of a blue crab with its bright orange tipped claw.

The next crab claw – that of a brown crab, shares the sandy space with the distinct footprint of what was likely a marauding seagull. I love this photo. I felt like an investigator at the scene of a crime. There was a victim (the crab claw) and the guilty party had left evidence behind (its footprint). The only thing missing was some of that yellow “crime scene do not cross” tape.

I left the scene undisturbed only taking photos. Perhaps someone else would notice it too before the tide came back in and washed the “crime scene” away.

crab claw with seagull footprint in the sand
Brown crab claw with seagull footprint in the sand.

It would have been so easy to walk by and overlook this perfect little scene. It was further validation of how much people actually miss while staring down at their cell phone instead of seeing amazing things beyond their screens.

The Uncommon – Not What You’d Expect to Find

Thankfully the beaches were not littered with endless plastic bottles and other nefarious human pollution. But there were a few more uncommon objects one would not normally expect to find on the beach. They were still natural existing objects but looked out of place.

partially sand covered maple leaf on the beach in winter
A Maple leaf perfectly embedded in the sand.

A maple leaf – its golden brown color obvious from the changing seasons appears frozen in time embedded in the wind-swept sand. You could tell it had been there for a while as the sand had built up around it. I left it untouched. 

pine cone in the sand
An out of place looking pine cone resting in the sand.

Another unlikely candidate that crossed my field of view was a pine cone. Not something you typically see sitting in the sand on a beach. How it got there is anyone’s guess? The island has pine trees (although not as many as it once did) so perhaps it was blown there from a storm?

A pine cone in the sand looked out of place for sure. But who was I to disturb its current resting place? I was there to observe and photograph. So like the maple leaf, I left it untouched.

Considering my state of mind and the magnitude of things I was dealing with at the time, I was grateful for the temporary redirect of just observing these objects in the sand 🙂

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