Archive for Bones


Tattoo Shell Crazy

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seashell tattoo Ashley

Do you love shelling? Ashley loves shelling so much she wants to always be able to look down at her feet to see shells any time of day … wherever she is. So she has seashells tattooed on her foot.  I love that! I especially love that because she is the daughter of one of my long time friends from high school, Laura. Laura, Miyuki, Ashley and Ashley’s bestie Ashlyn came to Sanibel for a visit. So of course, we went shelling. There’s nothing better than catching up with friends from the old neighborhood in Virginia while walking the beach in Florida.

Laura, miyuki, ahsley ashlyn sanibel shellers

They couldn’t get over all of the live and empty shells at GulfSide City Park (for a map CLICK HERE) that are still there.

conch shells sanibel beach

Not only did they find shells, Ashlyn and Ashley found so many cool pieces of DRIFTWOOD. Ashley’s looks like a dragon head, right?

Ashlyn Ashley Sanibel drift wood

I know yall are gonna think I’m crazy but I was thrilled when Ashlyn picked up this cool dried out fish head (Gar, maybe?) with all of his teeth in tact then gave it to me. haha I love the weird BEACH BLING! Thanks Ash!

fish head all teeth

 Just like I showed you in February, Miyuki is still taking photos…

miyuki photos seashells birds sanibel

Thank you Laura and Miyuki for the blast from the past!

Laura and Miyuki sanibel florida

Okay, I’ve got to change the subject just for a sec…. because….

The new 2013 iLoveShelling Calendar is here!!

Waahhooo!!2013 iLS calendar

It’s chock full of your favorite photos and memories of shelling on Sanibel so each day you can see and reminisce about your favorite beach. It even has a QR code on each calendar month so you can scan it with a smart phone to take you to the iLoveShelling post to read the story about the photo. Don’t know about QR codes? If you have a smart phone or iPad, go to the app store and download a QR code reader (I use RedLaser) for free. Then scan away! It’s so much fun!

It’s just in time for Holiday gift giving! To see and buy… CLICK HERE 

jan 2013 cal blog pic

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Sanibel seashell collection isaac

Now this is what shelling after a storm should look like! Woop! Woop! Look at those LIGHTNING WHELKS and that HORSE CONCH! But hold on… I hate to get you too excited. So before you start envisioning piles of shells washed up by the load full in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac already, the shells really haven’t made it on the beach yet. They are still in the water. That’s how our buddy Donnie found all of these shells this morning. By the time I got to the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach at sunrise, Donnie had already scooped the goods. See? All by himself in the water with no other competition. LOL

collecting shell at sunrise

There were a few FIGHTING CONCHS and usual suspects on the beach closer to the lighthouse point but not like Donnie’s finds.

shells at sunrise sanibel point

So before I get to the beach again this afternoon when the tide starts to recede, I thought I’d go ahead and post these awesome photos so you will know what to expect when these beauties hit the shore. Need help identifying any of these shells? Click on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page…

Donnie seashell collection

Gorgeous shells Donnie! Should I call you Awesome Sheller Donnie since “Super Sheller” is already taken? Or King Of The Dawn Donnie? Donnie The Cone King (He’s found over 140 since January)? Never mind, I got it!… Donnie, The Shell Dominator! LOL

Donnie Sanibel seashells isaac

I just heard that Blind Pass Captiva had some shells churning in the surf so it’s hard to decide where I’m gonna head first in an hour or so. Acckkk! So many places to shell and not enough time! If I find major shell piles forming, I’ll will send a quick TWEET or post on FACEBOOK then post again here ASAP. Happy Shelling!

