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

Collecting Colorful Seashells In The Gulf

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Florida Cone, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Jewel Box, Shark's Eye, Uncategorized | 33 comments

seashells in a hat

Mother Nature has been providing lots of gifts from her sea this week! Not only did she give us all the Beach Bling on the east end, we were finding some excellent shells off West Gulf Drive west of Tarpon Bay Road this weekend.

Super Sheller Clark Rambo

 In the water at the shoreline, Clark found a few ALPHABET CONES, colorful juvie HORSE CONCHS, SHARK’S EYES, dark colorful LETTERED OLIVES and BANDED TULIPS, a double CALICO CLAM and a double ALTERNATE TELLIN.

seashells sanibel seashore

 I was shelling the nice piles on the beach…

gulf coast seashells

 I found this sweet little pinkish FLORIDA SPINY JEWELBOX…

Florida spiny jewelbox

 And 6 sets of pink and yellow ALTERNATE TELLINS. Here are two of them…

alternate tellin butterfies


horse conch candy shell

 Just in case you didn’t catch it in the first photo, take a look at how pretty and dark orange this FLORIDA CONE is. Clark found this just as we were about to leave the beach. It’s my fave shell of the weekend!

florida cone in hat

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Beach Bling Is A Wonderful Thing

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Bones, Dosinia, Egg Casing, Flame Box Crab, Horse Conch, Lighthouse, Middle Gulf Drive, Pen Shell, Purple Sea Urchin, Sea Cucumber, Sea Whip, Skate Egg Case, Stone Crab, Turban | 27 comments

beach bling flotsam sanibel gulf

If you want to learn the types of seashells, sea life, vegetation and what the different kinds of mollusk egg cases look like and live in the Gulf Of Mexico, you’ve got your chance this week. It all washed up on the beach on the East end of Sanibel.

beach bling flotsam

You can see it for miles. So many mollusk egg casings and PEN SHELLS galore!

mollusk egg cases Sanibel Florida

MERMAID PURSES! Well, they are really SKATE EGG CASES…

mermaid purse skate egg

HORSE CONCH EGG CASINGS (I shot this with the Nikon J1)…

horse conch mollusk egg case


mollusk egg casings beach

Lots of CRABS too. This one is a STONE CRAB…

stone crab sanibel florida

My friend Jane called me and said she found a dead crab shell on the beach that had a NAUTILUS  shell pattern. She has found a NAUTILUS before so she would know! Wanna see? CLICK HERE . So I went to see this crab…and it does have that pattern! It’s a FLAME BOX CRAB…

box crab jane

I also saw lots of SEA WHIPS. This was the first time I’ve ever found a WHITE SEA WHIP…

white sea whip

We normally just find the purple SEA WHIPS but when I went to see Jane’s FLAME BOX CRAB she showed me this bright yellow WHIP she picked up as well.

purple yellow sea whip

There were oodles of PURPLE SEA URCHINS also ( J1)…

purple sea urchin on seashells

I always get questions about the bones on the beach. They are from the bait in the crab traps… not random dead carcasses. LOL

beach bone flotsam

I also get a lot of questions about this guy on the left. It’s a SEA CUCUMBER…

sea cucumber sanibel

Don’t worry, I saw lots of shells too. Mainly, the double DOSINIAS.

Cyber Sheller Alert! This next photo is really big so you can do a little shelling and blinging…

dosinia sea shells sanibel cybershell

Looking through all this BEACH BLING, there are little treasures that look like this so you have to look closely…

turban horse conch shells

Some goodies were still washing in at the shoreline as well…

scattered shells south florida

The big find was by Seth (FL)! He found this huge HORSE CONCH on the sand bar near Donax Rd. Here he is with Erin and Reese…Erin Seth Reese

See? BEACH BLING is a wonderful thing… (J1)

beach bling flotsam jetsam

PS- Some of you know I’ve been testing a new Nikon J1 camera. It isn’t very spontaneous but when I do catch a nicer shot than with my spontaneous, trusty, easy, clear Panasonic DMC…. I’ve noted it.




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Always Meeting New Shelling Friends

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 in Uncategorized | 21 comments

Jaclyn in sanibel sunset shells

Sanibel’s Blind Pass has been so much fun the past week with high winds from the west pushing in the seashells.

Sanibel six plus moon wormie

I’ve met so many nice shellers enjoying every minute of their seashell treasure hunting.,,like Patty (VA) who found a nice piece of JUNONIA!

Patty junonia shell

She and her friend Cindy (MD) said they met so many cool shellers too and were thrilled with all their finds.

Patty Cindy sanibel shells

Some of the shellers they got to meet were Kathy and Paul (Utah) who are back in town. In my post Junonia Necklace  I showed Kathy with her wire wrapped JUNONIA she made. I’m sure she gave Patty a few tips on making her JUNONIA piece into a beautiful necklace as well. Here they are again!

