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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The ShellHolder

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Broad-Ribbed Cardita, Fish of Florida, Ponderous Ark, Sea Whip, Snook | 20 comments

Cardita seashells in a sandy palm on Sanibel Island

The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva have been gorgeous this week with plenty of sunshine and warm breezes. But shelling has been hit or miss… to some people. In the past few days, I’ve been asked countless times “Where are the shells?”. That’s hard for me to answer since I saw this at Gulfside City Park beach today…

shells and waves make awesome days

Uhmmmm. Those look like shells to me?  There weren’t many WHELKS, TULIPS or CONES but this is how I look at it… if JUNONIAS and ALPHABET CONES were washing up on the beach every day, we would never see or learn about anything else that washes up on the beach. It would be nice at first seeing an ALPHABET soup of JUNONIAS but after a while it would kinda get old to people who come to the island every year. We do that with FIGHTING CONCHS at times. There’s no denying FIGHTING CONCHS are gorgeous shells but if you already collected 10 of them, you start to look for something else. So I always look forward to the days that make me slow down to look more closely to the shells I normally don’t “see”. Today I saw BROAD-RIBBED CARDITA shells. BROAD RIBBED CARDITAS are always on our beaches. I mean ALWAYS… but most of them have been sun bleached or worn so they look like lots of the other white BIVALVES. They are one of the most common shells in Southwest Florida but today they caught my eye because they were so colorful. Each one has a different color range of orange with some having stripes and some look like polka dots. Beauty is in the eye of the shell holder. These would be great craft shells for frames!

cardita shell carditamera floridana Sanibel

Anyway, there were a few other sweet shells out there too…

beach finds on Sanibel's Gulfside City Park beach

I also saw oodles of SEA WHIPS attached to PONDEROUS ARKS in the high tide wrack line. Most of the SEA WHIPS have lost their pretty yellow or purple colors and all that’s left is the black stem left attached to the ARK shell but this one still has a small portion of the golden yellow color still left on the stem like a sheath. Why do SEA WHIPS only seem to like to attach themselves to PONDEROUS ARKS? Of course I have a theory (I always have a theory whether its right or not- heehee). PONDEROUS ARKS have that wonderful thick black PERIOSTRACUM (skin) and they have wide ribs so SEA WHIPS have something pretty substantial to anchor themselves to. Most shells don’t have either of those features so it makes perfect sense to me, how about you? (To see a PONDEROUS ARK CLICK HERE)

ponderous ark with sea whip attached

Yes, those CARDITAS were pretty orange but this LETTERED OLIVE was my fave find of the day.

olive shell on the beach with sea foam

Oh wait- I take that back! This 33 inch, 15 pound SNOOK was my fave find of the day! I love everything there is to do on the beach and fishing is just one more thing I think is very cool. Just like shelling, you just never know what you’re gonna find. Some days you catch the big one and some days its just a nice excuse to be out in the sunshine.

pam rambo with Sanibel snook fish fishing

Errrrrr…..Okay, I’ll fess up. This is kinda a fish tale…. “my fave find” was actually caught by a guy named Steve but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that beautiful fish. I “found” it in Steve’s hands. Hahahaha. i Love Fishing too so next time I wanna reel one in!

Hey, Dont forget… Monday March 16, 2015 – Congress Jewelers are showcasing my Shellography with a wine and cheese gallery reception from 11am- 3pm. I’d love to meet y’all! Bring your fave finds in if you want me to ID them.

canvas shellography congress reception

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Shells Sweep In And Shells Sweep Out

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Calico, Horse Conch, Junonia, Scallop, Snook, Tropical Storm Andrea | 20 comments

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

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