Archive for Barnacles

coudy periwinkles hiding in tree knots

The only thing cloudy about our Captiva Cruises iLoveShelling trip to Cayo Costa were the live CLOUDY PERIWINKLES hiding in clusters on the tree roots at the south tip of the island.

cloudy periwinkles cayo costa


It’s been such a month on the islands of spotting great wildlifeEverywhere I look, I am still seeing wonderful signs of healthy life… like these STRIPED FALSE LIMPETS and BARNACLES on those same tree roots with the PERIWINKLES.

striped false limpets on fallen tree

Melissa, Juliana, Becky and Garrett from Colorado walked around those tree roots to find some nice empty shells as well.

Melissa juliana becky garrett colorado visit cayo costa for shells

They found a bag full of double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…

Sunray Venus shells at Cayo Costa

Sisters Teresa and Elaine from Pensacola, FL found some keepers on the Gulf side of the island.

teresa elaine from pan handle  visit cayo costa

Elaine collected oodles of different color JINGLES to use for a picture frame craft project.

black grey white jingle shells

D.J. from Avon Park, Florida found empty LETTERED OLIVES and an ANGEL WING wading knee high in the water.

D.J. avon park florida olive shells

Oh but wait… How could I forget? I have to tell you about the boat ride over to the island. We had a pod of DOLPHINS come over to say “Hi” to everybody on our boat.

dolphin sight seeing captiva cruises

When they swam closer to the boat, we could see there were 3 mother DOLPHINS… each with babies!  If you look closely at this next photo, you can see the baby hugging up to the mother. So cute!

mother dolphin and baby

And the DOLPHINS weren’t the only wildlife coming up to say “Hi” to us… meet Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB.

casper the friendly ghost crab hiding in shadow

I have never seen a GHOST CRAB act so friendly! Seriously, “Casper” was not at all afraid of us and actually followed us on the beach. See? He got right in-between Sandy’s feet and hung out there for a few minutes.

ghost crab hiding in shadow

He even ran into a shelling net like he wanted to play. hahaha What a character!

casper the friendly ghost crab hiding in shadow

Even though the wildlife was exceptional, it was a wonderful day to meet exceptional people like Vicki and Bill from Arizona.

vicki bill arizona visit cayo costa for shells

… And Melinda, Katelyn and Justin from Indiana. I especially loved meeting Katelyn since she knew all of the names of her shells but also loved all the wildlife she saw. Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB didn’t want there to leave.

melinda katelyn justin indiana visit sanibel

… And it was exceptional to see Marie’s beautiful family- Emily, Madison, Steve, Sandy and Ryan from Ohio. But… they were missing one Morgan, they all wanted me to tell you…. you’re next!

marie emily madison steve sandy ryan ohio visit sanibel… And to see Bill, Michelle, Alyson and Anthony from Illinois.

bill michelle alyson anthony illinois visit sanibel

I had met Michelle at Blind Pass Captiva last week when I stopped at the beach to see what the conditions were on the Captiva side by the jetty rocks. As I dug through the “picked over” shell pile, we got to talking and she told me she hadn’t found too many keeper shells but was just happy to be on the island enjoying everything else about the beach. That’s when I uncovered a beautiful FLAT SCALLOP with a tiny hole in the top. I handed it to Michelle and told her it was meant for her. I was soooo touched to see that she was on the cruise with her family AND that she made that FLAT SCALLOP into a gorgeous necklace with a little SEAHORSE charm. OMG I love that she made it into a special treasure to remember a special day we happened to meet.  Shellers rock!

how to make flat scallop shell into necklace

Lindsay had told me about an awesome HORSE CONCH she had found on Sanibel last week so when we got back to the dock at McCarthy’s Marina, she showed it to us. Wow! Lindsay, I’m so happy you showed it to us. That IS awesome and will clean up beautifully with a little elbow grease.

lindsay dodd with empty horse conch

Even though the beach wasn’t piled up with mounds of shells this time, we were treated to a DOLPHIN show with babies, lots of friendly wildlife and most of all – a perfect day in paradise with a boat ride on calm waters full of happy people meeting an amazing community of likeminded shellers. 

