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

Cyber Shelling Bivalves

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Blind Pass, Cross Barred Venus, Kitten's Paw, Sanibel, Transverse Ark | 8 comments

Kitten paws

How could anyone think KITTENS PAWS aren’t cute?  It was like it had rained KITTEN’S PAWS yesterday since there were so many on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva. Here’s a cyber shelling photo so you can virtually pick through the piles and find some yourself. Enjoy!

Bivalve cyber shelling

 Also mixed in were hundreds of TRANSVERSE ARKS

Transverse Ark shells

 Oodles of CROSS BARRED VENUS clams…

Cross Barred Venus

And a few LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS clams mixed in too…

Lady-in-waiting venus

I would say that the KITTEN’S PAWS, CROSS BARRED VENUS and the TRANSVERSE ARKS are the most common shells on Sanibel but I’m still not convinced what the top six commons shells are. I just loved seeing so many LADY-IN-WAITING VENUSes mixed in too, I wanted to show you those. They are so pretty and I normally never pay attention to them. When I don’t have a lot of time, I need to stay out of the sun for a bit or we are having lots of scattered showers, I just like to stop by the beach for a short time and enjoy all of the shells that I seem to neglect the rest of the year. Most of the shells in this next photo are all bivalves…. they did not let me neglect them this time.

Blind Pass with shells board

PS- I have no idea how that board got there. I guess it washed up?


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As The Sanibel Sky Terns

Posted by on Sep 27, 2011 in Black Mangrove seed, Blue Crab, Mangrove seed pod, Parchment Worms, Sandwich Tern | 15 comments

The sky Terns Black

The Sanibel sky turned black with rain clouds and turned white SANDWICH TERNS soaring by. The sky was such a beautiful back drop for them.

Terns in the black sky Sanibel

There were ROYAL TERNS and LAUGHING GULLS joining in on the fun too.

Sanibel lighthouse with birds

We didn’t stay on the beach long since that sky looked a little frightful and we weren’t seeing loads of shells other than this cute little LACE MUREX (or lacie), a few WENTLETRAPS and minis.

Lace Murex on Sanibel beach

Up high on the beach was a wide wrack line of what I call “beach bling”. Yes, I made up the phrase! Here’s my definition…. Beach Bling: noun– (beech-bling) 1. anything that washes up on the beach other than seashells. 2. Collectable and/or noncollectable debris washed up on any shore.

Sanibel Beach Bling

Doesn’t “Beach Bling” even make PARCHMENT WORMS sound better?

Parchment worms

More Beach Bling in the wrack line like BLACK MANGROVE SEEDS which are the little split green lima bean looking things in this next photo…

Black Mangrove seeds

…and the RED MANGROVE SEED PODS mixed in…

Parchment worms, red mangrove seed pods, mangrove seeds

This baby BLUE CRAB shell would fall into this category too…

young yellow blue crab

 But still the best thing to watch was the beautiful birds soaring and swirling in the stormy sky. They definitely stole the show

Sanibel stormy sky with gulls

sandwich terns Sanibel lighthouse


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Mingle With Jingles

Posted by on Sep 25, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Fighting Conch, Jingle | 22 comments

Black jingles display

Seashell treasures come in all sizes and colors that can be overlooked so easily. I had to remember that because I was only finding lots of broken shells and live shells this weekend but not the Sanibel Six or anything close. Then I realized that the beach was looking a little different…. a bit darker. I looked a little closer to see there were gobs of JINGLES washing in but instead of being the usual white, yellow or orange (my fave), they were the black ones.

black jingle shells

They look like deep, smokey gems to me so I went a little crazy picking them up.

black jingles on green

This is how many live FIGHTING CONCHS there were at low tide…

Live fighting conchs west gulf

fighthing conch shells sanibel

Clark found a live white FIGHTING CONCH. This might be called an albino even though it’s got a little color.

albino fighting conch

But maybe I should just call it albino-ish.

albino fighting conch aperture

Even though I found lots of broken shells, I found a really good broken shell… piece of a LION’S PAW.

piece of lion paw

That still doesn’t come close to the beautiful ALPHABET CONE that 9 year old Zenith (MN) found. Congrats Zenith!

