Archive for Coral

Nov
15

String Of Shells On Captiva

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collection of captiva shells and coral

As I walked onto the sand of Blind Pass Captiva towards the Gulf Of Mexico yesterday, I didn’t see much of a shell pile forming on the beach. But I did see Rena (Fort Myers) in the water about knee deep with her shelling backhoe filling up her bag. It was so much fun to see such much beautiful CORAL in her bag then she showed me her two FLORIDA CONES, GIANT BITTERSWEET and that sweet little orange candy.

rena with shells from the gulf of mexico

There was one small string of shells that had come in at the high tide, that most of the shellers were picking through to find a treasure or two. Since this was on Captiva, you could say they were doing the Captiva Crouch instead of The Sanibel Stoop…. Oh yes… that would be a crouch!

captiva shelling

After lots of people had already picked through this wrack line, Jay still found an amazing treasure. A perfect SCOTCH BONNET! Shellzam!

scotch bonnet found on south captiva beach

Brenda and Jay from St Louis were already happy with all of the other shells that they had found so the SCOTCH BONNET was just icing on the cake.

jay brenda st louis visit sanibel finding seashells

He was so surprised that it was in perfect condition with such great color just sitting in that shell line. You just never know!

scotch bonnet found on captiva beach

Jamie from Ft Lauderdale was doing double time. After he threw out a fishing rod to catch a few fish, he couldn’t help but catch a few shells as well.

jamie ft lauderdale seashells

Beautiful OLIVES and CONCHS but I couldn’t take my eye off that gorgeous ROUGH SCALLOP right below the bucket.

jamie seashells collection

Around 11am I felt so lucky to find a CARRIER SHELL! This is how I saw it….

carrier shell in the sand

I had to leave the beach around noon but came back to Blind Pass Captiva around 3:30pm just to see what the low tide had exposed. The beach hadn’t changed that much (actually, it looked pretty picked over by then) and didn’t see lots of shells in the water like the high tide had shown… BUT …. I saw another CARRIER SHELL! I may have missed it earlier since I don’t think the tide had brought in more shells after I left but this is exactly what it looked like sitting with the other shell. Click on this next photo. Would you have noticed it?

carrier shell in shell pile captiva florida

 This is what it looks like from the side view. See how it collects other shell fragments and CORAL to cement them to its shell?

american carrier shell captiva florida

Here is another view of the one I found in the morning. I love that this shell is a shell collector too like us!

carrier shell with seashell fragments

I love to find unusual shells so I was thrilled with my treasures. Other than the CARRIER SHELLS, I didn’t find many whole UNIVALVES like WHELKS or TULIPS in that line of shells but I did find a piece of a LIONS PAW and a piece of JUNONIA and some awesome CALICO SCALLOPS  and CORAL.

carrier shells lions paw junonia piece

The other shell above the piece of CORAL in my last photo is a FROND OYSTER. I wouldn’t say it was a rare shell, but I don’t find many of them in good condition like this one. I know, it’s not so pretty (like the CARRIER SHELL) but I gotta tell ya, these things make me so happy when I find them. It’s all about the little things in life.

frond oyster shell captiva florida

Have a great weekend!

shelling adventures trips by pam

seashells color beach blanket captiva

Seashells + Sunshine + Rainbows = Happiness.  It’s the perfect equation to make for a great weekend. Seeing those beautiful shells on a rainbow beach towel sums it up and makes me smile from ear to ear after being out in the sunshine. Karen and Mike from Fort myers found a FLORIDA CONE, TINTED CANTHARUS, OLIVES, AUGERS, CONCHS, WORMIE, CORAL and lots of other goodies to total an exshellent shelling day at Blind Pass Captiva.

blue beach blanket seashells

Donna from Clermont, FL looked as beautiful as her shells (on the water blue beach blanket) while she was being shaded by her darling beach hat and umbrella. She was thrilled to find 2 BANDED TULIPS!

donna clermont fl visit captiva seashells

You know I love to peek in shell buckets! Oooooo. I spy an ALPHABET CONE!

seashells inside blue shell bucket captiva

Laura from Ft Lauderdale is the proud sheller filling up that shell bucket.

laura with shells captiva turner beach

Wow! These are some of her faves … the perfect ALPHABET CONE, BITTERSWEET, TULIP, NUTMEG and a cool piece of CORAL. Happiness.

laura ft lauderdale visit sanibel seashells

I started out the weekend at the Lighthouse Beach where I met Gary from Illinois with his shelling backhoe. He wasn’t having much luck finding keeper shells that evening but he said he didn’t mind since he had already collected great shells all throughout the week. He knows the beach changes every day so you have to take advantage of what you find each day… and that evening was a double rainbow! You can still see the faint rainbow on the horizon behind him.

gary shelling backhoe sanibel

Bella and Mackenzie had to stop and take in the beautiful site before it faded away. Sweet!

