As I hear about the terrible winter storms north of Florida, I feel a wheeee bit embarrassed to be complaining about the chilly weather of 54 degrees here on Sanibel Island that swept through yesterday. So before I get out my big down coat and boots with wool socks to head to the beach, I’m hoping if I post the photos I took earlier in the week from our iLoveShelling trip to Big Hickory (when we were still in bathing suits, shorts and tee shirts), it’ll warm us all up a tad.
There were warm, colorful shells strewn all over the bright sunny beach. ;)
Our group was able to wade in the Gulf Of Mexico without a care in the world.
And find ALPHABET CONES, LACE MUREXES, LETTERED OLIVES and FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS.
I met awesome families with rosy sun-kissed cheeks finding buckets of shells.
GAUDY NATICAS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ANGEL WINGS, SHARKS EYES and NUTMEGS.
Wow…. and more ALPHABET CONES!
So many shellers with their ALPHIE eyes on!
It was such a pleasure to spend such a gorgeous day hanging out with so many cool shellers.
SEA PEARLS, DRIFTWOOD and WORM SHELLS…. I absolutely loooooove these beach treasures.
JUNONIA Sue (from my last post) and friends were with us!
Thank y’all for coming out and enjoying the day with me.
A day of beach combing always warms the heart…. and hopefully helps give a little warmth even if it’s virtual shelling. Stay safe, y’all!
I’ll let ya know what these high winds from this winter storm washes up on our beaches soon. The waves are entirely too rough right now but the anticipation… always exciting! :)
PS- I’m trying to work out some new dates for the next few months so once I get everything worked out, I’ll post them on the Shelling Trips page HERE. Hopefully soon!
I surround myself with seashells. I have shells and beach bling in every room of my house, my yard, my car, my pockets and even my dreams. So now I wear one around my neck as well. For my birthday this year, Clark bought me the sweetest little ALPHABET CONE necklace from our talented friend Wendy Miller.
It truly feels like a simple walk on the beach with the juvie cone shell, a small piece of driftwood wrapped with my fave color turquoise (amazonite) and a leather cord.
Since I’ve had sooooo many compliments and questions about my necklace, I thought I’d introduce you to the artist… Meet local jewelry artist Wendy Miller!
Clark and I had such a great time shelling with her last week at Blind Pass because she gets excited about finding the same types of shells we like. For most shellers, finding a FLAT SCALLOP is an amazing find but she also loves to find the cutie little KITTENS PAWS, colorful CARDITAS (she uses as clasps), orange SCALLOPS and she is especially crazy about finding the perfect piece of driftwood.
Each piece she makes reflects her love for beach combing. Like you and me, she not only receives shells as gifts from the sea, she told me she receives inspiration from the sea every time she walks the beach. Isn’t that why we all love shelling so much?
Like each beach day and every shell, each piece of jewelry has such a unique look and organic feel. Love that!
If you want to check out some of her other beautiful beach art pieces, her website is called Heart Of A Dolphin you can see by CLICKING HERE
This is why I surround myself with what I love.
I always look forward to boating days!
To see big smiles …
On on our iLoveShelling Adventure to Big Hickory with Sight Sea-R Cruises.
I love when we all can get together to tell shelling stories. Annie brought her JUNONIA she found at Blind pass last week. Shellzam Annie!
It’s such a beautiful place to spend time shelling together.
For the whole family to hunt for treasures together. ;)
Since I’ve been so tied up for the last few months with creating Shell Love Bug (CLICK HERE) I feel so badly I didn’t get to share our awwweeesome trip last month to Big Hickory so I want y’all to know I’ve been thinking of that amazing day too.
Cutie shelling families!
Y’all are such a beautiful sight for sore eyes!
It’s always so cool to see the shells and beach bling everybody finds.
This is truly beach therapy.
Nice ALPHABET CONE, Denise! She found this incredible shell (incredishell) while beach combing with her family Devin, Paul and Gwyneth (they found awesome shells as well!) at Big Hickory Island on our iLoveShelling adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises earlier this week.
I had such a great time seeing everybody find ANGEL WINGS, WORM SHELLS, SUNRAY VENUS shells and some much more. It’s what makes it so special to me.
It was so much fun to talk to Sarah and Catherine about their shelling trip to North Caicos they took last year. After I posted about our trip to Turk and Caicos in 2013, they followed our same trip and loved it just as much as we did.
I’ve “met” Jason and Twyla on iLveShelling Facebook page but I finally got to meet in person on our trip. It was a blast to hang out with y’all!
Jason showed me the KNOBLESS FIGHTING CONCH he found compared to the regular “knobbed” FIGHTING CONCH. And of course one of a few SAND DOLLARS he found.
Subreda and Sumita came all the way from Mumbai, India to visit local sheller Menju and to join us for our shelling day. They are awesome they even shared some yummy Indian snacks – deeee-licious. Thank you so much for shelling with us, y’all.
These are some of Sumita’s shells…
The shelling girls Mickey, Becky and Carolyn came out to shell with us too.
Mickey found her first SEA PEARLS…
Sisters Robin and Sue went for totally different shells.
Sue found an awesome ALPHIE, ANGELS, TULIP, KINGS CROWNS and cool Beach Bling like BRYOZOANS and SEA PEARLS.
Robin found happiness in the mini shell pile… look at that sweetest lintiest SAND DOLLAR omg.
We were in the presents of lots of other mini shell lovers too like Cheri.
Hey Hey, They are back! Jerry and Livy are learning their way around Big Hickory better than anybody on the beach and in the water. They’ve been on this same cruise quite a few time and it’s so dang cool that Jerry shares his knowledge with everybody too.
On our boat ride to the island, I saw Jon and Bob with snorkel gear so I asked Jerry if he would give them any tips. While Romaine combed the beach her men, Jon and Bob snorkeled around the water and used some of Jerry’s advice… Oh yea. Happy faces!
Most of our shellers found their treasures on the beach, like Diane and John…
… and Laura, Mike, Paula and Jim
… and Wendell and Liz .
On the return boat ride after our fabshellous shelling adventure, Bob and Romaine had mentioned they find Fulgurite pieces (fused quartz that happens when lightning strikes the sand. Remember the movie “Sweet Home Alabama”? ) on beaches of North Carolina and they thought they found some FULGURITE on Big Hickory too. Since shellers are so like minded, I showed their pieces to our whole boat of shellers … come to find out, we all collected similar pieces. Ok, so…. these are the pieces in the photo below. We are still trying to figure out if they could be FULGURITE. Last year on this iLoveShelling cruise, we had a geologist on the boat and he thought it was wave tumbled concrete from an old concrete structure. He thought the holes were old shells that had crumbled over time. Hmmmmmm… the mystery continues. Concrete? Or FULGURITE? Whadaya think?
To make the day even happier, everybody received their gift certificate from Congress Jewelers too!
It was an amazing day with awesome folks. Thank you for coming!
We found so many CONE shells down by the seashore at Big Hickory Island this week. Sweet giant JINGLE SHELLS, WORMIES and WHELKS were among the beauties we found as well.
Meet Super Sheller Dale in the red shirt. He found “CONE COUNTRY” with those ALPHABET CONES and FLORIDA CONES in the first image plus a few more fun favorite shells with Sandi and Kelvin all visiting from Illinois.
We had so many cool shellers like SW Florida locals Kelli and Howard join us on this gorgeous day for our iLoveShelling beach combing adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises.
So much fun to meet Brett and Meg from Virginia. I think being 7 months pregnant has made Meg’s shelling eye even more keen.
She found some awesome treasures so I’m hoping they have a little sheller on the way since their little one has already felt the joy that shelling has.
Brian and Kristen (Chicago) were the SAND DOLLAR magnets.
Peggy (also from IL) loves the CORAL like I do- she found an awesome branch.
Mary Ellen from Minnesota was so smart to fill her plastic shell bag with sand to protect her ANGEL WINGS and other fragile shells. Love that!