Oh wait! I wanted to show you that in case you couldn’t figure out what that thing is in the top right corner… It’s a sea turtle shell bone. I found a piece yesterday too but mine doesn’t have that bone piece running through it. BLING!

sea turtle shell bone


Calm After The Tropical Storm On Sanibel

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conchs whelks sanibel

 After Tropical Storm Debby blew through Southwest Florida last week, things are now calm, the parking lots are cleaned up and I met lots of happy shellers enjoying the sunshine all weekend. I saw MANATEES that were even out socializing…

shellers manatee

 Remember Barbara from West Virginia who found the JUNONIA on my last post? She was back shelling near the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva when two MANATEES swam right by her. Lucky Lady!

barbara manatee captiva

 The big pile of shells near the jetty was completely gone but there were still a few keepers rolling in the surf.  Candy from Cape Coral found a sweet little SHARK’S EYE…

Candy sharks eye captiva

 On the Sanibel side of Blind Pass, there were lots of shellers finding FIGHTING CONCHS and WHELKS…

sanibel seashells handful

My dear friend Mary B (she is moving away soon so I’ll miss you Mary!) found a perfect tiny FLAT SCALLOP.

mary b flat shell

 I loved talking to this next family from Ringwood New Jersey! Kevin, Alyssa, Kelly and Bailey have been coming to Sanibel for years and they Love Shelling! They just arrived when I was leaving so I hope they found some goodies.

family sanibel shelling

 My fave find of the weekend was this BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN BEAK BONE Super Sheller Clark picked up on the beach.

dolphin jaw bone

 These are the holes where the teeth were on this side of its jaw bone!

bottlenose dolphin bone

 Apparently, this is just one side of the mandible so this bottom right side was broken off the left side of its jaw.

dolphin beak bone mandible

In my research, I couldn’t find out what these holes are for in the next photo. They are definitely not from wear or from another animal so if I were to speculate, I’d say they were for sensory (?)…. but I wouldn’t bet on it. Do you know?

holes in dolphin beak

 UPDATE : Thank you Karen S and Jeff B for letting us know that the holes in this DOLPHIN BEAK BONE are called “Mental Foramen”. They are the openings for the nerves and blood vessels to pass through….and we (humans) have them too. Again, THANK YOU KS and JB for your comments so we can all learn together!!


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Beach Bling Is A Wonderful Thing

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beach bling flotsam sanibel gulf

If you want to learn the types of seashells, sea life, vegetation and what the different kinds of mollusk egg cases look like and live in the Gulf Of Mexico, you’ve got your chance this week. It all washed up on the beach on the East end of Sanibel.

beach bling flotsam

You can see it for miles. So many mollusk egg casings and PEN SHELLS galore!

mollusk egg cases Sanibel Florida

MERMAID PURSES! Well, they are really SKATE EGG CASES…

mermaid purse skate egg

HORSE CONCH EGG CASINGS (I shot this with the Nikon J1)…

horse conch mollusk egg case


mollusk egg casings beach

Lots of CRABS too. This one is a STONE CRAB…

stone crab sanibel florida

My friend Jane called me and said she found a dead crab shell on the beach that had a NAUTILUS  shell pattern. She has found a NAUTILUS before so she would know! Wanna see? CLICK HERE . So I went to see this crab…and it does have that pattern! It’s a FLAME BOX CRAB…

box crab jane

I also saw lots of SEA WHIPS. This was the first time I’ve ever found a WHITE SEA WHIP…

white sea whip

We normally just find the purple SEA WHIPS but when I went to see Jane’s FLAME BOX CRAB she showed me this bright yellow WHIP she picked up as well.

purple yellow sea whip

There were oodles of PURPLE SEA URCHINS also ( J1)…

purple sea urchin on seashells

I always get questions about the bones on the beach. They are from the bait in the crab traps… not random dead carcasses. LOL

beach bone flotsam

I also get a lot of questions about this guy on the left. It’s a SEA CUCUMBER…

sea cucumber sanibel

Don’t worry, I saw lots of shells too. Mainly, the double DOSINIAS.

Cyber Sheller Alert! This next photo is really big so you can do a little shelling and blinging…

dosinia sea shells sanibel cybershell

Looking through all this BEACH BLING, there are little treasures that look like this so you have to look closely…

turban horse conch shells

Some goodies were still washing in at the shoreline as well…

scattered shells south florida

The big find was by Seth (FL)! He found this huge HORSE CONCH on the sand bar near Donax Rd. Here he is with Erin and Reese…Erin Seth Reese

See? BEACH BLING is a wonderful thing… (J1)

beach bling flotsam jetsam

PS- Some of you know I’ve been testing a new Nikon J1 camera. It isn’t very spontaneous but when I do catch a nicer shot than with my spontaneous, trusty, easy, clear Panasonic DMC…. I’ve noted it.





