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

The Thrill Of Seashell Victory

Posted by on Mar 31, 2011 in Sanibel | 23 comments

Blind Pass Captiva seashells

Blind Pass Captiva seashells

The Gulf of Mexico was twisting, turning and churning all day today so I was chomping at the bit to get to the beach to see where the good shells were going to show up. I got to the Captiva side of Blind Pass around 4pm to find …… a seashell frenzy!

boy with angel wing seashell

Nolan (WI)

Nolan was a very lucky boy to find a perfect ANGEL WING. I’m always so surprised that this fragile shell can stay completely intact with such rough waves tumbling and tossing so many shells together like a washing machine.

girl with two seashells

Ella (WI)

Nolan’s sister Ella sprung into action too and found a FLAT SCALLOP and a fantastic HORSE CONCH.

Kids with seashells

Avery and Max (Orlando)

Avery and her brother Max had already filled up two shelling bags filled with FIGHTING CONCHS, COCKLES, OLIVES, MUREXES, SCALLOPS AND CLAMS within an hour or so. Adorable!

Captiva Seashell frenzy

Captiva seashells washing ashore

The shells weren’t that easy to snag since the waves were pounding on the shore so it was helpful to have a scoop like Nolan in this picture. Another good option was to feel around in the water on the edge of the surf like you see the two girls in the picture above.

girl with cone seashell

Tanya (CA)

Looky what Tanya found getting in the water on the edge of that surf (she’s one of the gals in the picture above in the water). A perfect ALPHABET CONE!

Teenager find seashells

Yulia (CA)

Minutes later, Tanya’s sister Yulia found her own ALPHABET CONE. They deserve those ALPHABETS and all the other shelltastic shells they collected after being punished by those pounding waves for hours. Determined girls! I Love it!

mom and son with seashells

Griffin and Kris (Chicago)

Griffin found a KINGS CROWN, a beautiful TRUE TULIP and together with his mom they found a big bag full of ….. well, there was just too many shells to name. They had another bucket full too!

Teen with cone shell

Caroline (Chicago)

Not to be outdone by an ALPHABET CONE, Caroline found the most beautiful carrot colored FLORIDA CONE.

Carrot color cone shell

Caroline's Forida Cone

Honestly, this photo doesn’t do Caroline’s CONE justice. I wish you could really see how magnificent the color was of this shell. Outstanding.

Family Captiva beach with seashells

Doug, Caroline and Laura (IL)

It’s always such a pleasure to watch families have so much fun together collecting shells…. ahem, well I should this time say “body surfing for shells”. Take a look at Caroline’s happy picture above with her FLORIDA CONE. Now look over her shoulder …. that’s her dad diving and body surfing to scoop big handfuls of shells. The thrill of seashell victory is very addicting. :)

Sanibel man with seashells

Clark with his best shells

Clark has been celebrating victories not only with the shells he found today but with the VCU basketball team. VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) is in the Final Four!!!! That’s Clark alma mater and he is hog heaven seeing them succeed. Go Rams!

Captiva seashells

Our shells that we brought home

What a victory of seashells. This is what we shellers dream about….. days like this.

Sanibel stoopers

Captiva crouchers

seashells in Captiva surf

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Southwest Winds Bring Seashells To Sanibel

Posted by on Mar 30, 2011 in Crucifix Shell, Lightning Whelk, Sanibel, Sea Cucumber, Sunray Venus, True tulip | 15 comments

crown conch sanibel beach

Kings crown conch

I’ve had a little dry spell finding mid size shells lately but today…. The shells are back! Yippee! We had nice southwest winds the past few days and now the shells at the lighthouse beach on the pier side have started rolling in, baby.

Crucifix shell Sanibel beach

Crucifix shell near the pier

I knew it was gonna be a good day today since I found a CRUCIFIX SHELL (which is really not a shell- click HERE or on the name for more info). It’s a good luck charm!

True Tulip seashell lighthouse

Beautiful True Tulip

It’s a great day when you find a KINGS CROWN and a red TRUE TULIP!

Sunray venus clam Sanibel lighthouse

Sunray venus clam

I saw quite a few pairs of SUNRAY VINUS CLAMS that were still together. Lucky again!

Lightning whelk Sanibel lighthouse

Lightning whelk

This gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK rolled up on the beach just waiting to be picked up by a lucky sheller.

Family on Sanibel beach

Jim, James, Katie and Connie (MI)

This was a lucky shelling family enjoying gulf treasures washing up with every handful. They were having a blast! And me too!

Sanibel seashells strainer

Jim and Connie's fabulous finds

Check out those beauties. Okay, I know you didn’t miss that butterscotch yellow TRUE TULIP sittin’ pretty in the middle of all those other shellicious shells, did you?

Sanibel boy sea cucumber

James with a sea cucumber

In with the shells, came live SEA CUCUMBERS, STARFISH and a few SEA URCHINS. James was a good sheller and gently returned this live sea critter to the water to help it survive. What a cutie!

seashells from sanibel

My shells from today

I’m sure you can identify most of these shells but I’m especially tickled by the bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN and the little candy HORSE CONCH. There is another shell I’m also pretty tickled with but it’s broken. It is the second one down on the right side…….it’s a CARRIER SHELL! I didn’t get a good shot of it so maybe I’ll show you tomorrow if I can get a good picture. Don’t know all the other names all of the shells above? Try looking at my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. Good luck ….. Tag! You’re it! I’ve now passed my good luck from finding that CRUCIFIX SHELL today on to you. Have fun.

