I’m a nosey sheller. I’ve had a habit of peering into the shell bags of Sanibel and Captiva shellers for quite some time. I’m just curious as to what other beach combers are finding, what they pick up and what their favorites are. I, of course, ask them most of the time if I can look at their collection but if a bucket is just sitting there on the sand……well, it’s fair game to look inside it, right? Just to be clear- I just look, I don’t touch any body else’s shells before asking… that’s a no-no.
In this next photo… HORSE CONCH, BANDED TULIP, ALPHABET CONE, LIGHTNING WHELK, LETTERED OLIVE, APPLE MUREX.
After many years of looking in shell bags and buckets (including looking at our collections too, of course), I’ve tried to narrow it down to the over all SIX favorite shells that most people collect on Sanibel. Yes, it was hard to narrow it down but I left a little room for interpretation…. like CONCH could be the FIGHTING CONCH or the KINGS CROWN CONCH. MUREX could be APPLE MUREX or LACE MUREX and so on. I didn’t want to add the JUNONIA since it’s not a shell that most people can find on a week’s vacation (that’s part of the Elite Three!) . I really wanted to name six shells that could actually be found on a week’s shelling vacation using the different variations of these shells. Of course the CONE shells will be the hardest to find- but that’s what makes it so much fun… the hunt!
So this is how I made up the phrase “The Sanibel Six” ….
There was a huge shell pile still there. People were filling up buckets and bags with OLIVES, MUREXES, TULIPS, WHELKS and CONCHS. Three people I talked to said the shelling on Wednesday was fantastic (Darn! I had jury duty- ugh) at the very same spot but the only difference was that they were finding CONES.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to join the fun with “shell chatter” (definition: shouting out to anyone around you “Hey! I just found a BANDED TULIP!” or “Whoa! I just found a piece of JUNONIA!) but I wanted to let you know what the shelling was like yesterday afternoon and what people were finding.
“THE SANIBEL SIX”!
This is another version of the Sanibel Six…
BANDED TULIP, LETTERED OLIVE, FLORIDA CONE, APPLE MURES, FIGHTING CONCH, LIGHTNING WHELK
This would be a version of a top shelf Sanibel Six…
TRUE TULIP, GOLDEN OLIVE, ALPHABET CONE, PEAR WHELK, CABARETS MUREX, KINGS CROWN CONCH
And another version of Sanibel Six with the DUSKY CONE as a different variation of the CONE shell. It’s so much fun to come up with different versions! If I had only found a little RICE OLIVE on the evening I found these… it would have been a very cool Mini Sanibel Six version.
I did contemplate adding the NUTMEG and MOON snails but don’t seem to see them as much in bags. Lots of my faves didn’t make it since most people don’t collect them.. ie- WORM SHELL and WENTLETRAP. And it seems most people don’t get as excited about the bivalves either. I’d love to hear what you think the SANIBEL SIX would be.
Okay, you got me, this wasn’t actually Sanibel, it was the Captiva side of Blind Pass but Sanibel is the one known for shells and “Captiva Six” didn’t sound so cute. ;)
To see where lots of the Sanibel Six are found, go to SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page and click on the pictures.