Archive for Marco Island
Since we knew we’d be gone for the entire day, Clark and I packed up a cooler, snacks and a change of clothes to head for Marco Island, Florida for a day trip from Sanibel. Clark’s Rotary Club had an event in south Marco that we wanted to attend (he is still President – so proud of him!) so we figured if we had time on the way home, we’d stop at a beach. We did! We stopped at Tigertail Beach!
This is the very first time we’ve been on this beach so we had to get the lay of the land by looking at the map (above). We decided to wade through the little lagoon to get to the gulf side beach on the other side…
On my way over, I saw Jonathan and Rachel carrying handfuls of SAND DOLLARS…
Wow! They said they found them all along the beach in the surf line…Cool!
So wading through the lagoon and down a sweet beach path we went… to find our first treasures from the Gulf Of Mexico.
All I started seeing was ROSE PETAL TELLINS! I love them!
And double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
We could not find any SAND DOLLARS but that’s okay because we found so many other goodies like these two FLAT SCALLOPS. Clark’s beautiful orange one is on the left, and I found the larger perfect (heehee) purple one on the right. I call them “FLATS” but they are really called ZIGZAG SCALLOPS .
Clark found the prettiest PURPLISH SEMELES!
We both found CANCELLATE SEMELES as well…
I was thrilled with all of the multi colored JINGLE SHELLS and those ROSE PETAL TELLINS!
From Tigertail Beach in Marco, Florida traveling back by car to Sanibel Island it took us about 1 and 1/2 hours by way of interstate 75…
We didn’t even get there until after 4 pm and we stayed about 3 1/2 hours to have a wonderful evening exploring a new beach.
I am so glad we had the time to stop and take our time to walk down to the north end of the spit. It took us an hour and 1/2 each way so I’m so glad we had plenty of water and thank goodness we always have shelling supplies and sunscreen in the car at all times. This was our loot we brought home… and yes, Super Sheller Clark found that gorgeous ALPHABET CONE I put right smack in the middle of our fabulous collection. Thanks Tigertail!
Join us on our next trip tomorrow, Saturday April 12, as we are taking a shelling cruise to explore the island of Cayo Costa! Clark and I will show you where to find the hidden treasures of that beautiful island… CLICK HERE.
Our friends John and Jane strapped a Zodiac dinghy to the top of their car on Saturday and invited us to join them for a boating adventure down to Marco Island. Yes! We are always ready for a shelling expedition.
The whole day was golden…
When we all got back to the boat, everybody was showing off their best finds and both guys held out their hands holding the GOLDEN OLIVES…
Look at this huuujah ANGEL WING Clark found. It fills my whole hand…
This was the first ALPHABET CONE John found for the day.
These are Jane’s FLORIDA CONES. These are pretty golden too!
Here are the rest of her best finds. Yes! She found a JUNONIA! It’s broken on one side but it’s still a JUNONIA and it might be a good candidate for making a necklace. Congrats Jane!
We boated over to another island (Kice) where I was taking a photo of a nice 10 inch old crusty HORSE CONCH I found on the low tide sand bar…
I heard Clark yell and start waving his arms. Oh no, he di-ant! Another one? He couldn’t have found another you-know-what. I looked to see how far away he was since I was way out on the sand bar. See that little speck? That’s how far he was from me.
Okay,..you might want to avert your eyes if you’ve had a bad day or just can’t stand the thought of Clark finding yet another J….. uh…. I can’t even say it. To show me where he found it, he had it sitting right where it was when he walked up. Here… see for yourself.
Really? How come I didn’t look there first? The man is a shell magnet. Here is a close up of his nearly perfect JUNONIA (just the tip is missing). I want to find one! Not that I’m jealous…. oh, geez. Of course I’m jealous! Oh I’m happy for Jane and “him” too…. I guess. It even has a golden color to it too!
You know I’m just kidding about being upset I didn’t find the big J. How could I when I found so many beautiful shells on such an awesome day? Here are some of our other golden treasures…like candy!
and even a cool BRYOZOAN COLONY…
It took us less than 1 1/2 hours drive time to get to our island hopping adventure in Marco aboard “our” little dinghy. Here’s the happy crew…
PS- I popped off some of those crusty barnacles to uncover the shell of that HORSE CONCH I found out the sand bar. It’s beautiful! I found a home for it on my outside steps as a happy welcome to our Shell Shack.
I’m still exhausted from boating yesterday. Clark, friend Mary Jo and I “adventured” to take our boat down to the sand bars off Marco to do some shelling. The gulf was calm and flat for our hour and a half boat ride down (if only it had stayed that way). We pulled up to our first sand bar where I found this beautiful LIGHTING WHELK.
There was a nice shell wrack that looked very picked over but there were too many SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS to count. They are always so pretty when they are together.
Then I thought I hit the jack pot….
Only half of a JUNONIA but it was still fun to find it. Maybe I’ll make a necklace like Kathy.
I found a very nice size MOON SNAIL or NATICA which Mary Jo calls them.
Mary Jo found a TUSK SHELL which is very tiny so you can see it would blend in with just about everything in the sand. I’ve only ever found one … I don’t have any eye for them yet.
I found just one WENTLETRAP in what looks like coffee ground camo. There were a few RICE OLIVES in there too…. but wait! I just looked closer at this photo and there is a TUSK SHELL in this photo I didn’t even see.
My best find of the day was this very different FLORIDA CONE. Look at the colors and stripes- wow!
I met Ron from Marco out on this sand bar and he told me that he has found numerous JUNONIAS in the very same spot at daybreak. He has slept on his boat to get there first. He said he goes out there to fish but if the fish aren’t biting, he shells.
You can see how narrow this bar is….
I won’t even tell you how many times we almost got stuck on the shallow flats. It’s not easy boating down there if you don’t know the waters (which we don’t). Then the boat ride back was 2 and a half hours back to the dock ….. the gulf was very choppy which makes the ride very intense (ugh). It was a beautiful day in Marco but I’m sure glad to be back on Sanibel. To be able to walk out on the beach to find incredible shells by the handful…. priceless.
After I left the beach at Blind Pass Sunday morning, I just knew there should have been more shell piles coming in from the strong north west winds from Saturday. Unfortunately, I had to run out of town for a few days so I left before the shells got stirred up enough to reach the beach. I heard Sunday afternoon (right after I left) was the best shelling day all week with oodles of LIGHTNING WHELKS and TULIPS washing up on Sanibel around Middle gulf Drive. I’m so happy for the lucky shellers (Sunny and Cshells!) who hit that Sunday seashell jackpot. Although I would have loved to see the Sunday shelling madness, I still haven’t gotten over our finds (my SCOTCH BONNET!) from last Thursday, so here are more photos of our colorful beauties from that awesome day.
I’m always overwhelmed by how beautiful a LACE MUREX can be.
I’ve never found such a colorful SPINEY JEWEL BOX like this before last week and both sides were still together. Gorgeous.
Who knew TOP SHELLS came in so many different colors?
These were the best of about ten SAND DOLLARS but not all of them made it back in one piece. I also heard that people are finding SAND DOLLARS off Middle Gulf Drive the past few days. All three of these TRUE TULIPS (2 to 3 inches) below were found by Super Sheller Clark. The middle one looks like it was made of dark chocolate… talk about rich color!
We had high south winds today and are expecting high north west winds tomorrow so I will be checking Middle Gulf Drive beaches and Blind Pass the next few days. Stir it up, baby!
Looky what I found!! A gorgeous 2 1/4 inch SCOTCH BONNET! Woot! Woot! I’ve only found pieces of these delicate shells before so this was a biggy find for me. Yippee! It was so exciting.
Clark and I had never shelled around Marco Island, Florida (about 90 minutes south of Sanibel) before so when we were invited to go on a friend’s boat around the island we jumped at the chance. There were plenty of sand bars exposed because of the extremely low tide so we anchored out and waded in to a couple of different islands (just glad we made it back). This is what this SCOTCH BONNET looked like when I found it….
That SEA ANEMONE popped right off and didn’t damage the shell. I tried to submerge the SEA ANEMONE to get it to “flower” and come back to life but I think he had been out of the water too long. Maybe he was the one that helped keep the shell from breaking apart on it’s way to shore. If so, thanks Mr. Anemone, I’ll take good care of it from here on.
I was so excited to show Clark my find then witnessed his face turn green with envy. Fifteen minutes later, I heard him howl with laughter. What? What could he have found that could beat this? His own SCOTCH BONNET!
The same thing happened with the ROSE MUREX yesterday… I was so excited to find an uncommon shell and minutes later, he finds one to match it. We both laughed in amazement.
Clark found the deep orange FLORIDA CONE and I found the other one. Notice the pronounced colorful tips on both of these shells.
I found me some candies too! Love, love ‘em. Always a good day finding a handful of my “candy corn”.
Ta Da! We even found these ALPHABET CONES.
This is our friend blogger Lori from SnailsRock.org with a huge empty HORSE CONCH. It’s a beauty!
This pile is where I found most of my baby HORSE CONCHS and a FLORIDA CONE, ALPHABET CONE, LACE MUREX and a bunch of TOP SHELLS (I’ll show pictures tomorrow… whew- I’m still tired from that big, long day).
I was also thrilled to meet photographer and shell enthusiast Amy Tripp from Marco. I have seen lots of her photographs from the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum website and heard so many good things about her seashell education.