Archive for July, 2011

Jul
29

Sanibel 6 At Blind Pass

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Lisa Sanibel six seashells

We finally got down to Blind Pass last night just in time to catch the -0.1 low tide. As usual, the beach has changed since a week ago when we were there last and the sand bars have shifted. The best thing was… more shells! And I met  Shelling Sistah Lisa (a Virginia Beach girl too!) with her blue shell bag filling up with The Sanibel Six and more like a TURKEY WING and some sweet KITTEN’S PAWS.

Lisa Blind Pass Sanibel

 Lisa’s husband Eric (they are both teachers- love those teachers!) was doing just as well…

Eric with Sanibel seashells

Eric told me he found something “a little different” ….. he found a beautiful NUTMEG!

Eric nutmeg seashell Sanibel

 I also met Denise and PC from Savannah, GA with…. yep, the Sanibel Six along with TURBANS and more plus a WORMIE!! I was surprised to see there were a few WORM SHELLS out there too ;).

Denise PC Sanibel

Then the sky started turning dark and the storm was getting closer. I know, look at all those larger shells on the beach! They were mostly PEN SHELLS, cracked FIGHTING CONCHS and DOSINIAS.

Sanibel beach stormy sky

 And look what the backhoe pulled up in one scoop! An ALPHABET CONE and a TRUE TULIP! That was the last hurrah. We headed off the beach before the storm got any closer.

Alpha come tulip

Most of you probably don’t use Twitter but I sometimes enjoy a small tweet or two….. especially yesterday when I got this tweet from @Lifesabeach that said “What we found at Blind Pass yesterday”. This photo was attached ( you can click on it to go to her photo page)…..Yowza!

Lifes A Beach shells

photo by Lifesabeach

Okay I have one more thing….. I need to be serious just for a second. It’s about the strong currents and rip tides that occur often at Blind Pass…. especially with the tidal changes. It can be very dangerous! Really! Think about it….the same water that can sweep all of those shells to the shore in a matter of minutes can sweep a person out into danger. Just please be smart and careful(even if you are a strong swimmer!) if you feel a strong current, undertow or rip tides- go shell on the beach or just she shallow water. Okay, I want to leave you on a good note so go back and look at all of Lisa’s shells in the first photo so you can smile again!

Shellers in gulf

 

Jul
27

The Rewards Of Social Shelling

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Baby with shell bucket on Sanibel

Is there anything cuter than little kids collecting shells on the beach? Little Bella from Ocala was the first person I saw when I got to the lighthouse beach yesterday evening so I knew it would be a fun night. And it was…. because then I met newlyweds Bryn and Nathaniel who love to shell together so much that Nathaniel proposed to Bryn with a JUNONIA shell! Now that’s love! Congratulations to you!

newlyweds on Sanibel

Then I found out that she was the daughter of Robin from my post back in April Smiles For Seashells . She was there too and found a really nice size BABY’S EAR. I love that happy smile!

Robin with babys ear

Robin’s close- up BABY’S EAR…..

Baby's ear Sinum perspectivum

Then Robin told us where the real action was. In the water. Sheri from Texas found a shellovely LIGHTNING WHELK by sittin-n-siftin in the shallows at the tip of the lighthouse beach.

Gulf lightning whelk Sanibel

This Texan gal found her state shell! You see she was prepared with her trusty garden claw for digging.

Sheri lightning whelk

We dug around out in the water too and found all but the TULIP in the Sanibel Six ( the OLIVE didn’t make it in the photo).

dark Fighting conch

So in the midst of our socializing, Clark and I were WENTLTRAP-ing and found a little DUSKY CONE along with a little candy and lots of good WENTLETRAPS.

wentletraps found on Sanibel

 Instead of the sky being black with rain clouds last night, there was a beautiful, colorful swirling sky right over the lighthouse…. magical.

swirling sky about Sanibel lighthouse

PS- I’m trying to get into the “cool” blogger club (not really such a thing… or is there? Like Groucho Marx said “I don’t want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member” heehee) so I’ve added a few social buttons below each post to finally get into the internet world of 2011. You can now “Like” a post for Facebook, tweet this post if you have Twitter, if you have a google account (gmail) you can hit the +1 (Google’s answer to the  “Like” button) or you can submit it to StumbleUpon. I would be grateful if you clicked any of them! We can be the cool kids together… wait, we already are- nothing gets cooler than the hanging out at the beach!

 

Jul
26

Ramblings and Rumblings of Sanibel Summer

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Donax beach access Sanibel

I can hear the rumbling of a summer storm nearing my house this very minute. My first thought  …. no beach for me in the next few hours. My second thought….unplug the laptop! I don’t want any power surges to fry my little coconut telegraph to the world.

Dark clouds gulf

In the past few days, I haven’t spent much time on the beach since we’ve had so much thunder and lightning with our rain showers and the wind has been coming from the east (not great for shelling). So instead of rambling on about what I’ve been up to the last few days….. oh wait, I will tell yall about my new purchase since yet another camera experienced a slow death on a salty beach of the islands.

Sanibel beach path wg6

It’s just a point and shoot type camera because obviously, I can’t be trusted with a really expensive high quality camera any where near sand- ugh. It’s another Panasonic (like I had before) I bought at Costco but it’s got a few new bells and whistles in this newer model DMC-ZS10.

Clark orange sky on beach

We went to West Gulf Drive on Friday to try the new camera out and so Clark could inspect the area the Carla found her JUNONIA.

old conch beached

There were still a few small shell piles of SCALLOPS and CLAMS in the wrack lines but caught in some of the grasses, I found this fantastic old surf worn HORSE CONCH I’ll use for a yard shell.

Shelling with buckets

We saw a few other shellers but not many buckets filled with goodies. I did see a lot of people with fishing poles.

Sanibel fishing  dark sky

I saw this one guy pull up a FIGHTING CONCH with his toes while he was fishing. Double duty!

Sanibel shelling fishing

Right after I took this picture, I heard a clap of thunder to let me know it was time to get off the beach.

Sanibel fishing

I’m pretty happy with the new camera but I hope I didn’t whine ramble too much today about the isolated storms and about my bad luck with cameras wearing out too quickly (I’ll spare you from the other broken “appliances” stories from the weekend too).

shells on gulf beach

But no worries! I was able to upgrade my camera and feel fortunate I could get it for a fair price. It’s also typical  that summer storms will happen on a tropical island. The good news is …. there is no doubt there will be sunshine and happy shelling right around the corner that I will be able to share with you through pictures on my new camera!

Clark walking surf for shells

 

 

 

Categories : Sanibel
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Jul
22

A Junonia For The Heart

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Carla's junonia

Carla's junonia

Well, how do you like that? I know yet another thrilled beach comber coveting another JUNONIA prize this week…and you know her too! I just introduced her to you as the Sanibel Seeker in my last post- Shelling Sister Carla Knotts! She found it on the beach half way covered by a COCKLE shell near Blue Dolphin Cottages off West Gulf Drive. She said it wasn’t in the water and it wasn’t near the wrack line, it was in between on a sand bar that was showing at low tide. If you look at the seventh picture down on my last post Cone Queen, Sanibel Seeker and Golfer Of The Sea, you’ll see that area I’m talking about… it’s on the right hand side of the photo.

Carla with Junonia Sanibel

Carla with Junonia Sanibel

I am so tickled for her. When I met her on the beach the other day, her eyes almost swelled up with tears with joy after telling me what Sanibel means to her. The moment she starts to drive over that causeway to see the island, she tried to explain the emotion that comes over her. It was meant to be that she found her special treasure. As I told Carla congratulations, she smiled at me and pointed to the sky and said “Yep. Thanks to my mom!”

Carla junonia aperture

Carla junonia aperture

 

Categories : Junonia, Sanibel
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Wendy Alphabet cones Sanibel 7

All eleven of these ALPHABET CONES were found within four days of shelling this week along Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive by Wendy from West Palm Beach, FL. Talk about an eye for shelling! And she even found another one that wasn’t in that bunch. I’d say she is the CONE QUEEN.

Wendy alphabet cone

She found these FLORIDA CONES and COLORFUL MOON SHELLS too!

wendy cones and moons

But even when she isn’t lucky enough to find all of these CONE shells, she is still having fun picking up other shells with her friends to use as embellishments. Love this- they strung these shells around her straw hat. So cute!

Wendy seashell hat

Yes, that hat is awfully cute, but these hats just stole my heart! LaDonna, Carla and Belinda were all sporting their iLoveShelling caps when I saw them on the same beach. Weehooo! Shelling Sistahs!

Lighted shelling sister caps

We had the best time chatting it up when I spotted something pretty nice in Shelling Sistah Carla’s shell bag (you might recognize her name from her comments- Carla Knotts!). She found an excellent LIGHTNING WHELK.

Carla lightning whelk sanibel

She said she was happy they were already finding lots of shells but even happier just be on Sanibel. It holds a special place in her heart and I could see she wanted to capture every second on that beach and never let it go. She’s not just a shell seeker but a Sanibel seeker.

beach combers sanibel 7

Then I ran into our local friends Dick and Mary…..

mary and dick sanibel

They look like they have golf clubs, don’t they? Belinda said Dick looked like he was the “Golfer of the Sea”. It would be appropriate since Clark plays golf with him every Sunday and both admitted they were better shellers than golfers.

Golfer of the sea

The Golfer of the Sea found a pretty nice SHARK’S EYE….

Dick's shark's eye

I was tickled when they introduced me to Ernest Hemingway! Errrr, well, he looks like Papa anyway….. and has even won a look-a-like contest in Key West.

Hemingway look a like

Tom, Linda, Dick and Mary

It was an amazing day yesterday off beach access #7 to find so many shells but the best thing was to meet many new friends and to see a few old ones too (and I dont mean in age! LOL).

fighting conch family

Fighting Conchs

 

Red True Tulip Sanibel 7

Red True Tulip

sun in aqua sky

 

Jul
19

Gifts Of The Sea

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Worm-shell-painting-byMelinda-Henderson-300x300

I started collecting WORM SHELLS on my first trip to Captiva in 1997 when Clark and I first met. We would comb the beach every morning and about every twenty steps or so I would find a WORM SHELL, pick it up, showed it to Clark and laugh at the crazy twists and turns it made in each curl. I didn’t care at all if it was broken or not, after giggling at it’s pattern, I put it right in my bag. After Hurricane Charley in 2004 those twisted shells got stirred up and showed up on the beaches by the handful so Clark and I kind of got obsessed with hunting for them. I think we were thought to be a little wacky by our friends after we came home one day with a bucket full of them. For some reason, the WORM SHELL got “no respect” in those days! The Shell Museum didn’t even have one on display at that time. 

Worm shell painting byMelinda Henderson copy

I have plenty of WORM SHELLS  now that we’ve collected through the years and they still make me laugh. But today, I got JENNY CURL WORM SHELLS that have touched my heart very deeply….. in a piece of art by Melinda Henderson. This is what I saw on my front  porch….

Package at the door

Ooohhhh! I package for me!!!! Did I order something I forgot about? Hey, it was from Melinda! Clark and I met Melinda a year ago on the beach while she was collecting her beloved “Jenny Curls”. I introduced her to you on my post Jenny Curl Worm Shells and told you her story. If you didn’t read the original post, you should. Just click on the post title I just wrote.

Inside package melinda

The moment I opened it, I was astonished. She told me the picture inside is of the Jenny Curls she found on Sanibel last July and that one of the Jenny Curls with the curly tops in the picture was one that Clark gave her.

worm shell painting

She did this amazing picture with digital photography. “I really enjoy this kind of art work…it’s call digital photography. I use the computer to manipulate and enhance a photo by applying different media art forms (water color, dry brush, palette knife, etc.), and then add color, shadowing, texture for added character and personality.”

seashell painting

It is so beautiful, I found the perfect home for it one top of a piece of furniture I painted years ago that has the same colors she used. Along with my new Jenny Curl picture, I have other treasures…. the QUEEN CONCH given to us by the shellacious MurexKen, this beautiful piece of PIPE ORGAN CORAL given to us by our dear Sanibel friend Phil (He used to have the shop “Ile Crocodile” on the island, remember that?) and seashells sent to me all the way from Australia by my blog friend Prux of Flotsam Friends.

Display of seashells with painting

I have to show you the close up of the Australian shells and “flotsam”. These are the kinds of pieces that Prux collects from her beaches to make her sweet Flotsam Friend dolls she blogs about. I should get the names of these shells and do a post on Australian shells this summer, right?

Shells from Australia

With all of the special treasures so close together, it warms my heart beyond words. Thank you all for the best gifts of all…… gifts of the sea.

Whelk in sand