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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Seashells In Virginia

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Channeled Whelk, Fairy Stones, Knobbed Whelk | 29 comments

moms shells virginia north carolina

Being surrounded by shells has been a comfort to me all my life. Growing up in Virginia Beach, my family would spend weekends at our local beaches and vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Combing the beaches for shells, driftwood and beach bling became our entertainment and our source for our favorite souvenirs to bring home to my parents house…. and plain happiness.

channeled knobbed lightning whelk

I’m spending a few days with my mom who still lives in the same house I was raised in.. and where all of those beach treasure souvenirs are still throughout her home. I couldn’t remember exact beaches where we found most of the KNOBBED WHELKS and CHANNELED WHELKS so I asked her if she had any idea. She couldn’t remember either but she thought probably near Cape Hatteras. Then she told me she still has boxes of shells in her closet that she hasn’t looked at in years. Of course I had to get them out!

mom shell collection boxes

Sorting through these boxes, shells and findings has been so much fun to reminisce about all of our first times swimming, the games we played at the camp grounds, leaky tents and lots of treasure hunting.

moms shells virginia north carolina

Then I pulled out a little tiny bag filled with some sort of stones. “Hmmmm….  I think I remember digging for these pieces but I cant remember what they are”. My brother Doug took one look at the bag… “Fairy Stones”.

fairy stone virginia state park

Oh yeah! Now I remember -we made several trips to hunt for these FAIRY STONES at Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia over 40 years ago (yes, I was just a baby- ha!). But what are they? Hmmm- nobody could remember so I Googled them. This is from Fairy Stone State Park… Fairy stones are minerals called staurolite which is a combination of silica, iron and aluminum. Staurolite crystallizes at 60 or 90 degree angles making the stone’s cross-like or “x” shape. They are only found in rocks once subjected to great heat and pressure formed long ago during the rise of the Appalachian Mountains. Pretty cool, huh?

fairy stones cross x shape

 Finding these stones (for the second time) made for more reminiscing of more family trips and funny stories. Having these experiences as a child is why I love shelling and treasure hunting as an adult, I’m sure of it. It brings back the sweetest of memories especially when I get to share them with my family.

fairy stones from virginia

I’ll be back on the island soon to get back to finding treasures on our beaches in SW Florida and getting back to the rest of my sweet family…Clark and my kitties.

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