Nature Notes
Shells on seashore
-By Rani Iyer

It was a bright afternoon, not particularly hot, and closer towards the evening. I was walking with my friend on the seashore, with the waves washing our feet. I had seen the ocean and played in it even as a kid, but she had not seen one until she was 20 years old! The light shone on the array of shells which gleamed in rainbow hues. I had never seen so many shells before! I was struck by the unexplored diversity. Soon we got busy collecting the shells.
I found fantastic bivalve scallop shells, the shells joined by a hinge, nucleus, orange, grey, and white scallops. I was startled when one of shells in my collection began to move! It was difficult to choose from the delicate hues of the cockleshells- their ridges and furrows made each of them look unique.

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And there were large iridescent clamshells. A wave dumped a giant, eroded, nautilus shell at my feet. Then I spotted the screw-like white auger staring at me. Farther away I saw a small babylonia.
My friend meanwhile seemed to be grabbing everything in sight! I could understand her plight; she would head back to the mountains for many more months. I gave her my shells. She beamed her thanks. I sat watching her collect and the waves depositing more treasures. I waited for a conch, cowrie, or oyster shell to wash ashore. My friend was content picking the cone, harp, or sundial shells exclaiming at each of them. Finally, exhausted, she brought her booty on the rock where I sat and said, “How can you resist the temptation?”
“I can’t. I am paralysed by its beauty.”
“You live close to the sea. You can walk to it anytime…”
“I have never seen her so generous as she was for you today.”
And then we looked around; there was not a cloud or bird in sight. There were no fishing boats. We watched the waves baring before us her secrets and riches from the deep. We sat mesmerised, not heeding to the collection of shells that was pulled back with each wave. When it was time to leave, my friend held on to a single sundial, and said, “Thank you.” I am not sure if she spoke to the sea or to me.



User's Comments                     
n.swetha
These are some of the good points.
siri a
I did not know that shells woud be so colourful and beautiful. Very informative.
Somya
I think this is lovely!
arun
Its an unforgetable moment for me.
Irene
Wow, this is in every respect what I needed to know.
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