Shell trip! Clark and I took a beach combing road trip from Sanibel Island to Pass-A-Grille over the weekend … and had blast finding lots of shells. We found all of the shells in this next photo as we walked from our hotel Inn On The Beach, down to the south tip of the island at jetty rocks to the Pass-a-Grill North Channel.
It was like an OLIVE garden just at the water’s edge but we even found some of my faves…. WORMIES.
There were lots of shells to pick through on the gorgeous beach as well…
I was tickled to find a teeny tiny BROWN-BANDED WENTLETRAP hiding in the mix.
There is an island right across the channel from the jetty rocks called “Shell Island”. What? Shell Island? Of course we had to explore it! There are ferries to take people over to the island but since we wanted to spend all day on the water, we rented a boat. Look at the color of the fabshellous LIGHTNING WHELKS we found. Gorgeous!
We actually had more luck on the back flats of Shell Island instead of the beach on the Gulf Of Mexico side. There were lots of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS, oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS shells and some really funny live KINGS CROWNS scooting all along shallow waters so I did a little time lapse video of one of them to show you. Ha! Groovy KING CROWN dance moves coming up….
So in between the KINGS CROWN congo, Clark found one of the prettiest orange colored LIGHTNING WHELKS we’ve ever seen. It is really the color of a carrot!
Ok- I took another video too of all of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
We also boated over to Egmont Key to find a beautiful sandy beach island.
We didn’t find as many shells on Emont Key but we found a couple of ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS. Ohhhhh such treat to find these pink feathers!
At the end of the day, we sat our on our lovely porch to admire all of the beautiful colors and patterns of so many different shells we ended up finding.
We had a lovely time shelling and then relaxing in our beautiful room at Inn On The Beach.
Not a bad way to celebrate our 19 year wedding anniversary, huh?
In my first 2 posts about our weekend trip to Honeymoon Island State Park, I showed you some cool treasures we found like TURBANS, MERMAID MONEY, AGATIZED CORAL GEODES, rock art and a variety of shells… but wait! I still have a few more things I want to show you. Like the biggest KING’S CROWN we’ve ever seen! Clark found this live mollusk on the bay side of the northern tip of the island.
Of course we put him back where Clark found him after peaking at this awesome creature…
We saw a MANATEE! It’s always a bonus to see them so close to the shore and this guy wasn’t shy at all so came up to say “hi”…
On our walk back we found 2 SAND DOLLARS along with some of the other shells…and remember, it’s a 5 mile round trip- whew! I even wish we had taken more than the 100 fluid oz. we packed for the “hike”.
On Sunday, we decided to take the scenic drive back through Clearwater Beach down to Pass-A-Grille since we heard the shelling was good against the jetty rocks. Nuttin, Honey. All I found was my butt busting on a rock after I slipped on an unsteady chunk of the jetty. Ouch!
Pass-A-Grille jetty rocks
I met a nice couple a few years ago in my shop Kirby Rambo Collections (Clark sold it for me in 2004… 4 weeks before Hurricane Charley. Talk about timing!) who showed me a bag of WORM SHELLS they collected on Fort De Soto beach. I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since so we stopped there too while passing through St Pete. We didn’t find much there either but that’s okay. It was fun to just walk the beach and see the lay of the land. Just like I tell people that visit our beaches….. the shelling changes every day on each beach. There could have been hundreds of WORM SHELLS there the day after or before we walked it. It’s the hunt that makes it fun!
Fort De Soto beach
When I was sorting through our shells when we got home, I found a few bivalves that we had collected on Honeymoon Island that were a little unusual. It might not be so pretty but this ATLANTIC FAT TELLIN which should be called the bent tellin because it has an obvious bend in the middle of it.
I think you can see the bend a little better at this angle…
Shelling Sistah Moira showed me a facebook photo last week of this same LUCINE shell in the next photo. The closest thing I found at Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is the THICK LUCINE….. but it looks more like a worn PENNSYLVANIA LUCINE to me. I found the same shell on Honeymoon too….
Here’s the inside… some people wouldn’t think this is too pretty but for identification purposes, I have found that the interior of the shell is just as important to identify it correctly as the exterior.
I also found a very worn WHITE CRESTED TELLIN. It’s the first one I’ve ever found.
So now that I’ve shown you all of our treasures from our weekend getaway, I thought I’d throw in a few places we enjoyed other than the beaches. Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures but we both loved the little town of Dunedin (pronounced dun-E-din). It’s one of those quant little village-y areas with funky art studios, sweet gift shops and really good restaurants and bars- most with live entertainment so you can just wander around before and after dinner to enjoy the town. Our fave restaurant was a place called Kelly’s Chicaboom- awesome! We also loved this tiny restaurant/fish market called Olde Bay Cafe at the marina.
We had a wonderful time exploring another gulf coast town of Florida that offers some beautiful and different gifts of the sea but it was time to head back over the Sunshine Skyway…
…to get home to our little island paradise of Sanibel. Home Sweet Home!