It’s True! It really is the small things in life that are most precious. This is such a sweet little LIONS PAW! But I actually think this one might be called “The Trekkie Paw”… or “The Vulcan Paw”. He’s got a Vulcan Salute for all of you Spock Star Trek fans out there. LOL
My friend Lizbeth found this awesome gem while taking a long walk off West Gulf Drive. I know it looks similar to the KITTENS PAW, but this is clearly defined by that shoulder piece (Spock’s thumb). Good eye, Lizbeth!
Last evening by the Sanibel pier, I saw Ron from Atlanta snorkeling for quite a while…
When he finally came out of the water, he showed me this gorgeous live LIGHTNING WHELK he found then he placed back in the water. He also had that big yellow shell bag filled with FIGHTING CONCHS, COCKLES and a few emPty WHELKS.
Lori and Katelyn from Alabama were going for the minis.
Most of these were found just at the water’s edge. I havent seen one of the TINTED CANTHARUS shells in a while so it was fun to see that. It’s the one in her hand that almost has a purplish tint to it. And I wish I had gotten a better shot of the huge WENTLETRAP they found. It’s hiding behind that cute pink-nosed LACE MUREX. The one just above the juvie LIGHTNING WHELK is a nice TOP SHELL.
I always get the CORMORANT and the ANHINGA birds mixed up. They look so much alike! My friend Susan told me this one was the CORMORANT because he has the hook on the end of his beak. The ANHINGAS have the long straight beak. Okay, and I said “he” but I have no idea if this is a male or female but I’m sure there is a way to tell by the plumage. I’m much better at shell ID than bird ID…. but I’m going to try to remember… this one is the CORMORANT!
It’s the small things in my beach life that I seem to get most excited about. When I found this tiny juvie GAUDY NATICA (Colorful Moon), I literally laughed out loud because it was just a perfect beautiful baby. And then I said to myself… “Self? Why don’t we find more juvie GAUDY NATICAS on our beaches?”. We find baby SHARKS EYE all the time so why wouldn’t we see more baby GAUDIES. Things that make you go Hmmmmm.
But my attention quickly changed when I saw Noah (Fort Myers) filling up his bucket on a nice shell pile right at the entrance to Bowman’s Beach yesterday. He walked right over to me to hand me one of his shells after seeing me collect a few too. I told him the shell he gave me was called a JINGLE shell so he repeated it once… then quickly found another and another to share them all with me. Each time he said “JINGLE!” How sweet! Thank you Noah, you are an excellent sheller.
We only found a few of those nice shell piles on the beach but the water’s edge was holding a few more goodies. Clark emptied out his pockets and put them in his shelling backhoe to show me what he found from his walk from Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach.
We started out at Blind Pass Sanibel and in just a few minutes I pulled these lovelies out of the the surf line…
Susan (Sanibel) showed me her favorite find of the day… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! How lucky! I rarely see them on the beach so I would call that ultimate BEACH BLING…
Speaking of ultimate BEACH BLING, some creative soul made this cool BLING art sculpture. Yes, it’s cool, but I don’t want to encourage anybody to make tall sculptures or sand pits in the summer (May through September) because they can be disastrous for SEA TURTLES. They can get trapped or disoriented by moving around them or they can get stuck. So please be aware of nesting SEA TURTLES.
But if you can’t keep that inner artist trapped inside you while you’re on the beach, just make a flat design like this beautiful SEASHELL MERMAID made by artist Christy and her creative daughters Baylee and September.
It was a beautiful weekend finding beautiful treasures…
Come on! Come shelling with us on Wednesday June 19th!!!!
We are taking a shelling cruise to Cayo Costa June 19, 2013 at low tide at 1pm so I’d love for you to join us! Call 239-472-5300 and tell them you want to be on the iLoveShelling cruise or CLICK HERE for more information. It’s so much fun!
With so many storms in the last week, I’ve been so focused on finding the beaches with the best shells since each day has changed the beaches so drastically. One day the water is rough with shells being piled on the beach. The next day the water calms with a clear aqua color to snorkel to your hearts content to find lots of shells. And then the next day, the water isn’t as clear but has a nice shell line strung along the beach which makes for a nice walk. This all happens within days at Blind Pass Sanibel! Sometimes you have to be flexible if you want to find shells. Yesterday was one of the days that there was a nice but little shell line strung along the beach so I walked under the bridge on the Sanibel side. That’s where I saw Megan, Sheila, Cheyenne and Rebekah picking up a few shells…. and lots of SLIPPER SHELLS !
I should pay more attention to SLIPPER SHELLS because I’ve had so many people ask me about them lately. They are one of the most common shells on Sanibel so I see them almost every time I visit any of our beaches. I remember collecting them when I was a child so I should have the same fondness I have for COQUINAS, KITTENS PAWS and SCALLOP shells since they were my first memories as well. Hmmmm. So I got out my SLIPPER SHELLS I’ve collected over the years to reunite with these old friends.
