I can still smell the ocean

When I was a child in the early 70s, this is what it was like to go to the beach at Galveston.  The waves would roll back, there would be a brief pause, then thousands of these tiny shellfish would wriggle to the surface.

Technically they were edible, but they’re only about a quarter of an inch long so you’d have to have a lot of time on your hands to prepare enough for a meal.  We just loved the vibrant colors and the motion.

They started disappearing in the 80s, and they’re pretty much all gone now.

There’s a huge, constantly expanding “dead zone” at the mouth of the Mississippi, caused by fertilizer and pesticide runoff, and I assume that zone finally expanded large enough to wipe them out.

It’s a pity.  They were a joy.

An aside:  Mom used to pack Chips Ahoy chocolate-chip cookies for our beach trips, and they would become soft and salty in the humid ocean air.  I sometimes buy a bag at the grocery store, but they are crisp and fresh and don’t taste right to me.

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