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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Low Tide Treasures

Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in Coral, Horse Conch, low tide, Shark's Eye | 8 comments

Jaelyn's shark's eye

Nora's coral

Jaelyn, Janene (both Minnesota) and Nora (Chicago)

Janene's true tulip along with her other treasures

I had to go back to the beach again last night around 6 o’clock to show Clark all of the amazing shells that were washing up on the beach by Casa Ybel Resort. It looked completely different from around noon when I took the pictures for yesterday’s blog. No big shell piles but shells galore spread out like an easter egg hunt.

Janene ,  Jaelyn (her daughter) and  Nora (her niece) found a great spot to just sit and dig around in the watery sand. Can you believe they found all of those goodies in that one spot? Nora even found a BABY’S EAR too. Janene told me that they were were making necklaces, shell boxes and a mirror with all of their found shells on this trip. Janene is a 3rd generation Sanibel sheller which makes Jaelyn a 4th generation Sanibel sheller. Sounds like a happy family to me…and a happy birthday for Janene!

A live horse conch

I think we saw at least 12 live HORSE CONCHS in the shallow water but we did get to take one home that didn’t have an occupant…..nice, huh?

Clark's horse conch

The end of a beautiful Sanibel shelling day

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The Men Win Today

Posted by on Mar 30, 2010 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Fighting Conch, Horse Conch, Whelk | 9 comments

My 3 Minute Find

I found an amazing shelling spot today! When I checked out the beach in front of Casa Ybel Resort, I looked up the beach to the right and saw the beach forming a little peak with a couple of people shelling in the surf. I headed straight for it and found a ton of shells rolling up in the surf. I wasn’t on the beach 3 minutes when I looked down and picked up this HORSE CONCH.

Catching the shells as they roll in

I saw Mark from Carlsbad, New Mexico catching some nice NUTMEGS and WHELKS then introduced me to his nephew, Shane. Shane found 3 nice ALPHABET CONES! He just scooped up this 3 1/2 inch ALPHABET beauty in his net along with a FIGHTING CONCH and a MUREX…….this was one scoop that he got all 3 shells.

Shane with a 3 1/2 inch alphabet cone

Mark and his brother Stan (Shane’s dad) have been coming to Sanibel since 1974 with their families so they are long time shellers. Sorry, Mark and Stan, but I think Shane kicked your butts out there today finding 3 ALPHABET CONES ……and maybe more. They were still out there when I left.

Mark, Shane and Stan

I also ran into another guy…Ron from Washington D.C. and he found a nice HORSE CONCH too. It was around the size of mine but maybe bigger. I guess I have to hand it over to the guys today…they won the “who got the best shells today” contest.

Ron's horse conch, tulip, murex and whelks

To top it all off, I got an update on Laura D.’s collection. She found another huge HORSE CONCH and lots more. Here are her treasures……just 2 days worth of shelling on Sanibel. Wow!

Laura D's 2 day shell collection

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Early Birds

Posted by on Mar 29, 2010 in Conch, Horse Conch | 0 comments

Laura's horse conch

Laura D. just arrived on Sanibel and very excited to find some good shells. This is an email she sent me….

“…..we got up at 5:30 this morning and went out in the dark (with head lamps in the rain) and found tons of urchins, 2 nice figs And this horse conch!!!! I looked inside and was so excited to see an empty perfect shell! Right in the middle of the beach!!!
I put it in my bucket open side up and ten minutes later noticed some redish claws!! It was home to a big crab! I was bummed but we put him back in the water:) It was quite a morning!”

Those sneaky “squatter” crabs!

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Those Who Bring Sunshine

Posted by on Mar 27, 2010 in Sanibel | 6 comments

Sanibel side of Blind Pass

The beach is still building on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass and it is bringing some good shells with the sand. It’s not crazy shelling yet but I feel it coming.  There’s got to be something good out there……but then…. I got a little dose of “something good” just walking along the shoreline. That’s where I met Heidi (aka Hurry Slowly Heidi) and Klaus from Canada who were staying right at Blind Pass in one of the the sweet little cottages on the beach at Castaways Cottages.

We got to talking about the island, shelling and Hurry Slowly Heidi wanted to know a little about the LIGHTENING WHELK and FIGHTING CONCH they had found. I told her all about the shells they found then handed her a deep rich CALICO CLAM that looked like it had more of an animal print than a shell design. She unzipped a pouch she was carrying and handed me a bright green piece of paper and told me she was an artist and poet and has written a few books. I unfolded the note and read.

Those Who Bring


Into the lives of others

Pass it on joyfully


A moment of

Harmony and


Which in turn

gives rise to


Circle of Love

Hurry Slowly Heidi

She brought me more than just a moment of harmony and consideration. I feel very fortunate to be able to meet such good people. Thank you Hurry Slowly Heidi and Klaus. It was a pleasure to me you.

Let me introduce everybody else……..Here is Klaus and Hurry Slowly Heidi….

Klaus and Hurry Slowly Heidi (Canada)

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61 Wentletraps at Lighthouse

Posted by on Mar 26, 2010 in Antilles Glassy bubble, Baby's Ear, Bubble shell, Dolphin, Florida Cone, Lighthouse, Pear Whelk, Sanibel, Uncategorized, Wentletrap, Worm Shell | 8 comments

The Wentletrap Wonder

That’s The Wentletrap Wonder…. The Mini-shell Master…. The Shelling Superman…uhhh, ok, it’s just my husband, Clark, shelling for the mini shells. But we found 61 WENTLETRAPS this afternoon! And lots of other really good minis. We always find a lot of BUBBLE shells but this one was a little unusual- it’s an ANTILLES GLASSY BUBBLE. It is so paper thin that it’s see-through.

Clark's Antilles Glassy Bubble and Wentletrap

We ended up  finding (and keeping) 4 more BABY’S EARS, a bright orange baby HORSE CONCH, WORM SHELLS, PEAR WHELKS, a bright orange FALSE DRILL, 2 FLORIDA CONES and of course our 61 WENTLETRAPS.

False Drill


Pear Whelk

Can you guess who was back at the Lighthouse too? “Flipper”, that crazy dolphin!

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