A magical rainbow appeared on the beach at Cayo Costa after we stepped off our Captiva Cruises boat. I thought that was an amazing welcome but there was more…. Mother Nature rolled out a beautiful carpet of sea shells for us too!
There were so many shells to look through, I walked right past this absolutely perfect SCOTCH BONNET!
I heard a gasp about 10 yards behind me… Kirk from Oregon plucked this beautiful treasure out of the wrack line I had just combed through. Wow!
There were so many shells to scan over, it was almost overwhelming (oh, but such a good overwhelming!)…
So let me show you this awesome group of shellers on the boat. It may have been cold, but shellers don’t care- We always make the best of it!
On the Captiva Cruises boat ride over to Cayo Costa, I passed around a big bucket so everybody could pick out a “good luck” shell (a choice of FIGHTING CONCH, LIGHTNING WHELK, COCKLE or MUREX all of which Clark and I have found in the last month or so). I talked to Stone, Ian, Kirk and Deb who all picked out one shell then Ian told me he was really wanting to find a SHARKS EYE. Hmmmmm… well its hard to find one particular shell when you are beach combing, I always say you should enjoy whatever is put in front of you by Mother Nature.
Maybe that “good luck” shell worked! Ian found a gorgeous SHARKS EYE!
And not only that, he found an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK.
Nico from New York City found a perfect nice sized PAPER FIG…
Debbie and Frances came down from Sarasota for the day to join us on the cruise. Nice to meet y’all and nice finds!
We always seem to find ANGEL WINGS at Cayo Costa and it’s always fun to see the three different types that wash up. From left to right… a TRUE ANGEL WING, FALLEN ANGEL WING and a FALSE ANGEL WING.
Ron found this very cool LIGHTNING WHELK. After we took photos, he put it back in the water because there were so many living creatures in and around this shell.
This is a closeup of the opening. There’s just a a smidge of the HERMIT CRAB’S claw showing but he was alive and well inside there. But look at the rest of it! There are live SLIPPERS, BARNACLES, TUNICATES and even a GULF OYSTER DRILL living on this shell. It’s a little village!
Cheryl got lucky she found a completely dried STARFISH in the high wrack line. That was on her shell bucket list!
Jerry was not messing around with some little silly net. He brought out a gigantor net! LOL He scooped up three empty double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
They are sooooo beautiful…
Jessica (with the Island Inn Resort) brought her big camera since she wanted to find some nice photographs. She ended up putting away her camera so she could pick up more shells. Ha!
On our way back, I saw GoodWillShelling giving SAND DOLLARS to a family visiting from the Netherlands since he and SarahTheShellAnimal found so many in the area they were shelling. So nice!
Our weather in the last week has gone from low 50s (on this boat trip) to low 80s this weekend and we expect another slight cold snap again this week. This cold weather is providing great shelling! This morning I went to Gulfside City Park where I found a few WHELKS and CONCHS then went to Blind Pass Sanibel where yet another huge shell pile has formed. This week should be exshellent shelling again!
Seashells + Sunshine + Rainbows = Happiness. It’s the perfect equation to make for a great weekend. Seeing those beautiful shells on a rainbow beach towel sums it up and makes me smile from ear to ear after being out in the sunshine. Karen and Mike from Fort myers found a FLORIDA CONE, TINTED CANTHARUS, OLIVES, AUGERS, CONCHS, WORMIE, CORAL and lots of other goodies to total an exshellent shelling day at Blind Pass Captiva.
Donna from Clermont, FL looked as beautiful as her shells (on the water blue beach blanket) while she was being shaded by her darling beach hat and umbrella. She was thrilled to find 2 BANDED TULIPS!
You know I love to peek in shell buckets! Oooooo. I spy an ALPHABET CONE!
Laura from Ft Lauderdale is the proud sheller filling up that shell bucket.
Wow! These are some of her faves … the perfect ALPHABET CONE, BITTERSWEET, TULIP, NUTMEG and a cool piece of CORAL. Happiness.
I started out the weekend at the Lighthouse Beach where I met Gary from Illinois with his shelling backhoe. He wasn’t having much luck finding keeper shells that evening but he said he didn’t mind since he had already collected great shells all throughout the week. He knows the beach changes every day so you have to take advantage of what you find each day… and that evening was a double rainbow! You can still see the faint rainbow on the horizon behind him.
