The weather outside is delightful. Our Sanibel Island mornings have been cool and crisp with the afternoons in the 80s- perfect holiday weather to share with peeps visiting from Boston like cutie little sheller Raquel with her dad Jeff, mom Jackie and brother Adam.
They showed me their favorite shells they found near Gulfside City Park beach then named each one since they just learned the shell names from talking with other shellers on the beach.
This is how the beach brings people to together… I had met sweet Beverly (Maine) and her daughter Carolyn (Boston) just a few minutes before meeting Raquel’s family… which they had been ones to share some of the shell names with them. It’s such a close and wonderful shelling community!
Then I saw Carol from Sanibel Seashells shop walking with a group of birders on the beach with binoculars, books and a clip board in hand. They were volunteering for the Sanibel edition of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Bravo! They had already counted lots of birds in their count circle but leading the count in numbers were SANDERLINGS, LAUGHING GULLS, WILLETS and RING BILLED GULLS. So cool.
I stood with them a few minutes as they counted a few adorable little SNOWY PLOVERS then we turned to the gulf to see a SURF SCOTER sitting at the edge of the water. How odd! We rarely see SURF SCOTERS on Sanibel and there I was with a bunch of birders to see an uncommon sight … and then to realize it was injured.
One of the Bird Count volunteers Katharine (Vermont) quickly ran over to secure the SCOTER then rushed it to CROW (Clinic for Rehabilitation Of Wildlife). Great job Katharine!
Which reminds me… I found out that the SANDWICH TERN that we rescued on our Captiva Cruises shelling trip had been released. Yay! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for MS. SCOTER too.
The day seemed so serendipitous which is why I love this next photo. Here’s birder Katharine rescuing the SCOTER with a volunteer bird counter holding a bird handbook. Then there’s Jackie from Boston witnessing the rescue who learned shell IDs from Beverly along with her daughter Carolyn… from Boston (in the far background). Shellendipity!
Oh and PS- Guess who is getting in the holiday spirit… my fave shelling captain Brian Holaway. He decorated his boat with SEASHELLS and STARFISH lights for the Captiva Boat Parade. So cute!
The Holaway Holiday boat…
I’m in the spirit too so I’m off to make my SAND DOLLAR cookies for Christmas. Remember these? Everybody loves these cookies and they are so easy. (CLICK HERE for my post on the SAND DOLLAR cookies… but just in case you might no know, any time you see that I’ve highlighted and bolded words in my posts- I have linked to another page for more information – happy linking!)
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s nice to have just a calm quiet moment on the beach.
Finding a few shells along the way makes the moment even more special.
Running across creative seashell beach art is the icing on the caked sand.
Fabio M. posted a picture on the iLoveShelling Facebook page of their exshellent Sanibel version of a Snow Globe. Fabio and his wife made Sandy the Shellman (his new name!) mostly out of ARKS, CALICO SCALLOPS, DOSINIAS, SLIPPERS,and JINGLES… and a PEN SHELL nose.
After admiring their beach art masterpiece, I made up a song to commemorate Sandy The Shellman…
Sandy, the Shell Man was so happy he could yell
With a SLIPPER scarf and a PEN shell nose
And two eyes of JINGLE shells
O, Sandy the Shell Man
Was alive on Sanibel
On this sunny day, he could laugh and play
As we all do as we shell.
Their seashell beach art warms the heart…
I hope they don’t mind but it looks like the Seashell Fairy left a few additions to their art.
Want more than CYBERSHELLING? Join me on a “live” Shelling Adventure…
“Every beautiful shell from the sea is a treasured gift” – I’ve said that countless times after admiring the amazing architecture, color and patterns of shells and bling that have washed up at my feet while taking a walk on the beach. I feel like I receive another wonderful gift when I meet folks who appreciate those same awesome gifts from the great Mother Nature.
The moment 5 year old Sophie’s feet hit the sand, she barely had time to look up as she picked up one fascinating shell after another.
She already knew lots of the shell names too since she and her family had been studying up on the types of shells they might find on this very special Make-A-Wish trip to Sanibel.
The whole family told me they loved seeing all of the live creatures on or around the island… like DOLPHINS, MANATEES, TURTLES and the BIRDS but I think Jesse especially liked the ALLIGATORS (Ack! haha) in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and little critters like this HAIRY CRAB on the beach (maybe its a Pilumnus sayi ?) . I’ve seen lots of these little hairy guys in the SPONGES lately.
Jesse pulled these shells and beach bling aside to show me that his favorite finds from the beach were the smallest of treasures. Dont you just love that his faves are the tiniest ones?
Nicole and Sophie picked out a few of their favorite beach treasures … trying to just pick the best of each species (from a massive pile of shells they collected- haha). It wasn’t easy for them to pick just a few!
As I oohed and aaahed over Dennis’s SCOTCH BONNET, ALPHABET CONE and GAUDY NATICA, Nicole told me that picking out a few shells and arranging them makes each one just a special as the moment you found them. I couldn’t agree more. Together we made a masterpiece (with an ANGEL WING butterfly Nicole arranged with WORM SHELL antennas- heehee) using their favorite shells and beach bling collected on their trip.
These are special peeps whom I will have special memories with for a very long time.
Last week was a little chilly but they didn’t mind a bit- They are so stinkin silly and fun!
I hope they look back on their Sanibel trip as Spectacsheller!
I know I will… as I feel like I’ve been touched by an ANGEL.
A big THANK YOU to Make-A-Wish for making it possible for Sophie and her family to come to Sanibel, Florida.