We have a jar, a big old battery jar that holds some of the sea shells we, well, actually Wifey, found over the last thirty plus years of visiting Florida. Most were gathered at our favorite island on the western side of the state. Wifey has a much better eye for finding things. Her love of antiques and jewelry just might explain her ability to see these bits of beauty in the sand.
It was my original idea to get a large glass container for shark’s teeth. That way we will always have room for more examples and the need each year to return to the island. The collection is still small and only a portion is on display.
But shark’s teeth are not the extent of our collections of a natural nature, and shark’s teeth even in a giant jar were not very impressive. One does not walk the miles of island sand each morning, especially after an evening storm or high winds, and not find sea shells and other debris washed ashore the next morning. While at mild peril staying on the island,we had our best shelling day after a storm came in from the gulf, and destroyed a block retaining wall, washed out the roadway at the far end of the island and dumped more than a foot of sand into the swimming pool. But be aware, the sea is the master of collectors of shells. There have been visits when the gulf held her treasures and gave up nothing.
Today the collection au-natural includes sea shells of many sizes and shapes, and one really large claw from a creature I hope never to meet. Coral, added to the collection was purchased at an estate here in the upper mid-west many years ago. I believe there is now a restriction on the gathering and sale of coral.
Our collection is displayed in two rooms in our house, the sun room and studio. The first room is seasonly changed with shells replaced with holiday decor’ while the studio remains fluid with changes made less often, but room is always lefty for our natural collectibles.