Monday, September 13, 2021

Our Shell Collection is Also Pretty Grand


The shell collection was in storage in the same place as the rocks and fossils, so if Will and I were going to spend a day playing with, organizing, and displaying her favorite rocks and my favorite fossils, we might as well do the same with our favorite shells!

I love Will's organization of shells in this Riker mount:

My favorite of the displays, though, is this one:

Remember that day nine years ago when the kids and I spent an afternoon playing with the shells we'd collected in Florida?

We also did a little identification then, labeling plastic sandwich bags and sorting shells inside. We researched some shells further, and pinned slips of paper with more details to the baggies.

Obviously, then, I had to use one of our precious Riker mounts to preserve some of our work. Look at that sweet little Syd handwriting labeling the Atlantic Kitten Paws! 

In the ensuing years, our crafting collection of seashells has been well-loved. We've made seashell pendants, glittered and painted them, used them in sailor's valentines, and incorporated them into all kinds of other projects. We've got shells on the Christmas tree, and shell mosaics on the walls. Our scientific display will be in good company!

When I look at our other scientific displays, the fossils from Penn Dixie and the rocks from here and there, I mostly think about how cool my specimens are. Even the Penn Dixie fossils, the gathering of which are some of my most pleasant memories, mostly inspire in me awe at my little trilobite pieces, not reminiscences of how contentedly I chipped them out of the rock.

But when I look at these Riker mounts full of shells, labeled or not, I remember walking on the beach with two little girls wearing swim trunks and surf shirts, their sandy hair in their faces, Dollar Store plastic buckets in their hands. We collected all the best shells, used most of them to decorate sandcastles, then the kids ran out to float on the ocean in their pink and blue inner tubes while I played lifeguard. A storm was coming, but was still far out on the horizon as we played, just enough to make the edge of the sky look interesting when I took my photos. We had a hotel room booked for the night, in which we'd eat Easy Mac and peanut butter sandwiches, and we thought that in just a few days we were going to watch a Space Shuttle launch. 

It was peaceful, and pleasant, and I've never been happier.

Anyway, that's what I think about every time I look at these Riker mounts of our shell collection.

No comments: