Archive for November, 2010


Simple Sanibel Beach Stroll

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Little Sheller on Sanibel

Little Sheller

It was a beautiful beach stroll on the east end of Sanibel near the lighthouse.

Apple Murex Sanibel Sunset

Apple Murex Sanibel Sunset

An APPLE MUREX was our biggest find.

Sea Bean with waves on Sanibel

Sea Bean with waves

We found two SEA BEANS .

Button Seashell

Button Seashell

…..and a BUTTON SHELL. We didn’t see big shell piles but it was simply a beautiful afternoon.

Romantic Sanibel Sunset

Romantic Sanibel Sunset

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Seashell Christmas

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Sand Dollar Starfish Seashell garland

Sand Dollar Starfish Seashell garland

Time to Shellebrate the Holidays! This little Seashell Elf has been busy making SAND DOLLAR  and STARFISH garland strands for the Christmas tree in our golf cart at the Captiva Holiday Village parade on December 4 at 3:30. I’m making this a very simple design so I can add red ribbon and some white SCALLOP SHELLS as well to fill in every inch of my tree. Of course, I have to have lots of seashells!

Starfish Sand Dollar strand decor

Starfish Sand Dollar strand garland

I’m using sand dollars that we have collected over the years but I bought these starfish “seconds” (I don’t mind that they aren’t perfect…. who is?) from Seashells.comhere on Sanibel. I’m not using any glue. I just wrap the twine around a starfish arm and knotted the back then string through one of the holes in the sand dollars and repeat. Easy! This next project was easy too……

Sand Dollar cookie trays

Sand Dollar cookie trays

Sand Dollar Cookies!!! I’m not a good baker but my friend Tiia helped me make over one hundred of these adorable sugar cookies Thanksgiving night. Okay, we made life easy and sliced pre-made sugar cookie dough then decorated them with five slivered almonds- a great idea I got from Daily Vitamin Sea.

Sand dollar cookies

Sand dollar cookies

Aren’t they so cute? You can have one too since I’ll be giving them out at the Captiva Holiday Village Luminary night after the parade by The Mucky Duck. I’ve packed them in the freezer for safe keeping until then. Come by to say “Hi” and get a sand dollar cookie and a real shell!

Tween Waters Holiday Sunset

Tween Waters Holiday Sunset

I haven’t had time to do a lot of shelling, but we did make it to the beach yesterday to witness this beautiful Captiva Island sunset right across the street from Tween Waters Innannual holiday lights and tree lighting festival. If you’ve never seen this spectacular event, you are in luck because I took a video. Yes! I’m in full Shellebration for the holidays!YouTube Preview Image

If you’d like to see more holiday tree ornaments or get some great ideas for decorating your tree, see a collection at The Essential Beachcomber.Captiva Holiday Village


Saving A Sanibel Seahorse

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Live Sea Horse on Sanibel Island, Florida

Live Seahorse photo by Carol Saunders

Beachcomber Carol found and rescued a live SEAHORSE! I introduced Carol on my November 7 post Shellicious Shelling because she showed me the SERPENT STARFISH and then we saw the LONG-SPINED URCHIN together. She’s also the one that gave me the packaged west coast SAND DOLLAR.

Sea Horse on Sanibel Island, Florida beach

Seahorse on Sanibel photo by Carol Saunders

A couple days after we shelled the beach together, I got this note from Carol-

I wanted to tell you about my adventure the very next day on the beach where we met. Things were slowed way down Monday in the shell dept on that same beach.  When I crossed the sand bar, however, things picked up.  I noticed some strange markings in the sand and then the creature that had made them:  a seahorse!!”

She picked “him” up and took this sweet guy to the safety of water where she witnessed his recovery. What a rescue! Carol said she snapped photos (above) as soon as she saw the SEAHORSE  and then realized he was alive.

Tarpon Bay Explorers Sea Horses

Tarpon Bay Explorers Sea Horses

SEAHORSES are fascinating fish! Here’s a couple of Fun Facts….. Did you know that the males carry the reproductive eggs then “births” them? Did you know that some species mate for life? To see live SEAHORSES you can visit Tarpon Bay Explorers on Sanibel.

Tarpon Bay Explorers sign

Tarpon Bay Explorers

On this Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful for so many things. I am especially thankful for my family, friends, being able to meet people like Carol and to be surrounded by so many beautiful gifts of the sea. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

Categories : Seahorses
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Sunrise Shell Seekers on Sanibel

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Sunrise low tide shell collecting

Sunrise Sanibel Stoop

I might turn into a morning person. I just can’t get over how beautiful the sunrise is on Sanibel and I’ve only seen a handful of them. I “used” to like to take my time in the mornings (aka… sleep in) but I may have turned over a new leaf. I was even at the beach this morning to see shellers with flashlights.

Shelling at dawn

Shelling at dawn

Shell seekers before sunrise

Shell seekers before sunrise

Shell seekers sunrise Sanibel

Shell collecting at low tide sunrise

Three shellers at sunrise on Sanibel

Three shellers at sunrise

Three shellers with nets

Three shellers on the hunt

Sunrise shelling on Sanibel

Sunrise low tide

Shelling low tide

Shelling low tide

And yes, there were shells to be found too on the beach around Donax Rd. The low tide was about minus .04 and the tidal pools had lots of seashells for the early bird shellers. See the Florida Cone below?

Low tide pool Sanibel Florda cone

Low tide pool with a Florda cone

Categories : low tide, Sanibel, sunrise
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Sanibel Sea Beans

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Sea Pearls in scallop

Sea Pearls in scallop

Have you ever found a SEA BEAN? Well, they really aren’t “beans” but are seeds of plants from around the world that get carried into rivers then to oceans then wash up on beaches. There are almost one hundred different types of SEA BEANS but the kind we find on Sanibel are called SEA PEARLS.

Sea Beans in Scallop

Sea Beans in Scallop close up

I first heard about SEA BEANS last year after seeing a collection by our beach combing friends Mary and Dick.

Sea Beans Sanibel Island

Sea Bean Collection by Mary and Dick

Sea Beans drift onto beaches around the world, particularly after higher than normal tides with sea weed and drift wood just like I found this one pictured below. So if I don’t find many shells (like today) I always have sea beans to look for.

Sea bean on the beach

Sea Bean on the beach

Today I found this one and a few others at the Lighthouse beach….. and guess who Clark and I ran into…CShells!

Shellers at lighthouse CShells

CShells and Richard enjoying their scoops

Just a reminder to come see me at the Captiva Holiday Village Dec 4, 10, 11 and 12! CLICK HERE for details.Captiva Holiday Village

Categories : Sea Bean, Sea Pearl
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Angels On The Gulf Coast

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Angel wing shells drb

Angel wing shells by Dovie Belmont

ANGEL WING shells are very special. If you’ve ever found one, then you know what I mean. They are pure white and so beautifully detailed to a degree that is astonishingly close to what we’ve imagined all our lives to be the wings of Angels. Yet they are so delicate we hardly ever see one completely intact.

Angel Wing seashell pairs

False Angel wing pairs by Dovie Belmont

This is why I was blown away when not just one blog buddy found lots of ANGEL WINGS completely in tact… but three! And 2 out of the 3 found most of them still together! Can you believe that? Both sides!

Angel wings sea shells drb

False Angel wings sea shells by Dovie Belmont

Lucky Girl Dovie found all of these FALSE ANGEL WINGS at Salina’s Beach on the Pan Handle of Florida.

She said  “… these are the tiny Angel wings that we found all over the beach at Salinas Park…there are Angel wings, Campeche Angel wings, Fallen Angel wings, and False Angel wings. We had to be very careful because they are so fragile.”

Angel wing seashells cb

Angel wing seashells and other beach treasures by Cheri

I saw this picture (above) from Cheri and knew you would enjoy this too. She found these two large Angel Wings on Sanibel but I don’t know what beach. I am so curious, please let us know. Look at all those other fantabulous seashells too!

Angel wing seashell dig mk

Angel wing seashell dig found by MurexKen and MurexAlice

Okay, this is what topped the whole Angel Wing week. This picture (above) is what an Angel Wing around 7 inches long (maybe 8- I forgot to measure since I was so overwhelmed) looks like when it is dug out of the muck in the low tide flats on the bay side of Sanibel. It is still perfectly intact and filled with mud and sand since the mollusk wasn’t in there any more. This is CRRR-AAAAZY. Guess who found it. MurexKen and MurexAlice.

Angel wing shells mucky mk

Angel wing shells found by MurexKen and MurexAlice

You see, that wasn’t the only one they found. If I remember correctly, they found around 30 whole ones still attached together filled with nothing but sand and silt from the bay side of Blind Pass at a low tide of minus .50 feet. They rented a canoe from Castaways and paddled to the sand bars that are rarely exposed.

Angel Wing shell pair

Angel Wing shell pair

I know they are very experienced shellers and have found lots of amazing shells but I think this will be an unforgettable memory. Angel Wings are special shells and it’s like there was a shelling Angel spreading her wings all along the gulf coast.

Speaking of special, a friend shared this beautiful poem that explains in such lovely words how we feel. Especially after seeing so many wings of Angels today.


I love a beach where seabirds cry,
Where the shining water meets the sky.
Where one can look for shells and things,
And gather the gifts that each tide brings.

I like to walk upon the sand,
Between the ocean and the land.
To breathe the wonderful salty air,
And feel the breeze blow through my hair.

I enjoy the pleasure these things bring,
They calm my mind and make my heart sing.
And even when I can’t be there,
I always remember what the beach had to share.

And if you happen to see a shell,
I hope this thought you’ll remember well.
As I have prized each beautiful treasure,
So I value my family and friends in even greater measure.

And when the times comes I’m no longer here,
Do not think I have left you, never fear.
Just picture me happy on some distant shore
Picking up lovely things just as before.

For I will not have died, nor will I sleep;
I will see you again, so please do not weep,
I’ll just continue happy in His peace and care
Until the time comes when you join me there.

-Betty Jean Piech

Angel Wings by MurexKen

Cleaned Angel Wings by MurexKen

Categories : Angel Wing
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