The waters surrounding Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises were so calm and crystal clear, we could see all sorts of amazing live creatures like this TWO-SPINED SEA STAR…
… And live LETTERED OLIVES…
As well as huge live HORSE CONCHS with several colonies of different hitch hikers making their home.
It was shellsational!
Sylvia from PA was thrilled to find quite a few empty FALSE ANGEL WINGS.
It was an ANGEL WING kind of day! They may not look like much here in this next photo, but trust me… they are very special finds when they have just come out of the water still little dingy and packed with mud with both halves still together. These were only just a few of all the ones we found. It was so cool!
Sally, Kathy, Lynda and Mary from MI were some of the lucky ones to have gotten handfuls of them.
Lynda also found some other favorites too.
Carrie and Valerie (KY) couldn’t help but stay in the water to hunt for treasures.
They were both finding ANGEL WINGS plus some other awesome shells.
Rock hounds from Michigan- Nicole, Joe and Steve were happy to hunt for gems in the warm clear water. It was so much fun hearing about their PETOSKY STONE treasure hunts compared to hunting for shells. Thanks for the lesson!
They found a variety of goodies but I especially loved Nicole’s JUVENILE SOUTHERN QUAHOG with the zig zag pattern (bottom left). When the Southern Quahogs get older, they lose that great pattern so its always fun to see it at this stage.
Kathy from NC was a-dorable all dressed in her aqua and shelling sister tee. So much fun to meet you!
And talk about a-dorable… real true shelling sisters Cindy (Ohio), Teresa MD and Margie (Ohio) are only 3 of 7 sisters… with 7 brothers. They are the sweetest happiest gals and it was a pleasure to meet y’all!
Local sheller Deena found a bucket full of double SUNRAY VENUS shells. Thank you for coming with us Deena- just know Im thinking about you this week.
Vanessa, Ana, Marta and Alice came to SW Florida all the way from California to find shells… and they were ready! Ana, it was so much fun to compare notes with you on some of the shells and beach adventures.
Shelley, Kianna and David (MI) were very lucky that the water was so calm and clear to have spotted a huge perfect ANGEL WING and to get it back to the CAPTIVA CRUISES dock safe and sound.
It’s always fun to meet families that shell together like Eddie, Bill, Donna, Isabella, Steve and Michele from Delaware. They all have great shelling eyes that they must have gotten from Donna.
They had asked me where they could find WENTLETRAPS on Cayo Costa and I told them they were there but we don’t find the very often on that island. Low and behold Donna found a WENTLETRAP and her granddaughter Isabella found one too. Isabella inherited her gramdmoms shelling eye! Congratshellations!
Join me for a Shelling Adventure CLICK HERE !
It still amazes me to walk the beach to see miles of seashells lining the coast…
Joann from New Jersey remembered her mother used to make jewelry from the shells she collected on Sanibel so wanted to come back to do the same.
Combing the beach back and forth in front of Island Inn Sanibel, she found BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCH, OLIVES, LIGHTNING WHELKS, COQUINAS, CALICO SCALLOPS, APPLE MUREXES and a sweet colorful NUTMEG.
Her brother Harry and his wife Joann (easy to remember!) from Tampa were thrilled to find so many shells they remembered as kids.
Sandy McFadin had commented on my iLoveShelling Facebook page last week asking what the shelling was like at Island Inn. Hmmm I hadn’t been in a while so this is for you Sandy! And… Sarah the ShellAnimal had requested another video so I started shooting a video at the Island Inn before the rain came in to chase us all off the beach. While I panned around to the shore, I caught Harry walking towards me then stopping to pick up a shell. Then he called out “Hey, I found four OLIVES!”
Come beach combing with me and you’ll see why I had to meet Harry and the Joanns. Click on the video…
The evening before this, Clark and I walked this same stretch of beach for sunset where Clark found a perfect FLAT SCALLOP and we had fun watching all of the birds like this beautiful SNOWY EGRET…
A BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER….
And a WILLET…
We also loved adding to this shell tree.
I made a wish when I added my shell…
It was a perfect way to end a beautiful day…
Wishing upon a shell shrub :)
With a beautiful beach, shells, sunsets and lively wildlife… it’s the perfect place to gather people who love shelling to join me for a 4 day shellathon during Shellabaloo! It’s coming up soon so don’t miss out for our April 24 event! CLICK HERE for more details. I love to meet new shellers!
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!
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!
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!
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!”
We met Alysa and Justin visiting from Colorado…
They were finding great shells too!
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!
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!
Stefanie and I had a wonderful time collecting not only shells but very cool BEACH BLING. It’s a hidden gem!
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!
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!
That seashell pile on Captiva’s Blind Pass jetty rocks is the gift that keeps on giving. Suzanne (Ft Myers) found a tiny bright orange HORSE CONCH with that cute little white tip about the same time I found my “candy” too.
Get ready, cyber shellers! This is the shell pile I saw my little treasured “candy”. I was doing the Sit ‘N Sift in that big pile when I saw a little sliver of orange peeking through. Can you find it too? (Click the pic to enlarge. It’s a big file so it might take longer to download)
You got it!
Dave and Colleen (PA) were practically digging to China to strike buried treasure.
Eureka! They struck gold! He pulled out a golden HORSE CONCH and said “There are 2 famous lines for shellers. The first one is… ‘Oh my gosh that shell is absolutely gorgeous!’ and the second one is…’Awwww. If this shell were whole, it’d be perfect!’” hahaha How many times have we all said those line??!!!!
While I was on the shell pile digging around, Clark was in the water with his infamous shelling backhoe…
I knew he had something unusual when he came up to give me a shell. A BEAUTIFUL CRASSATELLA! We don’t often find these on Captiva.
Another beautiful day in paradise!
The full moon low tide yesterday made for a beautiful morning walk at Blind Pass Captiva. But there was so much sand filling in around the jetty on both sides that I wasn’t finding the seashell treasures that usually build up there.
As you can see the beach on the left hand side has filled in again like it did last year in December so I walked along the sand bar towards the bridge….. and finally found treasures.
I was tickled to find this beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK up on the beach…
The minute I finished taking this picture below, the big WHELK caught me eye because it seemed to change position. There was a crab in there! He was tucked in there so deeply I didn’t see anything in there when I picked the shell up. Woops! Back in the water he went to grow big enough to claim his home a little better. So I had to hunt for another WHELK to make my Sanibel Six complete.
Earlier in the week, I walked down the beach in Captiva with my friend Ellen at low tide to find hundreds and hundreds of GULLS and other birds hanging out.
They were having a feast on thousands of tiny fish caught in the tidal pool. It was fascinating being there to see half these birds enjoying an early Thanksgiving and watching the other half probably feeling a little overstuffed wanting just to take a nap. Ellen and I couldn’t figure out what kind of fish they were munching o so I’ll just call them Guppies… I know they aren’t guppies… but enjoy Guppies And Gulls with Ellen and me.