Monday, April 7, 2008
Joe and I go to Blowing Rocks on Jupiter Island to gather shells. There the ancient reef is at the foot of the narrow beach and protects the dunes from storms. However, during the past few years beach erosion has removed the lower part of the beach, and created a steeply pitched narrow strip of sand where the dune has been chewed away. I marvel that the limestone barrier created by billions of sea creatures over the course of thousands of years affords so little protection for the beach as our oceans begin to rise at the very beginning of this period of global warming.
Be that as it may, this particular day all was calm and the Atlantic was like a huge lake stretching it’s 180-degree arc marked by baby wavelets over the exposed reef. I have many photographs of Joe in a stoop as he searches for shells in the holes the usually robust waves have scooped out of the limestone. He has found so many olive shells in these sandy pockets that we have bags of the oblong shells waiting to be mounted on future craft projects. I am better at locating the little Screw Turritella shells deposited above the reef in the narrow strip of flat sand before the steep rise of collapsed dune begins. The latter are used to make Christmas Tree ornaments, and Joe plans to cover our mailbox and post in Rehoboth Beach with the olive shells.
I am posting this photograph because it shows the completely exposed reef, clear and calm waters of the Atlantic, and the magnificent deep blue subtropical sky and clouds to excellent advantage. These glorious elements, shapes and colors of nature, both here and on Cape Henlopen, Delaware, are the very reasons I work to make my scribbled pastel drawings in retirement.