Many, many, years ago, I did a beach cleanup with Surfider where we challenged each other to find the strangest thing on the beach during the cleanup. I think somebody found swim trunks, another found some spent fireworks, a toothbrush, etc.
Now, I know a lot of this washes in from the ocean, but after a Hurricane, big storm, or just a holiday, while doing a beach cleanup it is the opportune time to find some wild things, both natural and manmade. In fact, it’s become quite the habit in our house to display things we’ve picked up at the beach or in the lagoon as “treasures”.
Many years ago, I inherited a china cabinet that belonged to my Great Grandmother . I’m not a big fan of superfluous furniture, and we certainly don’t entertain with china in a formal dinner party, people are lucky to get “Chinet”. Instead of just giving this cabinet away or selling it, it’s become a pretty neat shell and flotsam mini museum, complete with antique nautical devices and maps we’ve been given over the years.
|The Mini Museum- no entry fee 🙂|
While I’ve kept shells that were bought by my family a long time ago, I certainly DO NOT advocate buying shells from a tourist shop or store these days since the numbers have become so depleted. But bleached shells from the beach in a modest amount- don’t collect hundreds in a day please, others like to enjoy them too!- is kind of a neat pasttime, and collecting flotsam (“trash”) is even more fun! I think having a story behind each item is the fun in collecting.
I’ve grouped our shells we’ve found by type, just like in a real display, and we have sea beans, coconuts, even fishing lures that were dangling and tangled in mangrove trees!
|Fishing lures, sea beans, and shells laid out on a nautical map of the Keys.|
By far, the prize of the collection is something we found after Hurricane Frances that had washed up on the beach. It was a little deep diver action figure with a barnacle attached to his left knee. Just wonder how long he’d been out at sea!
|Welcome back to land, Buddy!|
So if you’re looking to decor your beach home- or your home you wish was near the beach- do a beach cleanup sometime. You may become so into beach cleanups for the treasure hunting you’ll start your own museum!