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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Shellsational Sunsets at Blind Pass Sanibel

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Brown Spiny Sea star, Hermit crabs, Lightning Whelk, Starfish, Sunsets, Whelk | 15 comments

Conchs clams and scallop shells

As the tide was rushing out of Sanibel’s Blind Pass channel, there were little pockets of semi-buried shells in the sand along the shoreline covered by only 3 inches of water. That’s where the treasures were last night just before sunset. My fave of the evening was that beautiful baby BITTERSWEET in the ARK ing the photo above. Love it!

Sanibel sunset beach finds

Karen and Mark (New Jersey) discovered some of those shell pockets too.


Karen and Mark visit Sanibel for shells from New Jersey

They were happy to find some empty shell treasures of their own.

Karens shells found on Sanibel
We all had to be very careful to look inside each shell to make sure there wasn’t a critter living inside of the shell like this teenie tiny HERMIT CRAB I quickly put back in the water after I snapped a photo…

hermit crab inside apple murex Sanibel

This was an even more exciting find… a nice size live healthy LIGHTNING WHELK that I put back in the water exactly how I found it.

Live lightning whelk at Blind Pass Sanibel

The GULF OF MEXICO is alive with beautiful sea creatures living close to shore like these MOLLUSKS, CRABS and this cutie SEA STAR too…

Live starfish stuck on encrusted pen shell Sanibel

And to top it all off there was a shellsational sunset to end a great day.

Sunset with shells at Blind Pass Sanibel

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Healthy Living On The Coast Of Sanibel Island

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Augers, Baby's Ear, Fighting Conch, Hermit crabs, Lettered Olive, Lightning Whelk, Lined Sea Star, live baby ear, low tide, Onion Sea Anemone, Sand Dollar, Sea anemone, Shark's Eye Egg Collar, Sponge, Whelk | 24 comments

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

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Baby Hermit Crab Video

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Hermit Crab Video, Hermit crabs | 23 comments

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…

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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Happy To Be Home On Sanibel

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Hermit crabs, Kitty, Lighthouse, Osprey, Sunsets | 24 comments

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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Running For The Seashell Gold

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Apple, Hermit crabs, Horse Conch, Lighthouse, Murex, Sanibel lighthouse video, Sunsets | 23 comments

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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Sunsets, Seashells and Shelling Sisters

Posted by on Jun 15, 2011 in Hermit crabs, Junonia, King's Crown, low tide, Sanibel, Sunsets | 25 comments

Sanibel shelling at sunset

The week started out with beautiful sunset skies at the lighthouse beach with some serene Sanibel Stooping…..

Sanibel stoop aqua

Tiny shell finds….

Girl with drill shell

Avery with a Sharp Ribbed Drill

Beautiful families with some Shelling Sistahs! ….

Family on Sanibel lighthouse beach

Avery, Caroline, Jim, McKenzie and Amy (Orlando)

Live critters….

Hermit crab fights from conch

A few keeper shells like this double JEWEL BOX Super Sheller Clark found….

Double Jewel Box

Then I moved on to Middle Gulf Drive beaches to find more Shelling Sistahs! Weehoo!

Sanibel Shelling Sistahs

Janet, Pam, Betty Jo

But Blind Pass has been the place to find the best finds of the week! Look who I saw again from the lighthouse beach but this time at Blind Pass finding KING’S CROWNS. McKenzie!

McKenzie Kings crowns

And her sister Avery was lucky enough to find a JUNONIA! Even part of one is lucky, I think. Great find Avery!

mostly junonia

My buddies Susie and Ellen joined me at Blind Pass to see what all the fuss was about.

Sooz Ellen with shells

They found FIGHTING CONCHS, a PEAR WHELK  and a few more.

Susie's shells

Marie from Charleston was purrrrrrfectly satisfied with lots of kitten paws…

Marie kittens paws

The shelling is so much fun right now because the tide is so far out you can walk on sand bars that are not normally showin….. especially at Blind Pass. On my last post Negative Low Tides, Positive Winners! , I didn’t really explain what a negative low tide chart looks like so I’ve added the chart for today and tomorrow. To get more information on the tides for future dates for Captiva, Sanibel and Cayo Costa, go to TIDES.

Captiva low tide chart

Sanibel Ibis at dusk

sunset girls

lightouse pier sunset

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