I’ve always grouped them all together and called them all SLIPPERS but there are a few different ones. Okay, wait…. I’ve not always called them “SLIPPERS”. As a kid, we called them “Toe Nails”. Don’t ask my why but maybe that’s why I don’t give them enough time! But I’ve heard them called “Boats” or “Quarterdecks” too but they really do look like slippers when you turn them over and see where the MOLLUSK lived.
The most common SLIPPER is the called the COMMON ATLANTIC SLIPPER SHELL. Look at how many different colors, shades, patterns and sizes they have…
The SPOTTED SLIPPER is so cute! I think I can start liking SLIPPERS again after revisiting these cuties…
It’s a little harder to find the SPINY SLIPPER SHELLS.
You can actually see the little spines on these shells. It looks similar to the SPINY JEWELBOX but you can tell the difference by turning it over to see half the “cover” which makes that bedroom slipper look. The SPINY JEWELBOX is a bivalve and the SLIPPER is a univalve (or gastropod).
We find more of the DEPRESSED SLIPPERS when we go to Cayo Costa…
Look how flat it is!
You can see by this aperture view how shallow the “slipper” part is. Haven’t you found one of these and thought it was just a piece of shell? Nope. It’s a funny little shell.
So I’m still learning not to take the common shells for granted and realize how amazing and beautiful they are too. I love the little things the beach teaches me because I may have missed this beautiful little DAYFLOWER next to the pathway to the parking lot at Blind Pass Sanibel. How many stinkin times have I walked that path and I have never stopped to recognize this little beauty. I’m liking those little SLIPPERS even more for making me stop and shoot the DAYFLOWERS.
You only have a little time left to enter to win a Sanibel Shelling vacation package! So hurry and CLICK HERE!
The beach at Captiva’s Blind Pass near the jetty rocks was an absolutely gorgeous aqua blue yesterday… and that’s where SaraBeth, Todd, Pati and Kate from Texas were finding their turquoise pot with golden treasures.
Danielle from North Carolina found this bucket of golden shells in the water too along with her family in the background. See how close they were to the jetty rocks? It was calm and clear- so completely different from last week when TS Andrea came through.
All of the shelling action was in the water so Mikey, Linda and Mike from Tampa, FL were chest deep in the water too having a ball scooping up CONCHS, WHELKS and a variety of shells. They know if the shells arent on the beach… get in the water to look for them! Most likely you will find something golden and you’ll have a great time looking.
I also want to show you all of the live creatures that are around Lighthouse Beach this week. Michael R found this WEST INDIAN SEA EGG (URCHIN) in one of the tidal pools at low. It really doesn’t show up well in this photo but the spines were a beautiful pink tint. Thanks for showing it to me Michael before you put it back in the water.
Its always a treat to see such a laaaarge healthy TRUE TULIP scooting along the shallow waters. I thought he wanted to be in a little deeper water so I put him in a tidal pool that just covered his shell but he made a “U-ie” and went right back to shallow water. Okay, dude- I get it. I’ll leave you alone next time.
There were thousands of live SAND DOLLARS everywhere! I thought this one was so interesting since it was so light in color but very much still alive… And that he had repaired himself from an injury.
We normally don’t see SEA ANEMONES like this one laying on top of the sand like I found this one. Weird, huh? But it was still alive so I hope he survived after I put him back in the water.
We’ve had rain on and off this whole week so it’s been fun to see so many RAINBOWS! This one stretched along the horizon to remind us that Southwest Florida is an amazing pot of gold.
I’ve got some fun news… We reached 6000 “Likes” on our iLoveShelling Facebook Page! Wahoo! Thank you Lisa Rothman for being our 6000th shelling friend!
One more thing…Only a few days left to enter to win a shelling vacation on Sanibel! Enter now so CLICK HERE!
Tropical Storm Andrea swept the seashells onto Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach on Friday but she also swept most of them out into the Gulf Of Mexico by Saturday night. I figured the shells had blown to another beach so I headed to the other side of the island… Blind Pass. I found some! There was a pretty nice shell mound under the bridge that leads to Captiva. That’s where I found Jamie and Alex from Hollywood, Florida shellebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Their wedding had a seashell theme so Alex surprised Jamie with a shelling week Sanibel. Sweet!
They were sifting through smaller CLAM shells to find a few nice FIGHTING CONCHS, LGITHNING WHELKS, LETTERED OLIVES, CALICO SCALLOPS and COCKLES…
Kealey and Chad from Sarasota were having good luck shelling the same spot…
Oooooh… Look at that WORM SHELL! And they found a few nice SHARKS EYES, WHELKS and that sweet candy.
Cheri, Rylan and Amanda from New Smyrna were having a ball collecting JINGLES and SCALLOPS…
I was collecting CALICO SCALLOPS too. I can’t resist picking them up when the colors are this gorgeous!
