Archive for November, 2009
The COQUINAS are starting to show up all over the islands. They are so small, colorful and look just like a beautiful butterfly. I found this yellow one pictured on the left and the red one pictured below on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass.
When I got home, Jane emailed me this picture of lots of beautiful COQUINAS that she found at the Lighthouse (I’m assuming that’s where she found them) this morning. Look at all of the different colors! And some look like sunbursts.
She wrote in her email “It was a COQUINA kinda day at the beach”. You are right, Jane. We were on opposite ends of the island and we saw the same shells come in.
Tina and Lee started seeing lots of shells rolling in on the beach at #6 on West Gulf Drive at around 9 am. By the time we got there around 1 pm, there was a nice size shell pile that was only getting bigger.
Lee told me that she started shelling in 1973 while staying at South Seas Plantation (now called South Seas Resort) on Captiva every year until Hurricane Charley blew through and did major damage. Since the resort took a few years to rebuild, they decided to stay on Sanibel (and liked it) so now stay and shell the beaches off West Gulf each year.
Tina had a bucket overflowing with nice shells and right on top was a cool HORSESHOE CRAB that hadn’t survived. We’ve seen a few dried baby ones lately but this was a nice bigger size. Did you know that HORSESHOE CRABS are one of the oldest species on Earth? Older than the dinosaurs! Wild, huh?
Clark had his trusty shelling “backhoe” and within 10 minutes found a gorgeous bright orange HORSE CONCH. With his backhoe, he can get right in the rough surf where the shells are harder to see from the mixture of sand, shells, water and foam. If he sees a good shell, he can scoop the area the shell is in to make sure it doesn’t get swept away. Believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve never gotten the hang of it. I’m a Sanibel Stooper.
Six year old Elizabeth is very excited to show us her beautiful WORM SHELL and to make sure her little sister Julia (who is two and a half) is right by her side. They were finding lots of good shells to put in their bucket at the shell mound that built up last week at Blind Pass. Their family was visiting Sanibel and Captiva for the Thanksgiving weekend from Brunswick, Georgia.
While we were walking away to go check out the shelling on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass, I saw Elizabeth pick up a FIGHTING CONCH that had a broken top and hold it up to show her mom and said ” Look! It’s a Cornucopia!”. Remarkably, it looked exactly like one.