I had a few extra minutes today (how did my life get so busy?) so I snagged those few minutes to take a beach break. I’m so glad I did! With a beautiful 75 degrees and a slight breeze, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was the perfect hunting ground for the minis. I found a BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP along with a cutie DUSKY CONE, TUSKS, SPARSE DOVE SHELLS and many other sweet shells.
After I found a few of these beauties, I saw something else weird wash up in the surf that look sort of like giant orange pulp (with a strange alien creature in each pulp)….
Dr. Eric Milbrandt from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation identified it for me as a Clavelina picta COLONIAL TUNICATE. It’s in the same family as the SEA PORK we see often on our beaches. Weird and very cool. Thanks Eric! (BTW, I put it back in the water since it still had fluid in each of those sacs)
Before I found the TUNICATE and the BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP, I filmed a little video because I was so shocked that I walked right out from the parking lot to find so many goodies. I normally have to search high and low to find a honey hole of minis! I’ll show you exactly where I found all of my minis and my orange glob of coolness.
Just an FYI- I took the video during last week’s shell pile at Blind Pass Captiva.
Happiness continued… We were surrounded by MANATEES!
We took our kayak and SUP board (stand up paddle board) out in the roosevelt channel on Captiva Island for an awesome water adventure and boy did we find one.
As we paddled around the channel, several MANATEES came over to check us out. They were just a curious about us and we were of them! Wanna see? Hop on board with us and enjoy the view without getting wet by clicking on the video…
PS- There are plenty of places to rent SUP boards and kayaks on Captiva. For info at South Seas Island Resort CLICK HERE
The theme for my Virginia Beach high school friend Lori and her daughter, Hayley, visiting us on Sanibel is…. Happy. It has been such a happy week! We have been singing that Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” (from Virginia Beach too!) every sunny day when we stepped on the beach.
Happy to be together at Gulfside City Park…
Happy to be in the water sifting through shells….
Happy to find lots of beautiful treasures…
Hayley was very happy to find SAND DOLLARS!
Happy to have Clark join us in the evenings for low tide…
Happy to see healthy, live creatures on the low tide sand bars at Lighthouse Beach…
Happy to make a seashell mobile with some of the broken shells we found…
Happy to meet such wonderful and generous shellers on the beach as well. Just a few feet in front of us, we saw George from Maine uncover a large, beautiful HORSE CONCH then give it to an amazed little boy in awe of the shell. He didn’t even know him!
I’m sure Jeremy from New York will remember this happy day for the rest of his life.
Happy to share this beautiful island with such special friends especially on a full moon. Happiness.
When high west winds coming from the Gulf Of Mexico wash large wrack lines of PEN SHELLS, SEA WHIPS and SPONGES normally oodles of SEA URCHINS wash up as well. I often get asked “How can you tell if a sea urchin is still alive or not?” so I did a video! I’ll do SEA URCHIN identification in another post (and beach update) but since I have my girlfriend Lori and her daughter Hayley visiting from Virginia this week, I’m taking a little vaca myself for a few days. If we see unbelievable shells I need to tell you about, I’ll take a few minutes to give you an update. … but until then, enjoy the video!
Be still my beating heart!! Seeing this awesome sight of a massive mound of shells sure does get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing.
Blind Pass Captiva was rocking yesterday afternoon with shells rolling in with every wave. I stood on top of the mound to see Barb from St Louis pick up a gorgeous orange FLAT SCALLOP.
Debbie from Cape Coral found her first part of a JUNONIA which is the perfect size to make into a necklace or other piece of jewelry.
I was thrilled to see that Sharon from Orlando found a very cool piece of bling…
Yesterday morning, I was at Gulfside City Park to find a wrack line of shells as far as I could see. Seeing a long string of shells like this along the shore gets my heart pumping too but once I start picking through them, it has a different effect on me… I relax and zone out everything else in the world. Love, love, love.
These are some of my gorgeous treasures…
On my last post when I showed you that crazy STARFISH eating the SEA URCHIN, I didn’t get a chance to show you some of the other cool things I found at Lighthouse Beach just after the storms came through.
I met Pam and Steve from Iowa as he was scooping up shells to bring to her to sort. It reminded me of that video of the Shellingmen Tribe I did last year. LOL
They were collecting DISK DOSINIAS, BANDED TULIPS and APPLE MUREXES.
They even found a perfect PURPLE SEA URCHIN.
I still have so many other cool things but they will have to wait but just so you know…. Most beaches along Southwest Florida today should till be very good shelling conditions. So if you are any where near a swfl beach, get going! Just try your luck at finding at least one sweet treasure.
Oh… and I added a button on the right side on this page about my camera. I constantly get asked what type of camera I use so I decided its time I just made a page about it. I’ve tried to get fancy and buy several really high end cameras with big zoom lenses but it never works out since I end up worrying about my camera instead of enjoying my time beach combing. So I stick with this one because I can capture a great photo or video while I am enjoying my time on the beach (FYI- its not waterproof though).