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

Rosy Days at Blind Pass Captiva

Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Blind Pass, Rosy Wolf Snail | 17 comments

seashells captiva beach

 The shells at Blind Pass have shifted from the Sanibel side to a huge beautiful pile on the Captiva side because of a few days of northwest winds earlier in the week.

Blind Pass Captiva May 29 2012

 It was like old times watching the shells roll up in the surf only to quickly fall back in the Gulf playing catch me if you can. I thought I caught “the big guy” when I saw the tip of this JUNONIA right on top of the pile. Dang! The whole back end was gone. Oh well, he’s still pretty.

junonia top captiva

 I did find a prize when I met Candy and her sister-in-law Angela. I am soooo tickled they are in their iLoveShelling tank tops! Awww- so cute.  Thanks you guys!

candy angela seashells captiva

 Talking about cuties… Jordyn and her mom Lisa were enjoying sifting through the big shell pile too.

jordyn, lisa shelling captiva

They had started filling up their shell bag with the SANIBEL SIX. They got the hardest one to find… the CONE but still needed the TULIP (I think the WORMIE makes up for the TULIP!).

shell bag captiva florida

Then Jordyn held out a shell that they said they couldn’t identify. I looked at the shell and had to laugh. No! I didn’t laugh at them… I laughed because Tricia Gorman had just posted (2 days ago) on iLoveShelling Facebook page a “mystery shell” she found at the Sanibel lighthouse. It was the same shellIt’s a land snail but for some reason the name of it always escapes me.

rosy wolf snail shell

So since I can never remember the name of it, Holly Giehler identified it as a ROSY WOLF SNAIL. Yes, that’s it! Holly, you have got an eye! Remember her? She was the first one to guess where our Thailand CONES were found too. So thanks to Tricia, Holly, and Jordyn I don’t think I’ll ever forget the name of this land snail that sometimes washes up from the Gulf Of Mexico on our beaches. It’s a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (Note to self: remember this!).

rosy wolf snail aperture

Although we had more lines of SEAWEED than usual washing in with the waves and shells, the Gulf was a brilliant blue with shades of aqua and green highlighted with creamy white caps coming in from the north. I captured just a few seconds of this on video. Enjoy the wind, water, waves… and shells! (oh, and please ignore that big splash on my lens. geez. I got a little too close!)

FYI- Dredging will start at Blind Pass beginning next week and run through August to open up the pass. When they start pumping the sand on to Bowman’s Beach… there could be shells, people! Click HERE for details.

FYI #2- More Thailand pics coming soon. (but don’t worry! I’ll keep you posted on Southwest Florida beaches too)

seashell beach southwest florida


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Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 3

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Operculum, Thailand, Thailand Trip, Turban Operculum Shiva Shell | 39 comments

spotted tun thailand

These are Super Sheller Clark’s prized possession seashells he found on our trip to Thailand… not one but two SPOTTED TUNS !

clark tun shells thailand

Within minutes of getting to the east side of Ao Nang in Krabi, he found these bad boys several feet away from each other high on the beach in the weed line.

spotted tun on thailand beach krabi

We had seen broken pieces of them throughout our trip but were afraid we wouldn’t find them as a whole shell on the beach since they are so fragile. Wrong! They are in great shape!

spotted tun- Tonna tesselata

 I found out the word “tun” means wine jar or wine cask. This seems fitting because Clark looked like he wanted to throw a party right there on the beach and drink wine right out of these guys to shellebrate!

clark tun thailand

 We got them home safely and I’ve already displayed them in a white washed wooden bowl with some other pieces we found on our trip.

thailand seashells coral display

 I didnt want any other shells competing with Clark’s new babies so I chose to display them with some other sea life we found on the Thailand beaches. I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to bring CORAL back into the United States from other countries. I just learned that from Susan H who posted that on my last post– OOPS!  Too late- sorry, CITES! Well, At least I feel good about not taking too much- only a few pieces from each beach…It was so hard to choose which pieces of CORAL we were going to bring home but this is what we ended up with…

thailand coral phuket krabi

 These are the biggest OPERCULUMS (SHIVA SHELLS) I’ve ever seen! I would have loved to see the TURBAN shell that these came from. Geesh! The biggest one is 3 inches wide…

turban operculums 3 inches

The first time I picked up one of these, I yelled to Clark… “I found the biggest stinkin JINGLE you’ve ever seen!”. Haha Then I realized what it was… a CAPIZ SHELL. I used to have trays and dishes made out of these shells. I’m sure you have seen these in some kind of home decor but it’s really cool to find them on the beach.

