Archive for December, 2009

Dec
31

Junonia found at Blind Pass

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I got a comment today on my December 4 post that made me laugh because someone asked Clark on the beach the other day “How many JUNONIAS have you found?”. Clark said he had found 2. She said back to him ” Wow! I can’t believe you’ve only found 2. I figured since you live here that you’ve found a lot more than that!”. He got a real kick out of that and then laughed at me since I’ve gotten a big goose egg when it comes to finding a JUNONIA. So, Alice, I feel for you too.

Congratulations Nancy! Thank you so much for sending us the news…… I’m so jealous! Send me a picture and I’ll post it.

Nancy’s comment on the december 4 post says:

Just to let you know
I found a Junonia on the Captiva side of Blind Pass 12/26/2009. Picture should be in the Island Reporter this week. My friend Alice has lived and shelled on Sanibel for 24years and never discovered a Junonia. She considers me an amateur :-) and we had a good laugh that I found one

Categories : Blind Pass, Captiva, Junonia
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Dec
31

East End Shelling

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It’s a great full blue moon tonight and the shelling is really good on the east end of Sanibel this morning. Tomorrow morning will probably be really good too. Happy New Year’s Eve- It’s going to be a good 2010.

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Dec
29

I’d Rather Be Shelling……

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……instead of sitting in traffic.  I tried to make my way to the Lighthouse to see what was there but I got stuck in traffic so I didn’t make it.  This is the busiest week of the year so I should have stayed away from Periwinkle Way. Cutting over to East Gulf, Middle Gulf and West Gulf is the best way to get around on Sanibel. There were lots of people at Blind Pass on Captiva still finding shells in the huge pile that has been building every week. The parking lot on the Captiva side was full and there were very few spaces on the Sanibel side so you had to get lucky. I would get there early if you want to spend some time at Blind Pass tomorrow just to get a parking space. Plan your day around the traffic this week by working around the traffic on Periwinkle Way which is bad in the morning around 8 to 10ish but really bad in the afternoon from 3 to 6.

I heard the Lighthouse was still really good for finding cool stuff and I’m sure it’s going to be good this weekend too since it’s a full moon on New Years’s Eve. I hope this helps!

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Dec
27

Mermaid’s Purse

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Lighthouse treasures

Lighthouse treasures

The lighthouse is continuing to bring in what looks like the bottom of the sea. Clark talked to one of our shelling buddies and they found nine ALPHABET CONES yesterday in the surf all along the east end of Sanibel. Holy smokes! Nine?? Wow!! That says it all. If you are in town, you need to get to the Lighthouse.

Skate Egg Case

Skate Egg Case

It’s like you are walking through a Discovery Channel episode on the beach anywhere on the East End. I used to see these SKATE EGG CASES on the beaches of Virginia Beach and the Carolinas after a storm when I was young. I like to call it a Mermaid’s Purse but some call it a Devil’s Purse or a Devil’s Pocketbook.

Don, Elaine, Dave and Betty (Nova Scotia)

Don, Elaine, Dave and Betty (Nova Scotia)

There are lots of URCHINS and HORSESHOE CRABS and some other fun treasures on West Gulf Drive but not the crazy shelling as at the Lighthouse. I’m still so happy that we stopped to check it out because we met these wonderful two couples from Nova Scotia that travel around North America in their RVs every five years.

Dec
26

Excellent Shelling!

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Today's favorite finds

Today's favorite finds

It’s a wonderful life on the beaches on Sanibel today. Hundreds of MUREXES, WHELKS, URCHINS, FIGHTING CONCHS, HORSESHOE CRABS, STARFISH, TULIPS  and PEN SHELLS. It’s a shmorgish borg (no, I don’t know how to spell that!) of shells. If you go to any beach in southwest Florida today or tomorrow, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Pictured in my favorites above that Clark and I found are clockwise, HORSE CONCH, SEA FAN, BABY’S EAR, smaller HORSE CONCH, PAPER FIG, PEAR WHELK, larger PEAR WHELK, WORM SHELL, COLORFUL MOON SNAIL and underneath is a cool piece of DRIFTWOOD. After I took this picture, a little while later (since I couldn’t get Clark off the beach) he found an ALPHABET CONE and a very cool WORM SHELL….it was still a purplish color so it hadn’t died long ago.

Dec
25

Santa Brought Gifts of the Sea

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Lighthouse beach on Christmas day

Lighthouse beach on Christmas day

We couldn’t believe that the parking lot at the Lighthouse was so packed today! There were lots of other people celebrating Christmas on the beach with us and they had their bags and buckets overflowing with seashells.

I’ve seen a lot of  seaweed and  algae on the beaches the last couple of days but the Lighthouse has the thickest deposit and is mixed with tons of PARCHMENT WORMS. They look like whitish tubular sausage casings. They may look ugly on the beach to some people but this is the kind of stuff that catches the shells and drags them on the beach too. This is a good time to have a stick, net or Clark’s shelling “backhoe” so you can move some of that stuff around to see what’s underneath. I saw bags of LIGHTENING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS and MUREXES. Clark was finding gorgeous PAPER FIGS which are normally broken by the time they get to the beach since they are so thin and delicate. All of the parchment worms and seaweed protect them a bit so they get to the beach in one piece.

Lisa and Sage (Toronto)

Lisa and Sage (Toronto)

Santa’s elves (love those hats!!!), Lisa and her daughter Sage, have been visiting from Toronto for 3 weeks and said the shelling has been great.  Lisa told me she has been coming to Sanibel every year since she was 5 years old. Her father brought her and now Lisa follows the tradition and brings her daughter. Sage said her best shell was a 10 inch HORSE CONCH that she found last Saturday. They said that last weekend was the best shelling that they’ve seen in years. (…and I was out of town!) They hadn’t found much today since they’ve gotten a little more picky but it’s also a tradition to walk the beach on Christmas day with their adorable Santa hats. Not a bad tradition.

Judy (Arizona) and Mary Jo (Sanibel)

Judy (Arizona) and Mary Jo (Sanibel)

I was very excited to see Mary Jo on the beach since she’s a friend, fellow sheller and a shell expert. She works at one of my favorite places…..The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. I always like to talk “shelling” with Mary Jo because she is a wealth of knowledge. I love shelling but I’m not a scientific shell expert …..only a shelling expert  (if there is there such a thing) so I love to learn from her. Her friend Judy (her college roommate) who was visiting for the holiday, had already filled her fist with LIGHTENING WHELKS, PEN SHELLS, PAPER FIGS and I think a FIGHTING CONCH too so said she couldn’t carry anything else.

Thanks, Santa for bringing lots of treasures. Merry Christmas!