Monthly Archives: March 2014

Official State Sea Shells

Did you know that some U.S. states have an official sea shell?

States choose to have an official bird, gem or flower based on something that is common to the state or essential to the state’s commerce. Sea shell species are usually picked to be officially representative of a state for the same reason; it could be found abundantly or be part of their coastal economy (like oysters).

I’ve written previously on state birds and a time when an organization was trying to change the state bird of Florida. It is interesting to me how strongly people feel about their “official” representative and how political the debate to keep, change or even adopt one can get.

I was researching sea shells for a Crafty Beachcomber project and decided to find out which coastal states in the U.S. had official sea shells.  Here’s the list:

  • Alabama: Johnstone’s Junonia
  • Connecticut: Eastern Oyster
  • Delaware: Channeled Whelk
  • Florida: Horse Conch
  • Georgia: Knobbed Whelk
  • Massachusetts: Wrinkled Whelk
  • Mississippi: Eastern Oyster
  • New Jersey: Knobbed Whelk
  • New York: Bay Scallop
  • North Carolina: Scotch Bonnet
  • Oregon: Oregon Hairy Triton
  • Rhode Island: Northern Quahog
  • South Carolina: Lettered Olive
  • Texas: Prickly Whelk
  • Virginia: Eastern Oyster

Meanwhile, several states also have a state fossil that is a type of mollusk.  Not all are coastal states; here is the list:

A bit of trivia: the word “conch” comes from a Greek word meaning “shell”. So it’s redundant to say “conch shell”.


Source: and the individual state websites

 Photo credit: they are mine and copyrighted. Please ask permission to use.


Shorebird Nesting Awareness and Greeting Cards

The Caspian Tern is one of my favorite shorebirds.  It is the largest tern out there, the size of a gull, and frequently nests near gull colonies.

These photos are a set that I am selling on blank greeting cards through my Etsy store, Crafty Beachcomber.  They are fixed to ivory cards measuring 5×6.5; the photos are 4×6 and are suitable for framing.

I always loved when the Caspian Tern came in flocks to the Siesta Key beach.  On a windy day, their black tuft would raise with the breeze like a spiked hair on an 80’s punk rocker.  I got so used to referring to them as the punk rock bird, I had to look up their actual name. Shame on me!

The cards are a limited edition of 100 and the proceeds will benefit Save the Chicks, a shorebird nesting awareness organization.  Money will be given to an organization that helps educate the public while protecting the nesting habitats of shorebirds.  Most of these birds nest in a scrape on the beach.  They, the nest and the eggs are mostly camouflaged and susceptible to destruction from beach goers, pets and, prey.  Beach towns usually rope off areas of the beach for these federally protected birds, when nests are found, but many people don’t respect this.  When you are at the beach this summer, please stay out of and away from roped areas  Protect our birds.

Visit Save The Chicks for more information about the Caspian Tern and why protecting birds is important.

Meanwhile, if you would like to order a set of 4 cards, please visit my Etsy store: Crafty Beachcomber.  Thanks.

Siesta Key Lifeguard Stands

Yellow, blue, green and red. These are the lifeguard stands of Siesta Key, FL. They are so beautiful especially when the sun is so bright and the sky is so clear.

I’ve taken dozens of photos of these lifeguard stands and edited one of each with a special effect to make blank, photo greeting cards. These are for sale now on my Etsy store, “Crafty Beachcomber.”

These photos are 4×6 and great for using as cards or framing for your home or vacation house.  Please take a look; I hope you enjoy them.

Two in a Bush…

Two in a bush...

Two in a bush…

A Cedar Waxwing and a buddy.

This ends my photos of birds with great camouflage.  I enjoyed watching the Cedar Waxwings in the hedgerow across the street from my house.  I was only able to get one photo with multiple birds in it but they were in opposite corners of the picture and so I could not crop it.  Cedar Waxwings make such a lovely sound.  Can’t wait until next year to see them again.