Posted by Jody on April 2, 2013
Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
“I am very fond of the oyster shell. It is humble and awkward and ugly. It is slate-colored and unsymmetrical. Its form is not primarily beautiful but functional. I make fun of its knobbiness. Sometimes I resent its burdens and excrescences. But its tireless adaptability and tenacity draw my astonished admiration and sometimes even my tears. And it is comfortable in its familiarity, its homeliness, like old garden gloves when have molded themselves perfectly to the shape of the hand. I do not like to put it down. I will not want to leave it.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea
I simply love beachcombing for oyster shells – the knobbier, the better! Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast beaches are often loaded with these one-of-a-kind beach treasures.
Here are a few interesting Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) tidbits:
Oysters are more than a seafood delicacy! They help the environment in the following ways:
Filtering (adult oysters filter up to 2.5 gallons of water per hour, improving water quality in the process)
Providing habitat (oysters build reefs, which provide habitat for fish, shrimp, crabs, and other animals)
Controlling erosion (oyster reefs are natural breakwaters that protect shorelines) Source: SC.gov
Other names: American Oyster, Atlantic Oyster, Common Oyster, Virginia Oyster
Eastern Oysters are plentiful in shallow saltwater bays, lagoons, and estuaries, in depths from 8 to 25 feet – with water temperatures between 28 and 90 degrees F. They are native to the Atlantic shores and Gulf of Mexico coast of North America from Canada to Mexico.
Eastern Oysters range in color from a very light cream or tan to greyish/brown and from grey to black.
The Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) is the official state shell of both Virginia and Mississippi.
Louisiana’s state gemstone is the cabochon (shaped and polished as opposed to faceted) cut gemstone, made from the Crassostrea virginica! Check it out: Louisiana’s State Gemstone.
~~~ Happy beachcombing! ~~~
Helpful links: Texas Parks and Wildlife, Maryland.gov
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells | Tagged: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, beach, beachcombing, Crassostrea virginica, Eastern Oyster, oyster shells, seashells | 9 Comments »
Posted by Jody on February 14, 2013
A Kiss Upon the Shore (©Jody Diehl)
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
in one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?–
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Today's Special | Tagged: beach, beach photography, kiss, love poem, Love's Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley, seashells, Valentine's Day | 6 Comments »
Posted by Jody on January 18, 2013
I just received a note from Tonya who was lucky enough to be on the beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina last weekend. She found this very interesting looking beach treasure at Hatteras and tells me: “It was on the beach along with some other odd looking shells I never have seen.”
Tonya’s Beach Treasure from Hatteras, North Carolina
Let’s have some fun!
Can anyone identify this peculiar looking beach find for Tonya? Thank you for playing along!
Be sure to check out some of the other responses in the comment section below!
Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells, Today's Special | Tagged: beach, beachcombing, Outer Banks beaches, Outer Banks North Carolina, seashells | 22 Comments »
Posted by alainaflute on November 2, 2012
Inspired by an idea she saw in Real Simple, my mom (Jody) got to work scheming up ideas for seashell pancake designs, and today, we finally got around to making them! The article, which showed how you can make edible autumn leaves out of pancake batter, suggested one use a turkey baster to do the drawing. We found plastic squeeze bottles to be an easier alternative because they offer more control.
Let’s make seashell pancakes!
For our template, we used some shell pictures from my mom’s field guide and some simple shell designs she printed off of the internet, including a sand dollar, scallop, and sea star.
To begin, we made a simple pancake batter from scratch (or you can use a boxed mix). Then, we made it slightly thinner by adding almost 1/2 cup water (so it would be squeezable). We heated our griddle to about 375°F (190°C) and added a thin layer of canola oil to prevent sticking.
To make the pancakes, we started by squeezing the outside of the design onto the griddle, along with any markings we wanted to show up when we flipped them. Patience is the real trick here. You want your outlines to show, so they must be significantly darker than the rest of the pancake. Wait for 3-5 minutes or so before squeezing in the rest of the batter (filling in your outlines). Flip and admire your artwork!
Start with simple designs, such as the moon snail, sand dollar, and sea star, and then work your way up to the more intricate whelks, murexes, and conchs.
The sea’s the limit!
Posted in Beachy Keen Art, Friday Finds | Tagged: beach, breakfast, pancakes, seashells | 36 Comments »