mackenzie bella watch rainbow sanibel

I posted this same rainbow with the CONCH SHELL on Saturday because I couldn’t wait to show you. They never last long so it’s always so exciting to see them, much less snap a photo in time to catch it. As I was snapping photos of the shells under the rainbow (CLICK HERE to see it), twins Brady and Katie were strolling by collecting shells when Brady reached down and grabbed “my” FIGHTING CONCH. His mom saw that it was the shell I was photographing, so she told him to put it back down. I said “No, no, no…. it’s ok! I’m not going to keep it any way”. LOL By that time, the rainbow was in full color so while Brady and Katie still had the shell, I snapped another photo of them. OMG it this adorable or what? You can’t make this stuff up!

brady katie tampa visit sanibel rainbow

It’s happiness.

gull and Sanibel rainbow

Jun
09

Welcome To Captiva

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new captiva welcome sign

I saw several work trucks in the Blind Pass parking lot so, of course my first thought was that this was the first sign for the dredging of the pass to begin. Then I saw… literally… a “sign”. A new “Welcome” sign! The crew at R.S Walsh landscaping couldn’t have been nicer and sure did a fine job posing as our welcoming committee. Thanks guys! (hmmm, should it have said “WHELKome”?)

blind pass shell pile captiva

Still no dredging equipment but there is a fresh new pile of shells and big chunks of CORAL. Heather and Karak found a great piece…

heather karak captiva coral shells

I love this piece. It’s a CORAL Kiss!

coral shaped kiss captiva

So talking about CORAL, look at this big honking hunk…

Wendy coral lions paw shells

Oh yaya, You see those ALPHIES, FLATS, deep red TULIP, yellow HORSIE, and the SHARK’S EYE. But I know you had to spot that sweet little LION’S PAW…

lions paw coral

These were all found by Wendy and her husband Kevin (no, he didn’t get in the pic) from Blind Pass to Bowman’s this week.

wendy lions paw

After showing me the other shells, she pulled out this mac daddy HORSE CONCH… niiiiice!

large horse conch wendy

I saw Shelling Sistah Janet from Georgia finding some goodies too. I saw her last year about this same time with her good friend Betty Jo (Hi Betty Jo!).

Janet GA shells captiva

Leah (from Clearwater area) posted this next photo on the i Love Shelling Facebook page and said

Yesterday I found my second whole (well almost completely whole) Junonia up at the beach renourishment site at Sand Key. Here it is with my other fave finds of the weekend.”

Oh My!! Along with two, count them, two JUNONIAS, she found a SCOTCH BONNET and half a LIONS PAW. That for me is The Elite Three. And that’s not it! COLORFUL MOONS, ALPHABET CONES (yes, I call them ALPHIES), and look at the brown color of that OLIVE. What kind of OLIVE is that?

leah sand key shells

These shells were found at Sand Key which is up in Clearwater, Florida about 2 1/2 hours drive north from Sanibel. Leah says they are doing dredging there right now. Wow! This is the conversation on the Facebook page (click on it to enlarge)…

Leah shell convo facebook

So if this is any “sign” of what’s to come from our dredging project on Captiva and Sanibel, this will be exciting! Yes, I’d like to find another JUNONIA but I would especially like to find an ATLANTIC MORUM like Leah did. Here’s a closer shot of the MORUM sandwiched in between the JUNONIA and GOLDEN OLIVE (that’s quite an impressive sandwich) .

Atlantic morum seashells

Apr
13

Captiva Cruises Boat To Cayo Costa

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cayo costa south west florida

Another Spring Break adventure! On Wednesday, Lori, Hayley, Culter and I went to the secluded island of Cayo Costa to relax and enjoy another gorgeous day on the islands.captiva cruises sign

I had problems getting out our own boat  (Clark was busy at work so he couldn’t help) so we decided to take the easy route and hop on the Captiva Cruises shelling boat Play Time for the afternoon trip.

play time captiva boat

Low and behold, guess who our captain was… my buddy Captain Brian Holaway! It was a nice surprise!

captain brian

After securing the boat on the south tip of Cayo Costa, Capt Brian walked over to our shelling spot to join us for a few minutes and immediately picked up an ALBINO YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLE. Wow, can he spot those albinos! Remember he won a red ribbon for his ALBINO WHELK at the Sanibel Shell Show this year? Amazing!

albino cockle

 I didn’t find an albino but I quickly found a handful of my own fave honeys.

angel wings baby ears

BABY’S EARS and FALSE ANGEL WINGS (they look like cute little juvie ANGEL WINGS)…

babys ears false angel wings

 Lots of beauteous JINGLES…

jingle seashells

A couple of CLOUDY PERIWINKLES…

cloudy periwinkle

cloudy periwikles

 I also found a PURPLISH SEMELE (left) and a CANCELLATE SEMELE (right). I’m not sure why I don’t find more of these on Sanibel but I have better luck finding them on Cayo Costa, North Captiva and in Marco. hmmmm

purplish and cancellate semele

I had thought at one time that this BRYOZOAN COLONY was a type of CORAL but as you can see side by side… it’s not a piece of CORAL like the branch on the right. I found both of these past the tree roots on the Gulf side of the beach. (click HERE for more info on Bryozoan Colony)

bryozoa coral difference

Okay, this one might not be your taste but I thought this SOUTHERN RIBBED MUSSEL was just so pretty for some reason. One day, when I get a fancy camera to show you the nice details up close and personal, I promise…I’ll be able to capture more of the beauty in some of these obscure seashells.

