We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday. Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.
We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.
But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!
We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…
We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.
We just got our first dose of cool 70s, non-humid weather to feel the fall season here upon us in SouthWest Florida. Along with cool weather, every fall we look forward to the arrival of the WHITE PELICANS who spend the winter months with us on the islands. Since the fall weather has also sprung a terrible cold onto poor Clark, we didn’t get out on the boat this weekend as we normally do at this time of year to greet the new arriving birds. So I reminisced about last year. OMG! I never showed you a video I made of the birds we saw last year on this same weekend in 2011! I think I was way too over the moon last year after finding a LION’S PAW and my very first (and only) JUNONIA to even think about making a movie but …better late than never, right? LOL
After finding the best shells of my life last October, we watched the PELICANS gracefully fly from one mud flat to another on North Captiva, then spotted not just one BALD EAGLE… but two BALD EAGLES!
Here is a movie from the video I shot last year of their sweet little romance that unfolded right before my eyes and my camera lens. I’m so happy I captured their EAGLE date on video…. yes, shaky video… but I’m so happy I can share it with you now.
Here’s the story of Jule Eaglette and Rome Eagleo…
Live Limpets on a fallen tree on Cayo Costa
No rain and no work! …. Time to get out on the water. We took the boat out to our fave spots North Captiva and Cayo Costa. We found three BABY’S EARS, a few WHELKS and WORM SHELLS (only a few) and the views were spectacular. Well worth the trip.
Periwinkle on Cayo Costa
Ibis and roots
South tip of Cayo Costa
Limpets in wood grain
Barnacles on tree root ( I know, nothing fancy but I thought it looked very picturesque)
Ibis in a Cayo Costa tree
Ibis enjoying the view
Clark with a Rocksnail
We weren’t really sure what this shell was Clark found but he insisted it was something good. It kinda looks like a worn KINGS CROWN but the opening edge is sort of serrated. It was really slimed with algae and gunk so Clark got it cleaned up and then check again in the books to see if it’s a ROCKSNAIL . That’s what it looks like so far. It’s got some wear and tear but it’s 2 and a half inches long and it’s not something we find every day. I think it’s a good find too, Clark! (Update- 10-7-10: Yes, it’s a rocksnail. We got verification from MurexKen and Dr. Jose Leal from the Shell Museum. Thank you both!)
Birds on North Captiva
Christine (Venice FL) finding shells on North Cap
Pelican landing strip
Ethel (San Francisco)
I am so tickled that I was recognized on the beach. I saw Ethel with her hands full of shells and I asked her what she found. Before she showed me her shells, she looked at me and asked “Aren’t you from iLoveShelling?”. heehee. She told me was there at beach access #7 since I had blogged about it last weekend so she wanted to check it out. She found that handful of CONCHS and a 5 inch LIGHTNING WHELK. So nice to meet you in person, Ethel!
At lunch time at The Mucky Duck, I met Shawn because I had to tell him I admired his FIGHTING CONCH necklace. He told me he found the shell on North Captiva where he and his family are vacationing. He made it by stringing fishing line through the opening in the bottom then through a hole in the side of the shell. Then he told me he made necklaces for everybody in his family. That’s island style creativity. Great job, Shawn.
Periwinkles on Cayo Costa
Periwinkles close up
Tree snails or periwinkles? I’ve never seen these beautiful snails on the fallen trees on the south tip of Cayo Costa before. We weren’t finding any keeper shells tucked around the tree roots or washed up on the beach so maybe that’s why we finally noticed them. I didn’t recognize them to know exactly what they were…….until MurexKen came to the rescue! They are CLOUDY PERIWINKLES. Their colors are so brilliant!
Jane and John (Sanibel) on Cayo Costa
It was a gorgeous day boating with Jane and John to Cayo Costa and then on to North Captiva. We didn’t find tons of shells at our normal spot by the tree roots but we were very happy with the great shells that we did find from the whole day.
Seashells from Captiva out islands
This is a sampling of the shells we all found plus some OLIVES. I didn’t get a chance to clean that awesome (!) orange HORSE CONCH that Clark found but I’m hoping some of those barnacles will pick off the tip without pitting it. The FARGO WORM SHELLS will clean right up with a little bleach in a bucket of water and I can leave them there for a couple of days. I only dip the KING’S CROWNS in the watered bleach bath for a few minutes then scrub them clean. They will lose their color so quickly in a bleach bath.
Only 4 more days to enter The Lighthouse Giveaway so if you haven’t entered………. Enter Now
UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. http://iloveshelling.com/blog/2010/07/01/sanibel-lighthouse-giveaway/
Nick Adams Lighthouse Photograph
Pear whelk with fluffy clouds
The sky was brilliant blue with white fluffy clouds. The wind was calm so the gulf was like a sheet of glass but just enough breeze to cool the air. It was just like a tropical paradise. Ahhhh. Here are some photos of shells and some other island treasures that I ran into…..all this weekend.
Shell pile at Blind Pass
Snowy Plover baby on Sanibel
While I was shelling on the east end of Sanibel, Margie from Rochester, NY showed me this cute baby SNOWY PLOVER closely watched by it’s parents. This is an endangered bird so it’s very exciting to see new healthy babies.
Royal terns on North Captiva
Clark with a lightning whelk
Hundreds of live juvenile conchs digging their way back to safety from low tide
Lightning whelk at low tide ....and nothing inside! I got to bring this one home.
From Blind Pass on Captiva to the lighthouse on Sanibel, to boating to North Captiva then back to the east end of Sanibel, the islands were alive, healthy and the prettiest I’ve seen them. Not a bad weekend, I’d say.