We both got matching pink buckets to hold any treasures we found. (We must confess that we did copy Lanie-bug. When she got this same bucket a few months ago, both Faith and I fell in love with it! And, Lanie is such a sweetie that she was totally cool with us having the same buckets as she does.) The sun was starting to get lower in the sky when we arrived and there was a nice breeze....tide was out when we arrived and the waves would crash and then flood over the sand revealing tons of shell pieces. Honey came with us but ran off down the beach a ways all the while barking at every sea gull she saw. Since we were the only ones on that part of the beach, we let Honey have some fun while Faith and I started hunting for treasures.
After only 5 minuntes of looking, I spotted the top of a beautiful Lightning Whelk! From past experience, I knew not to get too excited cause even though it might *look* whole, most of the time, the backs or the tips are broken. "Oh please, please, pleeeeeze be whole!" I whispered.
As I picked it up, I was soooo excited to see that, yes, it was indeed whole! There was a teeny bit missing on the outer lip but that didn't bother me. And, the best thing about it was - it was empty! Do you know what makes Lightning Whelks unique? Unlike other univalves, the whorl is counter-clockwise. Cool, uh? I admit it, I am pretty much a shell geek. I find them very beautiful and exceptionally interesting!
Here's a close-up of my special find!! Isn't it beautiful??? Can you see the 'lightning' streaks that it gets it's name from?
As I was getting ready to put my special find in my bucket, I heard Faith squealing with excitement and so I gripped my shell tightly and walked carefully over to meet her. I didn't want to break any other special shells by smooshing them under my feet but I was super excited to see what she found!
As we got close to each other, I could see she was holding up a starfish! Sweet! Normally you don't find these up on the beach unless it is after a storm. But, since I would definitely consider Hurricane Arthur a storm and a big one at that (ha ha), it made total sense that Faith found one! "Let me see!" I called out. She held it up and it was so cute! I excitedly held up my find and it was funny.....we felt like we were both back in 2nd grade having show and tell!
Faith suggested we play with the beach ball before it got too late and I agreed that would be super fun! So, we set our buckets up higher on the beach so the waves wouldn't topple them and then grabbed the beach ball. Now, since there was a slight breeze blowing towards Faith, the ball would get caught up in the wind and get extra high before falling towards her. This sort of frustrated her since it never actually came down when or where she expected it too! I did giggle.....the ball definitely seemed to have a mind of it's own and Faith kept missing it over and over and over! We had a good laugh about it!!
Oh boy, when she did catch it, she'd do this quirky little victory dance that made me laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes! Oh.My.Gosh. I wish you could have seen it! It was a riot!
I congratulated her on the catch but told her she should probably not do that dance when there were other people around, hee hee. Truthfully, her dancing is really just a series of random bodily movements that have no coordination! Thankfully, we were pretty much the only ones on the beach so her dancing abilities - or lack of - were totally safe with me cause she's my bestie. ♥
We tried a few more times but the breeze really made it hard to keep playing so I suggested we sit and watch the waves for a bit before doing some more shelling. There was a HUGE, long log that was perfect for leaning on.....in actuality it was a telephone pole that Hurricane Arthur had deposited on the beach! We stood there with our feet in the soft, warm sand. We even saw a pod of dolphins swim by. Everything was perfect and we were happy just to be quiet and take all of the beauty of our heavenly Father's creation. It was truly an amazing moment.
As I stood there in that moment, it just confirmed to me again that late evening is my absolute favorite time on the beach. Normally, the heat of the day has passed and the sun is dropping which casts an amazing warm glow on everything - even the white foam of the breaking waves has a warm glow on it!
We did a little more shelling before deciding to sit down around sunset and show each other our finds. By this time, Honey had decided she needed a rest and came back to join us. I swear she seemed to want to see Faith's treasures too because she kept sticking her long snout in the bucket! Both Faith and I found a couple Lightning Whelks but neither of us found a Knobbed Whelk which normally is more common. We both found some beautiful calico scallops and a few coquinas too! Faith found a perfect sand dollar, a huge Cockle AND to top it all off, a small nugget of bright green sea glass.....she was such a lucky ducky! I also found a couple Baby's Ears and a couple Buttercup Lucine's that had faded to total white. I'd say we did pretty darned good! We were both very, very happy with the additions to our shell collections.
The sun was dropping behind the dunes and we didn't want to miss it. We stood and watched as it got lower and lower and finally, it dropped below the dunes altogether. What a wonderful afternoon we had and the amazing sunset was the perfect ending to it.
As we packed up to leave, we were excited to get back to the campground and see what Cindy and Christina did today.....they both were planning on visiting the Old Gray House (aka The Shell Shop) in Buxton this afternoon. They go there every year together. Faith and I hope to be able to stop and visit before we leave too.
Outfits & Accessories by:
Hollie's adorable swimsuit by Clarisses Closet ~ Etsy®
Pink buckets and beach ball by Lovvbugg ~ eBay®