During our adventures around the north island, I spent a lot of time looking straight down. On every beach instead of walking hand and hand through the surf with romance, I trundled a good 50 metres behind CB at all times, picking up shells. I couldnt have even told you what the ocean looked like half the time.. well I mean, blue and watery… yeah. But the world around my feet was so fascinating. Tidal pools full of hermit crab thieves sneaking around in snail shells, little pin cushion sea urchins, periwinkles, lovely scallop shells and gorgeous rainbow paua shells, big fronds of yellow coral, and blue bottle jellyfish scattered all over the sand. Je t’aime New Zealand’s molluscan fauna!
Eventually the pockets of my jeans were packed full and soaking wet, and I just started taking pictures of the things CB wouldnt let me pick up. Like 9ft pieces of driftwood and stinging bastard blue bottles…
Green Lipped NZ Mussel with a serious 5 o’clock shadow. These guys are delicious.
Blue Bottles, there were a lot of these little guys on the beach. Not good to try to pick up and pop like bubble wrap with bare hands though!
Sea foam, with a variety of shell pieces. If it was a windy day the wind would blow puffs of sea foam all the way down the beach until it disappeared, or I stomped on it with my boot.
If I was a crazy old lady living near the beach my front lawn would probably be full of pieces of drift wood like this, probably covered in wind chimes.
Squishy sea plants, looking like giant rubber bands.
A little pelvic bone. I also collected a tiny vertebrae from a bird. There was no shortage of bones on the beach in the morning.
I have a nice little collection in a tupperware box in the van now. I also found a cool fossil in Mangaweka of some sea shell imprinted in the rock. One day I’ll maybe even figure out what everything is!