Archive for Fish

Jun
10

Shells Sweep In And Shells Sweep Out

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shell mound sanibel bridge

Tropical Storm Andrea swept the seashells onto Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach on Friday but she also swept most of them out into the Gulf Of Mexico by Saturday night. I figured the shells had blown to another beach so I headed to the other side of the island… Blind Pass. I found some! There was a pretty nice shell mound under the bridge that leads to Captiva. That’s where I found Jamie and Alex from Hollywood, Florida shellebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Their wedding had a seashell theme so Alex surprised Jamie with a shelling week  Sanibel. Sweet!

jamie alex shelling sanibel

They were sifting through smaller CLAM shells to find a few nice FIGHTING CONCHS, LGITHNING WHELKS, LETTERED OLIVES, CALICO SCALLOPS and COCKLES…

jamie seashells sanibel

Kealey and Chad from Sarasota were having good luck shelling the same spot…

kealey chad seashells sanibel

Oooooh… Look at that WORM SHELL! And they found a few nice SHARKS EYES, WHELKS and that sweet candy.

seashells sanibel purple bucket

Cheri, Rylan and Amanda from New Smyrna were having a ball collecting JINGLES and SCALLOPS…

cheri rylan amanda seashells bp

I was collecting CALICO SCALLOPS too. I can’t resist picking them up when the colors are this gorgeous!

colorful scallop shells bp

I had a question here in the comments section the other day asking “Is there a good beach to find shells while my husband fishes?”. Now you can see for yourself! Danny caught this nice SNOOK (he gently released it immediately after I took the photo) in the same spot we were finding these shell…

danny snook fish sanibel

I ran back down to Lighthouse Beach happy to see there were still people finding shells…  the miniature shells. Jesse, Erick and Jonsiah from PA were thrilled to find their very first WENTLETRAPS

jesse erick jonsiah sanibel lh

The iLoveShelling FaceBook Page was rocking too so I  wanted to share a few photos of shells that were posted from the weekend… like from Steve O who found his first PAPER FIG…

steve ozment shells

Brooke L posted this next photo and said “The shells were great, the beaches empty, waves rolling in, and a perfect sunset! Thank you TS Andrea!”

brooke l seashells

Kelly M from Dunedin, FL found the big “J” on Honeymoon Island over the weekend. Wahoo! A JUNONIA!

kelly honeymoon island junonia

 I love this next photo that Greg D posted. He found three huge HORSE CONCHS! He wrote “Three horse conchs I scooped up at Bind Pass Friday night. Great ending to our vacation”. Boom Shellalaka!

greg deboer horse conchs

I never got a chance to check out Gulfside City Park but I have a feeling there might be shells showing up on that beach soon. I hope to get there tomorrow!

sanibel lighthouse yellow pier

Don’t forget! Only 5 more days to enter to win a Shelling Vacation on Sanibel! CLICK HERE!

Seashell Island Shelling Vacation

Feb
27

Pen Shells and Beach Bling

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pen shells wash sanibel

It has been an unusual week on Sanibel. The winds are changing directions and speed by the second which makes for an interesting site to see of all the different things that wash up on our beaches. I showed you lots of different EGG CASINGS in my last post but I found another one today… a SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLAR…

sharks eye egg collar

…oodles of PEN SHELLS…

pen shell wrack line

but we also are seeing PURPLE SEA URCHINS…

urchins wash up sanibel

And weird fish like this SHORTNOSE BATFISH

shortnose batfish

EEEEK! And an EEL! Yall know I love me some BEACH BLING… but EELS? They kinda creep me out for some reason.

Sanibel eel

Blllaaaahhh, Okay, now that I’m completely creeped out… I have to change the subject because I have some happy, happy stuff happening here too that I dont want to ruin! Okay.. here is a happy picture to get back in the mood of what Sanibel is NORMALLY like… having fun doing the Sanibel Stoop!

sanibel stoop lighthouse

I met some awesome folks on the beach this week at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach! This is Shelling Sister Donna R from NY…

donna r sanibel shelling

She was on her way to finding the Sanibel Six. Yes, that ALPHABET CONE is pretty beat up but It’s still a CONE and it’s whole and HUGE!

Sanibel six almost

I also met sweetie pie Katherine Haskins with her husband Tom.

tom katherine sanibel shelling

 Katherine love the minis so she was finding lots of different miniatures like WENTLETRAPS along with AUGERS, CERITHS and a little perfect WORMIE.

wentletrap mini shells

It was fun to see them on the beach together with their iLS shirts on! (teehee) Warms my heart.

tom katherine donna sanibel

I also met another awesome couple while walking on the beach today several miles west of Lighthouse Beach. Here are shellers Linda and Glen from Ohio…

linda glen ohio angel wing

Linda found an ANGEL WING! They also were happy to find their first KEYHOLE LIMPET along with these other goodies. Notice they even collect the broken SHARK’S EYES if the “eye” is still intact. Yep, they really are beautiful. I told them that when the SHARK’S EYE is brilliant blue in the middle that I’ve heard it called “Paul Newman’s eye”. This one is definitely a PAUL NEWMAN’S EYE!

linda angel wing shells

Oh wait… I feel so badly that I never introduced you to Shelly (love that name!) and Kayle whom I met last week at Blind Pass when the weather was a little cooler…

shelly kayle indiana seashelling

I found a PYGMY OCTOPUS inside a PEN SHELL and Kayle offered to take it out in the water to put it back. So sweet!

pigmy octopus penn shell

Here are Shelly and Kayle’s gorgeous treasures from the sea that they were collecting. Keep the image of this gorgeous PAPER FIG (in the middle of this green bucket) in your mind to leave you with a happy day. See? I told you I had happy happy stuff to show you. :)

kayle seashells

 

Sep
17

2012 Sanibel Coastal Cleanup

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coastal clean up crew

As part of the Ocean Conservancy‘s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup, Dee Serage of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) organized volunteers to pick up and document litter on our beaches and coastlines this past Saturday. So the beach on Sanibel from Blind Pass to Bowman’s is free and clear of any trash because of our fun little cleanup crew in the photo above from left to right… Susan (Soul Sister Susan), Daron who was our efficient record keeper, me, Super Sheller Clark, Judy, Grant, Cameron and Berringer.

We spread out and literally combed the beach.. or should I say “litteraly”.

beach combers clean up

We searched high on the beach for trash…

judy susan clean up

…and we searched low on the beach for litter. We had to leave these big shells piles for another day but couldn’t help but look for something unusual.

seashells boys

Berringer did find a few unusal shells. Oh, and remember the SPOTTED EAGLE RAY I showed on my last video? Clark had “spotted” the ray in the water and told everybody to come look at it but Berringer is the one who knew exactly what it was right away. “Look! It’s an EAGLE RAY!” (you see why I like him?)

berringer alternate tellin

He found a beautiful yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN pair…

alternate tellin yellow

And look at the bright purple color of this SOUTHERN HORSE MUSSEL !

False Tulip Mussel horsemussel

It even has purple in the interior…

interior false tulip mussel

Grant found this very cool completely dried PUFFER FISH

grant puffer fish

This is what I call cool BEACH BLING

dried puffer fish

Grant also found this sweet little SEA URCHIN…

tiny sea urchin

Yes, there were lots of shell piles like I showed you  in the cyber shelling photo on my last post with but we were on a mission to pick up trash and we had a very long walk so we only picked up the cool unusual things that didn’t weigh much… like this ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! We rarely find these…

roseate spoonbill feather sanibel

Clark brought home this aqua buoy. We couldn’t throw that away!

clark with aqua bouy

But back to the main reason we were there… to rid the beach of any trash. Cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, more and more plastic were the top items found but I was so surprised to see so many balloons with ribbons on the beach. Balloons are a huge NO-NO to bring to the beach! They can get swallowed or wrapped around wildlife so please never take balloons to the beach for any occasion.

ribbon balloon bowmans

Fortunately, our beaches aren’t terribly littered so I think we only filled up 7 fairly small bags which is not so bad for a 2 and 1/2 mile walk. But Clark didn’t stop there. He even saw trash thrown over the beach access boardwalk so he fished it out under the rail. Go Super Sheller Clark!

clark picking up trash

 I’m sure yall do this already, but just a reminder while we are shelling… let’s pick up any trash and put it in our shell bag until we can find a trash can or dumpster to dispose of it. Okay, So… lets recap what we do as “shellers”. On our beach walks we can get exercise, find treasure, explore, learn about wildlife and the creatures of the sea AND save the planet AND spread peace on earth. LOL Yes! Shellers save the planet! We are the Super Shellers!

