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

Santa’s Seashell Good List

collecting seashells captiva seashore

We were shellebrating the season on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva today! We must have been on Santa’s “Good” list this year because he gave us the best gifts of all… gifts from the sea. Seashells!

true tulip seashell surf

Lots of seashells!

seashelling captiva

But wait… let me back up because the shells weren’t there all day so let me show you how quickly Mother Nature (maybe Santa too?) can do her/his magic.I arrived at Blind Pass this morning at 8 a.m. bundled in layers of clothes to ward of the 46 degree cold northwest winds. BRRRRR! That’s cold for us! I found a few scattered COCKLES, FLIGHTING CONCHS and PEN SHELLS along the high tide line and pocketed three beautiful shells… a KNOBLESS FIGHTING CONCH, GIANT BITTERSWEET and a funky orange CALICO SCALLOP…

KNOBLESS fighting conch bittersweet

There was nothing to speak of along the jetty rocks so I thought I’d amuse myself by waving to say hello to the camera since my shadow was the only thing in the picture (I know, I’m a dweeb). See? No real shells to write home about…

blind pass december morning

So I left around 9 a.m. (played tennis) and came back around 12:45 to find all of these shells piled up! In that short time span, thousands of shells rolled up along side those jetty rocks!

blind Pass december afternoon

Probably only an hour after I left, Lucky lady Glenda from England plucked the king of shells, a JUNONIA, right out of all those shells! And you won’t believe it… her husband Richard found a rare QUEEN HELMET!

queen helmet zigzag scallop junonia florida

So you know what that means… the “KING” and “QUEEN” will find their way back to England soon. LOL Congratshellations, to the royal couple!

junonia queen helmet england visitors

As soon as I walked onto that shell pile, Dawn snagged an ALPHABET CONE out of an incoming wave…

dawn alphie bp captiva

Then she showed me 3 HORSE CONCHS she just collected as well. Candy!!!

dawn horse conchs abc cone

Michelle and Eric were on Santa’s Good list too!

michelle eric shellers florida

I took this photo when I first saw them and I know they bucketed a few more ALPHIES, HORSIES and BITTERSWEETS but take a look at her JUNONIA (“cob”), part of a LION’S PAW and that gorgeous FLAT SCALLOP (lots of those found today!)…

junonia cob cones lions paw flat

 I don’t think there is anything more fun than witnessing a pile of seashells being formed on the beach. It is mind boggling that within 4 hours, thousands of treasures can be washed up by the waves of the Gulf Of Mexico. More photos coming soon!

seashellers captiva florida



  1. Awe, you hurtin me bad. I’m about ready to blow off strudel making & Xmas house cleaning and jump in the truck & head south.

  2. A Junonia in all that! Wow. Amazing gifts you are getting. Going to check airline fares and see when I can get there in the next few months. Have a happy “Shellabration!”

  3. Although the weather was amazing the first week of December in Sanibel – the shells were not as impressive. Jealous! But that means I need to schedule my next trip!! Pam – I took an identical shadow picture of myself when I was there! ha! I guess I’m a dweeb too – and we must be from the same generation because I actually know what a dweeb is! Merry Christmas and Happy Shelling!

    • here’s a good thing to know when sanibel shelling is shoddy….i was on sanibel on the 12th and also noted near total lack of shells. when that occurs i go to bowditch point park in fort myers beach. i can always find excellent small shells there even when sanibel beaches are bare. eg didnt see a single wentletrap on sanibel, but got dozens at bowditch point. i visited there three times and got some excellent shells! Erato,Simnia, tons of tusk shells, olivellas,small murex and many many more. look in the drift just on either side of the edge of the rock jetty.

    • Lol. Our shadows were waving hello! I normally try to hard to get my shadow out of the picture , but there was no way to move around it at that time in the morning so I Just went with it…. And had to laugh since my legs looked sooooo long. It’s kinda fun being a dweeb, right?

      • That is one picture we usually take on the beach where ever we are!
        Loved it! Merry Christmas
        Smiles, alice

  4. All those amazing shells – It’s Christmas for sure.

  5. Drooling & so very jealous , just wishing I was there Pam ! Congrats to everyone on the beautiful shells Mother Nature presented to you !!!

  6. Wow…early christmas gifts indeed…I’m sending my niece in to do some digging since I can’t be there!!!!!

  7. WhooHoo! Great shells and a lot of happy faces!

  8. I love taking shadow pictures and pics of MY feet in the sand. Happy shelling!

  9. I can’t believe the goodies coming in!

  10. I remember the shell pile I saw happening right in front of my eyrs back in March! It was amazing. It was cold and windy and the waves were rough, throwing hundreds of shells at a time. I never saw something so cool before. I foundy two junos that day! Only the brave, (or stupid), was in the break of the waves getting the shells that were flying in. I was one of the three people who stood in the break of the waves shelling..for hours and hours. After about 6 hours and two junos later I finally left. I was so cold and beat up by the crashing waves and flying shells but it was sooo much fun and soooo worth it! I’d do it again in a heart beat! Lol..

    Mother nature is saying merry christmas to all of you! Happy shelling! I cant wait, 12 more days!!

    More pictures Pam and a christmas video of shelling…please..please..please!

    Merry Christmas Pam & Clark! See you guys soon!

  11. Wow, those are some awesome finds! SO jealous, and totally wishing I didn’t have to skip my annual trip this year.

  12. Pam, How do you know when and where to go for the best shelling? You said you were there early and there was nothing, what made you go back 4 hours later to find great finds? Are people letting you know? or are you psycic ? When we come down there in June I would like to know how to get the scoop on where to go and not to go, please tell me if I am going to have to move up in the technology world and start learning how to use texts or tweet? Is this how your blogger friends find the treasures? Congrats to the lucky ones that are on the island now…keep finding the gems, it keeps me excited to read about the island while I can’t be there.

    • Loree, Yes! I have psychic powers. Hahahah oh I wish I did because then I might know where to get a crystal ball that works. Lol. No, I am just very persistent! I look at the wind speed and direction. I look at where the shells came in last year and the year before when we had a cold snap with high n winds. I look back at photos here on iLoveShelling from the previous years. I go to so many other beaches to check them out to find the best beaches to tell y’all about. Y’all only hear about a teeny tiny part of my shelling. There’s ALWAYS something interesting but I try to pick the best to post about. Now you know my secrets… And if I have any psychic powers, I’ll never tell. I don’t want to be burned at the stake!
      Yours truly,
      Witchy Wentletrap Woman ;)

  13. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Clark and all of your shelling family. We will be there Jan. 22 and hope to take a trip with Brian to Cayo Costa. Let’s hope some shells roll in then. If not I will just enjoy being in the 2 most beautiful places on earth-Sanibel and Cayo Costo. Marilyn

  14. Looks like a lot of fun! Merry Christmas Pam!! Thanks for sharing all of the shelling throughout the year!

  15. That is mind boggling nothing to a huge shell pile in 4 hours!! Wow

    Wishing you the best.

  16. That Queens helmet may outshine the Junonia!!!
    I wish I could find either of those 2. Wow! Congrats!!!

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