Kathy Paul sanibel shells

They found some beauties. Two gorgeous SHARK’S EYES, their TRUE TULIP had amazing color and I wish you could see how purple their APPLE MUREX was in person.

kathy seashells

Kristy and Dave (MN) found some spectacular goodies as well.

kristy dave mn shells sanibel

Look how dark those KINGS CROWNS are… and with nice spines! I know, the ALPHABET CONE ain’t so bad either, huh?

kristy dave seashells sanibel

Kathy (NY) was working that shell “backhoe” nonstop.

kathy NY cheryl ft myers

She put back quite a few live FIGHTING CONCHS but eventually found a few empty ones she could add to her shell bag.

blue mesh shell bag

 I saved the best shellers for last. Now how cute are these little girls! Sisters Maddie and Gillian from Ontario were so excited about their seashells they collected  and identified each of them by name.

maddie gillian Ontario

 Maddie told me that earlier in the week she saw a SEAHORSE on the beach that had lost his breath so she put him in the water to see him come to life again. She saved a SEAHORSE like Carol in my Saving A Sanibel Sea Horse  post! They are so special so good job Maddie! Here are some of the shells she and Gillian had just found…

maddie's seashells sanibel florida

 The shelling should still be really good the rest of the week so don’t worry if you are coming in for the weekend. Happy shelling!

shelling sanibel turner beach

sanibel shelling turner beach

colorful moon sky

seashells sanibel sunset

sanibel shells sunset


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Leg Breaking Extreme Shelling Caught On National TV

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 in CBS Sunday Morning, In the News | 36 comments


pam rambo extreme shelling

Shelling on Sanibel was featured on CBS Sunday Morning today! And I made the cut!!! Waaahoooo! After you see the segment, I’m sure you will have questions about that crazy woman pictured above. I promise I will explain but first you have to watch CBS correspondent Bill Geist “shell out” this fantastic piece on our beloved island of Sanibel and her seashell treasures. (Click on the video to get it to show up -sorry I’ll try to fix it- but come back here to read the rest of the story.) Still can’t see it? CLICK HERE

Wasn’t that fabulous? Okay, yes, that crazy lady who talked about breaking her husband’s leg was…. ahem….. me. Bill Geist had asked me if I was an extreme sheller. Hmmm. Me? Where do I start? Then the leg-breaking incident popped into my head.  Before we lived on Sanibel, Clark and I came for vacation to shell the beaches just like most of y’all. The first morning out on the beach, we had a little fun competition finding shells. At one point when I was doing the Sanibel Stoop, Clark gave me a little push so I lost my balance and fell in the sand. We laughed and laughed at being silly shellers but then I planned my attack. He was wading in the shallow water, when I decided to take my “shell revenge” ;). I guess I was too obvious since he dug his feet into the sand to keep his balance when he saw me make my move for his shell. Unfortunately, he dug his feet in too deep (See? It wasn’t completely my fault! LOL) and I caught him at the wrong angle to push him out of the way. His body spun side ways but his leg didn’t. His shin bone snapped in a spiral break that sounded like a gun shot. I know… awful, right? I felt so badly! That was probably 17 years ago and as most of you know, he healed just fine and it didn’t slow Super Sheller Clark down when it comes to finding shells. So now you know the rest of the story.

Thank you Sujin, CBS and Bill Geist for coming to Sanibel to show the world why we, they, y’all and …… i Love Shelling!!

shell sun cbs

Bill Geist and Pam Rambo

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Ever Changing Blind Pass Sanibel

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Blind Pass, Blind Pass Video, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Rough scallop | 29 comments

baby alphabet cone sanibel bp

It sure feels good to find an ALPHABET CONE again! I’ve been stumped finding the SANIBEL SIX lately so I was excited to find this baby within a half hour of arriving at Blind Pass Sanibel yesterday evening for a somewhat low tide at a .4. I still didn’t find the SANIBEL SIX though since I couldn’t find a TULIP that was in good enough shape but I’m subbing that bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN on the right as a good find to be very happy.

collecting seashells bp

See how that sand bar has moved right to the beach now? You never know what to expect the beach to look like until you walk out and see if for yourself. Always a surprise.

tidal pool sanibel blind pass

The tidal pool was loaded with live FIGHTING CONCHS …

live fighting conchs shells tidal pool

On the other side of the tidal pool, shellers were lined up along the shoreline to catch the seashell loot washing up to the beach.

sanibel shellers row

I met so many cool shellers like Joe and Kerry from Sebastian, FL…

Joe Kerry sebastian Fl shells

..and Karen and Steve from Michigan…

karen steve michigan shelling

Karen found two gorgeous bright orange CHESTNUT TURBANS.

orange chestnut turban sanibel

Here are Tim and Mary Ann (NY) showing off Mary Ann’s cool shell sifter.

Tim mary Ann NY spiny jewelbox

I think the prize of the evening was Tim’s incredibly large FLORIDA SPINY JEWELBOX with attached valves. It’s terrific!

spiny jewelbox

Anna (West Virginia) was tickled pink as she filled up her strainer with shells.

Anna West Va shell basket


shell bucket strainer

Bob and Johnnie (TN) were on one of the shell piles searching for minis.

Johnnie bob TN shell pile

And they found them! I loooove this tiny little lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP…

lemon pectin scallop

They found some other colorful cuties too including a sweet FLAT SCALLOP…

colorful mini shells

It was a fabulous night meeting so many nice people and seeing the shell piles on the Sanibel side again.

egg cases seashells

 I needed a break from that stupid camera any way. No, I didn’t take any of theses photos with the J1 and by the word “stupid”, I think you can tell I’m still frustrated with it ;( . Anyway, I took a quick little video with my trusted little Panasonic DMC-ZS6 to pan the beach to show you exactly what it looked like and how the beach has changed…. yet again. Oh, and sorry about the sound. The wind noise is horrible but oh well, I just wanted y’all to see it any way.

UPDATE! Set your DVRs and Tivos for Sunday morning!!!

I forgot to mention the Sanibel/seashell story I spoke in my about March 1 post should be airing this Sunday, April 22nd on CBS Sunday Morning.We don’t know exactly when the segment will air, but the show is on 9 – 10:30am (EST) and Bill’s pieces usually run towards the last half hour of the show (10-10:30 Eastern). The disclaimer is that this is TV, and anything can happen – so it is confirmed best to all of our abilities.

seashell collecting florida

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