Archive for Crab

coudy periwinkles hiding in tree knots

The only thing cloudy about our Captiva Cruises iLoveShelling trip to Cayo Costa were the live CLOUDY PERIWINKLES hiding in clusters on the tree roots at the south tip of the island.

cloudy periwinkles cayo costa

 

It’s been such a month on the islands of spotting great wildlifeEverywhere I look, I am still seeing wonderful signs of healthy life… like these STRIPED FALSE LIMPETS and BARNACLES on those same tree roots with the PERIWINKLES.

striped false limpets on fallen tree

Melissa, Juliana, Becky and Garrett from Colorado walked around those tree roots to find some nice empty shells as well.

Melissa juliana becky garrett colorado visit cayo costa for shells

They found a bag full of double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…

Sunray Venus shells at Cayo Costa

Sisters Teresa and Elaine from Pensacola, FL found some keepers on the Gulf side of the island.

teresa elaine from pan handle  visit cayo costa

Elaine collected oodles of different color JINGLES to use for a picture frame craft project.

black grey white jingle shells

D.J. from Avon Park, Florida found empty LETTERED OLIVES and an ANGEL WING wading knee high in the water.

D.J. avon park florida olive shells

Oh but wait… How could I forget? I have to tell you about the boat ride over to the island. We had a pod of DOLPHINS come over to say “Hi” to everybody on our boat.

dolphin sight seeing captiva cruises

When they swam closer to the boat, we could see there were 3 mother DOLPHINS… each with babies!  If you look closely at this next photo, you can see the baby hugging up to the mother. So cute!

mother dolphin and baby

And the DOLPHINS weren’t the only wildlife coming up to say “Hi” to us… meet Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB.

casper the friendly ghost crab hiding in shadow

I have never seen a GHOST CRAB act so friendly! Seriously, “Casper” was not at all afraid of us and actually followed us on the beach. See? He got right in-between Sandy’s feet and hung out there for a few minutes.

ghost crab hiding in shadow

He even ran into a shelling net like he wanted to play. hahaha What a character!

casper the friendly ghost crab hiding in shadow

Even though the wildlife was exceptional, it was a wonderful day to meet exceptional people like Vicki and Bill from Arizona.

vicki bill arizona visit cayo costa for shells

… And Melinda, Katelyn and Justin from Indiana. I especially loved meeting Katelyn since she knew all of the names of her shells but also loved all the wildlife she saw. Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB didn’t want there to leave.

melinda katelyn justin indiana visit sanibel

… And it was exceptional to see Marie’s beautiful family- Emily, Madison, Steve, Sandy and Ryan from Ohio. But… they were missing one Morgan, they all wanted me to tell you…. you’re next!

marie emily madison steve sandy ryan ohio visit sanibel… And to see Bill, Michelle, Alyson and Anthony from Illinois.

bill michelle alyson anthony illinois visit sanibel

I had met Michelle at Blind Pass Captiva last week when I stopped at the beach to see what the conditions were on the Captiva side by the jetty rocks. As I dug through the “picked over” shell pile, we got to talking and she told me she hadn’t found too many keeper shells but was just happy to be on the island enjoying everything else about the beach. That’s when I uncovered a beautiful FLAT SCALLOP with a tiny hole in the top. I handed it to Michelle and told her it was meant for her. I was soooo touched to see that she was on the cruise with her family AND that she made that FLAT SCALLOP into a gorgeous necklace with a little SEAHORSE charm. OMG I love that she made it into a special treasure to remember a special day we happened to meet.  Shellers rock!

how to make flat scallop shell into necklace

Lindsay had told me about an awesome HORSE CONCH she had found on Sanibel last week so when we got back to the dock at McCarthy’s Marina, she showed it to us. Wow! Lindsay, I’m so happy you showed it to us. That IS awesome and will clean up beautifully with a little elbow grease.

lindsay dodd with empty horse conch

Even though the beach wasn’t piled up with mounds of shells this time, we were treated to a DOLPHIN show with babies, lots of friendly wildlife and most of all – a perfect day in paradise with a boat ride on calm waters full of happy people meeting an amazing community of likeminded shellers. 

iLoveShelling blue toe nail polish

You won’t want to miss the upcoming shelling cruises! Check out the new dates CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam

Lightning whelk in Sanibel surf

If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.

live starfish at sanibel lighthouse beach

This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!

Curled live starfish sea star Sanibel Island

The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…

live lettered olive shell

The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…

live auger shells at low tide Sanibel

This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…

live babys ear shell

The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…

live fighting conch in sand

There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.

apple murex with hermit crab

We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…

sharks eye egg collar

We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemone

Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemonae CNIDARIA

The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…

purple sea sponge Sanibel

A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.

collecting seashells on the seashore of Sanibel Island

Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.