Bowmans Beach trash

Clark snorkeling the Keys

Clark snorkeling the Keys

The Florida Keys aren’t known for beachcombing since seashells just don’t roll up on their beaches like they do here in Sanibel, Florida but they DO have shells……you just have to know where to dive or snorkel for them. This was our first time shell collecting in the Keys so we were very fortunate to have wonderful shell-crazy friends MurexKen and MurexAlice (who have been shelling the middle Keys for over 20 years) take us out in their boat to show us there are shells to be found in those vast aqua waters.

MurexKen with Queen Conch

MurexKen with a Queen Conch

Within an hour or so arriving in the Keys, we strapped on our fins, mask, snorkel and grabbed our shell bags then splashed into the water to seek and explore throughout the weekend. MurexKen found a beautiful live QUEEN CONCH to point out the amazing colors and to show us how many there were living in the grasses. Since it was alive, he put it back and told us there is a big fat fine for keeping a live one. Good!

We found lots of AMERICAN STAR-SHELLS……

American Star Shell

American Star Shells

We found a few LONG-SPINED STAR SHELLS…

Long Spined Star Shell

Long Spined Star Shell

…and some WEST INDIAN TOP SHELLS or also called MAGPIE SHELLS…

West Indian Top shell

West Indian Top shell

Clark found some absolutely perfect MILK CONCHS (MK cleaned these up for us- they look so amazing!)….

Milk Conchs

Milk Conchs

We snorkeled around the grasses…..( I think I might have to rename MurexKen as MermanKen- he’s a fish!)

Aqua man MurexKen

Aqua man MurexKen

We snorkeled around bridges….

Bridge Florida Keys

Bridge Florida Keys

…where MurexAlice found a nice SEA URCHIN…

MurexAlice with urchin

MurexAlice with urchin

We snorkeled around CORAL REEFS alongside QUEEN ANGELFISH ….

Queen Angel with coral

Queen Angel with coral

We snorkeled around sandy sea bottoms to see this SHORTNOSE BATFISH……weird!……

shortnose batfish

shortnose batfish

I spotted a potential keeper shell… is it empty? Please be empty!

snorkeling for seashells

snorkeling for seashells

Oh YaYah- Nobody’s home! He’s a little beat up but I can try to clean it up…..

Empty juvenile queen conch aperture

Empty juvenile queen conch aperture

I was so happy to find an empty QUEEN but mine couldn’t compare to MerMan MurexKen’s Queen Conch with no mollusk inside! Since the lip was broken off they were going to toss it back…..then offered it to us. Of course we’ll take it!

Empty Queen Conch

Empty Queen Conch

I cleaned up most of the shells with 1/4 bleach and water solution except another shell MurexKen gave us…… This outstanding HORSE CONCH with the brown “skin” or PERIOSTRACUM still on it- I love that! I just let that soak in a bucket of water with just a tad of bleach so it wouldn’t take the brown off. After I took this photo, I put it back in the bucket to soak some more to get the white “freckles” to soften up even more so I can try to rub them all off. Hey, and take a look at that little conch I found that was so beat up….. I think it’s coming along!

Queen conch, juvenile queen, horse conch

Queen conch, juvenile queen, horse conch

We normally have shells roll up to our feet in Sanibel so this was a fun trip for us to work a little harder (snorkeling’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it! ;) ) at seeing different shells in a different environment. The drive from Sanibel to Big Pine Key was 5 1/2 hours and worth every minute of it to spend time with MurexKen and MurexAlice.  It was a trip to remember for sure- Thank you both!

