Friday, October 20, 2006

Flotsam and Jetsam: Waterfinds from Jenny

As a little girl, I spent hours on the beach in Bay Ridge, near Annapolis, Maryland. I sang into the wind, poked jellyfish with sticks, "cooked" with seaweed, collected shells and stones and beach glass and the occasional prized piece of pottery. Of all the things I found on the beach, what I remember most clearly was a bloated beagle who washed up after a storm. He still had his collar and tags, and was obviously someone's beloved companion. We imagined he might have fallen from a boat during bad weather.

The beach finds that seem to have stayed with me the longest are the most bizarre. Those who know me will not be surprised by this. The two things I have to this day from that beach of my youth are a dental bridge and a little clay pot pipe.

I found the dental piece in the sand and was very impressed that it included a piece of real gold. As a nine-year-old, I thought I could have it melted down and made into a piece of jewelry or trade it in for cash. As the years passed, I realized it was not really worth anything, but could not imagine just chucking it out in the trash. How did it find its way to the beach? I imagine some seasick or drunken sailor lost it with his lunch over the side of a boat.

The pot pipe was cleverly stashed behind one of the pilings near the beach, still full of residue. I recognized the smell because my dad was a pot smoker, too. My guess is that it belonged to a teenager who was sad to find it had gone missing. I don't think I told anyone about that particular find, but stashed it in some secret place in my room. I was excited to have found something so illicit and showed it off to my friends for years.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Muskrat Park Tea Cup: A Waterfind from Michaela and Rachel

September 9, 2006
My sister and I found this cup in Muskrat Park (St. Michaels, MD), where the County has been burying new piping under the lawn. At first, the pieces we found were rather big, but the longer we searched the smaller they got. Eventually, we were finding some bits no bigger than a thumb nail. We think that the cup might have been almost completely intact before the machine began digging, because the broken edges were relatively clean. The only piece we think was broken beforehand was the handle, which might have caused the owners to throw the cup away. After we had found all the pieces that we could, Rachel and I fit them together then taped them into place, giving you the cup you see here.
~ Michaela Beggins (12)

We’re told that Muskrat Park was once a swamp, and people hunted muskrat there.  Then, people filled the swamp in with dirt, and now it is called Muskrat Park.  That’s where it got its name.
~ Rachel Beggins (9)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Beach Marbles: a WaterFind from Diana

I have been collecting marbles over the past 39 years from our local beaches, Arbutus Cove and Cadboro Bay, in Victoria, B.C. Canada. They are always just rolling around with the stones, and as far as I know, no kids ever go there with marbles. My hunch is that crows pick them up from play areas and drop them on the stones to break them open as they do with Horse Chestnuts. Some of the marbles I've collected are very worn and pitted, suggesting they have been rolling around in the gravel and stones for a long time. As you can see, one is even broken.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Agates: A WaterFind from Diana

Most of my life I have found agates. In the glacial moraine of my childhood haunts in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, I found them on the stony beach of Osoyoos Lake, still in their shell of lava rock so that to be admired, they had to be cut by the local lapidary with his powerful saw. In my adulthood, I have been delighted to find well worn specimens on the saltwater beaches around Victoria. These show their colours immediately, having been eroded to their core over the millenia they have spent being tumbled by nature on the shore of Vancouver Island.
They are all different shapes and sizes and colours, and I always feel so blessed when I find a new one. Two are so similar in size and colour it is amazing. I found them on our local beach 3 years apart and had them made into earrings for Robin for her birthday one year. They are shown here resting on some of their cousins from the same beach. The most recent find was the day after Loki, our 15 year old hound, died. We were taking one of his favourite walks, when a huge one with strange markings, appeared at my feet. It was definitely a sign for me that he was still with us in spirit, just laughing at us as we walked his beach yet again.
Learn more about agates.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

China Nose: A WaterFind from banniebean

When we were dating, my husband and I made many visits to the tiny beach in Claiborne, Maryland. We always gathered washed up treasures. One of the most unique we found (the actual finding credit is his!) was this china nose which must have once been part of a china doll.

Did a little girl lose the doll off a boat? Was it washed out of a trash heap? Did it slip out of someone's hands and tumble off a dock? Where is the rest of the doll?

Or perhaps it was from a mermaid's toy never know.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Jack's Money: A WaterFind from Sara

Every walk on the beach yields a waterfind--a curious object you pick up, turn over in your hands, and wonder about.... Where did it come from? How did it get here? Whose was it? What is it? Many years ago, on a hot, summer day, in Bethany Beach, Delaware, my father-in-law stood where the waves washed over his feet. As a breaker rolled in, then ebbed, he spied and grabbed a wadded-up $20 bill. The man was a magnet for found money, but.......coming to him on a wave?

What have you found?