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

Sanibel Seashell Update: Blind Pass to Lighthouse Beach

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in Flat Zigzag Scallop, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Long-Spined Urchin, Sanibel, Shark's Eye, Sunsets, Worm Shell | 22 comments


seashells of Sanibel

In the last couple of days, the seashells have been rolling in with the surf at Blind Pass Sanibel and a few so far at the lighthouse too. The above photo of a sampling of what we found so you can enjoy virtual shelling ASAP if you can’t be here right now. So go ahead…. click on the photo above and I’ll wait for you so I can show you the rest of the photos. (whistle, hum, whistle….la, la, la….)

Okay, you ready for the rest?

Look at the first photo on the bottom left part of the pic. You see where the yellowish color meets the greenish water? That’s that drop off I was talking about yesterday and where we found most of the better shells (like my ALPHY). This was at Blind Pass Sanibel Sunday afternoon.

Blind Pass beach Sanibel

Then the water was receding with the low tide and they started washing up on the beach….

shells at Blind Pass

Dayna from Sanibel (I’m sorry if I misspelled your name! My notes disappeared) with her big catch of the day… a huge HORSE CONCH. And her daughter!. Congrats!

Dayna with horse conch

horse conch seashells sanibel

Mindy from New York was specifically looking for collecting KITTENS PAWS.

new york mindy seashells

There were oodles of them along with COCKLES and JEWELBOXES….

kittens paws

Oooooh, I found a FLAT!

flat scallop sanibel

Then we walked the beach by the lighthouse last night and found the PEN SHELLS and double DOSINIAS were littered along the shore. That’s a great sign for great shelling to come! The PEN SHELLS are the first ones to get dislodged out in the gulf after a rough seas so this could mean great shells will wash up the next few days.

pen shells dosinias sanibel


lightning whelk corner

This teeny tiny baby crab was alive and crawling around on this very cool old SHARK’S EYE. Can you believe the color?

baby crab on sharks eye

This LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN was still alive so he went gently back into the water.

long spined sea urchin in pen shell

I met 2 great gals from Kentucky looking for WENTLETRAPS Sharon and Renee (friends of HL!). I think the had been picked over by someone else but we still found about 10 wentles and lots of other goodies.

Sharon Renee sunset sky

Goodies like this fabulous WORM SHELL Clark  found…

worm shell sunset

We are having a very dark, rainy day with rumblings of thunder predicted all day so I’ll just wait another day to go shelling and another night to see skies like last night on the beach. I couldn’t decide which photo I like better so I’m posting both.

Sanibel pier sunset reflection

watercolor sky sanibel pier


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Barefootin’ With Shelling Sistas

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 in Bonita Beach, Gopher Tortoise, Jewelry, Lion's Paw, Mexico, Rocky Point, Sanibel, Shark's Teeth, Tulip Egg Case | 24 comments

shell and palm tree

It sure was a roller coaster weekend… literally.  Hurricane Irene was rolling along the coast wreaking havoc and causing lots of trouble. My family and friends in Virginia Beach are fine (some with no power still, but fine) and I hope you and yours that were in Irene’s path are okay as well. I spent most of my time glued to the weather channel wrenching my hands so I took a 45 minute drive to Bonita Springs on Saturday to meet my Shelling Sistas Carla and Kelly at Barefoot Beach for some well needed shelling time. The welcome wagon was there to greet us in the form of a GOPHER TORTOISE…

gopher tortoise Florida beach

He was even so friendly to hang out with Kelly for a bit. How cute are they!

kelly disney barefoot beach

The tide was pretty high when we started our treasure hunt but there’s always something fun to find on the beach.

Barefoot beach high tide

Carla spotted a couple of SHARK’S TEETH and fossil piece of a mouth plate to a PUFFER FISH….

carla shark teeth

I only found one little SHARK’S TOOTH but was happy to find any!

sharks tooth bonita

Carla came across this PEN SHELL with such a colorful EGG CASING attached to it. It looks like a beautiful flower blossom!

seshell egg case

I am a little confused which egg sacs these are because of the color but I think this maybe a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE that just was formed. Take a look and see what you think. I’d love a positive I.D. so if you can help, please help us learn what it is. Here’s a closer look at this beauty….

colorful mollusk egg case

Carla walks this beach probably as much as I walk the Sanibel beaches so she has a keen eye to find the goodies like the SHARK’S TEETH, EGG CASES and this perfect empty LACE MUREX …

carla lace murex

Did you notice her necklace? Yes! She found that big honkin tooth and made a necklace out of it like she did for the oh-so-cool piece of sea glass she gave me. I love it Carla!

