Friday, June 3, 2011

Foto Friday - A treasure on the beach . . .

If you haven't noticed already, then I have to confess . . . yes, I am a nature nerd.
I have loved nature ever since I was old enough to remember,
playing with crawdads in the creek behind my house, and growing maple trees from the helicopter seeds.
That desire to be close to nature has only grown stronger as I get older,  and there is magnificent beauty in all of it. But the beauty isn't just in the seeing of it, as much as how it all works together 
especially when the hand of man does not disrupt it.

Develop an interest in life as you see it;
the people, things, literature, music -
the world is rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures,
beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.

- Henry Miller

Most of the treasures I find are not riches like money or jewels that are hoarded, but rather the kind of gems that one holds precious in nature, that are not stored but are priceless.

While at the beach last weekend hundreds of thousands of little treasures were being exposed with the washing of each wave, and I was barely quick enough to get a picture before they disappeared.

These little gems are called coquina clams and are an extremely important part of a healthy beach eco-system, and when the sand and water are clean they will multiply. And multiply the have . . .

They are a bivalve mollusk that hangs out in the tidal zones of sandy beaches and are always very active, actually migrating up and down the beach with the tide. When the waves come in and they are exposed they are sometimes carried back by the retreating waves and as the water starts to settle they quickly bury themselves just under the speed of light. Interestingly they bury themselves vertically which sure takes up a lot less of their viable real estate.

You can see that they come in a lot of colors, my favorite being the ones that are striped and I'm kinda
partial to the pink ones too! These guys are filter feeders and because of this are considered an indicator
species and important link in the food webs. They feed on small particles of algae and are in turn fed upon by fish and shorebirds. They even find their way into soups!

In this picture you can see their siphons (one for inhaling food and the other for exhaling waste) and in some you can see their foot or large muscle that they use to bury themselves with.

Here, a seagull chasing a black skimmer that just caught a fish in hopes of stealing it! Little bugger....

Here was a girl that day that decided to see how far she could bury her legs in the sand,
and I happened to capture a moment where she was watching a clam . . . bury itself! 

I love the beach and am drawn to it everyday like a butterfly to nectar.
And it's true that when you forget yourself and open your eyes to all the things around you that you
look at but do not see, you realize that this world is bigger than a you and a me.

Have a wonderful weekend - look around I'm sure you find a treasure too!

Love, Kim


Janet Bocciardi said...

Beautiful, Kim. Yes, in the end nature will prevail. And that comforts me in an odd way.

mosaicmom said...

so cool. i've seen those shells but long after they were empty. love the picture of the girl.

katherine said...

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

for whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

e.e. cummings

L said...

Kim, you captured some beautiful pictures again. Each time I am blown away at what you have on your blog. You are so very talented and God gave you this gift to share,in hope that by this gift that you give, one will open their eyes to really see.
Thank you. Lois

andi said...

wow, your photos are really gorgeous! i love the beach, too and am going on a week-long vacation to the beach next week (i'm so excited) :). thanks for linking up to my "photo friday" link party!

Marvett Smith said...

Your beach photos are gorgeous! I wish I lived closer to the water. I always love your images!

PS said...

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

Isak Dinesen

Lisa @FishyFaceDesigns said...

Wonderful, wonderful shots!!!. I just love the water!!!

Take Care...

Kim Stevens said...

Thanks everyone, for such wonderful comments! Hope you are all having a fabulous week . . .

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