iLoveShelling blue toe nail polish

You won’t want to miss the upcoming shelling cruises! Check out the new dates CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam


Shelling For Sunshine

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orange chestnut turban

 Through cloudy skies and and patchy rain, I was thrilled to find this bright beam of sunshine called a CHESTNUT TURBAN colored brilliant orange. I know it doesn’t look at all “chestnutty” but believe it or not that’s what it is.

orange chestnut turban aperture

 My second fave find in the last few days is another ray of sunshine…. a COLORFUL MOON SHELL (or also called a GAUDY NATICA). This one seemed exceptionally colorful AND gaudy…

gaudy natica

 Clark and I were convinced that the out islands would be loaded with shells still from Tropical Storm Debby and the weather the last then so we hopped on our boat with some friends and headed out to Cayo Costa. I found more sunshine with a little HORSE CONCH candy!

cayo costa seashell

 Daron, Jacob and Berringer donned the snorkeling gear…

snorkel cayo costa

 …And found a FLORIDA CONE!

Florida cone cayo costa

There were pockets of seashells hidden around the tree roots in the high tide wrack line where we found some BABY’S EARS.

shell pocket cayo costa

 Everybody loves these tree roots! Susan and her son Berringer were no exception. It’s the perfect backdrop for photos.

susan berr cayo costa florida

 Clark was busy working his magic with the shelling backhoe and pulled up lots of LETTERED OLIVES and a few TRUE TULIPS…

Clark banded tulip

All in all, it was a really fun trip on the boat but it wasn’t at all “loaded with shells” like we thought. So after our boat ride, we stopped at Blind Pass Sanibel….where it was “loaded”. I found my 2 fave shells of the weekend (the orange TURBAN and the MOON above) within 10 minutes.

Shelling Blind Pass Sanibel

I was also fortunate to have met EJ who is a research associate with Department Of Environmental Sciences at UVA (where my nephew just graduated…with distinction!) , Hannah (an educator at UVA as well) and her mom Crystal (AL). It was fascinating to hear about EJ’s project to map the mangrove ecosystems of Sanibel and research the soils and sea grass beds along SouthWest Florida. What a fun job! Well he must have mapped out where the ALPHABET CONES would wash up because they were plucking them out right when I walked by…

EJ, Hannah, Crystal shelling bp

 Crystal showed me her fave find which was an unusual cluster of shells. It is a double CORRUGATE JEWLBOX, double KITTEN’S PAW, BARNACLES and a few sprouts of CORAL that cemented together to make a beautiful little shell bouquet.

corrugate jewelbox kittens paw

 While dodging the storm clouds for 3 days, here’s an assortment of the shells we kept (Clarkis saving the LETTERED OLIVES for next year’s 4th of July parade already). Need help identifying all of these shells? Check out my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page!

Cayo Costa seashell collection


Oh What a Beautiful Boating Day

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Live Limpets on a fallen tree on Cayo Costa

No rain and no work! …. Time to get out on the water. We took the boat out to our fave spots North Captiva and Cayo Costa. We found three BABY’S EARS, a few WHELKS and WORM SHELLS (only a few) and the views were spectacular. Well worth the trip.

Periwinkle on Cayo Costa

Ibis and roots

South tip of Cayo Costa

Limpets in wood grain

Barnacles on tree root ( I know, nothing fancy but I thought it looked very picturesque)

Ibis in a Cayo Costa tree

Ibis enjoying the view

Clark with a Rocksnail

We weren’t really sure what this shell was Clark found but he insisted it was something good. It kinda looks like a worn KINGS CROWN but the opening edge is sort of serrated. It was really slimed with algae and gunk so Clark got it cleaned up and then check again in the books to see if it’s a ROCKSNAIL . That’s what it looks like so far. It’s got some wear and tear but it’s 2 and a half inches long and it’s not something we find every day. I think it’s a good find too, Clark! (Update- 10-7-10: Yes, it’s a rocksnail. We got verification from MurexKen and Dr. Jose Leal from the Shell Museum. Thank you both!)



Birds on North Captiva

Christine (Venice FL) finding shells on North Cap

Pelican landing strip