Carla Barone seaglass

Kelly was soaking in the beauty of the day every second….

kelly in the surf

I was thrilled when she brought seashells she found from Puerto Penasco, Mexico (aka- Rocky Point) to share. Thank you Kelly! Now remember, these are shells from Mexico NOT Florida…

seashells from Rocky Point Puerto Penasco

Seashells from Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco, Mexico)

I didn’t get a picture of all her treasures our day on Barefoot so she sent a photo of her shells from the day…

kelly disney shells

I know these don’t look like great shells to most, but these were my favorite finds on Saturday- CORAL, WORMIE, SHARKS TOOTH, a piece of a LION’S PAW (!), a tiny OLIVE with beautiful color and pattern and a SEA PEARL.

beach treasure

Since I was so distracted by Hurricane Irene, I didn’t get to show you another shelling sista I met last week on the beach in Sanibel. It was so nice to meet you, Desiree! I love your hat!

Desiree sheller

She said she bought a cheapy hat and embellished it using hot glue with shells she found on Sanibel. She said it was a snap to make since the ribbon was already there to glue the shells to. It’s the simple things that make life fun, isn’t it?

Desiree shell hat

I have some pictures of Blind Pass from yesterday evening at low tide that I won’t probably get to post until tomorrow but it’s just an FYI…. there are shells there. You have to look in the water right at the edge of the small drop off. Good luck! In the mean time, enjoy a few more pics of Barefoot Beach…

Barefoot beach at high tide

shell in the tree

shells on branches

shell rose


Barefoot Beach map


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Road Trip To Honeymoon Island Florida- Part 3 Finale

Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Atlantic Fat Tellin, Honeymoon Island State Park, King's Crown, Lucine, manatee, Mermaid Money, Pass-A-Grille Florida, Pennsylvania Lucine, Sand Dollar, White Crested Tellin | 20 comments

Honeymoon Island bench

In my first 2 posts about our weekend trip to Honeymoon Island State Park, I showed you some cool treasures we found like TURBANS, MERMAID MONEY, AGATIZED CORAL GEODES, rock art and a variety of shells… but wait! I still have a few more things I want to show you. Like the biggest KING’S CROWN we’ve ever seen! Clark found this live mollusk on the bay side of the northern tip of the island.

Live kings crown shell honeymoon island

Of course we put him back where Clark found him after peaking at this awesome creature…

live kings crown aperture

We saw a MANATEE! It’s always a bonus to see them so close to the shore and this guy wasn’t shy at all so came up to say “hi”…

manatee honeymoon island florida

On our walk back we found 2 SAND DOLLARS along with some of the other shells…and remember, it’s a 5 mile round trip- whew! I even wish we had taken more than the 100 fluid oz. we packed for the “hike”.

Sand dollars honeymoon Island Florida

On Sunday, we decided to take the scenic drive back through Clearwater Beach down to Pass-A-Grille since we heard the shelling was good against the jetty rocks. Nuttin, Honey. All I found was my butt busting on a rock after I slipped on an unsteady chunk of the jetty. Ouch!

Pass-A-Grille jetty rocks

Pass-A-Grille jetty rocks

I met a nice couple a few years ago in my shop Kirby Rambo Collections (Clark sold it for me in 2004… 4 weeks before Hurricane Charley. Talk about timing!) who showed me a bag of WORM SHELLS they collected on Fort De Soto beach. I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since so we stopped there too while passing through St Pete.  We didn’t find much there either but that’s okay. It was fun to just walk the beach and see the lay of the land. Just like I tell people that visit our beaches….. the shelling changes every day on each beach. There could have been hundreds of WORM SHELLS there the day after or before we walked it. It’s the hunt that makes it fun!

Fort De Soto beach

Fort De Soto beach

When I was sorting through our shells when we got home, I found a few bivalves that we had collected on Honeymoon Island that were a little unusual. It might not be so pretty but this ATLANTIC FAT TELLIN which should be called the bent tellin because it has an obvious bend in the middle of it.

Atlantic fat tellin

I think you can see the bend a little better at this angle…

Atlantic fat tellin Leporimetis intastriata

Shelling Sistah Moira showed me a facebook photo last week of this same LUCINE shell in the next photo. The closest thing I found at Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is the THICK LUCINE….. but it looks more like a worn PENNSYLVANIA LUCINE to me. I found the same shell on Honeymoon too….

Pennsylvania Lucine Thick

Here’s the inside… some people wouldn’t think this is too pretty but for identification purposes, I have found that the interior of the shell is just as important to identify it correctly as the exterior.

Pennsylvania Lucine inside

I also found a very worn WHITE CRESTED TELLIN.  It’s the first one I’ve ever found.

White crested tellin worn

So now that I’ve shown you all of our treasures from our weekend getaway, I thought I’d throw in a few places we enjoyed other than the beaches. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures but we both loved the little town of Dunedin (pronounced  dun-E-din). It’s one of those quant little village-y areas with funky art studios, sweet gift shops and really good restaurants and bars- most with live entertainment so you can just wander around before and after dinner to enjoy the town. Our fave restaurant was a place called Kelly’s Chicaboom- awesome! We also loved this tiny restaurant/fish market called Olde Bay Cafe at the marina.

