Archive for Bonita Beach


Little Hickory Sunset Seashells

Posted by: | Comments (27)

seashells sunset bonita springs

On our way back to Sanibel from a day in Naples, we couldn’t resist stopping to see sunset at Little Hickory Beach in Bonita Beach.

sunset little hickory

 Oooooh I’m so glad we did! Not only did we see a gorgeous sunset, but we spotted a shell or two.

sunset bonita springs florida

Then another!

bonita springs sunset conch shell

The further I walked the more I saw!

jetty shells bonita beach hickory

That’s when I met locals Michael (North Ft Myers) and Cheri (Lehigh) who were collecting some of these gorgeous shells.

seashelling little hickory bonita florida

Then Michael plucked this awesome ALPHABET CONE out of his shell bag!

alphabet seashell spots

Wait! The sun was going down too quickly! We wanted to shell some more after seeing that CONE! Hmmmmm… but low tide would be in the morning. Ha! Yes, you guessed it. Clark and I went back at low tide and found a treasure trove of shells. Weeeee! But I’m so sorry! I’ll have to show you those tomorrow since there is so much to do to get ready for Thanksgiving holiday. FYI- If you are in the area and not having much luck finding shells, it’s only a 40 minute drive from Sanibel (if you don’t get caught up in the traffic on Ft Myers Beach). There’s a gazillion FIGHTING CONCHS! For more info on Little Hickory, check out my other posts HERE.

sunset sky bonita springs beach

Little Hickory Bonita FL

 This past weekend we drove 35 minutes from Sanibel to Little Hickory Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida in search of seashells.

Little Hickory Florida shells

 Walking north to the pass from the public parking lot (a bargain price of $2 for 2 hours) only took about 15 minutes to find loads of FIGHTING CONCHS.

bonita florida seashells

 After a few minutes more, Clark found a SAND DOLLAR…

sand dollar bonita florida

 I couldn’t get over how many MOSSY ARKS were washed up on the beach mixed in with a few pieces of CORAL and my fave of all faves… WORM SHELLS! They were only tips of WORMIES but any piece is a good piece in my book.

mossy ark coral worm shell

 I don’t think I have ever seen so many MOSSY ARKS in one place on any beach before so I gathered a few together to show you exactly what they look like.

Mossy Arks

I know, I know…. not the prettiest of shells but I don’t see them all that often on Sanibel so I was intrigued with them.

Mossy Ark bivalves

 Did I read your mind and know that it reminds you of another shell? It looks like  the TURKEY WING! The TURKEY WING and the MOSSY are both ARK shells so they are very similar but unfortunately, I think the MOSSY ARK got the short end of the stick when it comes to looks. ;( Here’s a comparison so you can see them side by side. The TURKEY WING is on the left…

mossy ark turkey wing interior

 Oops! I switched them in this next exterior photo, the MOSSY ARK is now on the left in this photo. You can now see how similar they are!

mossy ark turkey wing

 We had a wonderful day walking the beach and seeing different shells and the beautiful SANDWICH TERNS  and BLACK SKIMMERS…

sandwich terns black skimmer

 Along with the SAND DOLLAR, sweet Clark gave me a yellow DAISY that he found on the beach…

clark rambo flower

We weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the beautiful day in Little Hickory…

young child on beach shells

 Okay, while we are on the subject of Bonita Beach, I have to show you an article about that was published in Coastal Life magazine of the News Press. Weehoo! Click on the logo to read it!

News-press Coast Life logo


Barefootin’ With Shelling Sistas

Posted by: | Comments (24)

shell and palm tree

It sure was a roller coaster weekend… literally.  Hurricane Irene was rolling along the coast wreaking havoc and causing lots of trouble. My family and friends in Virginia Beach are fine (some with no power still, but fine) and I hope you and yours that were in Irene’s path are okay as well. I spent most of my time glued to the weather channel wrenching my hands so I took a 45 minute drive to Bonita Springs on Saturday to meet my Shelling Sistas Carla and Kelly at Barefoot Beach for some well needed shelling time. The welcome wagon was there to greet us in the form of a GOPHER TORTOISE…

gopher tortoise Florida beach

He was even so friendly to hang out with Kelly for a bit. How cute are they!

kelly disney barefoot beach

The tide was pretty high when we started our treasure hunt but there’s always something fun to find on the beach.

