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

Warm, Colorful Shells on A Sunny Beach

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 8 comments

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!

 

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Big Fun on Big Hickory iLoveShelling Cruises

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Big Hickory Island, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 8 comments

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I always look forward to boating days!

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To see big smiles …

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On on our iLoveShelling Adventure to Big Hickory with Sight Sea-R Cruises.

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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!

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It’s such a beautiful place to spend time shelling together.

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For the whole family to hunt for treasures together. ;)

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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.

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Cutie shelling families!

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Good friends…

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Fab shellers…

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New friends…

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Y’all are such a beautiful sight for sore eyes!

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It’s always so cool to see the shells and beach bling everybody finds.

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Sealife By Congress Jewelers

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This is truly beach therapy.

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i Love Shelling Cruise to Mystery Rocks

Posted by on May 14, 2016 in Big Hickory Island, Bryozoa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 16 comments

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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.

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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.

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beach combing

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.

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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!

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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.

knobless knobbed fighting conch

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.

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These are some of Sumita’s shells…

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The shelling girls Mickey, Becky and Carolyn came out to shell with us too.

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Mickey found her first SEA PEARLS…

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Sisters Robin and Sue went for totally different shells.

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Sue found an awesome ALPHIE, ANGELS, TULIP, KINGS CROWNS and cool Beach Bling like BRYOZOANS and SEA PEARLS.

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Robin found happiness in the mini shell pile… look at that sweetest lintiest SAND DOLLAR omg.

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We were in the presents of lots of other mini shell lovers too like Cheri.

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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.

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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!

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Most of our shellers found their treasures on the beach, like Diane and John…

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… and Laura, Mike, Paula and Jim

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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?
maybe fulgurite lightning strikes sand rocks

To make the day even happier, everybody received their gift certificate from Congress Jewelers too!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It was an amazing day with awesome folks. Thank you for coming!

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Chillin’ With A Chilly Shelling trip to Cayo Costa

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Beach Bling Sea Debris, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Crucifix Shell, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Echinoderm, Sea Bean, Sea Cucumber, Sea Pearl | 10 comments

seashell collection variety

We’ve had a nice cold snap that brought in some great lines of shells this week just in time for our iLoveShelling beach combing adventure to Cayo Costa island with Captiva Cruises.

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Okay, I know…. I should actually say “chilly snap” instead of “cold snap” since it was in the 60s but with the wind and being in the boat, it feels great to break out the jackets in Florida. So we bundled up and hit the beach just like twin sisters Debbi, Darlene from MA who found SUNRAY VENUSES, ANGEL WINGS, an ALPHABET CONE and lots of other treasures.

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Those were the same favorites that Pam and Mark from Baltimore found too.

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Joe, Liliana (NY) and Tim (Michigan) filled their shells buckets to stock up on some fun with art projects for the winter.

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I love days when there are lots of BEACH BLING that washes up on the shore as well… so lucky! A CRUCIFIX SHELL.

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We even found a live SEA CUCUMBER washed up on the beach so we snapped a photo then returned it to the water.

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I got soooo tickled with this next group of shellers from Pennsylvania… Stephen, Kathy, Phyllis and Dennis. Every step of the way, these guys were smiling and laughing with every stoop- y’all are so much fun! And congrats on your “concrete” find, Dennis. heehee

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I wish I could have shown you all the cool stuff Stephen found but the SHARKS EYE, BANDED TULIP, OLIVES and SUNRAY VENUS were so striking. Of course that fact that he picked up a BUTTERCUP, you gotta like this guy (Clark loves BUTTERCUPS so Im a little partial to them). He had found the little olive (on his wrist) on a previous trip to Sanibel so Kathy made that bracelet for him. I love that!

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It was a wonderful day to be chillin’ with so many cool shellers and find out we have mutual friends. Jim Tony, Bert and Lois say “Hi” to Diana for me! ;)

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Well, some of my photos didn’t turn out so well but I still wanted to show you that there are so many different and unusual things to find … from COFFEE MELAMPUS to MORTONS EGG COCKLES to SEA PEARLS to JINGLES to TULIPS to OLIVES.

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This is exactly what makes shelling so much fun.

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You can tell by seeing everybody all wrapped up on the way back to Captiva having a little Shell N Tell like Marie from Michigan.

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Its always so much fun to see the treasures.

