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Ma’ili Beach

OC and I went to Ma’ili (ma–E–lee) Beach again the other day. OC was looking for seaweed, as usual. I was looking for (well, I didn’t really have to look, they’re everywhere) shells.

My favorite shells are the ones worn smooth by the sea. In Friday Harbor and on Vancouver Island I had to hunt for them. At Ma’ili (the name means abundant little pebbles) the beach is made of them.

I picked up all of these shells while seated in the same spot. No moving required. I kept stuffing the shells in my short’s pocket. When we got back to the condo and I dug them out, OC laughed at me because, on Ma’ili at least, these shells are too common to be considered treasure.

Here is the pile of shells I brought home. If you look, you can see a bit of their former lives in each of them. The big snail shell is tinted by red clay. The Ma’ili Park grounds that aren’t reef or shell or sand are red clay.

The big, white, porous rocks are coral. A reef hides beneath the shifting sands of Ma’ili Beach. Much of it is sand stone and it was exposed when OC and I visited. We found many fossils embedded in the rock. It was like walking on history.

For more information and photographs on this topic, visit Oahu Dreams.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I love finding shells on the beach — but you probably DO have a much better selection over there than we have. I’m with Brig – I like the spotted one! I’d name it SPOT!

  2. i love collecting sea shells. always have. but it’s become hard to find any around here.
    that’s a lovely collection you’ve got there

  3. Brian — when the two of you decide to visit Hawaii, Diane and I can comb the beach together.

    Brig — I think it is treasure, too — and the spotted one is among my favorites.

    Melli — I named the spotted one Leopold.

    Polona — come here — they’re everywhere!

  4. What are you planning to do with them? I thought you were avoiding clutter, but if you’ve got a craft idea, then that’s another story.

  5. Isn’t Pele the Goddess of the Volcano?
    *imagines Quilly throwing the shells into the fire of the volcano a la Mordor and the One Ring*

  6. LOL! Pele is the creation goddess. I am not as versed in this as I should be and have recently decided some reading is in order. If I am going to teach here, I need to be more familiar with the culture.

  7. I learnt what I know about Pele from Tori Amos’ third album and a children’s book I read once. I probably am not the most informed person about the culture there. But then again, I live on the other side of the planet.

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