Times of the Islands - - Nature’s Notebook -

Quan­tity is the goal of this all too fa­mil­iar stooper. She is rel­a­tively un­con­cerned about the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the shells, their speck­led color, ex­cep­tional shape or dis­tinc­tive style. She has crafts to cre­ate, so she just wants a lot of them.

Us­ing a spe­cially de­signed scoop that guar­an­tees max­i­mum cov­er­age, she thrusts it into terra firma, mak­ing a crater usu­ally only left by me­te­ors and the foot­prints of a Tyran­nosaurus Rex.

She lifts a mon­strous amount of sand and shells and starts to sift and sort, pick and poke. With an ex­pe­ri­enced eye and swift fin­gers, she re­moves any frag­ments and clumps of sand. She’s not that dis­crim­i­nat­ing; mostly any­thing makes the grade, ex­cept those se­ri­ously cracked and chipped shells. The bulk is dumped into a bulging plas­tic sack only slightly smaller than the stooper her­self.

She then drags the hefty bounty along the beach and starts over in her quixotic quest to to­tally de­plete Sani­bel of its pre­cious charms.

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