I found this odd looking “thing” on the beach a while ago so I brought it home to do some research on it since it was so dang interesting. Sometimes I feel like Elly May Clampett bringing home parts of “critters” that get washed up on the beach. Hmmmm…. “Hey Paw, which critter ya think this here thang belonged to? Ya think maybe a moose antler? Or some kinda critter lost a hand?” Elly May may have never thought it looked like an alien’s Jazz Hands but I do! LOL After searching lots of websites without success, I found the answer in my trusty Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas book and learned it was a piece of a SEA TURTLE shell. It’s part of the lower shell called the HYPOPLASTRON.
Two weeks ago, my friend Susan from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had found a bone similar to this one and asked me if I knew what it was. Yes! A SEA TURTLE BONE! I wanted to show her a photo of mine but I couldn’t find it. Omigosh, where is it? Oh lawd, my SHELLABORATORY still looks like a SHELLNADO hit it. Every time I start organizing our stacks of shells, something else comes along so it stays a crazy mess. Seriously, we look like the Clampetts (CLAMpetts heehee) on the Sanibel Shellbillies. Ack! So back to organizing…
Honestly, it’s like discovering fun things all over again going through these containers and boxes… and then…. I found my SEA TURTLE BONE! Yay! This time, I wanted to find a home for it so I wouldn’t “lose” it again. I’ve been saving glass containers for years to one day organize our shells and bling so I’m making good use of them now. Every SEA TURTLE BONE we find now will go into the large jar on the right. All other bones from bait, fish bones and bird bones will be separated in other jars so that it will be easy and fun to do another post to identify some of the things you might find on the beach other than shells.
… Like these MUREX shells I’m sorting out. I have 9 different species to separate so once I have a chance to photograph the individuals, I’ll have another “the difference between shells” post. I love those!
On a personal note without shells involved, it was a sad day to find out our wonderful palm tree that became an amazing bird condo for WOODPECKERS and SCREECH OWLS with have to be taken down. There’s no way to save it due to disease and it’s become unsafe with any high winds since it’s completely hollow now. We are so bummed! Clark, Dustie, PuppyCat and I have witnessed many nests, babies and families come and go in the tree from our side porch view so we’ve grown to love seeing them every day. We hope to find someone who will build a replacement for our same WOODPECKERS and OWLS for us before next spring so please let me know if you have suggestions. The Sanibel Shellbillies don’t want to lose our critters!
Sunshine, seashells and friendships were beaming at Gulfisde City park beach this weekend.
I had a blast with my high school girl friends Miyuki and Laura who came to visit Sanibel this weekend with Laura’s daughter Ashley and her friends Josh and Joey. They are so stinkin cute! I was tied up in the morning so they drove up to see Captiva… they loved it of course but they didn’t find many shells so they were extra happy to see lines of shells and scoop them up by the fistfuls when I met them at GSCP. I love to see those smiling faces! Joey told me his mom does lots of shell craft projects so he was loading up on the little white ARK shells to take back home to her. Sweet!
The weather was a little hot but it was picture perfect to take a break from shelling under a few shaded palm trees.
I also met Joe and Emilie (a cool blogger at Baby Loving Mama) from MN near Gulfside City Park beach during their very first visit to Sanibel… celebrating their 12 year wedding anniversary. Congratulations!
Or should I say… “Congratshellations!”. This was also their very first time collecting shells so it was fun to see them sitting and sifting through a nice shell pile ooohing and aaaahing over beautiful CALICO SCALLOPS, AUGERS, CERITHS and LETTERED OLIVES. (Of course I was a little proud that Joe had clipped the iLoveShelling Seashell Identification card to his belt loop. Yay!)
To wind down the weekend yesterday afternoon, Clark and I stopped at Lighthouse Beach to see what type of shells had rolled up for low tide. Omigosh! It looked like high season in March on the beach… the parking lot was packed and the beach was loaded with people and umbrellas. Was this a holiday weekend that I missed? Did we miss an invitation to the beach party? Dunno but it seemed unusually busy for what we normally call the “slow season”.
