Just a good day

I put in at Odiorne state park in Rye, NH today. 70, low wind, sunny, seas 1-2 feet, perfect day to spend time on the water at the coast.

I put in at low tide. These little hermit crabs were all over the place. I had never seen so many there before. Maybe I just never paid close enough attention. I watched them for maybe 10 minutes before heading out.

I come to the harbor and take a wide right, because I know how shallow it gets at a sand bar right there. What I didn’t know was that over the winter a lot more sand had entered the area, turning this whole side into one large sand bar a couple hundred yards long and just as wide. Walking and dragging my Tsunami through ankle deep water, I spotted this shell from a clam. Looking closer, I saw it was intact. Then the foot came out and it pushed itself along. It was interesting to me, because I had never seen a living clam pushing itself along like this before. So, not being in a hurry to get anywhere, I took a seat and watched it for a while.

With the tide about to start coming in, I moved along, heading out to do my usual lap around Whaleback light. I stopped at the neighboring island to take a break. The view on this calm day was nice and peaceful. It was a good spot to sit for lunch and watch the boats go by.

I spotted this rock while eating my lunch. It was so interesting I decided to bring it home.

I came home tired, but also relaxed. It was just a really good day on the water.


I have a friend who is always collecting small treasures (small rocks, worn broken glass, small pieces of interesting drift wood) on paddle trips. It did indeed look like a good day!


You reminded me that I found a similar pebble years ago that was two-toned, light and dark grey with a sinuous raised pattern that looked like a little paddler in a traditional kayak with a sea serpent looming near it. I had planned to have it set in silver as a pendant but now I can’t recall what “good place” I stashed it in! I have so many little “treasure” boxes scattered around the house.

I have the same impulse to collect interesting little things on my outings too. My college major and minor were Archaeology and Geology so my living room mantel is covered with artifacts, fossils and geofacts, plus a few shells from Florida beaches. This collection (one of many around the house) ranges from a stone scooped out by wave tumbled pebbles on the Pacific coast’s Rialto Beach, a dolphin-shaped driftwood (from same location), quartzite flakes from Death Valley, a Cretaceous shark tooth fossil with intact enamel (from an abandoned Ohio quarry), a Native American spearpoint from the shore of Lake Michigan, an argillite grindstone from the shoreline of Vancouver harbor and a well worn metate from the banks of the Animas River in Colorado.

Often on vacation trips I have to pack and mail a box of my clothes home so I have room in my luggage for all the collected rock stuff!


I love geology. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Nick Zentner from Central Washington University. I wish there were a comparable channel to his for the geology of the northeast where I am. Being into kayaking, it’s always fascinating and fun to learn about the various processes that shape and form our playgrounds.

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I also collect rocks, shells, fossils, arrowheads, etc. They bring back memories from the past when I look at them. They are like signpost marking a path taken in life.


Whenever I travel I try to equip myself with books that guide me to the landforms and deep geology of a place. The book series “Roadside Geology” of the various states and regions is a great resource, directing the traveler to road cuts and other exposures where the strata can be directly examined. They do publish them for many of the northeastern states. I have at least a dozen of them by now.

And I always come home with nature guide books from the book sections of the visitors centers of the parks and sites I visit.


I’ll be down at the beach for the next two weeks. I live in the Ocean State, but this is pretty much the only time that I paddle on salt water - can’t wait.

I am jealous… There have been decent wave action in south facing beaches this past week, whereas we have nothing but wind chops in MassBay.

Looking forward to four days of camping/sufing right on Horseneck Beach after Labor Day. :slight_smile:

What a treat to get to watch a clam in action.

Couple of weeks ago my local river dropped a foot overnight and I found this freshwater mussel stranded about 6 inches above the water with his shell open (not sure why). I put him back in the water and it closed up immediately. I wondered if it was pleased.

A bunch of his friends had a very bad day.


I collect old paddlers but have yet to put one on a shelf.I turn them loose before they get hungry.

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