John and Mary (WI) found 3 live colorful SEA ANEMONES hanging out on a BANDED TULIP.
Once we marveled at the color and saw this creature “flowering” when we dipped it in the water, I took it out a little deeper in the water to return it to the Gulf Of Mexico. Always fun to see the different creatures of the sea!
Seeing this photo of Margaret (NY) and her daughter Danielle (RI) just makes me smile. They are so sweet together and
It makes my day to see families enjoying the thrill of the beach hunt together. It was a pleasure to hang out on the beach with Miriam, Emily, Laurie and Jim (Oregon) and to find ANGEL WINGS, OLIVES and SHARKS EYES with them. ❤︎
A shelling family is a happy family because it’s so much fun to learn about the beach. Wes, Ruba, Laurie and Neal (Virginia), thank you for bringing your kids Teagan, Ethan, Matthew and Lilli on our shelling adventure. I had so much fun walking the beach with them and answering all of their questions about all the different shells and bling they found.
It was way too cute to see the beach finds they chose when I asked them what their favorite things were that they found on the beach.
Hershel, Connie, Nathalie, Collin, Kylie and Scott (Indiana) were celebrating Nathalie and Scott’s 20 year anniversary. Such a fun way to shellebrate with their family!
You never know what you will find shelling by the seashore. On our cruise, most shellers hit Cone Country and I found a sun, fun shell filled day with the sweetest shelling families and friends old and new… my favorite days.
PS- Have a wonderful Easter Weekend!
The shell world is a fascinating adventure to learn about the lives of MOLLUSKS and the people who collect their shells on the beaches across the planet. Because I am one of those people obsessed with living my life in the world of shells, I love to hang out with people who love to share their knowledge about them too. The Sanibel Shell Festival is a great place to do that.
I’m thrilled Sunnye (TX) shared her colorful shell collection she found beachcombing in Eleuthera, Bahamas (top photo).
Her sister Lisa (TX) had some awesome displays too for which they both won awards.
Lisa EXHIBITED this gorgeous SMOOTH TELLIN…
But I looooved this cool display Lisa did showing the difference between the SHARKS EYE and the FALSE SHARKS EYE. It explains and shows the difference in detail (for more info check out my post Sanibel Shark Week… Featuring The Shark Eye Shell).
And then there’s Stef! I’m so happy for her- she won a blue ribbon for her double FLAT SCALLOP she found by Sanibel’s Island Inn.
Wait… did you miss what I said? Okay, lemme slow down… she found both sides of her FLAT ZIGZAG SCALLOP still hinged together. Exactly like she displayed it… on Sanibel… and with amazing color. Wow! Years ago, I was thrilled when Clark found just the other half of a FLAT (the right valve) since it’s rare to find them here (CLICK HERE to see what the other side looks like) … and she found both perfect valves still together. Shellzam! Congrats Stefanie!
There were lots of displays showing ALBINO shells this year but this one by Ken and Joyce Matthys was really very cool. Here they shows tons of ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES they’ve found through the years…
In the next case they show FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES which are ALBINISTIC. They explain… “Some shells lack their normal color, but they are not pure white. Instead they may be pale yellow, cream-colored, or have other hints of color. These are referred to as being albinistic”. Hmmm Haven’t you seen some like this? I have and now we’ve learned a name for this color form… ALBINISTIC.
Anne Joffe’s seashell emergency room display was hilarious and voted best for People’s Choice award. Freak and damaged shells that repaired themselves to form in odd shapes were propped in mini doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and surgery rooms with bandages, crutches and doctors notes.
Check out this PALLID CARRIER SHELL with an attached GLASS SPONGE (from the Philippines) by exhibitor Robert Linn. Wildly beautiful.
Last week I posted about the artistic side of the show with SAILORS VALENTINES, shell frames and all sorts of shell art and craft but when you look at some of these shells like these ATLANTIC TRITONS exhibited by Holly Nordyke, you realize you are looking at the most perfect work of art ever made. Stunning.
Hope to see you next year at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival!