Exploration #11: Differences
Collect multiples of one thing (such as leaves, stones, shells, seeds,etc.).
Lay them out in front of you. Observe them in detail. List the differences you see.
The most obvious difference is size. Scallops come in all sizes. Many people don't know that shells grow just like any other creature. So, if you find a really tiny scallop and then a large scallop, well, the tiny one is much younger in age. This selection of scallops are only thirty plucked randomly from a glass container of hundreds. I rarely have matching pairs. The sizes show here I would classify as tiny, small, medium and large. I've never found one that I would call jumbo.
Color is the next obvious difference. Scallops can range in a variety of colors but most that you find on Sanibel are in a range of pinks and magentas. I'm always thrilled when I find one colored with orange. Grey is pretty common but dark grey and black are rare. Yellow is rare as well, although you may find a hint of it in just about all scallops, a pure yellow one is a treat. In this selection we have the following colors: Rust, pink, magenta, white, orange, peach, yellow, grey, black, red, maroon and beige.
Some have bands of color running horizontally while other shells prefer to run the colors vertically. One shell is edged in a tiny black line that upon closer inspection, looks like lace trim. :)
Shape is not so obvious. At first glance they all look to be sporting the same shape. But if you were to handle them and look closely, you would find that it is not true at all. While most are just slightly rounded, a few are extremely domed. And although rare, some are completely flat like the one in the fourth row all the way to the left. It is a complete shell with no missing pieces yet it's totally flat. How it got that way I have no idea. I think it's really old and has been in the sea for ages, worn flat by sand, sea and time.
Hinges. The hinges connect the bivalve shells. Most have one side larger than the other, usually the right side. Hmmm...like in human life, lefties are more uncommon. Some of the hinges are sharp and come to a point while others are rounded and dull.
Textures vary from those that have been worn smooth from the sea while others maintain a rough texture. Most are dull and don't shine unless I polish. The ones that have had the texture worn a bit smooth definetely have more shine. I picked each one up and no two felt alike. It was strange. Like a fingerprint, they each were unique. The undersides were all different as well, although less so than the outer shell. Most have a brown spot where the scallop resided before...being eaten? Some of the color may show through to the underside but most are slick white. The inside is smooth and shiny with very little texture.
All are beautiful. I love shells. Enjoy these images I have taken over the years:
Coquina Clam shells, also known as the Butterfly shell
Hidden Pearl, the tip of a Florida Fighting Conch Shell
Sanibel Island, the island of shells
The shells of Sanibel
Seashells in a Seashell
The beginnings of a collection
Colors and Patterns of the Scallops
"I have the worlds largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world...perhaps you've seen it." ~Stephen Wright