Boxes and Boxes of Sanibel Seashells

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Leroy categorize seashells

Shells, shells and more shells. Leroy can’t get enough seashells!

tubs of seashells sanibel

He loves to walk the beaches of Sanibel to collect any type of shell he can find to bring home then clean, oil, categorize and box them all up in his garage. I see Leroy on the beaches quite a bit so he invited me over to see his collection.

organized Sanibel  seashells

He categorizes them at home AND he’s a volunteer at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to organize shell collections that are donated to the museum. See? He can’t get enough of shells. I got tickled at this next box since those gorgeous CONES were  mixed together with all of the other “UNIVALVES”. He said “I have a method to my madness… I just don’t have enough of those categories to have their own box yet since we just moved here 2 years ago”. Yep, that would take a lot of CONES to make enough for their own box… for sure!

univalve box

 He also likes to collect BEACH BLING! You know I love me some BEACH BLING too. This was my favorite in his collection… a PURSE CRAB that still had all of it’s legs attached.

sanibel florida purse crab

This is kinda wild- ALLIGATOR GAR  jaw bones…

alligator gar jaw bone

Before he moved here, he used to collect GEODES from New Mexico…

geode from new mexico

He gave me a GEODE that was formed inside a fossil shell and a few yard shells. This is the first time I’ve seen a SEASHELL GEODE. Thank you so much for the tour, Leroy, and for my new “sheode”! (FYI-”sheode” is not a scientific name, I made that up- heehee)

geode in a shell

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Pretty Perfect Lion’s Paw

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Lions paw donnie

Donnie wasn’t kidding when he commented “Bring it!” for the wanna-be shelling competition in my January 1st post. He went right out to Blind Pass Captiva and scooped up his first perfect little LION’S PAW this morning! Score! You win today Donnie- Congrats!

Blind Pass shells rough water

He must have snagged all the ALPHIES too because when I got there, I didn’t see a single piece of one in the whole big shell pile. He did miss this very cool piece of a DEER COWRIE though…

deer cowrie piece bp jan

Christy (TN) found some beautiful WHELKS and started to fill her bag with other goodies too…

christy memphis shells captiva

 I saw lots of the Sanibel Six (minus the CONE) but mostly I loved this delicate FIG laying right on top of the pile untouched…

fig shell BP captiva jan

 I always love to see people sharing their treasures. I caught Carolyn and Les (Fort Myers) admiring the shells together they just found.

showing shell collection

I walked over to the Sanibel side to find hundreds of dead MULLET fish laying on the beach. Ugh. A casualty of Red Tide. Yuck.

dead fish red tide sanibel

 I’ve heard that red tide has been really bad around the Sanibel lighthouse so I’ve stayed clear of the east end beaches the last week. I get that irritating cough when I breath it so it’s not worth it to me any more (I used to tough it out since “they” say it can’t hurt you). But it looks like it’s hit Captiva now too but I didn’t feel that tickle in my chest- whew.

dead mullet red tide sanibel

 I think this may be why Clark and I have found those big shells lately too. Could be from the red tide….. but don’t quote me on that. I’m only speculating since it’s not every day you find 3 (!) huuuuge shells like that in one day. I also found this cool skull…

iLoveShelling fish but looks like a bird skull

 When I found this, I thought it looked so cool and looked like a bird skull. Like an OSPREY or something but it’s not. It is some sort of fish.

iLoveShelling bird fish skull front

Anybody know what kind of fish skull this is? It sort of has that CRUCIFIX SHELL look about it but definitely not the same.

bird fish skull bottom

 Any way, there are lots of shells still coming in from this windy cold front and hopefully the red tide will go away in the next few days so I can enjoy the beach like I did with my girlfriends Jane, Sandy and Mary…

jane sandy mary Sanibel shellers

janes olive lions paw piece alphabet