|The beach on a wet, windswept day|
So it was when three out of four ogres went looking for waders beside an estuary. A little north of Kaliveli wetlands, near the village of Marakkanam north of Pondicherry, we found ourselves on a very picturesque beachhead. It was a blustering windswept day that threatened to blow our hopes away.
It was a chaotic stretch of beach but fairly empty but for a few fisherfolk kids playing. The weather being most inclement, fishing boats were moored like cars jammed into a parking lot on a Saturday evening. A wash of seaweed stained the shore for its entire length and the sea spat gnashing waves in contempt. Occasionally a drift of rain carried to us like a fine spray and our optics, like the sand crabs scurrying about, were ever ready to duck back into their shelter.
But there's that thing that Lady Luck does once in a way even when she's haunted by meteorological hormones – she smiles.
But what a magnificent treasure trove it turned out to be! There was not a stretch of beach that wasn't littered with the bric a brac of the ocean. We felt like little boys all over again. And that's why the rest of our littoral treasure hunt is presented in pictures. I must add that but for a couple of sea urchin shells, we took no souvenirs. And yes, we left footprints.
|A stain of spent seaweed|
|Pandora's vanity bag must have burst at the seams|
|Sea jewels, some still fetid from the death of their occupants. These shells will be washed, dried, decked up and sold.|
|What's left of a crab's shell is still ornamental|
|A conch with the texture of wood|
|Another with the molluscan foot still intact - it must be alive|
|I just loved the 'teeth' on this one|
|Talking of which, there were some return gifts. The jaw of some old dog after the sea licked it clean.|
|So many stab wounds and no coroner willing to do an autopsy|
|A sea urchin's remains, like a flower on driftwood. Somebody had placed it there, though.|
|Here's how we found them. I was drawn to the perfect symmetry of the foam-green globes|
|An anemone, I think. It was hard and calcareous already having been out of the water for a long time. And the spines were coming off.|
|It took me ages to spot this crab and then longer to locate it in the viewfinder. All the while I stayed put, and so did he.|
|On a sandbar about a kilometre from the beach, this little dragonfly busied about trying to be obscure|
|I was surprised to see a frog here. Or is that a toad?|
|This Common Jezebel drank of the few blossoms that fringed the land|
|It seems we were not the only ones looking for treasures|
|This little guy just scooped up the crab as he was walking by. After the photo op, off went both. I wonder if the crab was eaten eventually.|