Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slipper Shells for Blanche

At the beach, I rarely sit, but rather collect shells, watch wildlife, swim, walk, etc. I  enjoy picking up shells and finding an unusual one or an especially pretty one. 

I don't have any particular favorites, but my dear Friend, Blanche especially likes Lady Slipper shells or also known as the Common Atlantic Slipper, slippersnail or boat shell.

Here's one at the bottom left corner of this photo:

This is the same shell close-up:

Before a recent visit by Blanche, I made a small collection of Lady Slippers for her, that I had found at the Cape May Point beach:

I discovered this beautiful glass box to contain them at the lovely gift store in Stone Harbor called Stephanie's. It is the perfect box to display them and present them as a small gift.

Regarding the Slipper itself, it is a snail like creature and can be a nuisance and impede the growth of oysters by competing for the same food sources or directly attaching itself to the oyster shell. They can be found from Canada to Texas in shallow waters with low surf and also on NW European shores. They are filter eaters, feeding on algae and phytoplankton.

Here are some excellent sites for additional information:


Here is a fun site for shell lovers and she, too, collects Slippers:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Osprey: Alive and well in NJ

On May 20th, my daughter and I did Birding by Boat on the Osprey from Cape May and saw an amazing array of different bird species. In this entry, I will focus on the many osprey we saw.

As we headed out to the harbor, we passed this nest created with an variety of materials and
located on top of a marker:

At this nesting site, shown below, an osprey has a fish in its talons and below it is either its mate or offspring waiting to be fed. This nesting platform was certainly created and erected by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ as part of their efforts to help increase the osprey population. For more information, be sure to visit their site:

In 1974, the osprey population had plummeted from normally 500 to only 50 nests due to the effects of DDT. Because of the banning of DDT and then excellent conservation and management efforts of osprey, the number of nests rose to 486 in 2009. Another survey and census will be conducted this year.

As we motored around, we passed many osprey hunting. Unfortunately, it was an overcast day, so the lighting wasn't optimal.