Placuna placenta capiz shells

 I threw in a few of the AUGERS (or TURRETS) we found to give my little display a different texture and balance (heehee) so Clark’s SPOTTED TUNS would have a beautiful resting place to be shown off.

thailand tun seashells coral display

Although this day of finding these two gorgeous shells on a beach Thailand will be a memorable day for both of us, I’d like to recognize this Memorial Day for remembering the men and women who died while serving to protect our country. As we traveled foreign lands just last week, I experienced peace in the world because of the bravery of our fallen heroes and those currently serving in our military. A toast from our TUNS to all who serve.

Spotted Tun with coral thailand

PS-  I took back that Nikon J1. All of my photos are still with my trusty Panasonic.

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Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 2

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Thailand, Thailand Trip | 88 comments

Vijitt resort Phuket Thailand

 Thailand is called The Land Of A Thousand Smiles but they could have boasted that it was The Land Of One Thousand And TWO Smiles while we were there.

Rawaii Beach Phuket Thailand

It had everything we love… beautiful beaches, palm trees, warm weather, unbelievably nice people and of course… seashells.

sea cookie krabi thailand

 With a trusty map in hand, we searched high and low on every beach to find a few goodies. Between the two of us, we found the key and unlocked the Thai treasure chest containing lots of seashell loot. Go ahead…click on the next photo to enlarge to see all the shells scattered on the beach. Cyber Shelling!

beach seashells Thailand

Trying to identify all of these shells is a bit more time consuming and tedious than I expected. But! The fun thing that we realized when we were finding most of our shells… was that we basically knew what family each shell was a part of. “Hey Clark! I just found this beautiful SUNDIAL!”. And he’d shout back… “Look at all these COWRIES!”. So now I get to show YOU!

Hey y’all! Look how beautiful these SUNDIALS are!

Indo Pacific Sundial seashells

Look at all of these different COWRIES!

indo pacific cowrie shells


Marginella seashells thailand

 So many varieties of TOP SHELLS…

indo pacific top shells thailand

 We loved finding these little LIMPETS and FALSE LIMPETS.

Thailand limpets Indo Pacific

 I love this little tiny LIMPET but in my research found that it looked more like the FALSE LIMPETS (that’s as far as I got with the research on these guys)…

tiny striped limpet thailand

 I know I’ve already showed you some of these SEA COOKIE SAND DOLLARS but they are so darn cute I think you might have to look at them on every Thailand post. I can’t get enough of them!

sea cookie sand dollars thailand

See? Already I have to show you how itty bitty this one is…

tiny sea cookie sand dollar

 The AUGERS we found are huuugah! Most of them are around 3-4 inches long.

thailand auger shells

 These are some of the CONCH shells we found… well I assume they are all in the CONCH family but I could be wrong. There are just so many different species! I’ll try to identify them later. Cuties, right?

andaman sea conch shells

 Clark is dieing for me to show you his 2 major finds but I still haven’t gotten good photographs of them yet so that will be my next post. I promise, Clark! Next post!  ;)  … จนกว่าจะแล้ว (Until then)

top shell thailand

cowries thai

thailand auger shell

marginella thailand

thailand beach

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There’s No Place Like Home On Sanibel

Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, Live Shark's eye, manatee, Manatee Video, Pear Whelk, Sand Dollar, Shark's Eye, Thailand Trip | 26 comments

low tide sanibel lighthouse

 I love to travel… but more than anything, I love to come home to my beautiful island of Sanibel. Sanibel is like getting to finally sleeping in your own bed or taking your first good breathe of fresh air.

alphabet cone lighthouse clark

Yep. Super Sheller Clark found this beautiful ALPHABET CONE last night at the Lighthouse beach. We just couldn’t wait any longer to see our own contented beach. Clark was looking at this CONE like it was a long lost friend.

