Pages Navigation Menu

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


anne sanibel chamber of commerce

If you happen to stop by the Sanibel Captiva Chamber Of Commerce on your way on the island, say “Congratshellations!” to Anne at the welcome counter. She found her first JUNONIA this week!!!

sanibel chamber anne junonia

Wow! It’s so pretty! Like Mimi, this is an early Christmas gift of the sea too.

Anne junonia sanibel chamber

She told me she found it rolling in the surf at Blind Pass Sanibel half way from the pass to the newly exposed seawall so I of course I high tailed it down there to see the beach. Remember the erosion I photographed last month? Well, the seawall is still exposed but not as much. It’s filling back in slowly but surely.

sanibel florida seawall blind pass

By the time I got there, I only saw a few shell lines but I could see there were shells still rolling in the surf. After I took this next photo, I got to thinking that in probably six months, this whole wall will be buried again and we might not see for years to come. The power of Mother Nature.

Sanibel Blind Pass sea wall

The other side of the pass (Blind Pass Captiva) is starting to show signs of smaller shells rolling in. I doubt that little sand cliff will be there very long since we have some good west winds predicted to for this weekend. Yippee! I’m hoping the bigger shells will be coming in soon!

jetty captiva florida seashells

I sifted through some of these shells in this new pile…

florida seashells sanibel


comb bittersweet captiva florida

I don’t think I’ve ever taken a photo of this shell before. Hmmm. I’m really not sure I’ve found one before either but I don’t think that it is a rare find here. So I looked through my collection but didn’t find one. Okay, honestly, I’m really not that organized but still… I didn’t see a COMB BITTERSWEET in all the shells I pawed through in my garage buckets.

comb bittersweet exterior

It’s a little “nibbled” on the one side but now I have it in my “collection”. Ha!

comb bittersweet interior

Okay let’s get back to the real important things…. Anne’s JUNONIA! Since Santa gave her an early Christmas gift like the SEAHORSE (I painted with a Santa hat) Mimi received, I had to give Anne’s JUNONIA the same special treatment! A JUNO-HO-HO-HO-NIA!

Anne's santa junonia


  1. Congrats on the junonia !
    Love the Santa hat.

  2. Merry Christmas! Congrats on that beautiful Junonia!

  3. What a gorgeous Junonia!

    The comb bittersweet is not common, but not really rare. It’s easy to overlook. I found 3 this visit.

  4. Oh wow, congrats Anne!!! What a special Christmas find!

    And Pam, next time I visit Sanibel, can I Paw through your buckets??? Lol!!

    I went shelling in our CT coastline yesterday & found 8 long strings of the Welk egg cases….going to see if some of our schools could use a couple to educate .

    Keep on shelling all,

    Mary Ann
    East Granby. CT

    • Wait! I know someone who could use that whelk case! I’ll email you…

  5. What a lovely junonia Anne. I hope there will be some left in January when we return. I haven’t even found a piece of one. Last January I found 2 comb bittersweets. The first one was only 3/8th inch with very little color, but the second one was 5/8 inch with some more color( yours has more color Pam).
    When I got home I checked all my books and the Bailey Museum web site and decided it was a comb bittersweet. Now I’ve seen your pictures it confirms my ID. I haven’t found any bittersweets yet. I’m hoping to get to Blind Pass this next trip. By the way i found mine along the beaches of West Gulf Rd.

    • I love that you and Susan H have told us where both of you have collected your comb bittersweets. I guess they are more common than I thought. Like Susan said, they are easy to overlook so I will be on the lookout to add a few more to the collection OUT of the buckets.

      • All of my comb bittersweets were from West Gulf Drive.

  6. Yay – we just arrived and can’t wait to hit the beach. Congratulations, Anne!!

    • Hey Corly, welcome to Paradise! Let us know what you find, OK?

  7. That is one sweet JUNO-HO-HO-HO-NIA!
    Merry Christmas to everyone!!
    And Happy Shelling :-)

  8. What a beautiful junonia. Congrats!

    Merry Christmas everyone! I’ve enjoyed meeting here for the past few years. I wish each of you a happy and healthy new year!

  9. What a lovely Christmas gift from the sea!

  10. Wow…what a great find! We will be back in January for a month and we cannot wait! It is interesting to keep up with the changes at Bind Pass. Thank you for the updates.

    We hope to run into you and Clark and Donnie once again. Donnie and I were competing for “flats” at Blind Pass following Debbie…of course he won but he gave me a couple of shelling tips that worked!

    Merry Christmas to all.

    Kathie & John

  11. I’m a little late catching up after being home from Sanibel for 10 days but that junonia is beautiful! Sounds like it was found near the spot I was shelling not so long ago!!! However, no junonia for me! I did find a beautiful perfect little true tulip in that gorgeous orange color and a few nice little candy corns there at Blind Pass.
    I should’ve told my husband we couldn’t leave until we found my junonia! Just spent an hour scraping ice and snow off the car here in Nebraska; I’d rather be shelling!!

  12. Hey Pam, or anyone else reading this, do you have a copy of the Ross W. Gundersen book (really a booklet) “Seashells of Sanibel and Captiva Islands” that you would be prepared to lend me for a very short period of time?

    The booklet is out of print and very hard to find. Unfortunately it is riddled with false information; it has lots of species in it that don’t occur here, plus a lot of the shells he photographed were actually from Jamaica not from here. The photos are very crisp and good however, and it does have quite a lot of micros in it.

    If someone would let me borrow a copy for just a few days I would make a copy from it and return the original.

    • Hi Susan H,
      I did a little research on Google and was able to track down Gundersen’s book in the “library catalogue of the Field Museum” in Chicago. You should be able to find it there. Good luck! I love the mini’s too. I think I have one or two of the comb bittersweets (mini’s) that I found this year.

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

      • Season’s Greeting to you too Janet!

        I was really hoping that someone on here has a copy.

        The problem with the booklet being in the Field Museum library, is that I am sure I will not be able to borrow it, only to consult it there, and I never go to Chicago.

        Even the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum has only one copy now and it is in the “rare books” section so no-one can borrow it.

        I am sure that every once in a while one is in yard sale here on Sanibel-Captiva or gets given to a thrift store and gets snapped up immediately.

        So if anyone knows of one they have, please let me know.

        • Susan, maybe the conchologist forum folks can help?

          • You are right that that would be the place to ask, but by coincidence it worked out this other way.

            Thanks so much for your card Donna!

        • Ah, a contact out on Long Island who studies turrids is going to lend me his copy!

          Great! Problem solved. :)

  13. Great find…I am so anxious to get back to the Island, hope to find a Junonia for my collection. Wish I could be there right now, instead we are geting the snow plow ready for the major snow storm cominig this evening.

  14. Nice juno, what a great christmas present!!

    I found my two juno’s at turner beach back in March while visiting for the shell fair. It was when the ocean waves were throwing shells at us! was awesome!

    I read this post and had to go look through my shells to see if I have found any bittersweets, I have three of them but I cant remember what part of the beach I found them on.

    I haven’t got to the point yet where I have “too many” shells! Lol..
    So until that day comes I collect all the shells I can! Some I favor more than others!

    • I love them all! :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This