Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in My Blog, NC Outer Banks | 2 comments

Like A Vertebral Column

After the New Year, I spent a week along the NC Outer Banks with college friends, enjoying God’s great gifts of nature.  The shore…any shore, for that matter, is a favorite place for me to commune with our Creator.  The southern end of the Outer Banks had been ravaged from Superstorm Sandy so we spent most of our time north of Mirlo Beach.  We stayed in Kill Devil Hills and took day-trips to other areas like Pea Island, Manteo, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, etc.

The beaches on the Outer Banks are different from the ones in SC with much higher dunes and a coarser sand composition.  We enjoyed walking along the beach with the shore birds, looking at shells and debris.  I saw my first whelk egg case.  It looked a lot like a vertebral column of some sort and seemed appropriate as the beginning of life by the sea.  Interesting to study.  My friend who grew up along the beach showed me what was inside by breaking the casing open which revealed teeny, tiny little “baby” whelks.  Each of the cases has a little hole up on the top edge which is where the “babies” hatch out to begin their long journey of life in the sea.  She dumped the little whelks out in the palm of her hand to my amazement having never seen them before. I quickly recalled these words from William Blake… 

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

Ah…the lessons of our days!

Baby whelks


  1. 1-23-2013

    Pat, I have seen the egg cases, but never broke one open! Thanks for seeing stuff and sharing!

    • 1-23-2013

      Linda, I find things such as this so interesting and life is best lived learning! Thanks for reading.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *