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

Snorkeling Sanibel’s Out Islands

Posted by on Jul 29, 2012 in Angel Wing, Conch, Horse Conch, Lion's Paw, Live Sand Dollar, Nutmeg, Sand Dollar, Sargassum, Snorkeling Video | 31 comments

boat beach seashell

We spent hours boating from Fort Myers Beach to the outer islands of Sanibel this weekend. I felt like we were on vacation! The first island we pulled up to I found this nice sized WENTLETRAP…

north cap wentletrap

It was resting in a nest of sea weeds and SARGASSUM.

wentle weeds

Okay, I’ll fess up. Clark and I weren’t really looking for WENTLETRAPS but it was a nice surprise. We were actually looking for a LION”S PAW. “Why”, you ask? Because we wanted to find this LIONS PAW’s brother or sister…. or better yet, the granddaddy!

brian lions paw

It’s a beauty, right? Did you see that all of the knuckles are in tact? Saweeeet! Captain Brian found this awesome LION’S PAW on Cayo Costa on Friday. Is this a happy face or what! Congrats Brian!

captain brian lions paw

So we looked high and low for even a piece of one…

island clark shelling

While on Cayo Costa, we met Anna (Indiana) shelling the beach with a bag full of shells tied to her walking stick…

island sheller Anna

She had a beautiful collection of shells ranging from SAND DOLLARS to that excellent yellow HORSE CONCH.

anna shell collection

Now who wouldn’t be happy with this collection? She found ANGEL WINGS, TRUE TULIPS, TURBANS, a NUTMEG, SHARK’S EYE, LIGHTNING WHELK and a cute twisted WORMIE.

anna seashell arrangement

Clark found one of these live ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLARS floating in the current then saw the other one close by. We have found dead ARROWHEADS before but neither of us has ever seen live ones like this. They are beautiful! Clark put them back in the water right after I snapped this photo to keep them nice and healthy.

live arrowhead sand dollars

Well, we didn’t find  LION”S PAW and the water clarity was a little cloudy but after seeing so many SAND DOLLARS, I put on my mask and snorkel to see what else I could find in the water. Take a few good breaths and get used to the water so you can go on my snorkeling vacation with me. Here we go!

PS- Next post I’ll show you lots of MANATEES that we saw this weekend! I love those SEA COWS!


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Calico Scallop Color Name Game

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Calico, Scallop | 51 comments

calico scallop sea shells

 Each day I’ve been to the beach this week, I look down to see CALICO SCALLOPS. Every shell bag that I peeked into… I saw CALICO SCALLOPS in every color of the rainbow. So I started picking them up too only to get obsessed by analyzing the amazing colors and patterns… then naming each one like every crayon in a box of Crayolas or those cute names they come up with for nail polish colors these days.

Okay, like this one is…

Sanibel Sunburn. See? Haven’t you looked like this at least one time on Sanibel?

Sanibel Sunburn Scallop

 Remember I showed you what the sky looked like last week? This was an easy one… Sanibel Sky

Sanibel sky scallop

 Cold Captiva Creamsicle On A Hot Day…

Captiva creamsicle scallop

I’m Plum Happy…

I'm plum happy scallop

 Sunset Serenade… ( okay this one needs some work)

Sunset serenade scallop

 Girl’s Night Red Wine

girls night wine scallop

First Day Vacation Sunrise…

Vacation Sunrise scallop

Summer Smoothie…

Summer smoothie scallop

 Fiesta Party Nachos…

fiesta picnic scallop

 I’m On Island Time…

Island Time scallop

  Orange Juice With A Splash Of Cranberry On The Rocks

sunbeam scallop

Beach Bon Fire (But since it’s illegal to have a bon fire on Sanibel I think we should call it the… Illegal Sanibel Beach Bon Fire. Ha!)

beach bon fire scallop

 Now this last one really got me tickled. It’s seems like this SCALLOP started out with lots of color power to keep up with the Joneses…. and the First Day Vacation Sunrises…. and the Summer Smoothies but decided just regular old plain was good enough for him (or her). So I couldn’t decide on a name.

How about … Sleep Late. or Lazy Days. or I give up (No really, LOL the name “I give up”.  or Uncle. Plain Yogurt?

You decide!

Lazy Days scallops

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Precious Things Come With Small Shells

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Calico, Horse Conch, Olive | 11 comments

boy with seashell

I don’t find large WHELK or CONCH shells every day I go out shelling on Sanibel… but I always find something precious.

dallas seashells

It’s always fun to share those precious treasures to see if anybody else might enjoy them as well.

addison seashell beach

Some times it’s the small things I see that makes my day… like these sweet little gems.

seashells in shell

These precious kids inherited their love for shells from their awesome grandmother, Shelling Sister Betty Jo. Her son Spencer is getting married this week on Sanibel so she got to enjoy a beautiful day collecting seashells and memories with her whole family. From left to right… Spencer (the groom), Dallas, Katie (the bride!), Hunter, Suzanne, Sheila, Frank, Mary Jo (recognize that cutie shirt?) Addison,Dayton, Kelly and Stephen. Okay, precious things come in bigger sizes too… like this big beautiful shelling family.

bride groom family shelling

I also met Gidget and Boyd (Tampa) collecting a few goodies.

