Archive for August, 2012


i Love Shelling After A Storm!

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Sanibel Shell collectors florida

It was a shellebration today at Blind Pass! Around 9 am this morning, the seashells started crashing onto the beach at Blind Pass Captiva quickly building up into a shellacious treasure trove. OMG

waves of seashells

I’m kinda jumping ahead since I haven’t even shown you everything that happened yesterday… but… I can’t wait to show you this shelling frenzy that happened today. And because… two (that’s 2) JUNONIAS were found!!! Alisha from Tennessee found an absolutely perfect JUNONIA and not but an hour later her boyfriend Ron found the other one! Really! Can you believe it? Waaahoooo!

Alisha Ron Captiva Junonia

With the shell filled waves breaking right on our ankles, you had to react very quickly to snatch the goods ones out of the water while balancing on the pointy shells under our feet. I overheard Ron tell Alisha “No pain, no gain!”. Then she snagged this sweet little JUNONIA out of the water without a net. LOL Way to go Alisha!

Junonia alisha capitva isaac

Not one chip on the lip!

alisha junonia aperture

Everybody that was there was finding treasures of their own. Jill from Virginia Beach found this awesome bright orange HORSE CONCH!

Jill Va Beach seashell

Her friend Kimmy (long story short… we found out she and Jill live in the same neighborhood Clark and I used to live in. Small world!) found this ALPHABET CONE…

kim alphabet cone captiva

Lisa from West Palm Beach, Florida found an ALPHABET CONE too!

Lisa alphabet cone captiva

Lisa’s nephew Tyler kinda showed his aunt up (heehee) because he came up with this outrageously huge ALPHABET CONE! The Mac Daddy Alphie!

Tyler large alphabet cone seashell

Sue from St Pete, Florida plucked this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK out of the waves! And don’t miss all those goodies in her bucket too! wow!

Sue St Pete Seashells

Speaking of buckets… this next bucket belongs to Amy from New York. She was about to empty it into a larger bag to fill it back up again but I had to get a photo. Be still my heart. This is like a sheller’s dream bucket. Filled with sweet success of a well rounded shelling day… a FLAT, CONE, OLIVE, CONCH, MOON, NUTMEG, WHELK and TULIP. I know she had a MUREX in there so, yes, The SANIBEL SIX!

bucket of seashells isaac

This is the lucky gal Amy. Thank you so much for letting me drool over your bucket!

Amy bucket seashells

Jim from Nebraska was getting close to finding a JUNONIA when he spied this big colorful piece washing up to the shore…

Jim Nebraska junonia captiva

His mom Louise (Illinois) was just as happy finding this awesome ALPHABET CONE. Happy Dance!!

Louise captiva cone seashell

There were a lot of happy dances at Blind Pass today in the sun, sand, and shells since waiting several days after the tropical storm force winds of Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf Of Mexico passed us by. Congratshellations to you all for all of you fabulous finds!

seashells of captiva southwest florida

If you are coming in for the holiday weekend… Don’t worry. There are still LOTS of shells rolling around here in Southwest Florida!

shell collector beach combers

PS- Our thoughts are with the cities on the east coast of Florida and the northern cities of the Gulf Of Mexico who are dealing with flooding and havoc from Hurricane Isaac. Mother Nature can show as much bitter as she shows with the sweet at times.


Lets start shellebrating! Im at Blind Pass Captiva right now and the shells are starting to come in!!! This is my first post ever from my iPhone but I had to shellebrate with you first. Lots of photos to come soon!


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Sanibel seashell collection isaac

Now this is what shelling after a storm should look like! Woop! Woop! Look at those LIGHTNING WHELKS and that HORSE CONCH! But hold on… I hate to get you too excited. So before you start envisioning piles of shells washed up by the load full in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac already, the shells really haven’t made it on the beach yet. They are still in the water. That’s how our buddy Donnie found all of these shells this morning. By the time I got to the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach at sunrise, Donnie had already scooped the goods. See? All by himself in the water with no other competition. LOL

collecting shell at sunrise

There were a few FIGHTING CONCHS and usual suspects on the beach closer to the lighthouse point but not like Donnie’s finds.

shells at sunrise sanibel point

So before I get to the beach again this afternoon when the tide starts to recede, I thought I’d go ahead and post these awesome photos so you will know what to expect when these beauties hit the shore. Need help identifying any of these shells? Click on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page…

Donnie seashell collection

Gorgeous shells Donnie! Should I call you Awesome Sheller Donnie since “Super Sheller” is already taken? Or King Of The Dawn Donnie? Donnie The Cone King (He’s found over 140 since January)? Never mind, I got it!… Donnie, The Shell Dominator! LOL

Donnie Sanibel seashells isaac

I just heard that Blind Pass Captiva had some shells churning in the surf so it’s hard to decide where I’m gonna head first in an hour or so. Acckkk! So many places to shell and not enough time! If I find major shell piles forming, I’ll will send a quick TWEET or post on FACEBOOK then post again here ASAP. Happy Shelling!

Oh wait! I wanted to show you that in case you couldn’t figure out what that thing is in the top right corner… It’s a sea turtle shell bone. I found a piece yesterday too but mine doesn’t have that bone piece running through it. BLING!

sea turtle shell bone

gabriel luke collect seashells

If anybody was going to find shells on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva today in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaac (and now a Hurricane), it was Gabriel and Luke. They worked the beach all along West Gulf Drive where they were staying while visiting from Texas. It’s like they found an OLIVE garden!

handful olive shells

Then they told me they had found even more shells so they took me over to their shell bag to have a peek inside. Wow! An ALPHABET CONE laying right on top, a FLORIDA CONE, more OLIVES, HORSE CONCHS and so many goodies.

seashell bag cones candy

I started out this morning at Gulf side City Park on Sanibel to find a beautiful beach with some scattered clam shells…

Gulf side city park seashells sanibel

Then I moved on to see what was happening at Captiva’s Blind Pass. Yikes! The beach is gone! The sand has eroded all the way back to palm trees and grasses.

