Searching for Sharks’ Teeth and Finding Beauty

After church on Sunday, Matt asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of the day. I told him, “Look for sharks’ teeth!” We just happen to be staying near one of the best places in the world to find sharks’ teeth. We headed to Stump Pass Beach State Park. Even though it was clear and sunny when we left Sarasota, we headed into a thick fog as we drove south. It created a mysterious, fun atmosphere and most likely made it so that we didn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for a parking spot. We lathered on the sunscreen and headed to the beach.DSC_0895 2

Now, I’ve always said that I’m more of a mountain girl than a beach girl, but I’m beginning to see that maybe I’ve just not experienced beaches in the right way for me. Since I lived in PA while growing up, we went to Ocean City, NJ a few times. Each time it was really hot and crowded. I don’t like being overly hot and I’m not thrilled with crowds. And laying on the beach while my skin sizzles is not enjoyable to me. DSC_0900 2

But sticking my feet in the Gulf in February, now that I enjoy! I’ve also come to the realization that all beaches are not created equal. They each have their own personality! The beach closest to us here is the one on Siesta Key and it has sand that is so white and fine that it feels like flour. The sand at Stump Pass was grey and had so many shells and pieces of shells. It was among these pieces of shell that supposedly contained sharks teeth.DSC_0902 3

We walked along the beach for a bit over a mile to get a geocache. We had a hard time not stopping along the way to look for teeth. Could the black triangles be teeth? Matt didn’t think so, but I had the advantage of having seen ones that my parents had found awhile ago. I assured him that sharks teeth were black. We had much to learn and stopped to talk to people along the way. One man caught a Sheepshead fish. It had some interesting teeth to look at!DSC_0903 2

Lovely birds crossed our paths while walking along. I took photos of some of them hoping to identify them later. Matt thought this one was a Killdeer, but it didn’t seem right to me. Now I’m thinking maybe it’s a Ruddy Turnstone.DSC_0916 2

If it is, I had never identified one before! I love collecting new birds to my identification list. And this one, an American Golden Plover in winter plumage.DSC_0920 2

I’ll never know what some of these birds look like in their summer plumage! One more, that I’ve seen so often on Siesta Key Beach, but there it sure showed up a lot more on the white sand. I was intrigued with the soft gray beauty of this Willet.DSC_0925 2

What a gorgeous day it was with the beautiful fog.DSC_0929 2I was loving every second of walking along, talking to people and stopping to look for teeth.DSC_0912 3

You might be wondering if we found any. Well, yes! Quite a few. We watched as a wave came in and you could see them in the water. We quickly jabbed our hands in the water to grab the tooth. Here are some of the best ones we found.DSC_0940 2

And the teeth are shades of black. But that is because they are fossils! No one seemed to know why so many teeth show up at the beaches here. I’ll be reading up on it on the internet. Our really fun day came to a close. I set out to look for ugly shark teeth and instead found lots of beauty: birds, waves, fog, people, breezes and even pretty teeth. What a fitting end to the day, the sky on fire. Yet more beauty!DSC_0933

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15 thoughts on “Searching for Sharks’ Teeth and Finding Beauty

  1. I too am a mt. girl. The sun and salt are my enemy. So when at the beach (which I can count on one hand) I go out early morning or after dark. I hate the heat and the humidity. So the beach is not enjoyable for me. Funny how I just read these same words in your blog. You did well on your quest for shark teeth.

  2. Hi Janine,
    I enjoyed seeing your pictures. You are right, the bird is a ruddy turnstone. You are getting very good at identifying shorebirds, and that can be tricky to do.

  3. Interesting blog. Enjoyed your photos & comments. Beautiful sunset! Yes, we’ve picked up shells & sharks teeth at Stump Pass That was one of my mothers favorite spots for shelling,etc. She made many things with sharks teeth & shells over the years.

  4. Really enjoyed your blog. And I agree, the fog helped the beach assume
    a surreal character. Your fossilized shark’s teeth find is impressive.
    Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

    • Thanks, Dad! I wonder if we were able to find the teeth better because of the fog… no shadows or glare. I think I need to look at the teeth you found again.

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