Soon after the Thanksgiving holidays a delightful piece of beach art began taking shape on the north end of Clearwater Beach. Pieces of local shells attached by bits of twine, fishing line and turtle grass appeared hanging from a dead tree near the entrance to Caladesi State Park.
Each week new "ornaments" appeared: cockle shells, lightning welks and sand dollars hung from the branches and a spray of bright fire colored sea whips crowned the top of this beach oddity. Bits of shell hanging from pieces of driftwood mobiles appeared in nearby bushes, moving softly in the lazy, unseasonably warm afternoon breeze.
Almost everyone who walked to the end of the beach stopped to enjoy the new attraction. It was a reward shared only by those who made the effort to walk further than the condominiums, hotels and homes that line Clearwater's gulf coast.
Last week's high winds battered the beach shell tree and there isn't much left, but the memory. Oh well, maybe it will appear next Christmas.
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