Apr
19

Eggshellent Easter Scallops

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Easter Eggshellent Scallop Shells

On Sanibel, the Easter Bunny doesn’t dye colorful egg shells… our Bunny brings colorful SCALLOP SHELLS that want to wish you an eggshellent Easter!YouTube Preview Image

Just an FYI- I took the video during last week’s shell pile at Blind Pass Captiva.

Apr
18

A Moment With Manatees

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manatee nose

Happiness continued… We were surrounded by MANATEES!

manatee near sup board

We took our kayak and SUP board (stand up paddle board) out in the roosevelt channel on Captiva Island for an awesome water adventure and boy did we find one.

hayley lori on sup board

As we paddled around the channel, several MANATEES came over to check us out. They were just a curious about us and we were of them! Wanna see? Hop on board with us and enjoy the view without getting wet by clicking on the video… YouTube Preview Image

PS- There are plenty of places to rent SUP boards and kayaks on Captiva. For info at South Seas Island Resort CLICK HERE

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Apr
17

Happy To Be On Sanibel

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seashell collection from sanibel by lori and hayley

The theme for my Virginia Beach high school friend Lori and her daughter, Hayley, visiting us on Sanibel is…. Happy. It has been such a happy week! We have been singing that Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” (from Virginia Beach too!) every sunny day when we stepped on the beach.

hayley happy to be in florida

Happy to be together at Gulfside City Park…

lori and hayley on Sanibel with seashells

Happy to be in the water sifting through shells….

hayley and lori sifting for shells

Happy to find lots of beautiful treasures…

hayley's sanibel shells

Hayley was very happy to find SAND DOLLARS!

hayley finds sand dollars on sanibel

Happy to have Clark join us in the evenings for low tide…

lori clark shelling sanibel

Happy to see healthy, live creatures on the low tide sand bars at Lighthouse Beach…

clark and hayley on the beach of sanibel

Happy to make a seashell mobile with some of the broken shells we found…

pam rambo and hayley make a seashell mobile

Happy to meet such wonderful and generous shellers on the beach as well. Just a few feet in front of us, we saw George from Maine uncover a large, beautiful HORSE CONCH then give it to an amazed little boy in awe of the shell. He didn’t even know him!

george gives jeremy a large conch shell

I’m sure Jeremy from New York will remember this happy day for the rest of his life.

jeremy from ny holding a big conch shell

Happy to share this beautiful island with such special friends especially on a full moon. Happiness.

mother and daughter with the pull of the moon

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colorful sea urchins

When high west winds coming from the Gulf Of Mexico wash large wrack lines of PEN SHELLS, SEA WHIPS and SPONGES normally oodles of SEA URCHINS wash up as well. I often get asked “How can you tell if a sea urchin is still alive or not?” so I did a video! I’ll do SEA URCHIN identification in another post (and beach update) but since I have my girlfriend Lori and her daughter Hayley visiting from Virginia this week, I’m taking a little vaca myself for a few days. If we see unbelievable shells I need to tell you about, I’ll take a few minutes to give you an update. … but until then, enjoy the video!YouTube Preview Image

 

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Apr
11

Massive Mound Of Seashells

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massive shells on Captiva island florida

Be still my beating heart!! Seeing this awesome sight of a massive mound of shells sure does get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing.

Captiva island mound of sea shells

Blind Pass Captiva was rocking yesterday afternoon with shells rolling in with every wave. I stood on top of the mound to see Barb from St Louis pick up a gorgeous orange FLAT SCALLOP.

barb from st louis found flat scallop shell on captiva florida

Debbie from Cape Coral found her first part of a JUNONIA which is the perfect size to make into a necklace or other piece of jewelry.

debbie from cape coral finds top of junonia on captiva island

I was thrilled to see that Sharon from Orlando found a very cool piece of bling…

sharon from orlando finds a texas longhorn on Captiva island Florida

… Two different TEXAS LONGHORNS! This is great BEACH BLING! If you missed my post about them in January, you should read this post … CLICK HERE.

