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

Golden Day On Cayo Costa

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in Blue Heron, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Florida Wildlife, Golden Olive, Melampus, Olive, White Melampus | 7 comments

Golden Olive live mollusk Oliva sayana

We had a golden opportunity to watch a healthy, live GOLDEN OLIVE that Sara found in the water on our iLoveShelling adventure boating to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises on Friday. It’s always so thrilling to see a GOLDEN OLIVE (which is the not-so-common yellow color form of the LETTERED OLIVE) much less, be able to the live creature come out to say hi. Of course Sara placed it back in the water where she found it after I quickly snapped a few photos. So cool- good eye Sara!

Sara indiana with golden olive

The Shellucky Bucket of shells really works! On each of my shelling trips, I have a bucket of shells that pass around so everybody can pick a lucky shell to put in their pocket to give them a little bit more luck on our day together. Most shellers are already lucky but I feel like Clark and I are lucky enough so we want to share our luck by putting our shells we collect in the Shellucky Bucket so shellers like Barbara (CA), Judy and Bill (Fort Myers) to tune into even more Rambo shellapathic senses. haha

barbara cali, judy, bill ft myers shells

Every single time I step on the beach at Cayo Costa, there’s a special feeling I get. I think it’s called… peaceful and easy.

Boating to islands for shells

And it’s exciting! Sharon, Gina, Sue and Barb from Kansas City, MO all found SAND DOLLARS.

Sharon, Gina, Sue, Barb Kansas City with sand dollars on Cayo Costa Florida

So did local sheller Dale from Ft Myers.
Dale Ft Myers with sand dollars on Cayo costa

Dave and Becky (Kansas) found SAND DOLLARS too along with some other nice finds too.

Dave Becky Kansas Sand Dollars from Cayo Costa

Kelli (MN) was searching in the high tide wrack line for the mini shells.

Kelli MN at cayo costa

She found a few shells that I haven’t found in a while… a MORTON’S EGG COCKLE (golden!) and a SPECKLED TELLIN. She was also happy to find her first BABYS EAR.

speckled tellin, babys ear, mortons egg cockle

Shells on the beach Cayo Costa Florida

Susie and Chris from Oregon found sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS in this same shell line pictured above.

Susie Chris Oregon comb bittersweets

I love how each of the COMB BITTERSWEETS have their own unique patterns and golden colors on them.

comb bittersweets

This was a special girls trip for Irma and Joyce who were visiting SW Florida from Canada. Joyce knew every single shell name so it was so much fun to see what they were finding.

Irma, Joyce Canada visit sanibel for shells

Bivalves! Be still my heart. They were thrilled to have found quite a few Purplish Tagelus and to realize how many different colors of JINGLES and COQUINAS are found on Cayo Costa.

bivalve mollusk purplish tagalus jingles coquina

Jackie and Ritchie visiting from Flagler Beach found a few faves… COCKLES and CONCHS.

jackie ritchie flagler beach shells on cayo costa

It’s always so much fun to hang out with so many fabshellous beach combers together in one place to really see how we all find so much joy on the beach. 

collection of seashells and beach bling

I looooove to see all of the different treasures and identify the ones that are firsts time finds for folks. The largest white shell is a BABYS EAR, the brown shell to the left of it is a COFFEE MELAMPUS and the small white shell is a WHITE MELAPUS.
babys ear coffee white melampus


Teresa from North Carolina found all sorts of gifts from the sea and is also showing off her other gifts too- a new bumper sticker and $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress .

Teresa NC with shells and gifts from the sea

On every iLoveShelling shelling trips, each passenger receives that $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers on Sanibel (and the iLoveShelling bumper sticker- heehee). Oh happy days!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It was so much fun to see friends Cliff and Tina on our trip too with their family Scott and Tracy. It was such a beautiful day and seeing y’all made it that much better!

Cliff Tina Scott Tracy

You can join us on one of our iLoveShelling adventures too! For dates and info CLICK HERE


Blue Heron on Cayo Costa


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I Spy Seashells And Beach Bling

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Amber Glass Bubble, Antilles Glassy bubble, Blue Heron, Bruised Nassa, Bubble shell, Dark Cerith, Florida Lyonsia, Ibis, Mangrove Periwinkle, Marginella, Morton's Egg Cockle, Pitted Murex, Reddish Egret, Rice Olive, Rose Tellin, Snowy Egret, Sparse Dove, Wentletrap, West Indian False Cerith | 30 comments

sw florida miniatures seashells

Looking at this top picture you will see most of the shells I found last evening at Fort Myers’ Bunche Beach. Can you identify most of them? While you try to figure out each of the shells… Wanna go on a little CYBER SHELLING hunt for shells with me? All righty then let’s play a little “I Spy”! Don’t mind the “dirty” bling (a mix of peat and other good stuff that gives food to so many living organisms)… just look for some of those sweet little minis that we all love by clicking on the next image to enlarge…

cyber shelling miniatures Bunche Beach Ft Myers

This will give you an idea of how “big” those little gems are by looking at my handful of sweet somethings…

handful of small shells fort myers florida

As much fun as it was collecting minis, I was tickled pink when Clark showed me his fave find… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER.

