I don't walk on the beach every day...but I do try to get out there several times each week, often 5 or 6 times. Dolphins are generally in evidence, especially in the winter, and if you've been reading this journal recently you know there have been a few whale sightings lately.
Every now and then I find a whole seashell. The photo below shows a small collection of the highest quality shells I've found in the last year or two.
(Click on photo to view a larger image.)
I found the sand dollar a couple of days ago. I had walked south...and the tide was falling. Shortly after I turned around I noticed that this sand dollar had washed up right at the tide line.
The shell at the bottom, near the center, is a small helmet shell -- one of the less common, but beautiful, univalves we occasionally find on our beach. The dark item near the top is not a seashell at all. It is a sea bean, a seed from a vine that grows along rivers and coasts. It's outer shell is thick and durable to keep seawater from penetrating. Sea beans sometimes drift for hundreds of miles before they wash up on shore. The other items are a starfish, two scotch bonnets (the NC state shell) in the middle, two lettered olives, and a small scallop shell.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of traditional island remedies. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032111.htm.