texas longhorn bryozoa captiva

Yesterday morning, I was at Gulfside City Park to find a wrack line of shells as far as I could see. Seeing a long string of shells like this along the shore gets my heart pumping too but once I start picking through them, it has a different effect on me… I relax and zone out everything else in the world. Love, love, love.

seashells wash up on sanibel island florida in april

These are some of my gorgeous treasures…

seashells and beach bling on sanibel island florida

On my last post when I showed you that crazy STARFISH eating the SEA URCHIN, I didn’t get a chance to show you some of the other cool things I found at Lighthouse Beach just after the storms came through.

beach at sanibel lighthouse before the storm

I met Pam and Steve from Iowa as he was scooping up shells to bring to her to sort. It reminded me of that video of the Shellingmen Tribe I did last year. LOL

shelling at the Sanibel lighthouse with rain

They were collecting DISK DOSINIAS, BANDED TULIPS and APPLE MUREXES.

bag of Sanibel shells with dosinias

They even found a perfect PURPLE SEA URCHIN.

pam found purple sea urchin

I still have so many other cool things but they will have to wait but just so you know…. Most beaches along Southwest Florida today should till be very good shelling conditions. So if you are any where near a swfl beach, get going! Just try your luck at finding at least one sweet treasure.

seashells wash up around jetty rocks

Oh… and I added a button on the right side on this page about my camera. I constantly get asked what type of camera I use so I decided its time I just made a page about it. I’ve tried to get fancy and buy several really high end cameras with big zoom lenses but it never works out since I end up worrying about my camera instead of enjoying my time beach combing. So I stick with this one because I can capture a great photo or video while I am enjoying my time on the beach (FYI- its not waterproof though).

my panasonic camera


millepede starfish sea star eating a heart urchin

This MILLEPEDE SEA STAR ate a whole POTATO URCHIN that was entirely too big for his belly so he split himself wide open. Are you crazy, dude?

luidia senegalensis nine arm sea star eats heart urchin

After strong west winds yesterday, Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel had some very cool BEACH BLING washing up this morning but this takes the cake… the potato cake, that is. heehee

I could tell that the STARFISH was very much alive since his little tube feet and spines on the underside were sticking out and moving around to tell me he wanted to go back into the water so he could finish this shellicious breakfast. (Of course I understood him- I talk Starfish) In the next photo, the hole in the middle of his body is his mouth so, as you can see, the POTATO URCHIN (or HEART URCHIN) that he ate is barely visible from this side. 

nine leg starfish is called a millepede sea star

But looking at this view…. Holy Cowrie! The whole URCHIN is there but his belly wasn’t big enough.

starfish eats whole potato urchin

In my humble opinion, it seems to reason that since SEA STARS can regrow arms if they break off, I’m assuming once this guy finishes his meal he will be able to repair his torn body and live happily ever after. So I put him back in the Gulf to digest this massive meal and hopefully live another day.

millepede starfish sea star eating a potato urchin

Check out this short video I took so you can see the whole dang thing! YouTube Preview Image

But the funnier thing is…. our friends Dick and Mary had just told us that they found a dead MILLIPEDE STARFISH on the beach that had swallowed half a bivalve. Oh my! They just sent me these iPhone photos so I could share them with you too. One valve of the ALTERNATE TELLIN bivalve shell is inside him and the other is hanging out of his mouth on the underside. This is so wild!

millipede starfish with alternate tellin bivalve inside body

This is the other side that you can see that one valve is still hanging out. Crazy! Unfortunately, this SEA STAR wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree so neither guy made it out alive from this meal.

starfish with bivalve valve hanging out of his mouth

PS- I’ve interchanged the words “SEA STAR” and “STARFISH” a few times throughout this post. I know “SEA STAR” (I intended these to be said aloud with air quotes instead of real ” ” so go ahead, air quote away!) is the more socially acceptable way to say “STARFISH” these days but I’m stuck with calling them “STARFISH” since I grew up calling them that. Just so you know. :\