Beachcombing is an instinctual aspect of any trip to the beach, especially for curious children. And it's especially rewarding to collect souvenirs that recall nature at her most artistic and generous. You will discover something of interest on any stretch of uncrowded coast, but some beaches offer happier hunting than others. Our tips will help you find and identify the most beautiful shells.
Shell Seeker's Tips
There's more to beachcombing than strolling, scoping, and hoping for the best. Chuck and Debbie Robinson, authors of "The Art of Shelling," offer this advice from the years they have spent shelling.
The ends of barrier islands and peninsulas and the banks of inlets are the smart places to check out an area for the first time. Shells tend to collect at sandbars.The aftermath of a storm is the best time to find shells from distant locales, as well as driftwood and maritime jetsam and buoys. "Winter is really good, because the water is turbulent and all the good stuff doesn't get cleaned off the beach," says Debbie Robinson.Under normal weather conditions, low tide and the two hours that precede it are prime time.Many shells linger in shallow water near the shore, often in a ditch formed by wave action. Wading and snorkeling are easy ways to search in this zone.