roseate spoonbill feather bunche beach FL

We didn’t see any ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds but we did see immature WHITE IBIS birds. Ibis juveniles are mostly brown but these guys have started molting out of their plumage becoming adults.

juvenile ibis bunche beach fort myers florida

Here are four immature WHITE IBISES hanging out with a SNOWY EGRET and a BLUE HERON.

birds of Sanibel Fort myers sw Florida

It was a bird lovers paradise last night. I even saw the dance of the REDDISH EGRET…

reddish egret bunche beach fort myers

Before it got dark, we stopped at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach just in time to catch a beautiful RAINBOW…

rainbow over sanibel water shellers

Samuel, Sheila, Gene, Freida (Cape Coral, FL) and their family in the photo above must have hit the pot of gold under the rainbow. They found all of these in the water…

sea shells lighthouse beach sanibel florida

I found another pot of gold under the rainbow when I met Bill, Jody, Brooke, Brandon, Laura Beth and Gramma Kaye. A golden family of shellers from Alabama.

family Sanibel Island beach with rainbow

 Okay, did y’all identify most of the shells in the top picture? Errrr….I have to confess, once I got going on my own I.D.s (and put my reader glasses on), I realized that some of these shells weren’t as obvious as I thought. There were a few that I had to look up… like the PAPER BUBBLE and TURRET. I failed my own test! hahaha I hope you do better than I did! I know the photo doesn’t show both sides of the shell, but if you know what #8 is by looking at this photo or you have a better idea if I misidentified anything, please let me know. Whoops! How embarrassing! LOL (blush, blush)

2.   Paper Bubble – an AMBER GLASSY BUBBLE
8.   Ummm. Why did I put that in there? I have no idea what it is. LOL Best guess?
10. Pitted Murex
11. Turret
12. Oh geez- I’m just going with baby whelk so cute!
16.  Fish Vertebra

Do you love shelling? Would you like to meet other shellers who love the beach and its treasures just as much as you do?  Do you want to learn more about shelling in Sanibel and the out island islands? Join us for Shellabaloo 3!

Island Inn Shellabaloo 3

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The Calm After The Storm

Posted by on Oct 27, 2011 in Blue Heron, low tide, Sanibel, sunrise | 46 comments

blue heron at sunrise Sanibel

 All is quiet now on Sanibel.

beached bouy at sunrise sanibel

The storm is gone and seas are calm.

sunrise sanibel sheller with tool

The sun will rise…

man shelling at sunrise

Life will continue…

Horse conchs sunrise Sanibel

Shellers will shell…

Lisbeth Sanibel stoop

Lizbeth and Maureen will laugh with joy…

Lisbeth Maureen 7

Share their gifts of the sea…

Lisbeth seashells

This is what I call paradise.

Great Blue Heron sunrise Sanibel

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Warm Welcomed Weekend

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Blue Heron, Gulf Oyster Drill, Sand Dollar, Sanibel | 13 comments

Sanibel sunset oyster drill

This is how our weekend started off on Friday. A calm, coral sky at sunset with a few shells scattered along the beach.

Gulf Oyster Drill

Gulf Oyster Drill

This is the cute little shell in foreground of the first photo. Cute, huh? It’s called a GULF OYSTER DRILL and this is what the aperture looks like…..

Gulf Oyster Drill Aperture

Gulf Oyster Drill Aperture

We are starting to see lots of live COQUINAS right at the surf’s edge getting washed up then quickly  digging themselves back into the sand.

Coquinas in the sand

There were a few Sanibel Stoopers enjoying the warm evening and the semi low tide pools off Middle Gulf Drive.

Sanibel Stoop Matt

I was so touched that Matt (OH) was collecting shells to make jewelry for his girlfriend. What a guy!

Matt (ohio) with seashells

Matt (Ohio)

We got a chance to stop by Sanibel side of Blind Pass this weekend too but instead of shelling the sand bar, we walked the beach down to the bayou where I spotted this GREAT BLUE HERON in flight.

Blue Heron flight

We were surprised to see so many shell piles!

shells on Sanibel by bayou

There were lots of FIGHTING CONCHS and WHELKS but I didn’t see any SAND DOLLARS until I met Stephanie from Ft Myers. She found about 6 SAND DOLLARS in her shell bag.

Stephanie seashells

Stephanie seashells

I havent had the chance to clean up the 14 inch HORSE CONCH Clark found this weekend (he’s still beaming) but tomorrow I’ll get that cleaned up and take a few photos then show the rest of the photos of our fabulous boating day.

surf shells sanibel

surf shells sanibel

We looked towards the pass and saw the rain coming. Head for the hills!

shells water clouds

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend as we honored the memories of our fallen U.S. service men and women.

Sanibel beach south BP

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The Sanibel Captiva Shell Report

Posted by on May 21, 2011 in Blind Pass, Blue Heron, Crucifix Shell, Paper Fig, Sanibel, Sunray Venus | 29 comments

Sanibel Great Blue Heron Bird

Captiva Great Blue Heron

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m catching you up on the good shelling from the week and if you are coming to visit, there are still shells at Blind Pass (Sanibel and Captiva), minis at the lighthouse and just west of the lighthouse we’ve been finding lots of other shells that I’ll show you.

Brianne Kelly shell collecting

Brianne and Kelly shell collecting

Brianne and her mom Kelly (AZ) were at the lighthouse  beach finding SCALLOPS, WHELKS and CONCHS but the most unusual find for Kelly was part of a CRUCIFIX SHELL. It brings good luck!

crucifix shell half

Kelly's crucifix shell

They also found some beautiful PAPER FIGS in the low tide pools…

Paper fig Sanibel shell

Paper fig

You’ve got to do The Sanibel Stoop to be able to spot good ones in the tidal pools.

Sanibel Stoop at dusk

Sanibel Stoop at dusk

The Stoopin found her this one….a double SUNRAY VENUS!

Sunray Venus clam shell Kelly

Kelly's Sunray Venus

Brianne was finally able to find and hold a live STARFISH for a minute or two to admire it before she safely put it back in the water.

star fish gazing

Brianne starfish gazing

After talking to Liz and Sergio (central FL) while they were admiring a live SAND DOLLAR , Liz told me she was a record holder for the largest ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK and received a Best In Show award at a Florida shell show. She found it at Lover’s Key about 10 years ago. Dang it! I forgot to write down how big it was so maybe she’ll comment and let us know.

sand dollar Sanibel Island

Liz and Sergio (FL)

As we were walking west from the lighthouse the tidal pool got wider and wider for us to see live creatures and empty shells as well. This is Katie from Houston without a shell bag but making due by lining her treasures on her arm like a shelf…

Katie arm shells Sanibel

Katie (TX)

Katie's Sanibel shells

Katie's shells

This area (around the Seaside Inn) was about where I found the live SHARK’S EYE I showed a video of yesterday. If you didn’t see the video, it’s a cool one you don’t want to miss so CLICK HERE.

Tidal pool Sanibel Island

Tidal pool Sanibel Island

To catch you up on Captiva’s Blind Pass, I stopped there on Thursday to find…. ahhhhh- such beautiful calm, aqua water with a pile of shells by the jetty.

Captiva aqua water shells

Captiva aqua water

Sharon (Orlando, FL) was having a great time replenishing her shell collection since she just used most of her shells….. this is so sweet….. to decorate for her wedding last week. She is on her honeymoon!

Sharon Sanibel shell bucket

Sharon (FL)

She was happy as a clam finding ….well finding CLAMS…and SCALLOPS….and CONCHS….and this COLORFUL MOON SHELL.

Colorful moon shell aqua

Colorful moon shell

With all this happiness, I don’t even want to give you the bad news. It’s just that my little Smittie the Kitty is sick again so that’s why I haven’t been keeping up with getting out all the shelling news too timely. I think she’s going to be okay now… oh it’s too much info to go into …but she’ll be a RadioCat next month- and that’s some good news!

Smittie the kitty with shells

Smittie the pretty kitty

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Write From The Beach GiveAway!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2010 in Birds, Blue Heron, Giveaway, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, White Pelican, Write From The Beach | 132 comments

 a Sand Dollar…. breathes through its feet

I have been combing the beaches all my life finding seashells and beach treasures, viewing sea life and beach birds. This summer I was so inspired by all of these beautiful beach creatures I photograph and blog about that I decided to pick up the paint brush again. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had 16 designs that I packaged into notecard gift packs with FUN FACTS about each sea creature for a fun twist. Check a few out…..

a Horse Conch … makes ocean sounds if it’s next to your ear

a Dolphin … sleeps with one eye open and one eye closed

They really do! Half of their brain sleeps while the other half is awake…. so the half that’s asleep- the eye closes.

a White Pelican … has an average wingspan of 10 feet

They are HUGE!

Here’s what the front of the Sea Life box looks like…

a Seahorse … has a single mate for life

There are 4 designs (2 each) in each 8-pack box of Seashells, Beach Treasures, Sea Life and Birds.

Back of the Beach Treasures box

So now you know what I’ve been up to when I’m not blogging. I am very excited that some of my favorite retailers already have them in their stores- check them out!

AND now for the GIVEAWAY!……


A WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN- congrats to Karen Wells!

Win 4 boxes of Write From The Beach notecards as a “thank you” for your inspiration….

  • i Love Shelling Seashells
  • Sea Life
  • Hello, Birdies
  • Beach Treasures
  • Free Shipping in U.S. (outside U.S.?- We’ll work something out)

Here’s how to win……

Go to to look at all 4 boxed notecards and photos of each individual card, then come back here to make a comment HERE ON THIS POST (comments on will be disqualified-sorry!). Just tell me which ones you like best…or any comment will do because the pick will be random.

That’s it! Just make a comment HERE on or before Friday, September 3, 2010

If you don’t know how to make a comment- Click on the Title of this post (Write From The Beach GiveAway!) and scroll to the bottom then follow directions. Or you can click on the number in parenthesis (for example (1) or (0) ) after where it says “By pam – Comments” under the post title.

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