Thursday, July 9, 2015

July Series || It's Natural: Rocks and Shells

 A few years ago I decided I wanted a way to remember trips, dates, or fun events. Something more than pictures. I wanted a piece of something that was there. So I started a rock collection.
In fact, I started my rock collection on June 10, 2012. It later branched out into shells and bones too. That may sound a little strange, but don't worry I have quite a few pictures.

In a mason jar I keep my ever growing collection of rocks and shells, etc. They are my souvenirs from various trips over the past 3 years. Right now I'm essentially going to walk you down my memory lane and show you just a small portion of my collection.
This is a shell that I picked up somewhere around 2009, I think. I added the verse some time later. Technically my collection didn't officially start until 2012 when I wrote the date and the place on a rock I picked up in Maine.
Not to jump ahead, but in 2013 I went to Jacksonville, FL and brought some things home and that's when I put my collection into a jar. So That is where I'll start. The shells and shark teeth I got on the beach. The object to the left is coquina, which I actually did purchase in a souvenir shop in St. Augustine, FL

Coquina is made up of pieces of shell which have compressed together over the years. (That's an extremely unscientific explanation.) When the English attacked Castillo De San Marcos in 1702, a fort in St. Augustine built from coquina, the cannon balls from the English ships could not break the wall becuase the coquina was able to absorb the force. --Thanks Wikipedia.--

Here are a few shark teeth! It was so cool to see shark teeth mixed in with the sand...once your eyes kind of adjusted and you could discern shark teeth from broken shells! I only found one of these teeth on my own, My friends fom Jacksonville found the others before me. I refused to leave the beach before I found a shork tooth on my own, even if that meant missing my flight the next day! It only ended up taking me a few more minutes to find one.

Here are my shells from a few other beaches. I try to exercise some self control and only bring home a couple from each trip to the beach. Sometimes I just can't help myself.
Seriously, How does a shell become this shape?! How can you leave that on the beach? Maybe it's a saddle for a sea horse...sorry. lame joke.

Of course, I couldn't leave the only complete sand dollar I've ever found at the beach! It's really cool for me to remember when and where I found it. So into the collection it went!

A few more shells. I'm thinking I want to make some sort of project with these shells. I don't know what yet, but I really like them!

Here are all the non-shell pieces of my collection. Aka mostly rocks, a piece of hardened sap from a cherry tree, and a piece of coal from next to a canal that coal barges used to travel from 1832 up until 1931.
Look! I collected rocks exactly two years apart!! It is really neat to have both of these as memories and to think back about the things I was doing when I picked up both of these rocks exactly two years apart!
All my rocks and shells that I've collected from 2012 to 2015. I've gotten much better at remembering to pick up rocks this year. I actually didn't realize until now that I'd only picked up two rocks each year before this.

Another slightly odd part of this collection are my wishbones. I try to remember to take it out of the turkey each Thanksgiving. I let them dry and then sand them. The bright white one I painted with nail polish just because I wanted to see how it looked. I really want to break one and make a wish someday, for the fun of it, but then when I think about really breaking one, I just can't do it!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this look into my collection! Maybe it's inspired you to start a similar collection.

Do you have any sort of souvenir collection?
What was your favorite part of my collection?

--"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40--


  1. Cool collection Jill! It's clever to write the date of when you picked them up. The Coquina looks pretty and unique.
    My family used to have a big vase of shells, ect. but now things are either gone or dispersed to other places. Now my Dad has a shelf with several fossils, rocks and such.

    1. Thanks, Paige! My grandfather has a shelf with a few rocks and shells that he keeps on a shelf with dates and places written on them. I don't think I ever really noticed it until after I started my collection, but maybe subconsciously that's why I started mine. He also has a stone from his honeymoon over 60 years ago. I thought that was so cool and I knew I had to remember to keep a rock from mine too!

  2. Hi sweet Jill! Your shells are so pretty and I simply LOVE the words that have been written on them :)

    I hope you are enjoying your summer. Hugs!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie! I have been having a wonderful and busy summer! (Which is why I've collected 5 rocks/shells already in 2015!) It's also the reason why my posting has dropped off to about 1 a week instead of the usual 3.
      I hope you and your family are enjoying the summer as well!


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