Bella and Mackenzie had to stop and take in the beautiful site before it faded away. Sweet!
I posted this same rainbow with the CONCH SHELL on Saturday because I couldn’t wait to show you. They never last long so it’s always so exciting to see them, much less snap a photo in time to catch it. As I was snapping photos of the shells under the rainbow (CLICK HERE to see it), twins Brady and Katie were strolling by collecting shells when Brady reached down and grabbed “my” FIGHTING CONCH. His mom saw that it was the shell I was photographing, so she told him to put it back down. I said “No, no, no…. it’s ok! I’m not going to keep it any way”. LOL By that time, the rainbow was in full color so while Brady and Katie still had the shell, I snapped another photo of them. OMG it this adorable or what? You can’t make this stuff up!
Summer showers bring ridiculous rainbows. After a week of afternoon downpours, I finally saw a beautiful rainbow…and a double one at that! I had to share in a quick little post to hopefully brighten your weekend even more.
Having a hard time finding ALPHABET CONES? Refocus your eyes on the miniature shells where the DUSKY CONES hang out. If you are reaaallly lucky, then you’ll find a juvie ALPHABET CONE mixed in with the DUSKYS. In the photo above, you’ll see five cute little DUSKYS on the left then the tiny juvie APHIE on the right end all nestled rainbow style in the palm of Deseray’s hand. She found all of the CONES! I met Deseray’s grandad Fred, her mom Mary Ann and her just west of Lighthouse Beach this weekend. Three generations of shellers…
I could have talked to them for hours about their exquisite mini finds. Deseray has an exceptional eye in finding tiny gems since she has been shelling all of her life and she knew most of their names right away. The only one that stumped us was the TURRID. I thought it was a TURRID but it looks a little different than most we find so I looked back. Yep… most of ours are Pyrgospira tampaensis and I think Deseray’s is the Zonulispira crocata. So let’s just go with the basic iLoveShelling style and just call the really cool shell in between the KING’S CROWN and the LETTERED OLIVE …. a TURRID!
And yes, she also has a little teeny tiny WENTLETRAP on the bottom too. This is just one of many that she found! Here’s are Mary Ann’s mini finds. She had to put an AUGER in her “fave shells” photo since Deseray has always called them “Unicorn Horns”. That is so cute! It DOES look like a Unicorn’s horn!
Did you see those two fabulous little CRAB shells? I love all of the cool stuff they collect! I hope yall can name all of the other minis they collected but if not, look them up on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. CLICK HERE!
Atlantic Mud Piddock
We used to find lots of ATLANTIC MUD PIDDOCKS on the flats of North Captiva and Cayo Costa when we boated there regularly but rarely on Sanibel. That’s why I was tickled to find one on the Sanibel Lighthouse beach this weekend. They can get up to 2.75 inches but this one is only 1 1/2 inches.
Atlantic Mud Piddock Aperture
This was is a little broken (on the right tip you can see it’s a little jagged) but I’ve always loved these since they are like a special ANGELWING and in the same family… but with “Spock” ears….. hmmmm. both have that …..”ock” too.
It was a beautiful evening on the beach with our friends Joe and Manuela.
Those cute little Zippy Minis (remember the video? ha!) with the HERMIT CRABS were in full force so they were mesmerized by them…..
Joe is not only a really good friend of Clark’s, he’s Clark’s business partner at Rambo & Ginsberg Realty so he has to hear about all those “schmanonia” stories (albeit well deserved stories… I guess) as much as we do. I still sound
bitter very envious, don’t I. heehee
They found a few minis like WENTLETRAPS, a MELAMPUS, a wormie, SLIPPER SHELLS, CERITHS, AUGERS, WHELKS and a CONCH. I gave Manuela the APPLE MUREX and the OPERCULUM (which I had to explain that it was the “door” to a WHELK) and they ended up keeping the MUREX but they weren’t too thrilled about the OPERCULUM so gave it back to me. They looked at me like “Why the heck would we want to keep that?” I guess I like the weird stuff too:)
Right before we were leaving the beach, we saw a small part of a rainbow…..
This was followed by hundreds upon hundreds of dragonflies. If you can’t see them, click on the picture to enlarge it, then I hope you can see how many there were. Go, dragonflies! Eat those skeeters!