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!
Karen and Mark (New Jersey) discovered some of those shell pockets too.
They were happy to find some empty shell treasures of their own.
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…
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.
The GULF OF MEXICO is alive with beautiful sea creatures living close to shore like these MOLLUSKS, CRABS and this cutie SEA STAR too…
And to top it all off there was a shellsational sunset to end a great day.
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.
This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!
The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…
The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…
This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…
The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…
There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.
We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…
We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…
Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee
The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…
A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.
Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.
Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Tania and Nicholas were filling up their buckets with DOSINIAS to take back to Miami for a school craft project. Fun!
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!
Combing the beach as the sun sets over the Sanibel fishing pier reminds us why we love our home.
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.
This majestic creature posed for me long enough to let me snap this photo…
Mr HERMIT CRAB came out of his LIGHTNING WHELK home to say “Hi!”.
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.
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.
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…
And thank you to my baby boy RustBucket (his newest name is PuppyCat- he fetches!)… even though I busted you eating my plants today.
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!
I started at the tip of the island at low tide to find just a few beautiful SCALLOPS…
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.
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.
That’s when I met Robin and John from Texas…
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.
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…
But I still have to show you some of the other photos from last night afterglow of sunset…
It was dreamy…
We just had to stand there and stare at the brilliance…
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.
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…
The week started out with beautiful sunset skies at the lighthouse beach with some serene Sanibel Stooping…..
Tiny shell finds….
Avery with a Sharp Ribbed Drill
Beautiful families with some Shelling Sistahs! ….
Avery, Caroline, Jim, McKenzie and Amy (Orlando)
A few keeper shells like this double JEWEL BOX Super Sheller Clark found….
Then I moved on to Middle Gulf Drive beaches to find more Shelling Sistahs! Weehoo!
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!
And her sister Avery was lucky enough to find a JUNONIA! Even part of one is lucky, I think. Great find Avery!
My buddies Susie and Ellen joined me at Blind Pass to see what all the fuss was about.
They found FIGHTING CONCHS, a PEAR WHELK and a few more.
Marie from Charleston was purrrrrrfectly satisfied with lots of kitten 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.