Fossil Frolics

A learned colleague has a enviable collection of fossilized shells in his office. He tells me where to go to find them. It sounds very easy. You go to a certain beach on a remote island on the East coast of Okinawa and there in grey muddy cliffs you find the fossils.

Barely recovered from the morning dive I mount Big Red and off we go. The first thing we stumble upon is a party. Not sure what was going on but great dancing. Spring is here.

Where’er the oak’s thick branches stretch
         A broader, browner shade;
Where’er the rude and moss-grown beech
         O’er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water’s rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
         (At ease reclin’d in rustic state)
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how little are the proud,
         How indigent the great!

King Billy

I bike across long bridges spanning turquoise lagoons, stopping to admire birdlife.

Dudes! Eurasian Curlew

The big ones are Greater Sand Plovers and the little ones are Ruddy Turnstones. Happy happy joy joy. Click on the photo for close up.

Rock with shrine

I get to the island and meander.

The shrine on the hill

Inside. There are a lot of signs that I cannot read. But this place is clearly heavy duty.

Old Ryukyu fishing boat

But I have seen,

Pointing her shapely shadows from the dawn,

An image tumbled on a rose-swept bay,

A drowsy ship of some yet older day;

And, wonder’s breath indrawn,

Thought I – who knows – who knows – but in that same

(Fished up beyond Aeaea, patched up new

– Stern painted brighter blue -)

That talkative, bald-headed seaman came

(Twelve patient comrades sweating at the oar)

From Troy’s doom-crimson shore,

And with great lies about his wooden horse

Set the crew laughing, and forgot his course.

Another. Very long, very narrow. I have been told that this length corresponds to the usual swell.

I buy freshly harvested garlic and tomatoes. It is the 4th March.

I find the beach.

On the Beach

This is how to find it:,127.964458&spn=0.012155,0.023303&ctz=-540&t=h&z=16

I ferret

I try hard

I find one tiny shell

Who cares! What a great day. I ride back into the sunset thinking about the evening’s meal which will be fish soup with salad.


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