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!
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.
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
This piece of beach art is so impressive.
Look at all of these PEN SHELLS.
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
Did they run out of shells? This one seems to naked…aww, but it’s still kinda cute.
Hammerhead Beach art
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) 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!
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?
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 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
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 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.
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
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 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 with 2 Florida cone and an Alphabet
This next bucket could make a grown shelling woman cry… I mean smile too.
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!
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.
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 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!
Melody and Bill (Greenville, SC)
Happy Anniversary Melody and Bill! What a nice way to “Shellebrate”!
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!
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.
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…
Me with super collector Carla
She loves to talk to everyone on the beach about all the fun things to collect.
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
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
Today she was collecting as sorts of shells and goodies.
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
Then I found this huge WORM SHELL. I still can’t believe how big it is.
And some of his grand wormies…
Bunch of worm shells
On the way back, we saw several ssslloooooww GOPHER TORTOISES.
So this is where Carla finds a lot of her shells.
Barefoot Beach entrance sign
So she can make beautiful whelk sculptures like this…
Whelk Sculpture by Carla Barone
Thanks for everything, Carla. It was a great shelling morning!
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
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, Brianna and Joe (CO)
I was so tickled she had on her iLoveshelling cap! Cute!
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 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
She did find this ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and COLORFUL MOON on the beach today.
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 (MI) with sea glass
Even with fog, it was a beautiful day on Sanibel.
The Sanibel Foggy Stoop
Thanks for the recipe, Kathy. Let me know if any of you try the Junonia Cocktail!