“‘She cried, ‘Cockles and Mussels, alive, alive, oh.'”

Cockle Shells on Beach Fence

I did a quick search on cockles so I’d have something relevant to share, you know, a little “Hmmm, that’s interesting.” blog fodder?

Cockle Shells on Beach Fence

You know what I found? A study from the National Institute of Health; Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh-The role of bivalve molluscs as transmission vehicles for human norovirus infections.

Having gotten sick once on bad oysters I know all about that. (I’m not going to stop eating raw oysters though.)

I’ve never eaten cockles.

These shells wash up on the beach with that hole in them. I’ve pondered that hole often. The hole is never any place else on the shell so I wonder if the shell is weakest there on the crown. Or, Did something break the shell to get to the meat? Most dead critter shells have bore holes in them. Cockles always look like they were cracked with a rock and the part from the hole is missing.

There is a zen to finding cockle shells, if they’re not holey, put them along your drive or in a garden, if they have that hole, bonus, string them up on twine, or, decorate a beach fence. You see cockles like this you know someone was blissed.

Cockle Shells St. George Island

It’s zen, like stacking rocks. There is no purpose to the action save to enjoy the beauty of the cockle and the beach.

Published by dunelight

22 thoughts on “Cockles

  1. I arranged a lot of photos for another post on current spring flowers here in the dunes, daffodils mostly, but these were on the desktop and the pattern called to me. Due to gray winter here we go south to the middle of nowhere on a barrier island and do nothing

    1. Thank you. Sometimes, especially mornings, I found I would kinda zone out and just stare at the patterns of the fences. It’s nice to know others find the pattern pleasant. 🙂

    2. I had to come back to your comment and say, thank you. As a geeky kid I am sure I bored a lot of people and so I edit the heck out of posts to ensure I don’t work my way up into some esoteric corner that leaves the reader confused, angry, or, worst of all, bored. Thank you!

  2. I’m a lifelong prairie girl, so I’m clueless about cockles. We do have lots of drift fences exactly like those to try to control drifting snow. Love the lighting in these photos.

    1. I’m further north than you and the rays come at a slant and that affects light. Oh..but cockles..that was the panhandle of Florida. Yeeeeah, I’m making it up as I go along. According the EXIF data this was a sunset shot..that golden hour right before the sun goes down. Thanks! 🙂

  3. I eat cockles regularly and always enjoy them. I must also add that I knew of someone who died from eating them, so it’s best to know what you’re eating.

      1. They’ve got a rubbery texture but you don’t chew them because they’re small. They’re usually bought in a jar of brine. Some people add vinegar and course pepper as well. They’re tasty and I would imagine quite nutritious as long as you don’t eat any that are contaminated by pollution – like any shellfish.

      2. I like raw oysters because good, fresh ones taste of the sea more than any other seafood. Although I like other seafood more…

        Have you eaten periwinkles?

      3. They were popular when I was younger and used to enjoy them. We don’t see them too often nowadays and I’m not sure if I would want to eat them now either 🙂

  4. I brought home a lot of intact cockle shells from Sanibel, Florida this year. It was a joy finding them on the beaches. There were many scattered across the beach with exactly that hole in them…what a terrific way to use them…love them lined up on the fence. Thanks for bringing back good memories.

    1. YW. I stayed on Sanibel for a week once..Christmas Eve services on the beach was awesome. I love the sound of the wind picking up tiny shells that skitter across the beach.

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