Originally uploaded by The Paper Doll.
I love to collect seashells. I love being close to the ocean, being in the ocean, sleaping near the ocean and in general, water. There have been many a time when I've escaped from family vacations in the wee hours of the morning to sleep on the beach with nothing but a blanket and the sand for my pillow. This is how I found out about the beachcombers.
There are these funny machines that somone drives over the beach, it's like a riding lawnmower, but instead of blades it has this kind of comb in front and behind. Up and down the beach it goes, leveling out the sand and scooping up trash and other human debris while leaving shells and other fauna behind. You only see them very early in the morning, as the sun is coming up. I've gotten a few odd looks from the drivers of the beachcombers when they find me all wrapped up and snoring, morning dew collecting on me.
I find that the best time to collect shells is at the wee hours, right before the beach combers sweep through. Its at this time that I once found a toy metal ring in the shape of a skull, still in it's plastic pre retail packaging, growing barnacles. I like to "race" the combers to collect the ocean's gifts. It's not much of a race, the things barely go 5 miles an hour, but it still makes me giddy.