Adapted Reuse

Scared Shell with Worm Tubes

This mollusk shell looks battered and beaten, not exactly your normal seashell collection material. Its original owner is long since gone. In addition to its worn edges, pitting indicates that something has been chewing on this shell, but it is the calcareous tube worm shells inside of it that I find the most interesting. These creatures have fan like appendages that stick out from their tubular shell and sift even smaller critters suspended in the passing tide. From their number, this must have been quite the thriving colony at one time.

We found this shell, while beach combing at Anastasia State Park, just east of St. Augustine. This beach was much longer and wider than the one at Anne’s cabin on Lake Superior. I’m not even sure how long it is, because its ends disappeared into the mists of the morning’s marine layer. It was definitely wide though, wider than a football field is long. Wide enough that walking from the grass encrusted dunes to the water’s edge was a hike. There was a multitude of shells. Too many to ever count and birds too. I don’t think that we’ve named all the different species that we photographed.

This was our first good glimpse of the sea on this vacation. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. We got to the beach just after the park had opened. Actually, we had gotten there, before the park opened, but  choosing not to wait at the gate, we came back after nine. We were the second car in the lot. Even though there were no warning flags flying, neither for surf or marine life (jellyfish), we never took off our sandals or waded in the water. There was too much to see on land. Later, we checked out the salt marsh, but the beach was best.

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