Barefoot beach high tide

Carla spotted a couple of SHARK’S TEETH and fossil piece of a mouth plate to a PUFFER FISH….

carla shark teeth

I only found one little SHARK’S TOOTH but was happy to find any!

sharks tooth bonita

Carla came across this PEN SHELL with such a colorful EGG CASING attached to it. It looks like a beautiful flower blossom!

seshell egg case

I am a little confused which egg sacs these are because of the color but I think this maybe a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE that just was formed. Take a look and see what you think. I’d love a positive I.D. so if you can help, please help us learn what it is. Here’s a closer look at this beauty….

colorful mollusk egg case

Carla walks this beach probably as much as I walk the Sanibel beaches so she has a keen eye to find the goodies like the SHARK’S TEETH, EGG CASES and this perfect empty LACE MUREX …

carla lace murex

Did you notice her necklace? Yes! She found that big honkin tooth and made a necklace out of it like she did for the oh-so-cool piece of sea glass she gave me. I love it Carla!

Carla Barone seaglass

Kelly was soaking in the beauty of the day every second….

kelly in the surf

I was thrilled when she brought seashells she found from Puerto Penasco, Mexico (aka- Rocky Point) to share. Thank you Kelly! Now remember, these are shells from Mexico NOT Florida…

seashells from Rocky Point Puerto Penasco

Seashells from Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco, Mexico)

I didn’t get a picture of all her treasures our day on Barefoot so she sent a photo of her shells from the day…

kelly disney shells

I know these don’t look like great shells to most, but these were my favorite finds on Saturday- CORAL, WORMIE, SHARKS TOOTH, a piece of a LION’S PAW (!), a tiny OLIVE with beautiful color and pattern and a SEA PEARL.

beach treasure

Since I was so distracted by Hurricane Irene, I didn’t get to show you another shelling sista I met last week on the beach in Sanibel. It was so nice to meet you, Desiree! I love your hat!

Desiree sheller

She said she bought a cheapy hat and embellished it using hot glue with shells she found on Sanibel. She said it was a snap to make since the ribbon was already there to glue the shells to. It’s the simple things that make life fun, isn’t it?

Desiree shell hat

I have some pictures of Blind Pass from yesterday evening at low tide that I won’t probably get to post until tomorrow but it’s just an FYI…. there are shells there. You have to look in the water right at the edge of the small drop off. Good luck! In the mean time, enjoy a few more pics of Barefoot Beach…

Barefoot beach at high tide

shell in the tree

shells on branches

shell rose


Barefoot Beach map



A Barefoot Beach Morning

Posted by: | Comments (33)
Coral from Bonita

Coral from Barefoot Beach

I’ve been wanting to run down to Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs (45 minute drive) to meet shelling sister Carla Barone for quite some time. Today I got to meet her and she was everything I thought… shell crazy and sweet as pie. As soon as we hit the beach, I found all of these pieces of CORAL as we walked south to get down to the jetty at Wiggins Pass.

Pufferfish Mouth plate fossil

Fossils found by Carla

Carla loves looking for not only shells but fossils and different beach treasures. She picked up these pieces then told me the fossils in her hand clockwise from top left…. a SHARK’S TOOTH, a piece of turtle shell called a “SKOOT”, and …okay… are you ready for this one? … the mouth plate of a PUFFER FISH. Wow. I’d like you to meet Carla…

Pam Rambo Carla Barone

Me with super collector Carla

She loves to talk to everyone on the beach about all the fun things to collect.

Carla showing fossils

Carla showing fossils to Kathy and her friend

We found out that Kathy was a first time sheller and she found this…

Kathy with alphabet cone

Kathy with alphabet cone

A perfect ALPHABET CONE! I saw the colors through her shell bag and commented on her find but she didn’t know what I was talking about. She didn’t realize what she had… until now. Then we ran into  Carla’s good friend Jen who taught her about most of the fossils she has found.

Fossil collector Jen

Fossil collector Jen

Today she was collecting as sorts of shells and goodies.

Jen's shell bag

Jen’s shell bag

Another one of Carla’s friends (she’s very popular on this beach!) Ella found this awesome SHARK’S EYE. What a cutie!

Ella with sharks eye

Ella with sharks eye

Then I found this huge WORM SHELL. I still can’t believe how big it is.

Large worm shell Bonita


And some of his grand wormies…

Worm shells Bonita

Bunch of worm shells

On the way back, we saw several ssslloooooww GOPHER TORTOISES.

Gopher tortoise

Gopher tortoise

So this is where Carla finds a lot of her shells.

Barefoot Beach

Barefoot Beach entrance sign

So she can make beautiful whelk sculptures like this…

Whelk Sculpture by Carla Barone

Whelk Sculpture by Carla Barone

Thanks for everything, Carla. It was a great shelling morning!


Beachcombing Blogger-Palooza

Posted by: | Comments (21)

Little Hickory Fighting conchs

Low Tide shelling at Little Hickory

Shelling Bloggers Unite!

Blogger Karen from The Essential Beachcomber organized a low tide shelling expedition at Little Hickory for bloggers Rhonda from Shellbelle’s Tiki Hut, Debbie from Love of the Sea and ME! What a blast!

Shelling Bloggers

Bloggers Karen, Rhonda and Debbie

We met at Little Hickory beach in Bonita Springs at 7 am (yep, another early morning) yesterday for low tide shelling…. and gabbing.

Little Hickory Live Sand Dollar

Live sand dollar

Rhonda found this live SAND DOLLAR, then another and another. Lots of very healthy ones so even though we didn’t find any to take home, it’s always good to see them happy and healthy.

Bonita Springs Fighting Conchs

Bonita Springs Fighting Conchs

On the other hand, there are still hundreds of FIGHTING CONCHS fighting for their lives at low tide and many dead. I posted an article about this last week (Fighting Conchs on Bonita Beach) but haven’t heard an update as to why they think they are dying. As you can see, there are still tons of them.

Debbie's true tulip

Debbie's true tulip

Debbie found this gorgeous TRUE TULIP about 4 inches long. I think that was the best find of the day!

Crucifix bone

Crucifix bone

Another beachcomber, Carol, at Little Hickory found a CRUCIFIX SHELL. It’s actually the head bone of gafftopsail catfish and it is said to bring good luck to the finder. I sure hope that’s true because……

Crucifix shell from catfish

My Crucifix shell from catfish

I found one too! Mine isn’t as perfect as Carol’s but I didn’t read anywhere that it had to be perfect to bring good luck. Woohoo!

Little Hickory in the sand

Little Hickory beach

I’m already lucky to live in paradise but I feel lucky too for getting to spend such a fun day with 3 other beach bloggers! See? It’s working!

Karen The Essential Beachcomber

Karen The Essential Beachcomber

Thank you Karen for getting our Beachcombing Blogger-Palooza together!

PS- I now have Google Friend Connect. If you are a member, please join me!


Conch Shell Invasion

Posted by: | Comments (19)
Bonita Springs Florida live conch shell

Live Fighting conch photo by Carla Barone

Just in time for Halloween…. The Invasion of the Fighting Conchs! Ooooh. Scary!

I didn’t make it down to Bonita Beach to see the beached FIGHTING  CONCH phenomenon that I posted about yesterday (click HERE to go to that post) but our blog buddy Carla took great photos of  the beach littered with these seashells. We still don’t know why there are so many dying but they are testing the water so when/if we find out, I’ll keep you posted. I’m hoping the answer is what Dr. Jose Leal quoted in the article yesterday “It could be mating”.

Conchs on Bonita Beach Florida

Conchs at Little Hickory photo by Carla Barone

Little Hickory pile of sea shells

Pile of fighting conchs photo by Carla Barone

Shellers wait for great days when there are piles of shells on the beach… but maybe not like this. It seems so sad. Carla said “They were piled up at the jetty’s today~100′s of them. I have seen days when they were stranded before but not piled up like that~sad…and stinky too.”

Little Hickory Bonita Beach shells

Little Hickory conchs photo by Carla Barone

Thank you Carla for showing us your photos. I’m just happy we didn’t have to smell them- no “scratch ‘n sniff” thank goodness.

Little Hickory fighting conchs

Fighting conchs photo by Carla Barone

I checked out the beach to see if there was anything like it on Captiva today at Blind Pass. Nothing like Carla saw but there are some shells rolling in and the water is fabulous!

Captiva rocks shells

Captiva's Blind Pass sand bar showing

Collecting seashells Captiva Island Florida

Betsy (Unionville, PA) not disappointed in the shelling

Shells Captiva jetty

Shelling at Blind Pass