Finding one beautifully detailed SCALLOP on the beach can set me off on a whole evening of combing the beach for just a few more special SCALLOPS with different patterns and designs.
Dont get me wrong, I still like to see and find OLIVES, CONCHS and such.
I found most of my treasures on Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park beach while stopping to giggle at the flocks of IBIS birds wading in the surf bobbing their heads while strutting along the water’s edge.
At the end of the day, collecting a few spectacsheller SCALLOP shells makes me smile and fills my happy beach heart every single time.
When you enjoy the outdoors and comb the beaches on Sanibel as often as I do, every single day becomes a wonder. I wonder if there is going to be a magnificent sunset today? Oh yes. There often is. I wonder if dogs do the Sanibel Stoop while on the beach too? Oh yes they do. LOL
I wonder if I will ever get tired of watching people do the Sanibel Stoop? Oh no I won’t!
Those to Sanibel Stoop-ers I was wondering about were Lindsay (NH) and her mom Vickie from Georgia. They were watching in wonderment over the live LETTERED OLIVES making their trails through the sand when I caught them stooping on Gulfside City Park over the weekend.
I told them to keep going a few more yards to find some SAND DOLLARS and other shells that I saw Cheryl and Dick (Cape Coral) collecting…
I loved what they had collected…. seashells AND bling- SAND DOLLARS and a FEATHER. I know so many people get very concerned when they see folks picking up dark colored SAND DOLLARS but trust me, these were not alive. Cheryl even asked me to look over them just to be on the safe side before she put them in her bag. I’ve heard so many people say lately… “I wonder how you can tell whether a SAND DOLLAR is still alive or not”. I’ve found that it’s easiest to describe a SAND DOLLAR that is not alive as being “bald” (Mr Clean style!) so there isn’t any “hair” on them. Cheryl’s SAND DOLLARS may be dark but they were all “baldies”. LOL There was one of hers that still had some cilia/hair/fur around the sides but the complete front and back were completely bald ….. I’ll call that the George Costanza style! LOL The SAND DOLLARS breath through that cilia so if most of it is gone, they are not alive and you can collect them. So to sum it up…. Cheryl had about a dozen “Mr Cleans” and one “George Costanza”. hahahhaa
Yesterday, I checked out Blind Pass Captiva only to find a very sandy beach with just a few shells rolling up. You can still find shells in the water but you have to snorkel for them. There were so many fishermen near the jetty rocks, it’s a wonder how anybody could have shelled that area any way. Ack!
I walked over to the Sanibel side of Blind Pass near the old wooden sea wall and tree roots only to find lots of sand but a flock of beautiful IBIS birds. It’s such a wonder how the beach changes so quickly.
I’ve heard that the water is still filled with shells but you have to swim around and/or snorkel for them… but I didn’t have time to do that but I always enjoy my beach walk and I still have a few SAND DOLLARS of my own to clean up. So put on your suit and grab a snorkel if you want to find your own wonder-ful day!
Early evenings in August bring cool breezes on the gulf coast when skies turn dramatic hues of blue and afternoon rain showers of the tropics begin.
Shells are strewn across the beach but my eyes start to wander away from my seashell treasure hunt to the ever changing clouds that paint the perfect backdrop for my beach companions… the IBIS birds.
I was mesmerized at their beautiful back and forth strut with their beaks constantly sorting through the sand in the surf searching for their meal of MOLE CRABS (SAND FLEAS).
They are so peaceful to watch. Well, except these guys… The one on the right has “her” feathers all ruffled and looks like she is a little peeved at the other one like two siblings. “I told you! Stop getting in my space!”. The other one looks like he’s looking around going “Huh? Me? I didn’t do anything!” LOL
I hope you had a beautiful weekend (without any ruffled feathers). heehee
PS- I’m trying out Instagram to post more pics! The photo of the shells was one of my iPhone photos posted Saturday afternoon. If you have an Instagram account, look me up at Instagram.com/iLoveShelling.
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…
This will give you an idea of how “big” those little gems are by looking at my handful of sweet somethings…
As much fun as it was collecting minis, I was tickled pink when Clark showed me his fave find… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER.
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.
Here are four immature WHITE IBISES hanging out with a SNOWY EGRET and a BLUE HERON.
It was a bird lovers paradise last night. I even saw the dance of the REDDISH EGRET…
Before it got dark, we stopped at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach just in time to catch a beautiful RAINBOW…
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…
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.
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)
8. Ummm. Why did I put that in there? I have no idea what it is. LOL Best guess?
10. Pitted Murex
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!
It’s always a thrill to spot a ROSEATE SPOONBILL with its bright pink feathers and its aptly named bill that looks like a wooden kitchen spoon.
As soon as we drive over the Sanibel causeway at low tide to get to the Fort Myers side, we look to the water on the right to see if the ROSEATE SPOONBILLS are feeding. They were there this past weekend! I took a few minutes to capture them with my camera lens.
I even caught them phooning…
They feed by swinging their head back and forth sweeping their bill in the water feeling for fish, insects, crustaceans and a few water plants. When they feel the right food, they snap it up.
You can see it for yourself! I made a video for you to see these beautiful ROSEATE SPOONBILLS and the IBIS birds they hang out with.
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