Dec
21

Sanibel Shellendipity Shelliday

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seashells from sanibel december 2014

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.

family with seashells on Sanibel beach

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.

favorite shells

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!

shellers on sanibel

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 CountBravo! 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.

audubon society sanibel christmas bird count

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.

surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata Sanibel island

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!
saving a surf scoter bird sanibel island florida

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!

bird counting and rescuing

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!

Captain Brian Holaway Sanibel shelling guide

The Holaway Holiday boat…

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!)

Happy Shellidays!

Sand-dollar-cookies

 

 

 

Categories : Birds, Surf Scoter
Comments (13)

calm day at the beach

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s nice to have just a calm quiet moment on the beach.

shells on the beach of Sanibel

Finding a few shells along the way makes the moment even more special.

a few sanibel shells

Running across creative seashell beach art is the icing on the caked sand.

seashell snowman on the beach

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.

Seashell snow globe with sand and shells

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.

sandy the shell man

Their seashell beach art warms the heart…

beach art seashell heart

I hope they don’t mind but it looks like the Seashell Fairy left a few additions to their art.

seashell fairy left shells
Just in case you need a breather from your busy December life too, take a break and walk the beach with me for 5 minutes. Its an instant de-stresser! Click on the video…

YouTube Preview Image

Want more than CYBERSHELLING? Join me on a “live” Shelling Adventure…

pam rambo shelling trips

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Dec
15

Touched By an Angel Wing

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Comfort Make a wish seashells

“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.

dennis and jesse collecting seashells

Nicole, Dennis, Jesse and Sophie from Oregon gave me that gift last week… which was being able to hang out with this is one awesome family!
Sophie's Make a Wish on Sanibel

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.

nicole and sophie on the beach shelling

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.

seashells in a pink bag

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.

Sanibel Florida hairy crab

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?

jesse's favorite shells while visiting sw florida

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!

angel wing butterfly

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.

Comfort Make a wish seashells

These are special peeps whom I will have special memories with for a very long time.

Nicole Jesse Dennis and Sophie on the beach

Last week was a little chilly but they didn’t mind a bit- They are so stinkin silly and fun!

Pam with Sophie's family

I hope they look back on their Sanibel trip as Spectacsheller!

dennis and sophie on shelling cruise

I know I will… as I feel like I’ve been touched by an ANGEL.

angel wing in the sand

A big THANK YOU to Make-A-Wish for making it possible for Sophie and her family to come to Sanibel, Florida.

make-a-wish-logo

 

 

Comments (19)