THE STAN­DARD STOOP

Times of the Islands - - Nature’s Notebook -

Un­like the pre­vi­ous “Scooper,” this par­tic­u­lar sheller is in no hurry at all. She leisurely scours the coast in a very calm and de­lib­er­ate man­ner for hours at a time, tak­ing ex­cep­tional care to scan the abun­dant de­posits of shells, dis­re­gard­ing a mul­ti­tude of them be­fore de­cid­ing on a soli­tary gem.

At that point, she makes a per­fect bend at the waist to pluck the cher­ished shell and place it in her empty pocket. Vis­i­tors and tourists of­ten try to im­i­tate this un­hur­ried style, but they usu­ally lack the pa­tience and unerring eye to be a true Stan­dard Stooper. These pre­tenders can be spotted fairly eas­ily. They are too anx­ious to gather mas­sive amount of shells— as quickly as pos­si­ble. Calm and care­ful, they’re not.

Me­thod­i­cal and mea­sured marks this pre­cise style. And it’s harder than it looks.

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