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

We Passed Lots-a-Shells at Pass-a-Grille Beach

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fargo Worm Shell, Florida, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, Pass-A-Grille Florida, Roseate Spoonbill, St Petersburg, Sunray Venus, Whelk, Worm Shell | 30 comments

Shells found Pass A Grille St Pete Beach Florida

Shell trip! Clark and I took a beach combing road trip from Sanibel Island to Pass-A-Grille over the weekend …  and had blast finding lots of shells. We found all of the shells in this next photo as we walked from our hotel Inn On The Beach, down to the south tip of the island at jetty rocks to the Pass-a-Grill North Channel.

sea shells on Pass-A-Grille beach St Pete Florida

It was like an OLIVE garden just at the water’s edge but we even found some of my faves….  WORMIES.

worm shells pass-a-grille beach florida

There were lots of shells to pick through on the gorgeous beach as well…

Beach combing Pass-a-Grille
I was tickled to find a teeny tiny BROWN-BANDED WENTLETRAP hiding in the mix.

brown banded wentletrap

There is an island right across the channel from the jetty rocks called “Shell Island”.  What? Shell Island? Of course we had to explore it! There are ferries to take people over to the island but since we wanted to spend all day on the water, we rented a boat. Look at the color of the fabshellous LIGHTNING WHELKS we found. Gorgeous!

Dark lightning whelks Shell Key Florida

We actually had more luck on the back flats of Shell Island instead of the beach on the Gulf Of Mexico side. There were lots of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS, oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS shells and some really funny live KINGS CROWNS scooting all along shallow waters so I did a little time lapse video of one of them to show you. Ha! Groovy KING CROWN dance moves coming up….

So in between the KINGS CROWN congo, Clark found one of the prettiest orange colored LIGHTNING WHELKS we’ve ever seen. It is really the color of a carrot!

sharks eye and orange lightning whelk


Ok- I took another video too of all of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

We also boated over to Egmont Key to find a beautiful sandy beach island.

Egmont Key Island Beach Florida

We didn’t find as many shells on Emont Key but we found a couple of ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS. Ohhhhh such treat to find these pink feathers!

Roseate Spoonbill Feather Egmont Key beach Florida

At the end of the day, we sat our on our lovely porch to admire all of the beautiful colors and patterns of so many different shells we ended up finding.

Shells found staying at beach front hotel Pass A Grille

We had a lovely time shelling and then relaxing in our beautiful room at Inn On The Beach.

Inn On The Beach Hotel room Pass A Grille Florida

Not a bad way to celebrate our 19 year wedding anniversary, huh?

Pam and Clark Rambo with shells

Sunset at Pass a grille St Pete Florida


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Roseate Spoonbills Feeding At Low Tide

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Roseate Spoonbill, Rosete Spoonbill Video | 19 comments

crow tagged injured roseate spoonbill florida

As long as we’ve lived on Sanibel, there are only a handful of times I have seen ROSEATE SPOONBILLS close enough  to get (somewhat) good photos of them. It’s such a special treat to see them!

roseate spoonbills laughing gull lee county florida

We saw these ROSEATE SPOONBILLS in the same area we passed on our way to Cayo Costa on the iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise where I showed you the WHITE PELICANS. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to go back there! We didn’t see the WHITE PELICANS this time but I was thrilled when Clark spotted these instead.

roseate spoonbills captiva flats marsh florida

I always see them swinging their beaks from side to side through low tide mucky water feeling for tiny fish or shrimp or other crustaceans to feast on. Once their beak comes in contact with food, a special sensory nerve signals their beak to instantly close (I think I have that too- haha). Wouldn’t you like to see them feeding too? Well I thought so, so I took a video of them! Actually I have 2 videos for you but here’s the first one I took a few days ago. Oops! It’s a little shaky since I was sinking in that tidal muck so I was trying to keep my balance! But you’ll get the see how beautiful they are and witness that motion with their beaks for feeding.

I made this next video 2 years ago (my post Roseate Spoonbills At Sanibel Causeway) when I saw quite a few ROSEATE SPOONBILLS near the causeway in Fort Myers. I had a little more time back then so I made a fancy dancy movie with music- I love doing that! If you missed it then, you are in for a treat! Enjoy!

