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

Sanibel Shelling Report Before the Rain

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Lighthouse, Ragged Sea Hare, Sea hare, Sea Hare Egg String | 17 comments

Shells with railroad vine purple flowers on Sanibel

As I’m listening to the loud crashes of thunder with pounding rain and watching the bright strikes of lightning on the island today, I’m thankful I got to take a few leisurely strolls on our sun filled beach this weekend before this downpour.

Sanibel Island beach with shells and birds

The water was like glass at Gulfside City Park on Saturday and clear enough to find these treasure while walking in the water.

sea shelling Sanibel Island Florida

After finding a SUNRAY VENUS and a FIGHTING CONCH as well, I started finding “Candy!” (juvie HORSE CONCHS) in the shell lines on the beach…

candy corn shells on Sanibel beach

Seriously, there were so many different shell and wrack lines to work, I could have stayed there all day long searching each line to see what different types of goodies were hiding in each one.

wrack and shell lines on Sanibel Island Florida

But since it was a little warm (around 92 degrees around noon), I stayed either in the water or just along the edge…. where I found oodles of beautifully colored CALICO SCALLOPS (and the candies).

sweet shells on Sanibel Island

Last evening Clark and I took a walk around the Lighthouse Beach to find the glassy calm water with a small shell line on the Gulf side…

Sanibel water scene with clouds

We rounded the tip of the island to find choppier water with lines of SEA WEED covering the shells. It’s funny… there are some photographs that I have taken over the years that stick with me for some reason and they make me smile.  So when I saw this gal sifting for minis, I recognized her right away from my post Smiles For Seashells – “I took a photo of you a few years ago and its one of my favorites!”. As soon as we started talking I remembered everything else about her too. Sweet Robin! She found a few WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and lots of other usual suspects just hanging out Sittin ‘N Siftin.

Robin sifting through shells

Further down the beach I found this turquoise blue green SEA HARE (SEA SLUG) that had just washed up on the beach. I think it’s a different type of RAGGED SEA HARE than the ones I’ve found before (CLICK HERE)… since I’ve never seen this color in an adult before. Cool! I put it back in the water but I’m not sure this one survived :(.

turquoise ragged sea hare

The good news is… it may have just laid this blue green spaghetti looking EGG MASS. But, don’t quote me on that… I’m only assuming this after finding an unusual blue green SEA SLUG then only a few feet away spotting an unusual blue green EGG STRING. Hmmmm…  that turquoise EGG MASS from that turquoise SEA HARE? It doesn’t seem that far of a stretch, right? LOL

turquoise blue green sea hare egg string

Anyhoo, it was a lovely weekend to explore Southwest Florida beaches to see what treasures the Gulf Of Mexico had in store for us. And… after this storm lets up (with winds out of the west), we may have an even better week to find beach treasures. Fingers crossed!

Sanibel water scene with clouds

 

 

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Full Moon Rises, Shelling Tide Lowers

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Blind Pass, Blind Pass Sanibel, Fighting Conch, low tide, Sea Hare Egg String, Sea Liver | 17 comments

shells found at Blind Pass Captiva June

During the low tide evenings this past week, we didn’t find gobs of shells on Sanibel or Captiva but we found the best empty beauties in the Blind Pass channel in between Sanibel and Captiva. With the full moon causing extreme tides, the water rushes through the pass so quickly at the lowest tide (ankle deep) I like to just wait for the shells to roll by my feet by near the jetty rocks. If you want to see a video from last year that shows how they roll by CLICK HERE

sea shells found in the channel at Blind Pass Captiva Island

We also hit the low tide at the Lighthouse Beach…

low tide shelling sanibel

This was my favorite night last week because I met Michayla from Pensacola with lots of beautiful shells in her shell bag…

Michayla from Pensacola finds sea shells on Sanibel Island Florida

I also met Paige and her mom Nikkie from Kentucky. It’s always so much fun to meet new friends that love shelling as much as I do!

Paige and Nikkie from Kentucky visit Sanibel collecting seashells

And lookie who else was shelling at Lighthouse Beach… our good friends Susan and Lee from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They definitely love shelling as much as Clark and I do.

Susan and Lee from GTMO visit Sanibel Island Florida

It’s always so much fun to see the live creatures at ow tide like FIGHTING CONCHS…

Live fighting conch seashell on Sanibel Island Florida

I’m not absolutely positive, but I believe that this is a SEA HARE EGG STRING. Seriously, it was this color… almost turquoise!

sea hare Eudisoma hepaticum egg string

We are very used to seeing SEA PORK at low tide but this SEA LIVER looks a little different because it’s flatter and a little slimier. They are dark purple when still alive then turn whitish when they die so I’m assuming part of this colony on the right has already died off and the left side is still hanging on. Of course after I took this photo, I returned this colonial tunicate to the tidal pool where I found it.

sea liver Eudisoma hepaticum

So while we were shelling Lighthouse and Blind Pass… Gary, Jane, Anna, Claire and Ella from Arkansas were shelling near Tarpon Beach when they hit  a VERY sweet honey hole. Gary said ” Just at the shelf line we found a PEN SHELL bed. After about 2 hours of digging we had 8 large horse conchs – our best shell hunt ever!”  I’m sure this will be a day in their lives they will never ever forget. Shellzam!

Gary Jane Anna Claire and Ella from Arkansas find 8 horse conchs

I love summer evenings walking the beach when the sun doesn’t set until way after 8pm then the full moon rises to brighten the sky and pull at the sea.

Sanibel full moon over Gulf of Mexico

full moon over palm trees

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