I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Message in a Bottle

 Oh how fun! The other day I found a message in a bottle, washed up on the high full moon tide.

The sender was smart to put it in a Mason jar, sturdy and eye-catching. I'd definitely stop to investigate a Mason jar, you know.
It was from a woman in New Jersey...nice letter, lots of sweet thoughts and good wishes for the finder. She set it adrift from New Jersey on March 12, so it took two months to float up here to the beach! It could have come twenty miles...or 100, she doesn't say where in NJ she put the jar into the ocean.
Picture this little jar..and its letter, so carefully inscribed---for two long months, bobbing across NY Harbor, past the Statue of Liberty, past the giant tankers and cruise ships! And then it landed on my beach!

For the sender it is maybe not as exciting as if it took years and she was contacted from, oh...Spain? Or Northern Canada or England, or Ireland, more likely, since it was carried on the Gulf Stream. But I was pleased.

In all my years here I have found three other messages in bottles, so this makes FOUR. One was dropped from a cruise ship by a young couple. It had a note, a swizzle stick, cocktail napkin, and a five dollar bill! Another was from a child. It had a sweet drawing, an questionnaire, and cute colorful beachy charms and glitter. The final one had pornographic Xeroxes! In color so it wasn't very old but the pix were very 80's, guy with leisure suit [then NOT, lol!] white boy Afro and moustache. Very scented too. So odd. I felt sad to show the less risque pix to my kids who had been so excited to find a message in a bottle. I think it too had money, a couple dollars?

Other finds: the eternal question, why do coconuts wash up on northern beaches? here's an amusing link by a photographer I admire. here The  comments and discussion are amusing, scroll down! Occult thing? LOL!

It's fun to think the coconuts are swept north by the currents, all the way from the Caribbean. But more likely they are local trash, they are sold here in the stores, of course.

I always am hoping one will grow! And we'll have a palm tree!


And this wonderfully old, c. 1940? or older wooden fishing lure. I think fishing lures were made of plastic by the 19502, though I am no expert.

I love its green glass eyes. How long has it too washed about in the ocean until the tides brought it ''home'' for me?

Here it is with a repro lure, so you can picture how it once looked, all those years ago.

And here: a moon shell egg case. All the eggs are hatched! Yummy snack for the birds!

And last, a bird update: this oystercatcher mama is smart!

She has laid her eggs on the dunes...and far from the usual shoreline.

But again, the water came so close. Within a foot of her nest! [You can see the waterline in the top picture.] She must have been so afraid...but she should be safe now, her babies will hatch before the next full moon flood tides.

And the willets have returned! Year three! Just one pair, with their long slender bills and stilt-like legs. Very rare here on the beach....

The arctic and least terns arrived this week too [grrr! they're mean!], and the black skimmers yesterday, huge clouds of them, on Mothers Day.

More soon...including hopefully some not-foggy, not rainy pix!



................gone to the beach

edit: Moonshells are a common seashell found on Atlantic beaches. They are round, large, snail-like; not particularly treasured. In the spring the creatures burrow and rotate into the tidal sand and secrete a substance that mixes with sand and forms the distinctive curved case. The shells are about 3-4" high and the cases are maybe 4- 5" . One side of the case is then covered with hundreds of tiny, rather icky eggs...a very popular food for the shorebirds. 

Google images pix below.


  1. You find the neatest treasures.

    All I can find are bits of coral and well worn pieces of shells.

    I think all our treasures get smashed against the lava rocks.

    I've heard there are three places on the Island that have sea glass, but the locations are carefully kept secret. I guess if I'm here long enough I'll meet someone who knows where to look.

    Wait, we did find a twenty dollar bill once on the bottom of the ocean. It looked as big as a sheet of paper.

    Thank you, as always, for sharing your treasures.


    1. I hope you find the seaglass beach! I ll ask around....

      I find dollar bills now and then, usually at the end of the summer, blown up into the dunes. But never a twenty, that s a cool find!


  2. I have to ask....what the heck is a 'moon shell egg case'??


    1. Hi Mel, I added a description of moonshells and their eggs cases, plsu pix.

  3. P.S. to you and Hunter - I looked and found a website dedicated to the 'best beaches to find seaglass'. They listed Glass Beach by Ft. Bragg but didn't mention that it was protected now, so I don't know how up-to-date the info is, but they had this on Hawaii:
    "Glass Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
    Kauai’s Glass Beach isn’t mentioned in many guide books, mostly due to its location in the middle of an industrial zone not far from the popular tourist area of Poipu on the southern end of the island. To get there, take the Port Allen exit off the highway, then turn down a street past some warehouses, then follow a very rutted dirt road to the water. It’s worth the effort, for this beach is inches thick with sea glass of all colors – even the rare cobalt blues. But don’t get greedy; local law limits each person to a gallon of the shiny stuff per day."

    I think it's a different island than were Hunter is (if I remember right?) but maybe not too far to go on a day trip or weekend?

    Anyway, have fun!

    1. I looked around too, seems the old port of Lahaina on Maui has some good seaglass spots. I remember being in Lahaina once and saying, Oh it looks just like Provincetown [MA, on Cape Cod]..and then we realized they are both early 19th century whaling ports! Hence the familiar 'look' and the old glass?


  4. ah, loved the rainy picture, and the birds. congrats on message in a bottle. lovely photos.



Thank you for taking the time to write a comment here.