PS- I’ve also seen them multiple times in Ding Darling National Refuge on Sanibel. You just never know where they will show up but that’s a good place to start if you want to spot them.


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Blue Sky Boating to Beachcomb

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Depressed Slipper Shell, Dusky Cone, North Captiva, Roseate Spoonbill, Rough scallop, Sand Dollar, Scallop, Worm Shell | 30 comments

boating sw florida captiva blue sky

We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday.  Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.

sw florida island beach

We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.

sand dollars seashells florida gulf coast

But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!

lemon yellow rough scallop seashell

We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…

roseate spoonbill at low tide west florida

We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.

sand dollars seashells florida gulf coast

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Everything’s In The Pink When You’re On The Beach

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Colorful Moon shell, Conch, Dragonfly, Fighting Conch, Fort Myers Beach, King's Crown, Rose Tellin, Roseate Spoonbill, Sand Dollar, Shark's Eye, Snowy Egret | 27 comments


Everything seemed to be coming up pink roses while I took a walk on the south stretch of Fort Myers Beach Friday afternoon. ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, AUGERS, SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS and BANDED TULIPS all had a beautiful pink tint. The beach was blushing with beauty!

low tide beach lee county florida

The last time I was on this beach I found oodles of shells but I thought it may have been because of Tropical Storm Andrea. Obviously not! I went to see my friend Stefanie on south Fort Myers Beach again but this time, she went shelling with me. She was thrilled to find a SAND DOLLAR!

stefanie sand dollar ft myers beach florida

Well, let me rephrase… she was ecstatic when she found 7 SAND DOLLARS (one broke- waaaa)! Along with the ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, we found a GAUDY NATICA, a NUMEG, OLIVES, FIGHTING CONCHS, 2 SHARKS EYS and 4 KINGS CROWNS. Wow!

rose petal tellin roseate spoonbill feathers

You had to pick up each FIGHTING CONCH and KING’S CROWN to look inside to make sure nobody was home. It was fun to see lots of live shells but it  was way more fun to find an empty one to shout about. “It’s empty! Look how pretty!”

conch shell beach surf

We met Alysa and Justin visiting from Colorado…

alysia justin shelling ft myers beach

They were finding great shells too!

seashells found ft myers beach florida july

I knew we were going to have good luck anyway though. As soon as we stepped on the south end of the beach we were surrounded by DRAGONFLIES. I’m not sure you can see them all in the next photo but click on the pic to enlarge it to see thousands of them. They bring good luck!

dragonflies sea oats sky

I tried to rescue one of them that got stuck in a tidal pool but not sure if she made it. She was sooooo beautiful!

beached dragonfly myers florida

Stefanie and I had a wonderful time collecting not only shells but very cool BEACH BLING. It’s a hidden gem!

Fort Myers Beach Florida seashells Point Estero

sand dollars gullwing resort ft myers beach florida

This beach reminds me so much of Lover’s Key beaches with the same types of shells but with the added bonus of SAND DOLLARS. I guess it should remind me of that beach since it’s right across the bridge from Lover’s Key State Park. It’s a little harder to get to this beach because there is limited public parking…BUT… there are about 5 metered parking spaces about 5 blocks north on Flamingo Street. If you want to do a little shopping in Santini Plaza, you could park there and walk across the street to the beach. I think this is another reason why it’s such a good shelling beach- not much competition! LOL

PS- Remember- Big hats and sunscreen. We only want to find pink shells and pink bling… not pink skin!

roseate spoonbill feather ft myers beach

snowy egret ft myers beach florida

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2012 Sanibel Coastal Cleanup

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Alternate Tellin, Mussel, Puffer Fish, Purple Sea Urchin, Roseate Spoonbill, Southern Horse Mussel, Tellin, Urchin | 27 comments

coastal clean up crew

As part of the Ocean Conservancy‘s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup, Dee Serage of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) organized volunteers to pick up and document litter on our beaches and coastlines this past Saturday. So the beach on Sanibel from Blind Pass to Bowman’s is free and clear of any trash because of our fun little cleanup crew in the photo above from left to right… Susan (Soul Sister Susan), Daron who was our efficient record keeper, me, Super Sheller Clark, Judy, Grant, Cameron and Berringer.

We spread out and literally combed the beach.. or should I say “litteraly”.

beach combers clean up

We searched high on the beach for trash…

judy susan clean up

…and we searched low on the beach for litter. We had to leave these big shells piles for another day but couldn’t help but look for something unusual.

seashells boys

Berringer did find a few unusal shells. Oh, and remember the SPOTTED EAGLE RAY I showed on my last video? Clark had “spotted” the ray in the water and told everybody to come look at it but Berringer is the one who knew exactly what it was right away. “Look! It’s an EAGLE RAY!” (you see why I like him?)

berringer alternate tellin

He found a beautiful yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN pair…

alternate tellin yellow

And look at the bright purple color of this SOUTHERN HORSE MUSSEL !

False Tulip Mussel horsemussel

It even has purple in the interior…

interior false tulip mussel

Grant found this very cool completely dried PUFFER FISH

grant puffer fish

This is what I call cool BEACH BLING

dried puffer fish

Grant also found this sweet little SEA URCHIN…

tiny sea urchin

Yes, there were lots of shell piles like I showed you  in the cyber shelling photo on my last post with but we were on a mission to pick up trash and we had a very long walk so we only picked up the cool unusual things that didn’t weigh much… like this ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! We rarely find these…

roseate spoonbill feather sanibel

Clark brought home this aqua buoy. We couldn’t throw that away!

clark with aqua bouy

But back to the main reason we were there… to rid the beach of any trash. Cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, more and more plastic were the top items found but I was so surprised to see so many balloons with ribbons on the beach. Balloons are a huge NO-NO to bring to the beach! They can get swallowed or wrapped around wildlife so please never take balloons to the beach for any occasion.

ribbon balloon bowmans

Fortunately, our beaches aren’t terribly littered so I think we only filled up 7 fairly small bags which is not so bad for a 2 and 1/2 mile walk. But Clark didn’t stop there. He even saw trash thrown over the beach access boardwalk so he fished it out under the rail. Go Super Sheller Clark!

clark picking up trash

 I’m sure yall do this already, but just a reminder while we are shelling… let’s pick up any trash and put it in our shell bag until we can find a trash can or dumpster to dispose of it. Okay, So… lets recap what we do as “shellers”. On our beach walks we can get exercise, find treasure, explore, learn about wildlife and the creatures of the sea AND save the planet AND spread peace on earth. LOL Yes! Shellers save the planet! We are the Super Shellers!

Bowmans Beach trash

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2011 Top 10 i Love Shelling Posts

Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 in Bobcat, Decorate with shells, Dolphin, Florida Keys Trip, Junonia, Octopus, Roseate Spoonbill | 23 comments

My Top 10 Most Fave Posts Of 2011! 

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been an amazing year on the beach so I thought I’d look back on all of my favorite posts of 2011. I realized not all of my favorite days were completely about seashells. Some of my favorite days of 2011 have been about the wildlife I’ve experienced because of my obsession (ha!) passion for shelling. So I’m starting with #10 then counting down to my number ONE favorite post. I bet you guess what that will be- heehee. Click on each title or photo to read each post…


Tips To Decorate Your Home with Seashells

Seashell mirror top dmm


Seashells Swarm The Shell Fair

Junonia shell collection


Sorting Seashells For The Holidays

sorting seashells identification


Bobcat On North Captiva Beach

Bobcat on Florida Beach


Top 10 Reasons Why I Love The Beach

Reasons why I love the beach- sea oats


Road Trip For Seashells In The Florida Keys

MurexKen with Queen Conch


Splish Splash Sanibel Dolphins Having a Blast

Sanibel Dolphin at sunrise


An Octopus Hatching Babies Video

octopus eggs hatching


Roseate Spoonbills By Sanibel Causeway Video

Roseate Spoonbill Sanibel


 #1 Favorite !!!!!     (Of Course, right?!!!)

There’s A New Super Sheller In Town!

My first junonia aperture


These were my favorites, what was your fave iLoveShelling post of 2011?



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