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

Paradise Found On Bowman’s Beach Sanibel

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Bowman Beach Sanibel video, Hurricane Hermine, Storms, Video | 12 comments

Sanibel seashells on driftwood

If you’re a beach comber, Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island has been the perfect place for those long walks on the beach while picking up a few beautiful treasures.

A beautiful and peaceful walk…. oh yea… and some excitement each time spotting one of these gorgeous works of art.

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Definitely exciting finding an empty KINGS CROWN.

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Clark and I met beachcomber Laurie a mile from any other people… we compared our fave find HORSE CONCHS. Wowza!

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This walk was so amazing….  I did a video to share with you! I headed north from Bowmans Beach to find the new pass Tropical Depression Hermine (she was a hurricane after she left here) opened up from Clam Bayou about a month ago. Not sure how long it will last but this new waterway is a little paradise.

Oh Wait! …  before you take your mind into the amazing paradise….  please don’t forget to “tip” Shell Love Bug to help with youth educational programs at the Shell Museum! CLICK HERE

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Okay…. now back to paradise… Take a big, slow breath and clear your mind. Escape to the beach for a few minutes to find a few shells and feel the power of peace Mother Nature has given us.

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Sanibel Shelling and Shell Love Bug

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Sanibel, Community Outreach, Shell Love Bug, Shellaboratory, Shellebrity | 13 comments

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Holy Cowrie- I’m shocked at how long it’s been since I’ve published my last blog post! I think this is the longest I’ve gone between posts in 8 years but it hasn’t been because I haven’t been conchsumed with seashells. I’ve found shells at Bowman’s Beach …

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And Gulfside City Park beach (notice that amazing lemon yellow LEAFY JEWELBOX)…

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And Blind Pass Sanibel (finding so many color variations of the FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCH)

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And hanging out with my girlfriends Janie and Sandy on the West Gulf beaches.

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I even took a trip up to Virginia Beach to see my family. It was just what I needed… a big dose of family with a recharge of seeing my dear friends and childhood beach I grew up on. I was thrilled to find a few RAZOR CLAMS (we always called them RAZOR CLAMS but I think they are actually AMERICAN JACKKNIFE CLAMS) that matched my new bracelet my friend Wendy Miller gave me (Heart Of Dolphin Designs …and of course my long time favorite silver shell bracelet by Congress Jewelers )

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And then…. there’s been the Shellaboratory. I’ve been working every day trying to get our shells back in order and doing some remodeling. The floor is done (sneak preview of the shells I painted on it ) but all our shells still need to be sorted again. “Why” you ask? Because it looked like a shellnado whipped through the shellab after the shelldazzling of…..

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Shell Love Bug! I’ll take that shellnado any day- she was so worth it. I hope you get to see her soon- check out her new tour date schedule updated periodically by going to ShellLoveBug.com or CLICK HERE

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Exciting News!

Shell Love Bug will be a shellebrity at The Celebrity Island Dinner for the fundraiser for our fabulous Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island at Traders October 3. Remember a few years ago when I dressed up as Shelly Temple hahaha (click here) ? Yep, this is the same event but unfortunately, the event sold out very quickly this year… although…. you can still play a part of the event.

Wanna show some love for Shell Love Bug? Help spread the shelling love …. give Shell Love Bug a “tip” as a donation to the Shell Museum. Shell Love Bug spreads the shellove of seashells and so does the museum.

Let’s all help out by shelling out a few clams for either Shell Love Bug or any of the other “shellebrity waiters” to raise some beach bling for the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum   CLICK HERE

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PS-  You just might see her shellivanting around the islands this week ;)

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The Calm After The Storm

Posted by on Sep 10, 2016 in Clark Rambo, Conch, Horse Conch, Hurricane Hermine, Sanibel Stoop, Storms, Tropical Storm #9 Hermine | 17 comments

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The best time to find lots of shells on the beaches of southwest Florida is after a storm coming from the Gulf Of Mexico – which is exactly what happened last weekend when Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine came through.

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We never know exactly when or where the shells will start washing in after the storm leaves town but theres nothing more fun than hunting for them high and low. This is also the time to meet lots of other fun-loving shellers on the hunt for those amazing treasures that roll up on our beaches.

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… And in the water when it calms.
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… And anywhere in between.

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Errrrr but wait. There may be something more fun than searching for them… Finding them.

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Boom Shellalaka!

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Shellzam!

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Truly Spectacsheller!

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This type of excitment is exactly what happened at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach by the fishing pier last weekend. It’s what we shellers wait for and dream about!

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Earlier this week the seas calmed from the storm and the shells weren’t as easy to find so Clark and I headed south towards Marco to explore the outer islands by boat.

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OMG Super Sheller Clark hit the shellmongus jackpot!

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Seashell Treasures Brought to the Islands By Hermine

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Horse Conch, Hurricane Hermine, Lightning Whelk, Tropical Storm #9 Hermine, Whelk | 17 comments

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On your WHELK. Get CERITH.  GO Shelling!

