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

Another Beautiful Cruise in Paradise

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Angel Wing, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Fallen Angel Wing, False Angel Wing, Jingle, Olive, White Crested Tellin, White Pelican | 11 comments

rachel seashells cayo costa

Our Captiva Cruises boat pulled up to the shore of Cayo Costa at low tide around 1:30 yesterday …

cayo costa cruises shelling iLoveShelling

Within minutes, Rachel (KS) found 4 LETTERED OLIVES, 2 FALSE ANGEL WINGS, and AUGER and the colors of the rainbow in JINGLE SHELLS.

seashells cayo costa iLoveShelling cruise

Leanne (PA) strolled along the shore to find a true ANGEL WING and a few other goodies…

shelling cayo costa iloveshelling cruise gulf

Ahhhhh. It was so good to get back to Cayo Costa!

shelling gulf of mexico lee county seashells

I had the pleasure of meeting so many beautiful shellers while on the boat and walking the beach like sisters Beth and Barb (KY) who found SAND DOLLARS, WHELKS and OLIVES. Barb told me they have been hanging out with since the very beginning… almost 4 years ago! She said she still has it bookmarked on her computer under my first blog name “My Shelling Blog”. Ha! I felt like I knew them already!

beth barb kentucky visti cayo costa florida shelling

Patti and Tim (FL) were delightful! While Patti was shelling her heart out, Tim was photographing and videoing their whole day. What a good team!

patty tim cayo costa shelling

Nancy and “Babe” looked like they were in heaven together all day. She was glowing! Then I found out why. Cameron had surprised her with the cruise for her birthday and she was thrilled. Happy Birthday Nancy! You guys are so stinkin adorable! (heehee his name is Cameron but I just kept hearing Nancy say “Good find, Babe!” …. “Oh! Come here, Babe!” so cute)

cameron nancy cape coral shelling

John (MA) started out his trip to SW Florida as a birder but found that looking for different species of shells was just as much fun as looking for different species of birds. Here’s John picking up his first BABY’S EAR…

John babys ear

Boating was so much fun to0 as we got to see a BALD EAGLE in a nest, OSPREYS catching their fish lunch from the water, DOLPHINS playing…

dolphin watching shelling cruise

And seeing that the WHITE PELICANS are back on the islands…

white pelicans useppa island florida

When we arrived back on Captiva, we had a little Shell ‘N Tell so we could share some of our shells and finds. Sharon was a joy to meet !

sharon with shells captiva

She picked up WHITE CRESTED TELLIN on Cayo Costa. I only see these on Cayo Costa. I dont think Ive ever seen one on Sanibel.

white crested tellin cayo coast florida

I’m so happy I got to meet  Jan (KY) since I think she must be an artist as well. Jan showed me one of her favorite finds which was covered in BARNACLES and other animal growth marks. I love that kind of stuff too!

jan kentucky visit captiva seashells

Jerry found some really nice WHELKS on our trip but he told me also found a really large 10 inch empty WHELK at Blind Pass on Wednesday. He couldnt believe it because he thought he had stepped on a big rock in the water at low tide… then reached down and pulled up that huge LIGHTNING WHELK. WAHOO!

jerry captiva seashells

I was amazed at all the true ANGEL WINGS, FALSE ANGEL WINGS and even FALLEN ANGEL WINGS we found this time. Awesome!

angel wings quahog cayo costa

The MANATEES even came over to send us off with well wishes…

Manatee captiva cruises marina

It was a beautiful shelling cruise in paradise with a beautiful bunch of people.

shells found on Cayo costa

Join us on the next iLoveShelling cruise! CLICK HERE FOR DATES.

seashell shelling adventures pam

Before you go….

We have TWO Winners to announce for the Shelltastic SW FLorida Vacation Giveaway! :)

Drum Roll Please! …..

Our first winner for the Sealife By Congress stunning sterling silver Starfish Reef Pendant is………

Kathie Porter!

The Grand Prize Winner for 4days/3 nights stay in Fort Myers Beach is…..

Denise Stahl (AS, FL)!

Congratulations to you both! Sealife By Congress will be contacting you Kathie and Pointe Estero will contact you as well, Denise. So hold tight until you get your info! Thank you all for participating!



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White Pelican Rescue On Sanibel’s Out Islands

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in CROW, White Pelican | 36 comments

John rescue white pelican

We are so fortunate to see spectacular WHITE PELICANS when they migrate to SouthWest Florida every year in the fall. Unfortunately, we found one injured or sick WHITE PELICAN while boating around the Out Islands of Sanibel and Captiva yesterday on New Year’s Day. Clark found him washed up to the shore line and saw he wasn’t even strong enough to flap his wings.

injured white pelican

Poor thing! But our friend John completely took charge and checked the bird for visible injuries or obstructions like fishing line caught in his feet or wings. You can see just how big this bird is while John inspects his wing. White Pelicans have an average wingspan of 10 feet.

john checking pelican wing

We could not see any physical injuries to his wings, neck or feet so we called Sanibel’s CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife) to see if they could help. CROW First Responder Gareth wanted us to bring the bird (we named him “Whitey” by this time) in to see if they could help save him. So the rescue began… John held Whitey safely in his arms to get him back to the boat.

white pelican rescue

We wrapped a towel over the Whitey’s head and back to keep him calm and safe so Captain Clark could drive the “rescue” boat to a dock in Captiva…

pelican rescue boat ambulance

It was nice to have CROW volunteers meet us at the dock to bring a large cage to safely carry Whitey the rest of the way in my car to the clinic on Sanibel…

crow volunteers

Jane (John’s wife) and I admitted Whitey to CROW as their 4th patient of the new year where they took him immediately to the exam room to give him fluids and meds to stabilize him.

