Archive for Barnacles

Sep
10

A Barnacle Bit Of Beauty

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barnacle on blue

Have you ever found a BARNACLE flower? They are beautiful clusters of BARNACLES that cement themselves to shells or other hard surfaces in intertidal areas which wash up on our beaches as perfect little BARNACLE blossoms like this…

sw florida barnacles

When I was young, I thought BARNACLES were shells like SLIPPER SHELLS that attach themselves to HORSE CONCHS and WHELKS or like LIMPETS attaching to rocks and boat dock pilings. But they aren’t MOLLUSKS at all… they are CRUSTACEANS. They are in the same family as CRABS and LOBSTERS. Funny, huh?
Sanibel barnacle among shells on the beach

I’ve even seen BARNACLES attaching themselves to SEA TURTLES, CRABS and even MANATEES. They don’t feed on these creatures they just hitch a ride for a lifetime and filter feed. I’ve seen several live BARNACLE clusters wash up in the surf lately so I was able to get a smidge of video before I quickly put it back in the water. You’ll see how the BARNACLES cement themselves head down on this APPLE MUREX shell while their legs come out searching for water to feed. YouTube Preview Image

I haven’t spent much time scouring the beaches of SW Florida in the last month since the shelling has been…. well… it’s been a little slow. Yes, there are nice shell lines at Lighthouse Beach and there are lots of the more common shells lining Gulfside City Park but we have come to a stand still in bringing anything home unless it is something very different than we already have collected- like these BARNACLE FLOWERS. Clark and I have neglected to clean, sort and organize our treasures we have collected since I have been blogging…  So this has been the perfect time to organize. I found this cute little jar to keep them separated from our other BLING so now I can easily find them if we find more to add. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal… but honestly, this is a huge step to get us organized! So yes, I’m making headway in the Shellaboratory.

shellaboratory jars of barnacle beach bling

Now that I’ve started on organizing, I’m obsessed with it and can’t wait until it’s completed so I can show you. So while I’ve been shelling periodically at Gulfside City Park finding BARNACLE flowers and sorting through our finds from the past, Clark told me our friend Jim found a JUNONIA. Yes. A JUNONIA! He found it in the surf at Gulfside City Park Monday around 7pm. Jim’s wife Sue is the real sheller of the family and has never found a whole JUNONIA- dang it! They said that night they had only found one OLIVE in an hour or so when Jim saw color and spots in the surf that he scooped up with his shelling backhoe. Congratshellations Jim!

Jim found a junonia

PS- Now I know what you are thinking… “impossible that perfect JUNONIA washed up when there were no other bigger shells coming in!”.  Since we know Jim and he swears he didn’t play a trick on Sue, both Clark and I believe he found it in the water at Gulfside City Park. The conditions aren’t “optimal” to bring in deep water shells like the JUNONIA right now (high or continual west winds) but Mother Nature has a way of always keeping us guessing.

Explore with me! Join us Friday SEPTEMBER 12 on our iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa- CLICK HERE!

shelling adventures trips by pam

Categories : Barnacles, Junonia
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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

Jul
17

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