Friday, November 13, 2009

Really big clam

At about 2:30 this afternoon, I was at the edge of the marsh throwing a roast turkey carcass into the water so the crabs could pick it over. As I turned around, I noticed this fair-sized clam shell in the mud.

Clam shells (half-shells, strictly speaking) are fairly abundant on our beaches. Even big ones are the more ordinary pickings that beachcombers find. The size of this one was still pretty cool, and I guess my Inner Tourist impelled me to pick it out of the mud and bring it inside with the thought of keeping paperclips in it or something.

So I lifted it. It was stuck in the mud pretty well, and the outer layer of the shell chipped off, back there at the joint. It may be a fossil. Many are. Nature was doing her work and breaking it down into its recyclables by slowly prying the layers apart with algae or mold.

Drat, hated having broken it, but I kept the pieces, put my finger deep into the mud to really get under it, and lifted.

And lifted. That green part was exposed and the algae was working on it, but the white-ish part shows how much more was buried in the muck.

It. Is. Huge. This photo shows it next to my 1-quart pot. It's 6 inches long, and has enough layers of growth to indicate it celebrated well over 200 birthdays.

So, it's more fragile than I thought and I don't want to lose any more pieces. It'll need an easier life than it would have had as a paper-clip holder.

The pictures can be clicked for larger views. I've left them large, for anyone who wants to see such detail as my camera picks up.

Stats :

Length - 6 inches

Weight - Larry got curious and put it on his postal scale. The shell weighs 1.25 pounds (just a hair over, actually)

Capacity - I got curious and got out my 1/4 cup measuring cup. This shell-half holds 3/4 cup and a little bit more.


Catherine said...

That is so very, very cool!!!

Christy said...

What Catherine said!

Sherwood Harrington said...

Clams got giants!

ronnie said...

Awesome! Thanks for blogging it. Just the type of weird little "Huh! Lookit that!" moment in life that I love reading about.