Map Sanibel to Big Pine Key

Map Sanibel to Big Pine Key

I have to show you one more fascinating shell….. MurexKen found this QUEEN HELMET a few days before we got there. To read more about his finds, he posted a trip report on Trip Advisor CLICK HERE.  I don’t think it gets any prettier than this…..

Queen Helmet Shell

Queen Helmet Shell

I took some of the photos with a new Fuji underwater camera with a movie feature that was pretty good  until it opened up underwater and flooded the camera. Needless to say, I took it back. The good news is….  before it flooded, I got a nice video- Click HERE to see it! Also, click HERE to see the DEER COWRIES Clark found.

Fish in Florida Keys

Tropical Fish in the Florida Keys

Nov
07

Shellicious Shelling

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Sunrise shelling on Sanibel

Sunrise shelling on Sanibel

This is a rare photo.  I can’t help it- I’m just not a morning gal so I rarely get to the beach to see sunrise. I know, I’m not your usual sheller but this isn’t your usual shelling day either. Colder temperatures (low fifties this morning), high winds, new moon and very low tide make for excellent shelling so I couldn’t resist being an early bird (ok, the time change helped). So check out all of the early bird specials!

Beach combing shell bucket

Molly and Jill's shelling bucket of goodies

Horse conch, true tulip, moon snail

Molly and Jill's horse conch, moon snail and true tulip

Molly and Jill had to share a bucket since they were finding so many fantastic shells. I was so tickled that Molly told me that she follows my blog (!) and before they went to the lighthouse yesterday, she made Jill watch my WENTLETRAP VIDEO so she would know what to look for. She called it “Finding Wentletraps 101″.  ;)

Beachcombers low tide

Molly and Jill (Michigan)

Heart Urchins

Heart Urchins found by Molly and Jill

Long-spined Urchin

Long-spined Urchin

Alphabet cone Leisa

Leisa's Alphabet cone

Beach comber low tide

Leisa (Greenville, SC)

Another blog buddy, Leisa! She is another shelling sister that has contributed to iLoveShelling with her comments. She was filling up her bucket with TULIPS (BANDED and TRUE), LIGHTNING WHELKS, OLIVES, CONCHS and of course this shellicious ALPHABET CONE.

Live true tulip

Live true tulip

This was the 4th huge live TRUE TULIP I saw this weekend. Leisa found one too.

Puffer Fish

Puffer Fish

I met a boy named Dale that showed me this PUFFER FISH. Thank you Mr. Puffer Fish for the pretty pose for my photo. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Dale!

Serpent Starfish

Serpent Starfish

Look how long these arms are on this SERPENT STARFISH! Carol showed this starfish to me and also gave me one of her California SAND DOLLARS that she packages and gives away while she is in Sanibel. Thank you, Carol, I love it!

Beachcomber Carol

Beachcomber Carol

Sunrise low tide beach Sanibel

Low tide Sanibel beach at Sunrise near Holiday Inn

Sunrise on Sanibel

Sunrise on Sanibel

Sep
04

Kicking off a Winning Weekend

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Belinda's snook fish fishing Sanibel

Belinda won the battle with this awesome snook….. and I even got it on video! She said she usually shells when she and Bob visit Sanibel from Islamorada in the Florida Keys but decided to fish this time instead. She still couldn’t help but feel around for shells with her toes while waiting for the bite on her line. Sit back and enjoy Belinda versus Big Snook (she gives all the credit to The Bait Box !) video and a beautiful bright orange SCALLOP find.  But wait! We have more winners so make sure you scroll down after the movie.

shellers ann paul sanibel

Ann and Paul (MN) felt like a big winners after finding a BABYS EAR near Gulf Side City Park. The same beach where Belinda caught (and released) her big bad snook.

Now for the really big, really big (said in that Ed Sullivan voice)

Winner of the Write From The Beach GiveAway ……..

Karen M. Wells !! Congratulations, Karen!

And a big THANK YOU to everybody for leaving so many wonderful comments. This is just so much dang fun, I’ll have to start thinking of my next giveaway already.