Sanibel shells from storm winds

For the past 3 days, Southwest Florida has been peppered with high winds, rough and choppy seas in Gulf Of Mexico, rain showers and extreme tides. Thank goodness we didn’t get a direct hit from Tropical Depression #9 (now named Hurricane Hermine) on Wednesday, so it was safe to go scouring the island to find a huge shell pile that formed in the morning on the west end of Sanibel at Blind Pass that brought a few awesome treasures (top photo).

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After picking through those treasures for a while, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening on the east end of Sanibel at Lighthouse Beach.

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The gulf side was still too choppy but by the late afternoon the shells started piling up at the waters edge on the pier side of the lighthouse.

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Then more rain and more high winds… then…. fast forward to this morning at Lighthouse beach near the fishing pier again…. Shellzam!

seashells after a storm on Sanibel island Florida

It was Shellmania! Shells started washing up on the beach but before they could even get on shore, we had a line of shellers sitting on the sand bar in the water having a spectacsheller time.

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It was total shelltopia! We all became fast friends after all 5 of these HORSE CONCHS were found in less than an hour. We would hear screams of joy when someone pulled another empty one up out of the shallow water then we splashed over to see the next trophy- give a big hug then oooh and ahhh. Such a blast!

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I found a HORSE CONCH too! It was very cool although it had lots of old barnacles and shell “crust” but since we have a few already at our house, I decided to gave it away in a “guess a number between 1 and 100” game with 9 other shellers. Congrats Andrea! haha So. Much. Fun.

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Feeling the anticipation of what a Tropical Depression in the Gulf Of Mexico like Hermine (aka “#9”) will do to our beaches if there’s no threat of danger, makes all shellers feel giddy with excitement.  If you’re an extreme sheller, this is what we wait for. It’s happiness. 

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While running the beaches the last 2 days, I met so many amazing people finding such awesome treasures. This is what makes the beach here so much fun- sharing the shelling love.

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We also saw Captain John shelling with his family Katherine and Jack at Blind Pass. He was the new captain with Captiva Cruises who captained our last iLoveShelling Adventure .  They just moved to Sanibel 2 months ago and looks like they’re already getting the hang of finding shells. Nice TULIP!
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I haven’t even gotten a chance to hit all the beaches because we still have storm bands driving thunderstorms though our area. Please remember…. any time you hear thunder PLEASE be safe and get off the beach. It’s so easy these days to find a good radar weather app to be aware of storm bands coming through so you can be prepared. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, the sound of thunder is Mother Nature’s warning signal to be safe and take cover. The shells can wait… Mother Nature knows best.

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More shell stories to come so stayed safe and stay tuned ;)

Until then, have a shell of a day!

PS- Hi Joey, I hope you got that little WHELK from your Gramma Sandy. ;)

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Bunch Of Fun At Bunche Beach

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Bunche Beach Fort Myers, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sunray Venus | 25 comments

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There are many beaches to explore in Southwest Florida to observe a variety of wildlife and find great shells, but it’s always a fun to make a trip to Bunche Beach in Fort Myers at low tide to roam the mud flats.

Shelling low tide Bunche Beach Fort Myers Florida

Seriously, it’s like an Easter egg hunt out there at a low tide zig zagging through the muddy sand as you walk up on to flash of pink to find gorgeous SUNRAY VENUSES with both valves still held together.

Sunray venus seashell at Bunche Beach low tide

So as you can see by my photos, these “mudflats” aren’t really muddy dirt made of soil but they’re actually sandy tidal areas meeting with mangrove forests and many different grass beds. When the tide recedes, we get to see lots of other natural occurrences as well … like spotting the unmistakeable colors and pattern of a half buried empty LIGHTNING WHELK shell.

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And like a itty bitty empty SHARKS EYE shell.

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Among hundreds of live healthy KINGS CROWNS, I found this one empty fabshellous beauty.

Kings crown seashell Bunche Beach Fort Myers shelling

Such a fun trip with friends Ada, Ann and Kathy to take a quick trip just off Sanibel.

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PS- Not sure if you heard-  on August 16, National Geographic published an article online by the very talented journalist Gillian Kendall with the title….  “10 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida”. It’s a beautiful piece featuring our beaches, islands, wildlife, fishing and…. errrrr…. and then there’s #2…. A Shellebrity. Oh Holy Cowrie! I’m still a little shell shocked! LOL But I’m so incredibly honored and honestly, oh I don’t know… a little embarrassed? Anyway…. it’s an awesome article and I guess it’s taken me a few weeks to post it since I feel a little… oh, I don’t know. It’s craziness!!! (blush, blush)

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/united-states/florida/ten-reasons-visit-fort-myers-sanibel-island-florida-beach-trip/

Oh… and PS again – If it turns out well, I’ll show you photos of my new and improved Shellaboratory I’m remodeling. I’m painting seashells on the concrete floor while we wait for the big storm in the gulf to bring us real shells! Here’s a sneak preview …

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