live kings crown

 I was enjoying all the signs of a beautiful life on our islands. I picked up this gorgeous KINGS CROWN (above) then realized it was full of life and health so I was happy I scooped up so much sand with “him”. He went right on his merry way when I put him gently back where I found him. The Gulf of Mexico was so full of life! I found a live SHARK’S EYE too…

live shark's eye

 There were lots of live PEAR WHELKS too…

live pear whelk

 And live KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS. Did you notice I put the whole common name of this SAND DOLLAR? Sine we found those cutie tiny SAND DOLLARS in Thailand, I’ve been trying to figure out what type they are… when I realized that I’ve never said which ones ours are that we find here in SouthWest Florida. KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS!

live Sanibel sand dollar


live lightning whelk

In the next photo of this same LIGHTNING WHELK, I wanted  show you how much lighter the other side was but do you see that little string on my left hand ? While on our trip to Thailand, we were blessed by a Monk who wrapped this string with a knot around our wrists. I was told it was called a “spiritual line” and we are to wear it until it falls off and not to cut it off. It is for good luck, good health and to remind us every day that today is special so live it that way. I immediately thought of those strings I used to tie around my finger to remind me to do something. So every day now when I look at this string on my wrist I am reminded that today is a gift.

live lightning whelk lighthouse

 We even saw MANATEES wallowing in the shallow water just a few feet from us. Talk about a welcome home! Oh I love this place. Check out the video…

I hope the spiritual line this Buddhist Monk blessed us with rubbed a lot of luck onto these full of life MOLLUSKS and SEA LIFE to live an even longer healthier breeding life.

blessed monk

PS- I’ll show lots of more photos of Thailand soon!

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Our Adventures Of Collecting Seashells In Thailand – Part 1

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Thailand, Thailand Trip | 40 comments

Phuket beach thai

Pinch me! We spent our shelling vacation in Thailand! Yes… Thailand! I think if you started digging a hole on the beach of Sanibel and continued through the earth, you’d end up on a beach in Thailand…the other side of the planet.

Thailand travel map

We spent most of our beach time on the south end of Phuket, Thailand in an area called Rawaii.

coral island dock thailand

 We, of course, couldn’t wait to scour the beaches to see what kind of shells were there!

sea shell on rock thailand

 I love these little tiny SAND DOLLARS…

thailand sand dollar

We found such a variety of unusual shells (unusual for us, anyway)…

phuket thailand seashells coral

 We took one of those beautiful longtail boats out to Bon Island and Coral Island.

inside longtail boat

longtail boat bon island

 Now I know why they call it Coral Island. Wow! So much beautiful coral.

coral island thailand

 ..with a few gorgeous shells mixed in.

dolphin shells thai

 Well…ahem… more than just a few gorgeous shells. I found lots of them!

coral island thailand shells

 But once again, Super Sheller Clark found CONES!

clarks coral island thailand

 He found them by snorkeling right along the shoreline…

snorkeling coral island thailand

Oh no. I’m crashing with jet lag again (30 hours of traveling with 2 hours sleep…did I mention an 11 hour time difference?). I’ve got to take this in short spurts for a few days to get caught up with sleep, mail, phone calls, work, laundry and cuddling with the kitties ;).

But one more thing for today….I have to thank Captain Brian for filling in and writing such great posts while we were gone. It was so much fun to have him as a guest blogger, right??? He also had a little guessing game on the Where is Pam? post asking if you could guess where we found these shells. Here’s the photo that was posted…

vaca shells 1

We have a clear winner! Holly Barth Giehler!

She said “Is it Thailand? The rock “islands” in the distance look like those that were in some of the pictures a friend of mine had from her recent vacation there.”

Then she wrote back and said “It was actually Krabi, Thailand that I was thinking. That’s where a friend of mine was earlier this year and it’s also where part of the movie, “The Hangover 2″ was filmed (the beautiful scenes at the resort where the wedding took place).”

OMG Holly, you had it pinned! The photo of the cones was taken about 10 minutes away from that hotel (the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton) where they filmed that movie! Congrats! I’ll send you a few shells that we brought home! But wait, getting back to the “Hangover 2” movie, of course we had to go have a drink to check it out.

hangover head quarters

 Next up…. more Thailand shelling in Phuket and then on to Krabi! And I’m going to try to identify some of these cool shells too so you can see them up close and personal. CLICK HERE to see more of Thailand!

long boat thailand



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