Dawn is a beautiful part of the day. It brings with it a certain crispness, freshness, and an invitation to a new beginning.

So this dawn, I went home-gathering in the rain, two things I so love (dawn and rain).

Home gathering?

In this monsoon, the tides have brought with them the thousands of homes, the architectural wonders of the marine world onto our local beach, lining the beach like narrow strips of carpet made of different shapes, hues, textures, size, designs. Just this sight fills me up with awe, about how each of these incredibly beautiful creatures design their incredibly beautiful homes.

How do they build these beautiful sustainable homes?

Mostly made of calcium carbonate secreted by a tissue in their body, this structure has only 2% protein. This tissue of the lovely creature absorbs salt and chemicals, the readily available abundant material from the ocean, and then secretes calcium carbonate, at room temperature, to create their homes from bottom up. By that I mean, as the mollusks grow, layers are added by this tissue still connected to the shell, to accommodate their growth. In other words, the home grows with them. Isn’t it amazing how they only create form, when it has a function! What a smart way to build! Isn’t it so very different from how we build our homes?

I also read that their beautiful colors/hues/shades of colour we see, come from the wide variety of food sources that they eat, which becomes a part of the secretion that creates their home. No external chemicals to add these colours. And imagine this, the mollusks in tropical waters have wider sources of food, and so get different colourful pigments from their food, resulting in the different colours. Whereas the ones in cold waters, have limited choices, and so they grow shells with dark and solid colours. How really cool is that!

As I gathered these stunning homes, I couldn’t help but candidly photograph them, and once I photographed them, I couldn’t wait to share this beauty and the amazing intelligence that creates them, with all of you. How one thing leads to the other, in this circle of life!

So here is an invitation – the next time you walk on a carpet of the mollusks homes on a beach/sea shore, do not forget to pick the empty homes up, feel them, observe them, and may it fill your heart with awe and wonder, just like it did mine.

And yes, after you enjoy them, celebrate them, keep just a couple/few of them to lift your spirit, and give the rest back to the beach, to where they indeed belong and get recycled as homes to other creatures.

Even as you go through the pictures, let us guess which mollusk does each of these homes belong to – snails, clams, oysters? My naturalist friends, do help me with `match the following’ as you go through the pictures. Please?

Life is indeed beautiful…???. May it add beauty to your life, like it did to mine today.

Design by: Mollusks

Photographed by: Anjan’s joyful spirit. Keshav’s teaching.

#biomimicry  #socialinnovation  #organisationaldesign  #nature  #consciousleadership  #systemsdesign  #buildingcommunities  #sustainabledesigns  #communitybuilding  #consciousliving  #wildlifeexploration  #sustainablity  #naturebasedarchitecture


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