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All About Shells

We moved to Florida when I was only 5, many, many years ago, before it became wall to wall houses, condos and shopping centers. But, about the seashells, moving there from Pennsylvania, the beach appeared to be a wondrous thing, and my parents took us there at least once a week, normally more often that that. At first we would take a few seashells home, but they were in such abundance that eventually we just walked by them, or picked them up, admired them and put them down. During the winter months, you would see tourists, who really knew nothing about seashells, combing the beaches for their bag of shells to take home to the frozen north, so they could remember their sunny vacation in Florida. Looking back all those years, I wish I had spent a few minutes each time we went to the beach to find only 1 or 2 of the best shells to save, but I didn't.

So as kids, we learned all about seashells and the creatures that once inhabited them and also other animals that washed up onshore, like horseshoe crabs, sand dollars and many others. It was a great place to grow up back in the day. I have long since grown up and moved away from the Gulf coast area and have lived in many other places, from New York to the West Coast, most of that time I didn't live close to a beach, so I would have had to buy shells if I had wanted them.

You should be sure to know all about seashells before buying them, or you are likely to be taken advantage of because of your ignorance of the subject. Even my mother, who spent most of her adult life in Florida, paid what I thought was an outrageous price for a bag of junk shells, when she wanted to fill a large clear glass base of a lamp with them. I have spent hours and hours on the beach and, take it from me, people pay ridiculous amounts of money for absolute junk all of the time. I can tell you, for example, that those same sand dollars that I could have found in droves on the sea shores of the San Francisco bay area, people are buying for 5, 10, or even more dollars. I mean, perhaps its worth a few bucks to find them, clean them up, and make them convenient by selling them at the store, but if you know anything about seashells or other marine products, you will make wise purchases, unless you live so far away that there is no alternative but to buy them for exorbitant rates.

Those who know about seashells will tell you that a good conch shell is worth buying. Even though they sell them for upwards of thirty dollars to na´ve tourists in Jamaica, the price may be a little high, but these shells really are treasures of the sea. They have a substantial size, a beautiful, intricate design, and the best part is that you can actually hear the sea in them if you hold them to your ear. And of course, there is that ever popular trait of conch shells, made famous in the movies, where they can be blown into at the end, resulting in a clear, beautiful, and brilliant tone. There's not much about seashells more interesting than that.

Of course, seashells can be bought, ordered, or found for all kinds of purposes. They can be used for decorations, making excellent material for collage, ornamental soap trays, as wall hangings, to adorn jewlery and clothing, like my mom's lamp. They can be even hung as wind chimes which make a delightful noise when the breeze blows through them. They begin their life as the homes of crabs, clams, mussels, and the like, but can end them as beautiful crafts, each individually tailored by the master crafter, mother nature, fit for admiration by young and old alike.

I've been fascinated by seashells since I was five years old and first took a journey to the water. Gazing into that deep blue sea for the first time, that sounded good but, actually the Gulf looks green, not blue, but it doesn't matter what color it is because we just can't help being fascinated by the intricate and amazing existences of the creatures that live in it. And it isn't all about seashells, it's the creatures who made the shells that I find so interesting.

If you are planning a vacation you should look into cruising. Or if you like SCUBA diving you can really find pristine shells, ideal for collecting. Interested in SCUBA diving, go to http://www.scubadiving.outdooradventuretoday.com

Source: www.articletrader.com