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

Sea Hare Raising Experience

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Sea hare, Sea Slug, Shark's Teeth | 17 comments

tiger shark tooth fossil

I’m not sure if I’ve ever found a fossil SHARKS TOOTH at Bind Pass before….But my fossil-hunting buddy Susan (Sanibel) found one there! I think she can pluck out a fossil on any beach!

tiger shark tooth

 This was a pretty nice size TIGER SHARK TOOTH she found in the wrack line on the Sanibel side. Can you make out the serrated edge on the tooth on the pointed side?

susan tiger sharks tooth

 Louise ad Debra (Maine) found lots of shell treasures including a really nice ALPHABET CONE…

Sanibel Louise Debra Maine

Another Shelling Sista Susan and her husband Gary (Maryland) found two big LIGHTNING WHELKS out on the sand bar.

gary susan shelling shirt

Congrats! These babies will clean right up with sharp pick and a little bleach.

2 lightning whelks gary

My fave find of the day was this sweet little baby KING’S CROWN…

kings crown juvie

Oh wait! I take that back. This would be my favorite….We saw a SEA HARE at Blind Pass! It was a SEA HARE raising experience. heehee

Sea hare nudibranch gulf

 I made a video for my post See A Sea Hare (check it out- you can see pictures of the ink squirting out) a while back but I wanted to show it to you again just in case you missed it.  Enjoy this funny little creature…

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Shelling Day Trip From Sanibel To Bonita Beach

Posted by on Mar 27, 2012 in Black Skimmers, Bonita Beach, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, In the News, Little Hickory Beach, Mossy Ark, News Press Coastal Life, Sandwich Tern | 15 comments

Little Hickory Bonita FL

 This past weekend we drove 35 minutes from Sanibel to Little Hickory Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida in search of seashells.

Little Hickory Florida shells

 Walking north to the pass from the public parking lot (a bargain price of $2 for 2 hours) only took about 15 minutes to find loads of FIGHTING CONCHS.

bonita florida seashells

 After a few minutes more, Clark found a SAND DOLLAR…

sand dollar bonita florida

 I couldn’t get over how many MOSSY ARKS were washed up on the beach mixed in with a few pieces of CORAL and my fave of all faves… WORM SHELLS! They were only tips of WORMIES but any piece is a good piece in my book.

mossy ark coral worm shell

 I don’t think I have ever seen so many MOSSY ARKS in one place on any beach before so I gathered a few together to show you exactly what they look like.

Mossy Arks

I know, I know…. not the prettiest of shells but I don’t see them all that often on Sanibel so I was intrigued with them.

Mossy Ark bivalves

 Did I read your mind and know that it reminds you of another shell? It looks like  the TURKEY WING! The TURKEY WING and the MOSSY are both ARK shells so they are very similar but unfortunately, I think the MOSSY ARK got the short end of the stick when it comes to looks. ;( Here’s a comparison so you can see them side by side. The TURKEY WING is on the left…

mossy ark turkey wing interior

 Oops! I switched them in this next exterior photo, the MOSSY ARK is now on the left in this photo. You can now see how similar they are!

mossy ark turkey wing

 We had a wonderful day walking the beach and seeing different shells and the beautiful SANDWICH TERNS  and BLACK SKIMMERS…

sandwich terns black skimmer

 Along with the SAND DOLLAR, sweet Clark gave me a yellow DAISY that he found on the beach…

clark rambo flower

We weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the beautiful day in Little Hickory…

young child on beach shells

 Okay, while we are on the subject of Bonita Beach, I have to show you an article about that was published in Coastal Life magazine of the News Press. Weehoo! Click on the logo to read it!