At Lighthouse Beach, Clark and I weren’t finding that many keeper shells… which was just as well since I saw a few pieces of trash that had been left behind by others, so I filled up my bucket with trash and just a few treasures. As with most shellers, we always pick up trash when walking the beach- it’s just what a beach comber does. We are the best stewards of our beaches since we are paying attention to what is washing in and out. We normally see the typical wrappers and papers that get blown out of the open tote bags by the breeze- it just happens. But lots of times a thief gull or black bird raids a beach blanket with totes filled with goodies, then flies away to find a place to open the bag of chips or sandwich but then drops the plastic after the free meal or realizing it was empty or there wasnt food in there after all. I’ve seen this in action hundreds of times- and I’ve chased them away . It’s quite a show to watch!
Since Sanibel really doesn’t have a terrible litter problem like lots of other beaches in the world, we’ll keep on doing what we as shellers do best… fill our shell bags with trash and treasures, stay calm, and shell on!
PS- Lets not turn this “trashiness” into negativity. We all just need to help each other do the right thing, move on and enjoy the sunshine and treasures Mother Nature has gifted us.
Look at all of the stunning purple SEA URCHINS shellers were finding on Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo costa with Captiva Cruises! I’ve never seen so many people finding these fragile treasures like I did yesterday. Wow! Amy and her daughter Rachel (IL) started snorkeling in the calm clear water as soon as they go to the island then hit a honey hole to fill up their shelling bag with these beauties.
Lynda and her Aunt Rhonda were having the same luck while snorkeling. These SEA URCHINS are so cool!
The SEA URCHINS were such a treasure but then I was really amazed when I saw Rhonda pull up this huge double ANGEL WING. Yes! Both sides were still together! Shellzam!
Lauren, John, Valerie and Jessica from Maryland found lots of beautiful empty FIGHTING CONCHS as soon as we got off the boat.
They are such a shelling family, I don’t think they were going to miss a thing… They found all of these SEA URCHINS too.
Holly (OH) and her mom Karen (FL) not only looked like rock stars in their cutie petutie cover-ups on (heehee)…
They found oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS clams, COCKLES and found a SEA URCHIN too.
Lisa from Atlanta joined us again on another shelling cruise! I met her on last years cruise when she found an Arrowhead Sand Dollar.
This year she found lots of different shells… and showed me her picture perfect display of her fave treasures. Love it!
Judy B was on the cruise too! I can’t tell you how fun it is for me to see people I feel like I know from conversations on my blog. She is always so helpful with comments in my posts and has such a happy attitude all the time. It warms my heart.
She was excited to find a SPECKLED TELLIN (they are fairly uncommon to find on Sanibel and Captiva), EGG COCKLE and ALTERNATE TELLIN.
So this is how amazing this world is… Judy is the person who gave me my SAND DOLLAR charm from Sealife By Congress that I wear on my DOSINIA shell. She gave this to me last year on an iLoveShelling cruise- I’m not sure why she gave it to me but I loved it, still love it and am grateful she thought of me.
When we met last year we both had the same silver Queen Conch shell from Sealife By Congress (that she wore yesterday) so maybe she knew I had lost mine (in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba- since queen conchs aren’t a local shell maybe it wanted to go back to the Caribbean- heehee).
So this is kinda one of those “Pay it Forward” stories.
Fast forward to this year…. Yep! These are the same charms that you will receive on every featured iLoveShelling cruise in the form of a $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress . You can choose your fave shell!
Isn’t that awesome? So Judy received one of these certificates yesterday on the cruise to get another charm or pendant for the one she gave me. And everybody else got one too! Yay! Thank you Sealife By Congress!
So not only did we have a blast shelling on one of the most beautiful islands in the world…
We found fabulous BEACH BLING like this COQUINA LIMESTONE.
We made wishes on the shell tree for more perfect days like this.
As we watched DOLPHINS and MANATEES playing around us…
I hope you get to join us for one of these special events with Captiva Cruises…
Check out our new upcoming dates and call 239-472-5300 to reserve your spot.
And check out all of the iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures…