We found WHELKS, BABYS EARS, WORMIES, CONCHS and lots of SEA URCHINS on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa … but Jeff (from VA) got a head start of everybody else. He started shelling on the low tide mud flat beside the dock at Mccarthy’s Marina before our Captiva Cruises boat even left for the island! He spotted something on the bar then came up with 2 LIGHTNING WHELKS and a PEAR WHELK. Love it!
We arrived on Cayo costa to grey, overcast skies…
But the sun started peaking out just in time to shine on the shells. Amy from Kansas City quickly found 2 SUNRAY VENUS clams with both sides still attached. It was a SUNRAY VENUS kinda day!
Trish and Bill (FL) were having the same luck with FIGHTING CONCHS on the bayside where the boat anchored.
As I walked around to the Gulf side of the island, I saw Elizabeth and her Gramma Linda (Nebraska) working the high tide wrack line where all of the miniatures were hiding.
Elizabeth said she saw a BUBBLE SHELL so then started to focus on finding a WENTLETRAP. Yes! She found one along with a whole host of other sweet minis like this FALSE ANGEL WING, teeny tiny juvie CHESTNUT TURBAN, CERITHS, WHELKS, CONCHS and even tiny dried SEA URCHINS.
Sarah from Fort Lauderdale found a few nice chunks of COQUINA LIMESTONE to use as display for the different shells she found on her trip.
Sasha and Brooks (IL) found a few treasures to fill their shell bucket but I was thrilled for Sasha that she found a beautiful FLORIDA CONE.
I was tickled to see Becky and Wade on the cruise! They are amazing shellers who love everything about the beach and end up sharing most of their shells since they have so many. They are always a delight.
They couldn’t resist keeping the gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUSES. I don’t blame them… look at those colors!
There were some very cool WORM SHELLS that Ellen and Chad (Ohio) found but they found SUNRAY VENUSES as well and the one Ellen is holding up has an incredible color pattern- the color was as magenta as her jacket!
Jeff and Lisa found even more treasures to add to Jeff’s finds at the marina dock and they were also happy to receive $25 gift certificates from Sealife By Congress.
Yes, once again everybody on the iLoveShelling cruise received a $25 gift certificate to trade for a sterling silver charm or to use for anything else in their store. Thank you Sealife By Congress!
It was really fun to see Candace and Ken (MO) again (Candace helped me solve the Texas Longhorn mystery!) in her cutie tee shirt and she had strung a SUNRAY VENUS on a necklace with a silver charm similar to my DOSINIA necklace. Warm and fuzzies, I tell ya.
But hold on, we didn’t just find shells… Sisters Cissy (Asheville, NC), Debbie (Chapel Hill, NC) and Karen (Charleston, SC) had great luck finding shells (the top photo with the BABYS EARS) but they also saw an injured bird that needed rescuing. Carolina Sisters to the rescue!
They hurried back to the boat to tell Captain Skip who grabbed a towel then hurried to the beach to find it. He found a SANDWICH TERN unable to fly because of an injured wing so he gently gathered the bird in the towel to keep her secure then headed back to the boat to call CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife).
As soon as we got back to the dock, CROW volunteers Jaclyn and Ryan were waiting with a carrier to get Miss SANDWICH TERN safely to the clinic for medical help and treated ASAP. I called today to see how she was – she’s gaining weight and healing her wing but she still needs a few more days to recover. Get well quickly, Miss BLT! heehee
Here are the awesome rescuers…
See? Shelling is ALWAYS an adventure. You should join us on one of these exshellent shelling trips with so many other fabshellous shellers. I just announced new dates through May 2015… CLICK HERE for the new dates and more info…
As October is coming to an end, so is SEA TURTLE nesting season. This means that most or all of the nests have hatched already so we don’t have to worry about those little babies making their way from the nest to the water …. sooooo ….bring on the beach art!
Seasons come and go and so do the shells and BEACH BLING. Over the weekend I found some sweet juvie SAND DOLLARS but I went back to Gulfside City Park today and didn’t find any at all. Not one! But that’s what shelling is all about… enjoy the treasures that Mother Nature has put before you at the moment because they may not be there any other day.
I had a few extra minutes today so I ran to the Lighthouse Beach since I haven’t been hanging out there as much lately. So happy I did. It’s always a good day when I find a BROAD PAPER COCKLE!
In just a few minutes I could have picked up oodles of CERITHS and in the same spot…. one LIGHTNING WHELK, one TULIP, a TARPON SCALE and what I think is the smallest double PONDEROUS ARK I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I haven’t had time to inspect it so it could be a double TRANSVERSE ARK but it had that beautiful black periostracom. They look so much alike! If I figure it out, I’ll take better photos then do another post.
Okay, I HAVE to share the funniest comment on my last post that made me literally laugh out loud today. Really, I was hanging with some friends this afternoon and I snuck a peak at my iPhone to see a new blog comment from Andrea. I didn’t want to be rude, but I read the first line and got completely engrossed then let out a huge belly laugh. I know, so rude to my friends but after I read the comment to them, we all laughed out loud together. So this is the photo of ROYAL TERNS (and SANDWICH TERNS) I posted that Andrea commented on…
“I guess they wanted to take terns shelling.
I hope it doesn’t take a tern for the worst!
They say one good tern deserves another.
I hope they re-tern to Sanibel when I’m there!
OK, I’m done with the tern jokes.
Just hope everyone doesn’t tern on me!”
LOL Thank you Andrea, it terned out so great I just had to share it again.
Our next Shelling Adventure is November 7… Join Us!
This past weekend we drove 35 minutes from Sanibel to Little Hickory Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida in search of seashells.
Walking north to the pass from the public parking lot (a bargain price of $2 for 2 hours) only took about 15 minutes to find loads of FIGHTING CONCHS.
After a few minutes more, Clark found a SAND DOLLAR…
I couldn’t get over how many MOSSY ARKS were washed up on the beach mixed in with a few pieces of CORAL and my fave of all faves… WORM SHELLS! They were only tips of WORMIES but any piece is a good piece in my book.
I don’t think I have ever seen so many MOSSY ARKS in one place on any beach before so I gathered a few together to show you exactly what they look like.
I know, I know…. not the prettiest of shells but I don’t see them all that often on Sanibel so I was intrigued with them.
Did I read your mind and know that it reminds you of another shell? It looks like the TURKEY WING! The TURKEY WING and the MOSSY are both ARK shells so they are very similar but unfortunately, I think the MOSSY ARK got the short end of the stick when it comes to looks. ;( Here’s a comparison so you can see them side by side. The TURKEY WING is on the left…
Oops! I switched them in this next exterior photo, the MOSSY ARK is now on the left in this photo. You can now see how similar they are!
We had a wonderful day walking the beach and seeing different shells and the beautiful SANDWICH TERNS and BLACK SKIMMERS…
Along with the SAND DOLLAR, sweet Clark gave me a yellow DAISY that he found on the beach…
We weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the beautiful day in Little Hickory…
Okay, while we are on the subject of Bonita Beach, I have to show you an article about iLoveShelling.com that was published in Coastal Life magazine of the News Press. Weehoo! Click on the logo to read it!
It’s snowing on Sanibel! Well…. maybe not that typical cold stuff but it sure looks like a snow blizzard to me.
It was like the movie “The Birds” for a minute or two while SS Kelly, her daughter Brianne and I were walking the beach when billions of birds crowded the beach. Brianne took the first brave steps to clear the path…
They weren’t afraid of anybody, they were hanging out on the beach just like we were…waiting for some shell action.
Then Kelly caught one! LOL No, no, no… Just kidding. She was getting out her video camera so I took a picture of her. That SANDWICH TERN looks like it is in her hand!
Take a look at the very cool video Kelly took of these “Snow Birds”…
The Sanibel sky turned black with rain clouds and turned white SANDWICH TERNS soaring by. The sky was such a beautiful back drop for them.
There were ROYAL TERNS and LAUGHING GULLS joining in on the fun too.
We didn’t stay on the beach long since that sky looked a little frightful and we weren’t seeing loads of shells other than this cute little LACE MUREX (or lacie), a few WENTLETRAPS and minis.
Up high on the beach was a wide wrack line of what I call “beach bling”. Yes, I made up the phrase! Here’s my definition…. Beach Bling: noun– (beech-bling) 1. anything that washes up on the beach other than seashells. 2. Collectable and/or noncollectable debris washed up on any shore.
Doesn’t “Beach Bling” even make PARCHMENT WORMS sound better?
More Beach Bling in the wrack line like BLACK MANGROVE SEEDS which are the little split green lima bean looking things in this next photo…
…and the RED MANGROVE SEED PODS mixed in…
This baby BLUE CRAB shell would fall into this category too…
But still the best thing to watch was the beautiful birds soaring and swirling in the stormy sky. They definitely stole the show