Thursday, November 4, 2010

Exploration #11: Differences

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.
I have a huge collection of seashells that I have collected over the last 12 years from Sanibel Island. My favorite shell is the Scallop so it seemed like a good subject for this Exploration task. After laying them all out, the thought of writing the differences down on paper didn't appeal to me since it seems like I've been writing non-stop with my NaNoWriMo project. But, really looking at the detail and documenting the differences can only help my writing because, after all, the details are everything. :)

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. 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

 Tulip Shell

Washed Over

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


Cynthia said...

I like scallop shells too... and conchs. There's something so intrinsically beautiful about them.

Having said that, I absolutely lurve the photo you titled "One". Don't know why, but it just sits well with me :)

Balisha said...

Hi, I'm a new visitor to this blog. My bathroom is done with shells as a theme. I have a big conch shell in the garden that I have planted with hens and chicks.I really enjoyed looking at all your pictures. They are wonderful. Balisha

Laura said...

Thank you girls! And welcome Balisha! I enjoy your gardening pursuits. Mine has taken a back seat while I'm attempting to write a novel this month but I can't wait to get back out there and connect with the earth!

Alex said...

What a beautiful collection. Where do you find the time? You are doing awesome on your word count. Keep up the great pace:)

Laura said...

Thanks Alex! ;)
I've been up early and to bed late to get everything in. I'm behind today as had a day with Lita but there are still 6hrs left to get the words in!
Thanks for your support!

Lita said...

Love your beautiful cornucopia of shells! The variety you have and the pics are jawdropping ... and your shell knowledge is unrivaled.

Great job on keeping up with the word count! =)

Laura said...

Thanks Lita love!