I had a question here in the comments section the other day asking “Is there a good beach to find shells while my husband fishes?”. Now you can see for yourself! Danny caught this nice SNOOK (he gently released it immediately after I took the photo) in the same spot we were finding these shell…
I ran back down to Lighthouse Beach happy to see there were still people finding shells… the miniature shells. Jesse, Erick and Jonsiah from PA were thrilled to find their very first WENTLETRAPS…
The iLoveShelling FaceBook Page was rocking too so I wanted to share a few photos of shells that were posted from the weekend… like from Steve O who found his first PAPER FIG…
Brooke L posted this next photo and said “The shells were great, the beaches empty, waves rolling in, and a perfect sunset! Thank you TS Andrea!”
Kelly M from Dunedin, FL found the big “J” on Honeymoon Island over the weekend. Wahoo! A JUNONIA!
I love this next photo that Greg D posted. He found three huge HORSE CONCHS! He wrote “Three horse conchs I scooped up at Bind Pass Friday night. Great ending to our vacation”. Boom Shellalaka!
I never got a chance to check out Gulfside City Park but I have a feeling there might be shells showing up on that beach soon. I hope to get there tomorrow!
Don’t forget! Only 5 more days to enter to win a Shelling Vacation on Sanibel! CLICK HERE!
Tropical Storm Andrea blew through Southwest Florida this week without stirring up too much ruckus.. other than seashells and Beach Bling! It was a sheller’s playground at Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. Sara and Daren from Fort Myers were very happy Sanibel is practically in their back yard so they could drive over after the storm to find all of those seashells in the top photo by sifting through the shells at the water’s edge.
I think the happiest gal on the beach was Jessica who was visiting from Kentucky. The beach was buzzing with the news that she found a JUNONIA!!! Boom Shellalaka!
She said she saw lots of shells half buried in the sand so started digging around and up popped her JUNONIA! … And that gorgeous dark LIGHTNING WHELK… And an ANGEL WING! Wahoo!
Jim and his wife Linda took a different method of collecting shells. They plopped right down to sit in the shallow water because they were feeling so many shells at their feet. Jim scooped up this exshellent empty HORSE CONCH!
I couldn’t resist peaking in his shell bucket to see the rest of his finds from the water. Wanna peak too? Oh I know you DO!
Linda was holding her own on finding great shells. Oh yes she was! She found a perfect (and huge) ALPHABET CONE and two, count them… two perfect TRUE TULIPS…
I was thrilled to see Angela and her sister-in-law Candy again (I met them about this same time last year) loading up their buckets with goodies.
I love to see such happy families on the beach doing their own treasure hunt. All visiting from Alabama is Gracie, Dennis, Gloria, Sonya and Tyler…
They were doing yet another method of shell collecting… looking for minis! They found WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and all sorts of fun tiny miniature shells…
All while we were all finding shells, there were DOLPHINS swimming by, STARFISH scooting around in the tidal pools, live FIGHTING CONCHS burying themselves. Misty and Davis from Alabama were amazed by the all of this sea life.
Misty even found a live baby PYGMY OCTOPUS! Cool! This is not much bigger than the babies I filmed hatching on video I took several years ago. So see that video CLICK HERE. After showing this baby to us, she gently put it back in the water.
Earlier yesterday, I went to Blind Pass Captiva to see if the shells were coming in there too. Yes they were! The water was much rougher so it wasn’t as easy to get the rolling shells but Joe and Penny from MA were toughing it out and scooping up the goods…
They found some nice WHELKS, CONCHS, COCKLES and SCALLOPS.
Tom and his daughter Alma from Wisconsin found a few treasures but the rough water kept them away from filling up their bags. The water was still a bit too rough in the Gulf Of Mexico at Blind Pass for really good shelling.
There was such a big difference from rough waters at Blind Pass to the calm water around the tip of Lighthouse Beach by the Sanibel Pier. This is actually on the San Carlos Bay side of the Lighthouse. This area is great for kids at a time like this since they get to see and learn about live sea creatures and also get to take empty shells home to remember their vacation forever…. just like these cuties Cole, Chase and Isabelle visiting from Kentucky.
This is where Super Sheller Clark found this one of three ALPHABET CONES. Happy guy!
And this is also where I found my best find… a CARRIER SHELL! I know, it doesnt look like much but finding a shell I rarely see, aaaalways makes me happy. Thank you TS Andrea!
I think the best shelling today will be in the afternoon at low tide again either at Lighthouse beach or Blind Pass Captiva. I just checked the Web Cams around the island to see if the water has calmed down a little at Blind Pass Sanibel and it does look a little calmer so it should be good by the jetty rocks on the Captiva Side soon…if not now. OMG So I have to go! I’ve got to get out there before I miss something! I’ll post more soon but in the meanwhile, CLICK HERE to see the best shelling web cams for Sanibel Captiva and Ft Myers Beach.
Don’t forget to enter to win the Sanibel Shelling Vacation giveaway! Click on the next image!