Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bluffs, May 29, 2011 (Beachcombing series No. 34)

The Bluffs, May 29, 2010 (Beachcombing series No.34)
A typical day of beachcombing: three rock crab shells, a green crab shell, blue mussels, sea urchins, bits of nylon rope, birch bark, sea glass, periwinkle shells, a sprig of rockweed, and a piece of rusty metal. The crab shells were probably shed, since they are pretty clean, with no hint of dead crab in them.

The most interesting finds of the day were the clusters of whelk egg cases. I think these are the eggs of the Common Northern Whelk (Buccinum undatum). The photo below shows a northern whelk laying eggs.
Image credit: Scott Leslie (click on photo for link.)
Don't worry, all the baby whelks seem to have hatched from the cases I found. I tried to open a couple of the egg sacs that still look a bit bubble-like (as you can see, most of them are sort of deflated) but the stuff they are made of is surprisingly strong. It looks like translucent seaweed, and now that it's dry it sounds papery, but it's as tough as tyvek, and feels similar when you try to tear it.


  1. love your work, Jenn!
    You take what some think of as junk and do something wonderful with it...thanks!

  2. Oh my gosh, hi Adele! Thanks so much for stopping by! We're hoping to visit Warner next month, so maybe I'll get to see you then.