News-press Coast Life logo

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Shelling On A Sanibel Sand Bar

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Blind Pass | 17 comments

sanibel shell bag evelyn

There are swarms of seashells on the sand bar at Blind Pass Sanibel.

sand bar shells

I took my first steps on the beach this morning then spotted shellers on the sand bar with shell bags busting at the seams. It wasn’t even a really low tide! It was a 1.36 and usually this sand bar doesn’t start showing until it gets down to a .5 or lower so this was a nice surprise.

collecting seashells sanibel

Wading back to the beach with the seashell loot wasn’t too bad either.

wading water seashells

Evelyn (Delray Beach, FL) was thrilled with her shelling victory.

Evelyn shelling sanibel

Along with FIGHTING CONCHS, COCKLES and WHELKS, she found a SCOTCH BONNET! Great find, Evelyn! Congrats!

Evelyn Scotch bonnet shell

We’ve seen this sand bar change so often, haven’t we? It has built up slowly but I haven’t found the collecting to be as productive in the last months as it has in the past……until this morning! I shot a quick video just to show you how long the sand bar is now and how many people were shelling on it.

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Melinda Graham’s Seashell Wedding Dress

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Decorate with shells, Main Sail Video Productions, Melinda Graham | 20 comments

seashell bride with umbrella

This wedding gown embellished with seashells would be any bride’s dream come true.

beach bride with umbrella

seashell wedding dress captiva island florida

Artist and interior designer Melinda Graham made this stunning dress for the 2012 Shellabration fashion show celebrating the 75th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show earlier this month.

beach bride sea shell dress

She painstakingly sewed and glued shells, beads and pearls for an extraordinarily elegant silhouette.

bride seashell gown hair piece

Her artistry in every detail is phenomenal.

wedding seashell bodice

I’m in awe of how beautiful she and the dress are in this back drop of Sanibel and Captiva.

captiva island seashell gown


bride on captiva rocks

Melinda made flower girl dresses embellished with seashells to complete her bridal collection.

beach wedding sanibel captiva


coastal wedding seashells

Laura and Valya were seashell princesses of the beach.

flower girls shell dresses

flower girl seashell dress

I was tickled to tag along on a photo shoot at Captiva’s Blind Pass beach with friend and producer Ilene Safron of Main Sail Video Productions as she and her team filmed Melinda for a national television segment. I have no idea what this shoot will be for or when it will air but I’m sure Nancy will let us know when she has details (fingers crossed!).

captiva beach photo shoot

It was a day to remember with Nancy from Lee County VCB, Melinda, photographer Doug, Tracy (from Main Sail Video as well) and Ilene.

film crew captiva

 These talented folks have a lot of fun!

lee visitors bureau photo shoot

It was a beautiful day for Melinda to share with her mom as well.

melinda graham with her mom

melinda graham with her mom

To see her dress on display on Sanibel, stop by Melinda’s beautiful retail shop inspired by the sea called Surroundings.

melinda graham seashell

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Shells And Smiles

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Baby's Ear, Broad Paper Cockle, Junonia | 18 comments

broad paper cockle sanibel florida

I’ve been trying to remind myself not to ignore the BIVALVES in search of “CONES and JUNONES” (as my friend Rob calls them) so when I saw this BROAD PAPER COCKLE on Sanibel I smiled as big as the gulf. We just don’t have many in our collection so it’s nice to find something different.

broad paper cockle interior beach

Alicia (St Louis) and Lamont didn’t ignore the BIVALVES. They were enjoying every moment of collecting the riches on the beach of Sanibel’s east end with smiles from ear to ear.

sanibel scallop alicia lamont


alicia seashells sanibel

The wrack line was loaded with all of the shells…

seashell wrack line

 There were a few BABYS EARS mixed in there too…

babys ear seashell sanibel

 Throughout the last couple of weeks I’ve run into shellers as crazy as I am about shelling. Rob was proudly wearing iLoveShelling Junonia and Lions Paw Club buttons he made. How cute! And so was his smile too.

rob with buttons

 Smiling Carol and Terry are showing off their shelling love too!

skip & vicki 3-5-12 010

I saved the best for last with Janet and her huge smile showing off her first JUNONIA she found on her birthday in February. Congrats to you Janet!

janet junonia

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