Blind pass erosions isaac

The Sanibel side of Blind Pass didn’t have the erosion problems but I didn’t see many good shells piling up so I waited until low tide this evening to check out the lighthouse. The first people I saw on the beach were Joe and Joanne who I met yesterday. They each found an ALPHABET CONE!

joe joanne alphabet cones

I only got a few photos of my finds and Clark’s finds but I’m sure I’ll have more time tomorrow to post. I think we will start to see more piles building tomorrow like this last photo so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow is the day like Tropical Storm Debbie brought in June. Happy shelling!

seashells lighthouse wentle baby cone

scallop shell colors

pen shells starfish sanibel isaac

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Tropical Storm Isaac Hits Sanibel

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Tropical Storm Isaac sanibel

Tropical Storm Isaac blew through Sanibel last night and today without doing too much damage that I could see… thank goodness. Whew, we got lucky. Very lucky.

beach access donax ts isaac

Through sporadic rain and north east wind gusts, we headed to a few different beaches to see the effects of Isaac. The morning’s high tide brought waves crashing on to the sea oats and up on to the beach access boardwalks. Wow!

high tide tropical storm isaac sanibel

Then by the late afternoon at low tide, the water receded a bit to let us hunt for shells. Nothing yet but a few PEN SHELLS and a few areas of “shell crush” which is just bits and pieces of broken shells coating the sand.

Clark tropical storm isaac

We ran out to the Sanibel Pier yesterday to check the beach condition and met Joe (a meteorologist!) and Joanne from Las Vegas looking for any signs of shells. They weren’t finding so many whole shells yet but it was so much fun to meet y’all!

jo joanne shelling tropical storm isaac

Okay, this is interesting… Look at the beach erosion at the pier in the background of the photo with Joe and Joanne and remember that was yesterday. If you’ve ever been to this beach before, you’ve probably walked under the pier to get to the other side to look for shells. Now take a look at the photo I took today of the pier. Look at the difference with the sand! No way to walk under it now!

Sanibel Pier Tropical Storm Isaac 2012

We did not find any shells today but I will be at the beaches tomorrow to check the conditions. We still have high east winds so I’m still not expecting any good shelling until the winds change directions and start coming from the west. Of course I will keep you informed but my thoughts are now with the folks in Louisiana and surrounding areas that are now in Tropical Storm Isaac’s path. Please be safe!

Until I can give you more shelling news and updates for Sanibel and Captiva, I filmed a few areas of the beach today with my good friend Diane so you could come along with us on our check-up of TS Isaac. You won’t need a raincoat to join us but earplugs might help because that wind was howling!

YouTube Preview Image

waves ts isaac

Categories : Hurricane Isaac, Storms
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Saving a Live Angel Wing

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live angel wing at lh beach

I found this ANGEL WING pair the same day I found those cute little RAGGED SEA HARES in my last post but I kinda got distracted in showing this cool find for a few days. Things have been a little crazy here in on the west coast of Florida since Tropical Storm Isaac has been trying to make his mind up if we were going to be his target or not. It doesnt look like a direct hit for us, so before I get distracted again, I’ve got to show you what happened with this cool juvenile ANGEL WING!

angel wing pair

As soon as I saw this double ANGEL WING on the beach, I got out my video camera and started filming since it isn’t often that you find the pair together laying on the beach. It seemed so weird to me…. and it got weirder when I saw that the body of the MOLLUSK was still inside the shell. So walk along with me while we watch what happens to this “shell” …YouTube Preview Image

He was alive! It’s that so cool he survived?

angel wing tip out of sand

Remember when I said I thought he lost his MESOPLAX(which I probably mispronounced the word but hey, I was happy that I remembered the dang thing ;))? That is the little plate or cross bar that is attached to both valves when the animal is still alive. I thought that was gone when I didn’t think he was alive. I quickly put on my cheater readers (thank goodness I had them with me!) and saw that the MESOPLAX was still in place. To show you what it looks like, here’s a photo of an ANGEL WING pair with its MESOPLAX that MurexKen and MurexAlice found and I posted in Angels On The Gulf Coast.

Angel Wing shell pair

 As I write this post in my home on Sanibel Island, it is rainy, dark and dreary with scattered wind gusts effecting us already from Tropical Storm Isaac which is just starting to hit the western part of the Florida Keys. The storm track has now moved further to the west so we are not in “the cone” as we were yesterday and early this morning. We are far enough away from the storm now that we don’t have any evacuation warnings. Oh. Thank. Goodness. We don’t have to evacuate but we were prepared to leave and would have left in a heartbeat if we were still on track for a hurricane. We don’t mess with Mother Nature. Now our thoughts are with the folks that are in the new path and wishing safety for everyone. Please be safe!

Tropical Storm isaac 7

So now that they are only predicting tropical force winds here similar to what we experienced with Tropical Storm Debbie in June, I expect to see shells rolling in but not until a couple of days. Right now the shells are being taken out with the east winds so there is nothing really on our beaches at this point. The storm should pass us tomorrow afternoon but it may bring storm surge flooding which can be very dangerous so we always have to consider safety first. It should take a couple of days any way for the shells to arrive since they have been pushed out with the eastern winds so they have to have time to get pushed back on to our shores. I’m thinking late Wednesday afternoon or Thursday… then game on. I cannot wait to share with you the shelling effects of this storm later this week! Do YOU have a time prediction for this to happen? …

sanibel seashell beach

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