Finding seashells on Sanibel

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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When It Rains, Make Shell Crafts

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Decorate with shells, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, seashell decor, Tusk Shell, Urchin | 15 comments

Shell Fair Seashell mirror

Shell Fair Seashell mirror

We finally got some much needed rain this morning to water the plants and to refresh the island. Whenever it rains, I get excited about doing an art project since I know I’ll be inside all day. I revisited my photos from the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show to get inspiration and a few ideas… then I realized… I never showed you most of the winners from the craft division of the show.

Blue Ribbon best flower arrangement hobbyist

Blue Ribbon best Seashell flower arrangement hobbyist

Can you see how this artist made the cacti? SEA URCHINS with TUSK shells poking out of the holes! What a fabulous idea to use TUSKS as thorns. I love creative people.

Sharon Thomas first place

Sharon Thomas blue ribbon

Take you time and browse through the rest of these magnificent works of shell art.

Blue Ribbon Hobbyist Lucy Ann Read

Blue Ribbon Hobbyist Lucy Ann Read


Deborah Yamin Second place winner

Deborah Yamin Second place winner

This one by Deborah Yamin is simple yet so elegant. Look at the OPERCULUM leaves.

Blue Ribbon Hobbyist Leslie Anding

Blue Ribbon Leslie Anding, Hobbyist

I love boxes of any kind and this one is especially sweet, isn’t it? I bet Leslie self collected those little WENTLETRAPS and ARK shells. I met her at the beach last year looking for those shells and BABY’S EARS on post Mixed Shell Bag.

Brandy Llewelyn shell fair winner

Brandy Llewelyn blue ribbon winner

I also met Brandy Llewelyn last year looking for mini shells at the lighthouse.

Blue Ribbon Elaine Alvo

Blue Ribbon winner Elaine Alvo

This is an adorable mermaid with her SEAHORSE and seashell treasure chest.

Blue Ribbon Hobbyist Victoria Ross

Blue Ribbon winner Victoria Ross, Hobbyist

Blue Ribbon single stem hobbyist Donna Carey

Blue Ribbon single stem hobbyist Donna Carey

Blue Ribbon Tyler Schoenherr

Blue Ribbon for Tyler Schoenherr

Have you gotten inspired yet? Well, I kind of went in a different direction. Instead of getting inspired to make shell crafts, I got inspired to do more posts about shell art and crafting so we will know what to do with those beautiful shells we bring home. But for now, the sun has come out …. so off to the beach to try to find another interesting shell or two.

Leanna Sherrill blue ribbon

Shell Ladies by Leanna Sherrill -blue ribbon

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Zippy Mini Seashells Video

Posted by on Mar 26, 2011 in Cantharus, Conch, Cownose Rays, Horse Conch, Periwinkles, Ribbed Cantharus, Sanibel, Tusk Shell, Zippy Mini Seashells video | 15 comments

Miniature seashells aqua

Miniature seashells

These are just a few little minis that we found along the beach in the tidal pools at low tide on Sanibel. Obviously they are empty without their original inhabitants. Sometimes after the mollusk dies and leaves the shell empty, another creature takes up residency…. HERMIT CRABS! Check out this short video of these little mini shells inhabited by tiny crazy hermit crabs zipping here and there.

They are so cute, aren’t they? I just love seeing that little WENTLETRAP running around! heehee Here are a few more we found that didn’t have any live creatures inside them that we were able to bring home. Please remember, do not take any shell with a live animal inside it. It’s not fair to kill them and it’s against the law here in Lee County.

Orange Ribbed  Cantharus

Orange Ribbed Cantharus

Tusk shells aqua

Tusk shells

tusk shell on aqua

Single tusk shell

baby horse conch shells

Baby horse conch shells....Candies!

Periwinkle seashell

Periwinkle seashell

While Clark and I were walking along the surf line looking for minis, we had a fella that swam along us for quite some time…

Cownose ray in surf

Cownose ray in surf

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ABCs Of Alphabet Cones

Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 in ABCS of Alphabet Cone Video, Alphabet Cone, Cone, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show | 14 comments

Eileen Rob alphabet cone

I doubt you recognize this APLHABET CONE ….. but I posted a picture of this seashell in February. This is the same gigantic gunked up CONE in my post The Alphabet On A Cone Shell that filled “shelling sistah” Eileen’s hand. Here’s the “before” picture…..

Fist size Alphabet cone

It cleaned up pretty nicely, huh? I joked that this ALPHABET CONE was so big it probably spelled the whole alphabet on it. Did you know sometimes the patterns on them really look like letters?

word on alphabet cone

I have proof that each letter of the alphabet has been found on these shells from a display by Amy and Bill Tripp at this year’s 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show. Check out this video from the Shell Fair in March (and then I’ll show you more photos)…….

It is so much fun seeing all those letters! Thank you Amy and Bill for making such a great display for those of us who love, love, love ALPHABET CONES!

Robert and Eileen Sanibel shellers

So after all that, guess who I saw on the beach visiting from PA again! Robert and Eileen…. looking for more CONES.

shell digger

He was so smart by digging around this buried crab trap near Sundial Beach Resort hoping to find another monster shell. There are lots of good shells that roll up and get stuck near any buried objects. He didn’t find a big CONE but he did find TULIPS, MUREXES, OLIVES and CONCHS.

purplish tagelus seashell Eileen

She found this perfect PURPLISH TAGELUS. They aren’t rare for this area but I always think they are a very nice find.

Low tide local shellers

We also ran into long time Sanibel locals Sarah and JB looking for beach treasures. Sarah is showing off a beautiful PAPER FIG she found. 

Sanibel locals Sarah and JB

Sanibel locals Sarah and JB



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