Old Bay Cafe Dunedin Florida

We had a wonderful time exploring another gulf coast town of Florida that offers some beautiful and different gifts of the sea but it was time to head back over the Sunshine Skyway…

sunshine skyway

…to get home to our little island paradise of Sanibel. Home Sweet Home!

rainbow palm tree



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Road Trip To Honeymoon Island- Part 2

Posted by on Aug 24, 2011 in Agatized Coral Geode, Fossil, Honeymoon Island State Park | 21 comments

rock the horizon

The beach on Honeymoon Island State Park is filled with rocks all along the gulf side until you reach mid island so it was fun for us to see such a different landscape meeting the water. I was especially thrilled to see creativity at it’s best! Anthony from Oldsmar, Florida designed this beautiful piece of beach art that I have named (because of the first photo) “Rock The Horizon”.

Anthony rock art oldsmar

We also found more cool rocks….. fossil AGATIZED CORAL GEODES which are Florida’s state stone (who knew we had a state stone?).

geode rocks Honeymoon Island Florida

These stones are around 25 million years old and the Tampa Bay, Florida area is rich with them.

found agatized coral on beach

 Similar to finding shellers on Sanibel, I found a rocker on Honeymoon. Rebecca from Clearwater comes out to the island on the weekends looking for GEODES.

Rebecca agatized coral geode

 Look at this one she found. I’m starting to understand why these are so fun to collect….

agatized coral geode

This is the tip of a rock that I found embedded with lots of tiny crystals.  Romans thought AGATIZED CORAL to have great healing powers.

agaitzed coral crystals geode

 Look at all of these gorgeous patterns and colors.

sandwiched agaized coral geode

agatized coral nodule geode Florida

geode Honeymoon Island Florida

Florida geode agatized coral black

Florida geode agatized coral nodule

 Along with the TURBANS and SHIVA SHELLS I showed you on Road Trip To Honeymoon Island- Part 1, we also found a nice variety of shells along with the rocks. Can you identify most of these shells? (click on the photo to enlarge)

florida west coast seashells

And you know I loved finding my minis…

miniature Florida west coast seashells

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of “Road Trip To Honeymoon Island- Part 3” coming to your computer screen soon. ;) heehee

Oh and BTW, I got a photo from our friends Dick and Mary who were shelling off West Gulf Drive beach access #7 yesterday. This is great news for good shelling this week.

dicks Shell 8-22-11-1

Dicks Shells  8-22-11-1 copy








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Road Trip To Honeymoon Island Florida – Part 1

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 in Honeymoon Island State Park, Operculum, Sanibel, Shiva Shells, Sunsets, Turban, Turban Operculum Shiva Shell | 41 comments

honeymoon island text

Summer Road Trip! Clark and I wanted to take a quick weekend getaway to celebrate our 15th year wedding anniversary (!) so we hopped in the car on Friday night and headed north on I-75 with no reservations and no time restraints. We first heard about Honeymoon Island at the Sanibel Shell Fair and Showa few years ago so we set our radar for somewhere  in that vicinity. After a 2 1/2 hour drive, we ended up at the Best Western Yacht Harbor Inn in Dunedin, Florida just in time for sunset.

Sunset Dunedin Florida

After a big breakfast Saturday morning and a 10 minute drive, we were ready to seek and explore Anniversary Island…. whoops…. I mean, Honeymoon Island.

Honeymoon Island map

 Unfortunately, there’s only parking on the south side of the island but we wanted to get to the north tip…. so we started our beach combing journey 2.5 miles to the north tip and right away found CHESTNUT TURBANS in between the rocks.

turbans on rocks honeymoon island

And more Turbans…..

Turban seashells Honeymoon Island

This is only a pittance of what we found and we could have brought home a gazillion…

Chestnute turbans honeymoon Island

 Since we were seeing oodles and oodles of these TURBANS, I started looking for their operculums called SHIVA SHELLS or CAT’S EYES or even called  MERMAID MONEY. Capt. Brian told me about them last month so I figured since all the signs were there, we’d find them…. and we did! This is what they look like…

Turban operculum cats eye shiva

 Once we got the eye (no pun intended- ha!) for them, they were everywhere. Can you find them in this next picture? Click on the photo if you want to enlarge it for virtual SHIVA SHELLING…

virtual shiva shelling

 They look like albino split peas to me and just about the same size averaging about 3/8 of an inch.

cats eyes shiva shells

Cats eye shiva shells

 Here’s a photo with a TURBAN so you can see the size a bit better…

Turban Mermaid money

 Pretty cool, huh? I have so much more to show you so this is just Part One of our weekend trip because I can’t wait another second to tell you who won the Susick Sea Shell Sifter ! …….Drum roll Please!

The random winner of the Susick Sea Shell Sifter GiveAway is Kelli G.! Congratulations Kelli G and thanks to all of yall for your comments to enter!

Coming Soon-  Road Trip To Honeymoon Island Florida – Part 2

Honeymoon Island Florida beach




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