We didn't make a huge effort to go shell collecting, but we did manage to find some beautiful souvenirs while playing on the beach courtesy of Mother Nature. We found most of the shells at low tide when they were left on the shore by the receding water. After boiling, bleaching and some elbow grease to remove a few stubborn barnacles, our treasures shined up nicely with a little mineral oil rub.
The Knobbed Whelk is Georgia's official state seashell. These shells can grow to a length of 12 inches, but most found are from 3-5 inches long. Minerals in Georgia's coastal waters cause striations on the sand-colored surface of these whorled shells.
The kids found many sand dollars. Most were returned back to the water, but we did find a few to bring home. Because they are so fragile, my husband carefully wrapped each one in a paper towel and then newspaper before leaving the island. We were happy to see they all arrived home in one piece.
"The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, yet echoes on in sweet, soulful refrains. For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains."