Archive for February, 2011


Sanibel Clear Afternoon

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Mai seashells

Mai (New York) with seashells

Mai didn’t care if her beautiful dress was getting wet by shelling in the surf to find a few seashell treasures. She f0und a few FIGHTING CONCHS so it was all worth it. My kinda gal!

Mai Shelling

Mai Shelling

Talk about my kind of gals…. Wendy, Karen and Renee were having the best time shellebrating the beach by Gulf Side City Park and the beautiful sunset. Even though none of us found tons of shells…. still, girls gotta have fun by hanging out in shorts, tees and feeling the sand between our toes.

Breck Shelling Girls

Wendy (Sanibel), Karen (MN), Renee (MN) and Sam

Maybe this is why we didn’t find many shells on the beach…. the Sanibel Ness Monster ate them all!

Sanibel Ness Monster

Sanibel Ness Monster

This piece of beach art is so impressive.

Sanibel Nessy

Sanibel Nessy

Look at all of these PEN SHELLS.

Nessy's pen shell humps

Nessy's pen shell humps

This beach art artist was very busy this weekend collecting PEN SHELLS and sea grasses to make this piece too…

Beach Art mermaid

Beach Art mermaid

Did they run out of shells? This one seems to naked…aww, but it’s still kinda cute.

Hammerhead Beach art

Hammerhead Beach art

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Prettiest Speckled Tellin Seashell

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Speckled Speckled tellin bivalve seashell

Speckled Tellin

This is the prettiest SPECKLED TELLIN I’ve ever seen!  I met a Sanibel local gal Susie on the beach at Sanibel Blind Pass and while we were talking, I saw those stripes through her plastic shelling bag…. Okay, I always nonchalantly sneek a peek at someone’s shell bag while I talk to them (heehee). So I asked her what she had. She pulled out this gorgeous TELLIN! I don’t normally see SPECKLED TELLINS on this beach- especially with those pretty colored “rays”. Nice find Susie!

Susie Sanibel Sheller

Susie (Sanibel) and Peg (Cincinnati, OH)

While I was talking to Susie and Peg, I saw our shelling sister Lee and her husband Bill who found the CARRIER SHELL in October. She told me she found an 11″ HORSE CONCH last week north of West Gulf Drive beach access #7. I had to see it!

11" horse conch lee

Lee’s 11″ horse conch

Wow- that’s a doosie! And such a pretty color! You can’t see really how big it is so the next photo I put a little “candy” horsie conch next to it. Cute, huh?

11" horse conch aperture lee

Baby next to a grandaddy

Lee told me before she left home to come to Sanibel, her grandson Samuel said he would like her to find a big shell for him just like the one she has displayed in her “best shell finds” cabinet ….a big horse conch. Looks like you’ll get  your wish Samuel!

Albino fighting conch lee g

Albino fighting conch 

Lee also found this ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell an albino from a sun-bleached shell but in this case, there is such a glossy shine and all of the tips look so perfect that I am sure this must me an albino. This one will probably make it into Lee’s “best shell finds” cabinet too!

albino fighting conch aperture lee g

Albino fighting conch aperture

I always enjoy seeing so many different colors and color patterns of the FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCH. Shelling sister Mary Ann captured so many variations in this next photo, I thought you would enjoy this as much as I did. Thanks for posting this great shot on FaceBook, Mary Ann.

florida Fighting conch color types

Florida Fighting Conch by Mary Ann Ross

Okay, lets get back to Lee and her other finds for the week… I see CHESTNUT TURBANS on a regular basis but I don’t show many pictures of them so here are a few in Lee’s collection this week.

Chestnut Turbans

Chestnut Turbans

So now I think I am acquiring a taste for bivalves after seeing this SPECKLED TELLIN and some of the other TELLINS in the last week. No, not to eat them (although I do love oysters at a raw bar) but to admire their beauty as much as the gastropods like the TURBAN or CONCH. I have to thank our blog buddy Bird for suggesting I get a copy of Bivalve Seashells of Florida by Trish Hartman. How did I live without this book before? Thank you, Bird (and Scott R)!

double Broad-Ribbed Cardita seashell

Double Broad-Ribbed Cardita

Turkey Wing seashell

Turkey Wing


Buckets of Seashells

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Eddy's shell bucket

Eddy's shell bucket

I didn’t see shellers with buckets filled to the rim with seashells today, but I did see a few buckets that had nice quality shells that made every other sheller smile when they peeked into the bottom. This is Eddy’s bucket with that big FLAT SCALLOP and so mant color variations and sizes of the FIGHTING CONCHS and other goodies.

Eddy shells

Eddy peeking into his shell bucket

I first met Eddy in August with his sister Rachael and they are back in full shelling mode. Look at those CONES Rachael found.

Rachael Florida cone shells

Rachael with 2 Florida cone and an Alphabet

This next bucket could make a grown shelling woman cry… I mean smile too.

Kings crowns shell bucket

A bucket of Crowns

This is very impressive to see all of the KINGS CROWNS together in the bottom of this bucket, isn’t it? Molly found a secret shelling spot digging in some mud flats where she found all of these lovelies completely empty. Jack pot!

seashells Molly and Ella

Molly and Ella (MI)

This is KING’S CROWN queen Molly and her daughter Ella with their other best finds of the week…. SEA URCHINS, 8″ HORSE CONCH, ALPHABET CONES, SHARK’S EYES, ANGEL WINGS and a NUT MEG. Ella told me that shelling was her most favorite thing to do. Then a close second was rock climbing.

Ella Manny sunray venus conch

Cuties Ella and Manny

Ella and her little brother Manny are excited to show off a few more shells.. a SUNRAY VENUS CLAM and a JUVENILE FIGHTING CONCH.

Limpet seaglass tusk shells

Limpet, seaglass, tusk and shark's tooth

The picture above are treasures that shellers Melody and Bill found on a day trip to Venice  yesterday. Clockwise from the left … a KEY HOLE LIMPET, SEA GLASS, SHARK’S TOOTH FOSSIL and a TUSK shell all placed on top of a seagrape leaf. Nice finds!

Shellers Melody and Bill

Melody and Bill (Greenville, SC)

Happy Anniversary Melody and Bill! What a nice way to “Shellebrate”!

Sanibel Turner Beach

Sanibel Blind Pass Sand bar

There are still shells on the Sanibel side but the rip tide picked up a little this afternoon in between the shore and the sand bar… so be VERY CAREFUL if you are shelling around there. I’ve finally found all you crazy shellers like us so I don’t want to lose any of you!


A Barefoot Beach Morning

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Coral from Bonita

Coral from Barefoot Beach

I’ve been wanting to run down to Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs (45 minute drive) to meet shelling sister Carla Barone for quite some time. Today I got to meet her and she was everything I thought… shell crazy and sweet as pie. As soon as we hit the beach, I found all of these pieces of CORAL as we walked south to get down to the jetty at Wiggins Pass.

Pufferfish Mouth plate fossil

Fossils found by Carla

Carla loves looking for not only shells but fossils and different beach treasures. She picked up these pieces then told me the fossils in her hand clockwise from top left…. a SHARK’S TOOTH, a piece of turtle shell called a “SKOOT”, and …okay… are you ready for this one? … the mouth plate of a PUFFER FISH. Wow. I’d like you to meet Carla…

Pam Rambo Carla Barone

Me with super collector Carla

She loves to talk to everyone on the beach about all the fun things to collect.

Carla showing fossils

Carla showing fossils to Kathy and her friend

We found out that Kathy was a first time sheller and she found this…

Kathy with alphabet cone

Kathy with alphabet cone

A perfect ALPHABET CONE! I saw the colors through her shell bag and commented on her find but she didn’t know what I was talking about. She didn’t realize what she had… until now. Then we ran into  Carla’s good friend Jen who taught her about most of the fossils she has found.

Fossil collector Jen

Fossil collector Jen

Today she was collecting as sorts of shells and goodies.

Jen's shell bag

Jen’s shell bag

Another one of Carla’s friends (she’s very popular on this beach!) Ella found this awesome SHARK’S EYE. What a cutie!

Ella with sharks eye

Ella with sharks eye

Then I found this huge WORM SHELL. I still can’t believe how big it is.

Large worm shell Bonita


And some of his grand wormies…

Worm shells Bonita

Bunch of worm shells

On the way back, we saw several ssslloooooww GOPHER TORTOISES.

Gopher tortoise

Gopher tortoise

So this is where Carla finds a lot of her shells.

Barefoot Beach

Barefoot Beach entrance sign

So she can make beautiful whelk sculptures like this…

Whelk Sculpture by Carla Barone

Whelk Sculpture by Carla Barone

Thanks for everything, Carla. It was a great shelling morning!