Crow surgery room Sanibel

We really don’t know for sure what made him sick or if he was just an old guy (or girl… we really dont know that either). All we know is that we tried to save him and John was the hero. On the boat ride back to the dock, we sang the song “Johnny Angel” to John and changed some of the words to “Johnny Rescue”. :)

injured sick white pelican

 Mother Nature will now decide his fate while the compassionate caregivers at CROW do their best to help him. I am so thankful he was only one out of the hundreds of healthy and stunning WHITE PELICANS we saw flocking around our islands yesterday who come back every year. They are a sight to behold!

white pelicans captiva florida

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Write From The Beach GiveAway!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2010 in Birds, Blue Heron, Giveaway, Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, White Pelican, Write From The Beach | 132 comments

 a Sand Dollar…. breathes through its feet

I have been combing the beaches all my life finding seashells and beach treasures, viewing sea life and beach birds. This summer I was so inspired by all of these beautiful beach creatures I photograph and blog about that I decided to pick up the paint brush again. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had 16 designs that I packaged into notecard gift packs with FUN FACTS about each sea creature for a fun twist. Check a few out…..

a Horse Conch … makes ocean sounds if it’s next to your ear

a Dolphin … sleeps with one eye open and one eye closed

They really do! Half of their brain sleeps while the other half is awake…. so the half that’s asleep- the eye closes.

a White Pelican … has an average wingspan of 10 feet

They are HUGE!

Here’s what the front of the Sea Life box looks like…

a Seahorse … has a single mate for life

There are 4 designs (2 each) in each 8-pack box of Seashells, Beach Treasures, Sea Life and Birds.

Back of the Beach Treasures box

So now you know what I’ve been up to when I’m not blogging. I am very excited that some of my favorite retailers already have them in their stores- check them out!

AND now for the GIVEAWAY!……


A WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN- congrats to Karen Wells!

Win 4 boxes of Write From The Beach notecards as a “thank you” for your inspiration….

  • i Love Shelling Seashells
  • Sea Life
  • Hello, Birdies
  • Beach Treasures
  • Free Shipping in U.S. (outside U.S.?- We’ll work something out)

Here’s how to win……

Go to to look at all 4 boxed notecards and photos of each individual card, then come back here to make a comment HERE ON THIS POST (comments on will be disqualified-sorry!). Just tell me which ones you like best…or any comment will do because the pick will be random.

That’s it! Just make a comment HERE on or before Friday, September 3, 2010

If you don’t know how to make a comment- Click on the Title of this post (Write From The Beach GiveAway!) and scroll to the bottom then follow directions. Or you can click on the number in parenthesis (for example (1) or (0) ) after where it says “By pam – Comments” under the post title.

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Tulip Eats King’s Crown

Posted by on Dec 13, 2009 in Birds, Captiva, Horseshoe Crab, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, North Captiva, Sanibel, Tulip, Whelk, White Pelican | 3 comments

A Tulip eating a King's Crown

On the out islands of Captiva, Clark found this huge live TULIP hanging so far out of it’s shell eating a live KING’S CROWN. You can see the powerfully pink inside of this mollusk sucking that KING’S CROWN right out of his shell. Amazing and so cool to see!  Most everything we found today (except some WORM SHELLS and a few LIGHTENING WHELKS) was alive, very healthy and eating good meals so, to us, it’s a great sign.

Clark’s sister Jan was here visiting from her log cabin in Montana with her boyfriend Jack. Jack couldn’t imagine why we wanted to go “shelling”….  but after he saw Clark pull that hungry TULIP  out of the water he kinda started to get it. Jan told him that shelling is something that she remembers doing with the family as far back as she can remember on the shores of New Jersey.

Jack and Jan (Montana) with Clark

A live King's Crown in shallow water

It’s worth mentioning again (November 27th post) about HORSESHOE CRABS. They are one of the few species that are older than dinosaurs. It’s amazing they are still alive and well living in our waters. We’ve seen them breeding before but I didn’t have my camera…..I’ll have a picture one day….I’m hoping!

A dried out baby Horseshoe Crab

Jack and Jan with Clark and the White Pelicans in the background

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Giving Thanks

Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 in Birds, North Captiva, Olive, Sand Dollar, Sunray Venus, Urchin, Useppa Island, White Pelican, Worm Shell | 0 comments

Jeff and Tiia

Jeff and Tiia

Our friends Jeff and Tiia came over from Miami to join us for Thanksgiving along with our other good friends Libby and Michael to do a little shelling. Since we had the beach on North Captiva to ourselves, we had no trouble finding the best shells. Although we didn’t find big piles of shells, there was a string of them along the shoreline. Tiia found SAND DOLLARS (she’s showing a few in the photo), SUNRAY VENUSES, LETTERED OLIVES, and lots of URCHINS. Jeff and Clark found some nice WORM SHELLS.

Shelling was the perfect way to burn off some of our incredible feast on Useppa Island where we pigged out on oysters, crab, shrimp, turkey, stuffing, gravy…..all of the fixins, plus the most fantastic bourbon pecan pie and pumpkin pie you could imagine (don’t worry, Mom- yours is still my favorite).

Libby and Michael

Libby and Michael

Libby found SAND DOLLARS too but she found something even more amazing. After a 10 to 15 minute walk down the beach she got some photographs of the WHITE PELICANS that come to spend the winter in Southwest Florida and this is one of the favorite spots to hang out.

I’m thankful that I got to spend this special day with special friends.

Enjoy some of the scenery that we got to see today thanks to Libby’s great photography below.

white pelicans in flight

White pelicans in flight     Photo by Libby McMillan

white pelicans on a bar

White pelicans on a bar     Photo by Libby McMillan

Libby's sand dollar

Libby’s sand dollar

North Cap shells

North Cap shells

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