Gidget Boyd sanibel

I hope you are able to see how gorgeous the colors and the unusual patterns are in this photo of this LETTERED OLIVE Boyd found…

whelk olive

Gidget had her eye on finding CALICO CLAMS, SCALLOP shells and can never resist those sweet little juvenile FIGHTING CONCHS…

calico clam scallops

Since I wasn’t finding the big shells at Blind Pass today, I was happy with looking for the minis so I searched until I found my own precious candy (a juvenile HORSE CONCH).

horsie conch sanibel

…and this perfect summer CALICO SCALLOP in watermelon color.

watermelon calico scallop

Best wishes Spencer and Katie for your upcoming wedding. I couldn’t think of a better way to start your new life together by shellebrating the small wonders of the sea.

shelling sanibel gidget

Oh and PS- the dredge at Blind Pass has been broken for few days (and not the first time) so we might be seeing this big machinery hanging around a little bit longer than expected. This also means that they haven’t opened up the beach to the public yet where the sand is being pumped (west of Bowman’s). I’m ready for this dredging to be over already. This isn’t so “precious”!

dredge sanibel captiva

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Sanibel Shelling Report

Posted by on Jul 21, 2012 in Albino Shells, Alphabet Cone, Fighting Conch, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Lion's Paw, Scallop | 38 comments

sea foam shells sanibel

 The shells were bubbling up in patches around the islands this week. On the east end of Sanibel at the Lighthouse Beach, Clark found an awesome ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH. You can tell this shell didn’t turn white from being old and sun bleached because it is still glossy. It may look like it has a little scum on it but that yellowish stuff is the periostracum which is like a skin that will scrap right off with your thumb nail. Those are the signs that it is a true ALBINO.

albino fighting conch

 See how glossy it is? Okay, this side (the aperture) has some scum on it (not just the periostracum) but I’m sure you can still see this shell never had color to it.

albino fighthing conch

 Most of the shells were alive at the Lighthouse beach but Sharon and Pierre (from Curacao Island!) and her mom Irene (from Holland!) were happy seeing all of the wonders of our sea life and found a few keeper shells as well…

sharon, pierre, irene holland

 But hold on to your sun hats, folks! Maria D. posted this on the i Love Shelling Facebook page…. she found 3 ALPHABET CONES this week! She said she found them mid island around the Island Inn.

alphabet cones Maria DeLellis

 Then Jen L. posted this awesome photo of the shells her family found at Bowman’s Beach. She found this unbelievable LION’S PAW! Wow, it looks like all of the knuckles are still in tact! Her dad Tim found the ANGEL WING and her mom Joanne found the huge FLAT SCALLOP. Nice finds, Linnan family!

lions paw angel wing flat jen linnan

 My friend Susie (a long time Sanibel resident) still gets excited to find a FIGHTING CONCH…

Susie fighting conch

 She couldn’t wait to show me all the other colorful shells she found. See? After years of living on the island, the beach still delivers simple happiness…

seashells bowmans beach sanibel

I even heard that Bind Pass Sanibel was still delivering too but after seeing these shells and what shelling sisters Jamie and Lauren found on my last post Bowman’s Beach is rockin!

horse conch sanibel seashells

 Soooo, now that I’ve caught you up with the shelling news… let me catch you up on my news.

Drum roll please…. ddllllrrrrrrrrr…..

I am now a partner of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel as a SWFL (SouthWest Florida) Insider. I’m the designated shelling insider for Lee County! Here’s my new badge so click on it and it will take you to the program information just launched on Facebook…

Insider blog badge

Okay, and I more excitement this week! Clark and I were interviewed by this REALLY nice gal that happens to be a reporter for …

okay, another drum roll…. dlllrrrr….

The New York Times!!! Crazy, huh? She wanted to know about shelling on Sanibel and happened to find iLoveShelling! So, pleeeaase keep your fingers crossed that the story is featured and makes it in the paper. I was going to keep it a secret to see if it really showed up in print, but I figured if I could spread good vibes, it can’t hurt this little ol’ shelling blog. I’ll keep you posted. Shelling fingers crossed!

seashell fingers crossed

 Oh, and one more thing… I promise, this is it for today but I couldn’t help but sing a little. LaLaLaaaa… Okay the vocal cords are warmed up.

Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birrrrthdaaaay dear Super Sheller Claarrrk. Happy Birthday to you!


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Seashell Dreams Come True

Posted by on Jul 19, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sunsets | 28 comments

lauren clean seashells

While walking the beach on a beautiful tropical island, gorgeous empty seashells wash up to your feet with every wave. Can’t you just picture it? No doubt, this is every sheller’s dream. Ahhhh….

Well, wake up! Because it came true for sisters Jaime and Lauren!

Jaime Lauren Sanibel shells

I found Jaime digging with a shovel in this pile of shells just east of Bowman’s Beach…

Jaime diggin shells

She was so focused on that pile until I peeked at her tray of shells and let out a big “WOW!”. That sandy ALPHABET CONE was sitting right on top of all of these awesome shells…

sandy Sanibel seashells

These sisters from Virginia arrived for a month’s vacation on Sanibel two days after Tropical Storm Debby blew through. While I was on Lighthouse Beach witnessing the seashell madness from TS Debby’s aftermath, Jaime and Lauren were shellebrating their own dream come true on east Bowman’s Beach. This is what their HORSE CONCHS and LIGHTNING WHELKS looked like before they cleaned them up…

lauren before cleaning seashells

 Awesome, right? Okay, maybe I embellished the story a little about the “dream”… these shells didn’t all just roll up at their feet one after another. They had to stay focused and hunt for these treasures for hours and hours. They told me they had every intention of coming to watch the Sanibel parade but couldn’t pull themselves off the beach because they wanted to hunt for more big shells. Ha! They are as shell crazy as we are! Okay, speaking of shell crazy. Jaime and Lauren drove down from Virginia in their little Mini Cooper. Cute! But even cuter was their license plate…

wentletrap license plate

 PS- I just have to show you how shell focused Jaime and Lauren were. These are a few shots of the sunset they missed because they did not look up from their shell pile to see this gorgeous site. LOL

blazing sanibel sunset

sunset sunset photo

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