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Its always such a treat to see Sue Bunkin whom I met on the beach years and years ago along with her beautiful family. Sue has spread the shelling love down through the generations of her family and now out to her girlfriends Mary, (Sue), Helen and Karen. shelling girls

It was so much fun to meet Mary and Karen (Lakeland, FL) when they showed me their favorite shells they found – OLIVES and TULIPS… while Karen told me that my blog and videos have helped her teach Marine Science to her students. Wow! I’m so honored I could help share the love and wonder of the beach and sea creatures with her class. Thank you Mary and Karen, that makes me verrrrry happy.

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You can also see happiness in the face of Michelle from Denver after she showed me her 2 incredible double VENUS SUNRAYS. These beautiful gifts from the sea will be perfect reminders just how special a day out on the water and exploring a new beach really is.

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As always, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers  (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!

Sanibel Sealife Congress Jewelers gift certificate

Join me on another iLoveShelling adventure CLICK HERE 

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PS- In the first photo, are WORM SHELLS, FALSE ANGEL WING, BABYS EARS, LETTERED OLIVE, LIGHTNING WHELK and ROSE PETAL TELLIN found by Diane from Tucson on our trip (she didn’t want her photograph again- heehee)

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2016 New Years Beach Reshellution

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Bay Bean Sea Bean, Beach Seed Pods, New Years Eve | 15 comments

2016 sea foam and shells on a beach

Happy 2016!

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It’s gonna be a shelltastic new year if the shells keep rolling in like they have done the last few days all along the beaches of SW Florida. From Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach to Blind Pass Captiva there were mounds of shells piling up then washing out with the tide. They come and go… come and go… come and go.

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We also did some island hopping around the out islands to find some very cool treasures. We don’t find the little BAY BEANS (on the bottom right in the next photo) very often so I’m always thrilled to find those cute little SEA BEANS.

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I love finding different types of seashells and beach bling… i Love everything there is about Shelling. Beach combing gets us out to the beaches to explore and learn about the ocean and wildlife that surrounds the sea… but it’s also a restoration of the soul, don’t you think? Walking the beach is like meditation- we get lost in the moment with the sounds of the waves, the warm sunshine on our skin, the salty breezes and the search for beautiful things. And there are so many beautiful things its hard to decide which beautiful things we need to hold and take with us. We can’t take the sun or the waves or the breezes with us although they are embedded in our minds. But there are the gifts from the sea like those sweet little WHELKS and that cute little BAY BEAN we want to put in our pockets so we never forget the glorious days on the beach. Hmmmm… so this made me think…. how many shells do I need to keep? Granted, I collect more than the average sheller because I have this blog in which I share my experiences so we can all learn the different variations of shells and bling that wash up around the world. I also craft with shells and give gifts of shells… but there’s a time to …errrrr… diet. I think I need to go on a shell collection “diet”. So…

My New Years Reshellution!! Here it is…. I will comb the beaches as I normally do but at the end of the day, I will choose only a few treasures to bring home with me- less than 8. I will take photos, then leave the rest or give them away on the beach. I’ve been doing this for a while but then there are days when I get too excited and forget to pick out my faves and put the rest back. From this handful of goodness, I chose to keep the dark HORSE CONCH (wow- what a great size!), that teenie tiny cutie little LACE MUREX, the NUTMEG, the OPERCULUM (under the NUTMEG), the middle dark LIGHTNING WHELK and the WORM SHELL (it’s hard to leave a WORMIE!). But from now on I have to remember that I don’t need to over indulge- less is more- that’s why I love the minis!

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And plus… There have been so many beach combers on Sanibel lately, we don’t want to take away any of the treasures from anybody else. So many happy people finding shells. Happy New Year!

Shell collecting on Bowmans Beach Sanibel

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Autumn on Sanibel

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Bay Bean Sea Bean, Beach Seed Pods, Coquina | 14 comments

Autumn coquina shells on Sanibel island

Just when I’m missing how beautiful it is up north when the leaves are changing to colors of red, orange and yellow -I look down on my Sanibel beach to see this…

colorful coquina shells on the beach

Autumn COQUINAS!

Autumn coquina shells on Sanibel

Well of course I found the sunny Florida COQUINA and JINGLE shells too that always make me happy.

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Combing the beach through a sea of white ARKS, CROSS-BARRED VENUSES, KITTENS PAWS and JEWELBOXES…

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Clark found a fab juvie APHABET CONE, few sweet shells and a BAY BEAN. This is another type of SEA BEAN we find on Sanibel but I didn’t get a good photo of this one- next week, ok?

Beach finds on Sanibel Island November

Of course we had to laugh when we saw this TURRID (“Clark, it’s not called a turd, its called a turrid !!” … every time- haha)

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We are giving thanks to feeling the island style fall harvest of the colors in our beloved seashells and sunsets.

Sanibel beachcombing at sunset

 

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