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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

My Latest Stories from the beach

Sanibel’s Crazy Storm Of Beach Bling And Horse Conchs

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in After The Storm, Beach Bling Sea Debris, Conch, Horse Conch, Video | 10 comments

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I Lassoed Me A Sanibel Horse Conch

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Conch, Horse Conch | 31 comments

pam rambo with big shell

And then this happened this weekend… I found this spectacsheller empty HORSE CONCH! I was walking along with my  friend Alicia and then… Boom- Shellalaka! I saw part of that bright color shell half buried in the sand.. then galloped towards it and lassoed me a Horsie – Yeehaw. I reined this big bad boy filled with sand and saw it had such a nice lip and this amazing orange yellow color… and… without too many barnacles. Yup, it was bareback! Giddy Up, Horsie!

shell found beach combing

And Alicia found so many awesome shells too. She and GAIL were especially happy to both find perfect ALPHABET CONES.

alicia and gail alphabet cones

We’ve had so many storms, the beach at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island is littered with shells of all sorts. Most of the shells were still alive on the beach at low tide which exposed so many creatures we normally don’t get to see. This is a rare time when Mother Nature decides to clean house and let us see what she’s hiding on the floor and under the carpet of the Gulf Of Mexico.

shells on Sanibel beach for miles

These were a few of the empty shells I found wedged in-between the ARK shells and the live MOLLUSKS.

sanibel shells after a storm

I’m not exaggerating…. there were thousands of shells. It was overwhelming to even know where to begin to identify all of them so I just enjoyed taking in the view.

shells on the beach of Sanibel Island

After a while, I spotted a few empty shells that were laying right on top.

pear whelk shell on a Sanibel beach

And still… oodles of SEA URCHINS.

hundreds of sea urchins

Local shellers Melody and Vickie were as thrilled and curious as I was to just see the awesome sight of the exposed beach filled with live creatures.

shellers at sunrise

They couldn’t get over how gorgeous and perfect the PAPER FIGS and SEA URCHINS were. They are both so delicate.

urchins and paper figs

I’m telling you, it was shocking to see that bright orange creature with so many live HORSE CONCHS exposed. The wild wild west of Florida.

live hourse conch at sunrise

These unbridled HORSES were digging back in to the sand saddling up along side and feasting on other MOLLUSKS while waiting for the tide to cover them up again and take them back to the stable. Most of those BANDED TULIPS were alive and riding horseback but can you spot the sand filled WHELK in between the PEN shell and one of those BANDED TULIPS?

live shells on Sanibel

Many people ask if this happens every day… No it doesn’t. Yes, our area on Sanibel and other SW Florida beaches have shells every day but these huge shells just don’t wash up at your feet every day. It’s the circle of life so it’s fun to see live creatures in their natural habitat and to be overwhelmed by Mother Nature. It’s a special occurrence just like fisherman fish for “the big one” or birders trying to spot flocks of ROSEATE SPOONBILLS or looking for DOLPHIN jumping out of the water. All of this happens on special days and mine was this weekend. Shellzam, y’all!

beach find horse conch

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I See A Sea Of Beach Bling

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Brown Spiny Sea star, Long-Spined Urchin, Millipede Starfish, Purple Sea Urchin, Sea Life, Starfish, Urchin | 29 comments

sea urchin colors in the sand

It is not every day we get to see SEA URCHINS wash up in the colors in the rainbow. Every day the beaches on Sanibel and SW Florida in the last few weeks have been loaded with all sorts of Beach Bling from the storms we’ve been getting every other day. After sifting through thousands of dried spineless SEA URCHINS in the high wrack line on the beach to find the unusual colors, I needed to get down to the water’s edge to see what the newest measures were that the tide was bringing in. WENTLETRAPS and other cool minis!

wentletraps and sea urchins-1

Every tidal line on the beach has different treasures right now from brought in by the high winds. It’s like a our very own science project spread out in lines along the shore for us to sort through and be amazed by.

Sanibel sea stars and urchins-1

Oh Buoy! Torn from their CRAB TRAPS that washed up on the beach, buoys dotting the shoreline along with DRIFTWOOD, balls of SEAWEED, EGG CASINGS….

Sanibel beach buoys-1

And of course seashells.

pile of seashells around tree roots-1

So… I brought home the SEA URCHINS I found from the top photo, but not all of them made it home in one piece. I know, I know… I should’ve taken a plastic container to the beach with me – dang it! But I really didn’t think I was going to keep any of them but they were just so pretty I just couldn’t help it. Ha! Lesson learned- I really didn’t “need” to bring them home ay way- that’s exactly why I put myself on a shell collecting “diet”. Hmmmm…  This may take a little more work than I thought hahaha.

pear whelk among seahsells-1

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

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