Finally, A Recipe For Finding A Junonia

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kathy with junonia recipe

Kathy with junonia recipe

I’m done with the good luck charms, four leafed clovers, the rabbits foot and all that to find my JUNONIA. Today at Blind Pass Sanibel, Kathy gave me the best advice for mixing up a special adult brew to give us all good luck in finding our own JUNONIA. A recipe for a Junonia Cocktail. Woohoo! (Click on it to enlarge)

Kathy's junonia recipe

Kathy's junonia recipe

Oooooh. Sounds so yummy and I guess the trick is…. even if you don’t find one, you can’t help but be happy  after having one of these. teehee. I like her style. Here she is with her family..

Kathy Shelling family

Kathy, Brianna and Joe (CO)

I was so tickled she had on her iLoveshelling cap! Cute!

Young sheller Brianna

Young sheller Brianna

Brianna is on her way to finding a JUNONIA since she found this piece today. Kathy will have to celebrate for her with the cocktail since Brianna has quite a few years to go before she can have one.

Okay before I show this next photo, I want to make sure you know that Kathy did NOT find this shell on the beach. She said she found it at Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres.

Apple Snail Shell

Apple Snail Land Shell (not found on the beach)

She brought this APPLE SNAIL shell to the beach to show it to me. Okay, again, just to make sure you know….. It was NOT found on the beach. It’s cool, though isn’t it? This is a land snail which is the diet of  the endangered SNAIL KITE bird. It’s huge!

Kathy's cones and moon

Kathy's cones and moon

She did find this ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and COLORFUL MOON on the beach today.

Shellers in fog

The fog started rolling in but that didn’t stop the shellers. I ran into Patty who was thrilled she found a piece of SEA GLASS. I was thrilled for her since it isn’t easy to find that on Sanibel.

Patty with sea glass

Patty (MI) with sea glass

Even with fog, it was a beautiful day on Sanibel.

Sanibel Stoop

The Sanibel Foggy Stoop

Thanks for the recipe, Kathy. Let me know if any of you try the Junonia Cocktail!

Aqua water with orange shoes


I’m Tellin’ On Some Tellins

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Crested White Crested Tellin

White Crested Tellin

The island seashell telegraph was buzzing yesterday with the news that a rare WHITE CRESTED TELLIN was found by our shelling friend Nancy (see her on post Seashell In My Pocket) while she was shelling the out islands with her husband Dayton and their best friends Gary and Sandy. Look at the cool serrated edges on this shell- those aren’t chips. This photo only shows the one side of the shell…the other side is attached as well! They took it to the shop Sanibel Seashell Industries and he said it was a rare find.

Rose Petal Tellins Gary Preston

Rose Petal Tellins

Gary found all of these ROSE PETAL TELLINS out on the out islands too.  They got out there by hiring shelling guide Brian Holaway to take them out near North Captiva and Cayo Costa.

Yellow Alternate Tellin

Yellow Alternate Tellin

I think it’s the prettiest yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN I’ve ever seen. Guess who found this. Nancy! She was a hawk eye out on those flats. This shell looks similar to a COQUINA in this picture but it’s about an inch bigger.

Alternate Tellins

Alternate Tellins

These are the color that these TELLINS normally are. Nice… but can’t really compare to that yellow!

Scotch Bonnet Nancy

Nancy's Scotch Bonnet

Brian surely did not disappoint this crowd. Nancy found this SCOTCH BONNET too!! This was her first time she has found a SCOTCH BONNET and she said Brian seemed just as excited as she was.

Morton's Egg Cockle close

Morton's Egg Cockle

They all found MORTON’S EGG COCKLES which are another shell crafter favorite since the inside is such a bright yellow. I forget the variety, but to me, they look like orchid petals. Please help me if you know what orchid I’m thinking of.

Purplish Tagelus

Purplish Tagelus

The shelling continued with PURPLISH TAGELUS shells.

large Wentletrap

Sandy's wentletrap

Sandy found this super big WENTLETRAP and lots of BABY’S EARS. You wouldn’t believe the bags and bags of goodies the whole gang brought back.

Bags of shells

Bags of shells

They all could not get over how much fun they had and how many shells they found with Brian as their guide ( click HERE for info on Brian). Congrats to you all and thanks for sharing your goodies.

shellers Minnesota

Gary, Sandy, Nancy and Dayton (MN) from October