Matt Leah from Georgia vacation on Sanibel for shells

Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!

seashells found on Sanibel Island by Leah

The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.

Whelk in the surf of Sanibel Island

sand dollar at low tide Sanibel Island

exploring low tide on Sanibel Island

May
28

Baby Hermit Crab Video

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sanibel hermit crab

HERMIT CRABS are funny! For some reason HERMIT CRABS seem whimsical to me so they make me laugh when I see their little legs start coming out of the opening of the shell then … whip … they’re gone again. They tuck their bodies back inside whatever sort of shell they’ve decided to make their home.

hermit crab in horse conch sanibel lighthouse

They really aren’t “true” crabs since they lack there own external shell which leaves them vulnerable to predators. To protect themselves, they choose an abandoned shell to live in but eventually the HERMIT CARB will outgrow that shell and will have to move out to find another shell to make its home. 

mauve mouth drill Sanibel hermit crab

Clark and I were at Gulfside City Park where we saw all sorts of fun live critters at the evening’s low tide but Clark called me over to see something he scooped up in his shelling backhoe. OMG! A whole nest of little mini shells all occupied by HERMIT CRABS! These were the smallest ones I think I’ve ever seen- so cute! There are all sorts of living creatures in this “seaweed” Clark scooped up so I wish I had checked everything out a little more closely… but we wanted to get them back to sea as soon as possible so we giggled a bit then Clark took them back where he found them. Check out the video I took of these darling little creatures…

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Cool, huh? We also saw dozens and dozens of empty DISK DOSINIAS …

disk dosinias on sanibel forida

Tania and Nicholas were filling up their buckets with DOSINIAS to take back to Miami for a school craft project. Fun!

collecting dosinia seashells on Sanibel

Oh wait! I just remembered another video I made for my post Zippy Mini Seashells in 2011 with some other cute little mini shells with HERMIT CRABS in them. Remember this one? Funny!

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May
11

Happy To Be Home On Sanibel

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sunset over Sanibel fishing pier

Combing the beach as the sun sets over the Sanibel fishing pier reminds us why we love our home.

simple sanibel sunset

 

After getting back from Grand Bahama Island, we couldn’t wait to breathe in our own beach. We were greeted by a beautiful view of our lighthouse with an OSPREY keeping close to watch over it.

Sanibel lighthouse is watched by an osprey

This majestic creature posed for me long enough to let me snap this photo…

osprey sitting on perch in Sanibel

Mr HERMIT CRAB came out of his LIGHTNING WHELK home to say “Hi!”.

don't get crabby- I won't take your whelk

We saw many beautiful and empty shells on our own beach of Sanibel but didn’t collect any since we had already collected so many CARIBBEAN SHELLS from the Bahamas which still needed to be cleaned. Now I’m done! These are the shells we found within 2 days shelling the east end of the island and going on our boating adventure with Joel (I’ve now learned he spells his name Joel but pronounced Joe-L like I wrote in my last post). We always love to find so many different species like this.

Grand Bahama Island seashells found May 2014

Here’s a close up of some of shells and BEACH BLING. Gorgeous, right? One day, oh… one day, I will identify all of these on one post but until then, I have other posts with identification of most of them on our other shelling trips in the Caribbean -CLICK HERE.

caribbean sea shells from Grand Bahama Island

 

And BTW… Happy Mothers Day to my sweet mom and all of you wonderful mothers out there! My kitties have been as sweet as pie to me today so thank you for a wonderful day my beautiful Dustie…

dustie kitty with whelk shell May 2014

And thank you to my baby boy RustBucket (his newest name is PuppyCat- he fetches!)… even though I busted you eating my plants today.

Rustie busted on Mothers Day

 

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smaller sea urchin sanibel beach bling

SEA URCHINS! I haven’t seen SEA URCHINS washed up on our shores in quite a while… much less cutie itty bitty ones like this.

small size sea urchin sanibel island florida

I found dried tiny ones with spines as well…

tiny dried sea urchin sanibel beach

Normally if SEA URCHINS still have their spines in tact I would assume they were still alive and put them back in the water. But I found these in the highest wrack line at Lighthouse Beach. They had been cast on shore by those rough waves from the high winds last week with the high tide and got caught in the “sea weeds” then left for days to dry out. They look like the gumballs that the Sweetgum trees drop in the winter up north, dont they? LOL

sea urchin gum balls sanibel florida

I normally don’t get so excited to collect PEN SHELLS (since we see them so often on our beaches) but I rarely see perfectly intact baby STIFF PEN SHELLS (on the left of my hand) and SAW TOOTH PENS SHELLS especially with no BARNACLES or SLIPPER SHELLS attached to them. They are so cute!

stiff pen shell saw tooth pen shell

See how thick this wrack line was? Some people in other parts of the world might think this was an ugly site on a beach… but not me and most beach combers. This is a haven for shells and BEACH BLING for beach combers and for wildlife as well. Thick wrack lines like this packed with all sort of vegetation and other sealife are so important for our beach ecosystem. They provide food for birds and other wildlife as well as providing a layer to trap sand  for less erosion. They become incubators for dunes!

macro algae cast on shore Sanibel Island Florida

But… Just to make sure this seaweed was a natural occurrence without being harmful, I asked my friend and director of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Dr. Eric Milbrandt if he knew what types of matter had washed ashore. Of course he did! He said “There were 8 species from collections at Moonshadows beach and the Lighthouse beach. Many of the specimens had intact holdfasts and given the recent > 1 m wave heights, were likely attached and cast on shore. Many of these species are found at nearshore hardbottom areas (the same areas that produce many of the mollusc shells) whose abundance peaks in Nov.”  He also reported that most of these species of seaweed (macroalgae) were common on all coasts. Thank you Dr. Milbrandt!

macro algae wrack line on Sanibel island Florida beach

Along with the PEN SHELLS and SEA URCHINS tucked away in all that seaweed, Clark and I found hundreds of double DOSINIAS…

disk dosinias sanibel lighthouse beach florida

And a very cool completely intact dried (and non-stinky!) SPIDER CRAB…

spider crab on sea whip sanibel florida october

Clark found a double SAILORS EAR (CHANNELED DUCK CLAM) without any cracks. It’s funny, we rarely find them on the beach with both sides intact because they are just so dang delicate…

double sailors ear shell sanibel beach

I haven’t gotten a good dose of combing through cool BEACH BLING in a while so I was in haaaawg heaven. There were oodles of little micro shells, SEA WHIPS and other goodies so I could (and did) walk for miles and miles getting lost in discovering the fascinating gifts that Mother Nature leaves us on our beaches.

shells urchins sea whips crabs sanibel florida

dosina shell with tiny sea urchin sanibel florida

Sep
11

Running For The Seashell Gold

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running for the golden sunset

The Sanibel sky after sunset last night had an amazing effect on the clouds and reflection on the water. My lens caught this little boy raising down the beach like he was running for the gold in the sky as it changed colors. This morning I felt like I was running down the shore line at Lighthouse Beach  trying to find my seashell gold. I finally found some!

my shelling adventure today

I started at the tip of the island at low tide to find just a few beautiful SCALLOPS…

sanibel lighthouse low tide clouds

After walking a 1/2 mile or so, I started to find a few shells like this little HORSIE (HORSE CONCH) and another perfect BANDED TULIP but htey both had cute little HERMIT CRABS in them so I put them back where I found them in the water.

hermit crab in horse conch sanibel lighthouse

I saw plenty of shells in the high tide line dried out on the beach so I walked over to see if there was anything there besides white bivalves like ARKS and bleached out CROSS BARRED VENUS CLAMS (not that there’s anything wrong with those! ha). I spotted spots! OOOOO I found little piece of JUNONIA.

junonia piece mixed with bivalves

That’s when I met Robin and John from Texas…

robin john texas shelling sanibel

They found some nice shells like a double SUNRAY VENUS, LACE MUREX, APPLE MUREXES, FIGHTING CONCHS, a juvie TRUE TULIP and a couple of PEAR WHELKS.

seashells found at sanible island lighthouse beach

After seeing that JUNONIA piece, admiring their shells plus seeing that horsie I couldnt have, I knew I had to put a move on it and start searching a little harder. Ha! Thats when I saw those pretty APPLE MUREXES AND that bigger orange HORSE CONCH half buried in the sand. I rinsed them off when I got home to see how pretty they are. Yup! Not too shabby…

todays shells sanibel lighthouse beach

But I still have to show you some of the other photos from last night afterglow of sunset…

dusk sanibel island florida cloudy sky

It was dreamy…

seashell beach sanibel island drama sky

We just had to stand there and stare at the brilliance…

stare at the sanibel sky

If you are in the area of Sanibel, Florida, join us tomorrow (Thursday Sept 12, 2013) for the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa! FYI- We are now leaving from the dock at South Seas Resort instead of McCarthy’s so be at the South Seas entrance gate by 12:30 to catch our 1pm boat launch. Hope to see you.

seashell shelling trip pam

I took a little video of how far I walked from the tip of Lighthouse Beach and how I found that nice HORSE CONCH. It’s just raw footage but at least you get to see what I saw this morning. If you want to walk along with me, here ya go…

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