Collecting seashells is a wonderful reason to spend time on the beach besides the cool ocean breezes this summer, or any time you find yourself at lands end. If you are anywhere near a beach or even a large inland lake, no doubt you have spent time walking the shores collecting interesting finds. Collecting seashells is one of those rich, earthy things to do that doesn’t cost a thing.

Are those little footprints? This shell might still be inhabited.

The main thing when collecting is to have a heart for the creatures that are “beached” but still alive. Never collect anything that is still living. If it should be in the water and is stressed be the hero, gently place it back in shallow water, otherwise leave it alone. (Years ago my daughters and I watched as a group of people waded around in ankle deep water tearing starfish off the rocks. We gave them the “stink eye” and said it was wrong to do that as loud as we could, but we succeeded only in making them uncomfortable. It was sad.) Check out this site about shell collecting from South Carolina, it has great tips (including how to tell if a beautiful sea creature is still alive) and information.

“As the beach mist gives in to the morning sun, a glorious sea treasure is revealed to the shell collector. Her little Maltese dog, acting as support crew (crew of one… but she’s tougher than she looks), sounds the alert that this beautiful shell is still occupied and needs to be returned to the sea.”

God bless all creatures, both great and small! ~Deborah

Photos by Rigel Celeste

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