Zenith with cone shell Sanibel


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Sanibel Random Rainman Still Life Photos

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in Sanibel | 20 comments

rainman photo

I told yall I got a new camera last month. It has a touch screen- why I need a touch screen, I have no idea but it has one.   I’m loving my new camera….but it does this funny thing.

Under Sanibel Pier rainman

My camera is so sensitive, that if I dont turn the camera off when I’m walking it takes random photos without me knowing it.

Sanibel fishing pier rainman

 It was irritating at first when I loaded the photos into my computer because I had to delete so many right away. But now, I’m getting really tickled with the shots that it is taking.

rainmanside view

 Didn’t you love the end of the movie “Rainman” when he took those random photos out the car window ? For some reason I loved that… the random street photos.

rainman beach

So that’s why I’m sharing these cool random photos of my beach walks. I’m calling them my Sanibel Rainman Beach Still Life photos.

sanibel rainman still life

 It’s like a little tiny slice of life that we overlook until we capture it in “still”.

Sanibel rainman cup

 I’m so happy I’ve learned to look at these photos and smile instead of feeling like they are a waste of time and computer space.

rainman still life sanibel

 I feel like I learned another lesson in the art of shelling.

Sanibel beach access rainman

Don’t forget to look for and enjoy the less obvious.

Rainman pic

rainman rt shadow

rainman water

raiman pam

Clark rainman

PS- My camera is a Panasonic DMC-ZS10.

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Tips For Decorating Your Yard With Seashells

Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in Conch, Decorate with shells, Mangrove seed pod, seashell decor, Whelk | 31 comments

Seashells in planter dmm

Decorating your yard with seashells is just as much fun as decorating the inside of your home with shells. I showed you how our friends Dick and Mary decorated the inside of their house (Tips To Decorate Your Home With Seashells) but now, hold on to your boot straps because the outside of their home is just as fabulous.

Urn with seashells dmm

They pick up all of those big beautifully broken WHELKS and CONCHS to fill their outdoor urns and pots to decorate their poolside patio. They look maaaw-vilous! That’s exactly why we pick them up too and call them our “yard shells”.

poolside seashell vessels

You don’t have to always put plants into your “planters”. You don’t have to water shells! Well, except if you want to make a vase out of a HORSE CONCH.

seashell flower vase

And you don’t always have to put tools in the toolbox. Put seashells here too.

seashell tool box dmm

Okay, are you ready to see the “seashell garden”? It is a 22 feet long area filled with shells they found on Sanibel. I can’t even imagine how many WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES…. oh you name it, it’s in there.

row of seashells dmm

seashells by pool dmm

Here’s a view looking straight down and I’d say this was a typical view of the different shells. Unbelievable, right?

seashells in the yard

They dry the shells after they wash them outside in a somewhat shaded area. This was a new batch they found.

seashells drying

In the last month, we have had an unusual amount of MANGROVE SEED PODS wash up on the beach. Mary decided to bring a few home to see if they would root. Three weeks later, they are sprouting.

Mangrove seed pods sprouting

 Now let’s move into the garage where they store and organize all of the other shells and beach bling they find before it gets placed in the yard or house. Only in my dreams, could I be this organized. And before you ask… Yes, this fine cabinet is in their garage.

seashell cabinet

Their sand is even organized.

organized beach sand

 They both were laughing and couldn’t wait to show me this jar of beach combing oddities. Yep, they found a kid’s retainer in the surf and picked up to add to their collection of oddities. LOL

beach combing oddities

 I hope you enjoyed the visit with Dick and Mary as much as I did and hopefully you got a few more ideas of what to do with your shells you find. In case you missed Part One showing the inside of their house… CLICK HERE

horse conch on table dmm




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