southern ribbd mussel

 After combing, sunning and shelling this gorgeous beach, Hayley, Cutler and Lori (VA) headed back to the boat with me after one more climb on the BLACK MANGROVE tree roots.

hayley cutler lori cayo costa

On the boat ride back, I couldn’t help but see how excited Margie, Kristi and Mike (California) were about their seashell loot!

margie kristi mike california

 They found oodles of ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES…

shells cayo costa south florida

 Quite a few humongus SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…

sunray venus cayo costa

 And a really big LEOPARD CRAB shell.

leopard crab cayo costa

 It was a perfect day on the water with calm aqua seas, warm temps in the 80s and DOLPHINS surrounding the boat.

dolphin captiva cruises boat

And to top if off, it was great being with good friends and having lots of seashell souvenirs to bring home to remember the day.

seashells cayo costa

 

Oct
25

Seashells On Cloud Nine

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Large tulip bits n pieces

The shelling was excellent all weekend after the storm early last week. Not only was I tickled to find this large TRUE TULIP, the FLAT SCALLOPS, HORSIES, the WORMIE and a piece of aqua SEA GLASS, I think finding 2 pieces of JUNONIA and 2 pieces of LION’S PAW is what turbo charged me to run from beach to beach to search the clues for the unbroken loot. The after-burners went into high gear. I know you already heard I hit gold with my JUNONIA and LION’S PAW but now they are all cleaned up so I have to show them just one more time (I know, I know… just humor me ;))….

junonia lions paw

Ahhhhh. Two out of  The Elite Three. So for a while, I’m not coming down from being on cloud nine.

junonia lions paw aperture

I saw lots of other shellers and friends enjoying the gifts of the sea too. Sunrise shellers Robert and Eileen…

Robert Eilene sunrise

Robertfound a LION’S PAW too! It has some barnacles but who cares! It is a huge whole one and will clean up nicely I’m sure.

Rob lions paw

The locals were out playing on the beach too. I ran into my friend Mary (Captiva) …

Mary with cone and horsie

She found an ALPHABET CONE and a bright orange HORSE CONCH. Candy!

alphabet and conch captiva

More of my buddies! I found Betsy and Sherrill sittin’ n siftin’ through another big shell pile…

Betsy and Sherrill on shell pile

King and Queen of this shell mountain, Kathy and Tony had it all to themselves…

Palm beach Kathy A Tony

Other than shells, the storm brought in lots of other Beach Bling too. One of my favorites being pieces of CORAL.

coral on aqua Sanibel Captiva

I still have more photos of cool stuff I found on the beaches..but not the time to show them all again. We have Hurricane Rina out in the Caribbean which may turn towards Florida from Mexico so we have to keep an eye out to see what she does. I just hope everybody is safe from this Category 2 Hurricane headed for Cancun, Cozumel then turning towards Cuba. When everybody is safe, then we can think about the shells she might produce. I promise, I’ll catch up tomorrow and keep you updated.

sunrise sheller eileen

Oct
20

When The Seashells Come Rolling In

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captiva shelling october

The islands get happy. The strong winds and rain that belted the islands the past few days are paying off with seashells! The shells are rolling in and piling up all along the beaches of Captiva.  The first person I saw this morning was Michelle from Toronto with her 2 huge LIGHTNING WHELKS…

michelle toronto

 Look at this huge ALPHABET CONE and KING’S CROWN in her shell jug….

michelle's shell jug

Then I heard a “Woohoo!” from somebody. It was Lois from PA …

louis pa scotch bonnet

 with a perfectly beautiful SCOTCH BONNET in her hand…

scotch bonnet lois bonnet lois

 Okay, this is really cool. Get this….She told me she has been shelling for 40 years and that she has kept a life list of shells she has found. She has 347 different types of shells on her life list. You hear that yall? You can start counting your shell finds to have a shell life list of your own if you want.

scotch bonnet

 Charity from Ohio was finding lots of WHELKS…

Charity with whelk captiva

 Get a load of this big honkin chunk-a CORAL she found too…

chunk of coral captiva

Joyce from Long Island, NY shows us her FLORIDA CONE and big shell bag filled with goodies.

joyce Long island shell bag

 Look at Loretta from Texas with her great piece of WORM ROCK (and her cutie iLoveShelling hat!!!) …

beach after storm 10-20-11 025

photo by Diana Taylor

I saw great shells along every stretch of beach on Captiva today and heard that someone found a nice size LION’S PAW right in front of Captiva Island Yacht Club. I also heard the Sanibel was rocking too!

Captiva shells October

I haven’t even gone through all of my photos or much less taken photos of my own finds from today but I will hopefully get to that tomorrow….if I’m not too busy finding new treasures! Enjoy the shelling whether you are on the coast or doing a little fun cybershelling.

Captiva seashells october 2011