Archive for Helmet

Mar
28

Bringing On The Beachcombing

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Finding seashells on Sanibel Island Florida on Tarpon Beach

There is nothing more exciting than seeing shells line the beach as far as the horizon.

shells for miles on Sanibel Island Florida

At Tarpon Road beach access (mid island on Sanibel)… that’s what we saw yesterday- miles of shells. Amy from Alabama was a happy girl be able to witness this beautiful site as well.

Amy from Huntsville finds shells on Sanibel Island Florida

She found oodles of APPLE MUREXES and FIGHTING CONCHS in a wide assortment of colors, patterns and textures along with some other beauties.

seashells collected at Tarpon Beach Sanibel Island

I ooohed and ahhhed over her best find (well, her best find to me anyway) which was this ROCK SHELL. Its not often I see these shells so I was excited for Amy that she found one.

rock shell at Tarpon Bay Rd Beach

I saw Ellie from Wisconsin holding her hand in a way to protect something delicate.

ellie from Wisconsin finds shells in Florida

It was a gorgeous double ALTERNATE TELLIN with colors of yellow, pink and mauve. It looks like a beautiful butterfly!

holding a Sanibel seashell

I was thrilled to find a LONG-SPINED URCHIN and a WEST INDIAN SEA URCHIN to add to my mix of treasures (OLIVES, CONCHS, TINTED CANTHARUS, NUTMEG, ROUGH SCALLOP, dark rich BANDED TULIP, a WORMIE and …. candy!)

sea urchins and shells collected on Sanibel Island

Then I walked the beach at BLIND PASS Sanibel to see Michelle from Illinois (right) with her family Mary, Mike, Patti and Molly. she was carrying a strange looking shell so I stopped her.

mary mike patti molly michelle from illinois shelling sanibel

OMG its the lip of verrrry large HELMET shell. Wow! HELMETS are from Caribbean so to see the lip of that shell in such good shape and color was impressive. She also found a nice THORNY OYSTER too. Good eye, Michelle!

helmet lip and thorny oyster

I saw Justin and Jeff from Connecticut scooping in the water and Bonnie combing the beach about a mile from the pass (the furthest point in the background).

justin bonnie jeff conn shelling sanibel

They were having a ball finding some really nice shells like TULIPS, WHELKS and huge COCKLES. They said they were just as happy to find shells as being here to enjoy this awesome weather.

justins shells

Krystal S posted on iLS Facebook all the shells they found yesterday morning at Blind Pass Sanibel….

shells by Krystal S Facebook

Molly P posted there as well to show us she found this LIONS PAW this week on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. Congratshellations, to all of you!

lions paw Molly P facebook

Keep ‘em coming, Mother Nature!

Sanibel beach filled with shells

queen conchs turks caicos iLS

We went to Turks and Caicos Islands on our vacation and it was a-mazing! We explored just about every beautiful inch of North Caicos and took several wild adventures to Middle Caicos and found that to be just as breathtaking.

Turks and Caicos map

We had lots of sunshine and warm weather for great beach combing on their awesome picturesque beaches along with plenty of clear aqua water to snorkel for hours at a time. But… best of all… we found a slew of bright, beautiful and colorful seashells! Remember I showed you a photo in my last post of a KING HELMET? Clark has always wanted to find a KING HELMET shell… and now his wish has come true! He was (is) sooooo ecstatic about his find!

clark helmet caicos

Can’t you see why?

king helmet turks caicos

He was not going to come out of that water until he found something spectacular since he was very jealous (but very happy for me) when I showed him what I found…. an ANGULAR TRITON!

pam angular triton

Take a look at this beauty…

angular triton turks caicos

I still can’t believe how many juvenile QUEEN CONCHS we found…

juvenile queen conch rollers

We found them on just about every beach we visited rolling in the surf…

pink conch turks caicos

Most of the empty adult QUEEN CONCHS around the islands had large cuts or holes in the spire of the shell because the locals cut the shell to get the meat out for food so it was hard to find a pretty one to bring home.  John “Johnny Rescue” finally found a gorgeous QUEEN CONCH!

john queen helmet caicos

I’m still in awe at the glossy brilliant colors of this shell…

north caicos queen conch jh

Jane found a nice size ANGULAR TRITON too!

angular triton middle caicos

It was a little gunky when she found it but it cleaned up like a dream…

angular triton middle caicos jh

We were all thrilled to find SUNRISE TELLINS and GAUDY ASAPHIS shells. The SUNRISE TELLINS are the glossy yellow, pink and white ones that have the sunbeam pattern. We found quite a few different colors of the GAUDY ASAPHIS shells (yellow, orange, purple white and ones with sunbeams as well!) so I’ll separate these shells in another post so you can see the difference. Unbelievable, right?

sunray tellin gaudy asaphis

I have so many stories and videos to share with you from our trip but I thought I’d start you off with the most important photos… shells! And that ain’t all, folks. We found looots of other amazing shells and beach bling so I’ll try to get organized quickly so I can give you the whole run down on Turks and Caicos. To see my other posts on Turks & Caicos CLICK HERE

turks caicos urchin coral

PS-Now that we are back and I have read all of your thoughtful comments and birthday wishes from so many of you on my last post… I am overwhelmed and humbled by your kindness. Really. Thank you so much for all of your sweet words that made this very special birthday even more special. It really was a shellebration of living life and loving Mother Nature so it’s nice to be able to share that with people that feel the same way… you. Shellers!turks caicos conch iLS

  To see my other posts on Turks & Caicos CLICK HERE.

OH, hold on! Don’t forget… I’d love to meet you on one of the dates so click on the next image to book a day!

iLoveShelling ShellingAdventures

Nov
28

Queen For The Day!

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pam rambo queen helmet shell

Why such a crazy face? This is the face of pure unadulterated joy and excitement of finding a seashell….but not just any ordinary seashell. I found a QUEEN HELMET!!!

queen helmet shell captiva sanibel florida

It’s perfect! I can’t believe it! This is a rare find in our area. I have never found a QUEEN HELMET before on Sanibel or Captiva and I can’t remember ever finding another one before, for that matter. But I did this morning at Blind Pass Captiva’s low tide level -0.3.

blind pass captiva low tide

Notice the beach is built up again on the pass side of the jetty rocks. I think Blind Pass changes more often than Justin Bieber changes his Twitter stats. LOL Okay, yes, I’m still punchy! Let’s get back to the QUEEN HELMET… I took this photo before I picked it up to show you how it was laying in the pile of shells.

queen helmet shell pile of seashells

Would you have noticed it? Here’s a closer view of how it was nested amongst so many sweet KITTEN’S PAWS.

queen helmet sea shell florida

I have to tell you, this took great restraint to leave it sitting there to take a photo AND video before picking it up to see if it was whole. I still can’t believe I was able to do it but I was like that little QUEEN HELMET hanging with her KITTEN PAW friends. I was amongst friends as well. Our friends Eileen and Rob just arrived in Sanibel yesterday and were at Blind Pass with me this morning so I didn’t feel like I had to snatch it up before anybody else would get it. Okay, not that we aren’t ALL friends out there on the beach… LOL… but I think you know what I mean about those days when the waves of shells are crashing on the beach and whoever snags the shell off the pile first is the rightful owner (shelling 101 ;)). So here’s the video I shot so you can see exactly where we were when I found my QUEEN HELMET!

YouTube Preview Image

I know my vid was a little blurry (like my mind after I found it) so here are some still shots so you will know what to look for too…

queen helmet

queen helmet ap

queen helmet aperture

queen helmet side view

This is the photo I took right before I found my shell so I’m sure it is sitting in this pile somewhere.

seashells captiva sanibel florida

Okay, so after I wrote that last sentence, I had to know… Could I find that shell in this pile? It’s like playing Where’s Waldo. LOL Can you find it? OMG I think I did but it’s not clear… but it’s got to be it! What do you think?

seashells captiva sanibel florida - Version 2

Yes, we found other goodies as well (as you saw, Rob found an ALPHABET CONE right before our video eyes!) but I’ve run out of time and I want to take advantage of being “Queen for the Day” so I’ll show you more pics tomorrow.  Have a shell of a day!

sea shell beach captiva island

Categories : Helmet, Queen Helmet
Comments (45)
Aug
05

Platinum Medal Winning Juvenile Junonia

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tobias tiny junonia

Since I awarded the SAND DOLLAR gold, silver, and bronze medal trophies this week, I knew what I needed to do when I saw this tiny juvenile JUNONIA. I had to award another special seashell medal for the summer shelling Olympics.

The Platinum Shelling medal!

platinum sand dollar medal

The Platinum Shelling Medal goes to Tobias from Fort Myers!

tobias juvie junonia

As we all know, finding a JUNONIA is what we all strive for here in Sanibel and Captiva, but to find such a tiny perfect specimen is very rare… not to even mention how stinkin adorable it is. He found this trophy shell at Blind Pass Captiva near the bridge right where McKenzie found hers last week. Congratulations, Tobias!

tobias juvenile ap junonia

So speaking of rare finds, Donnie found another killer shell along with his bronze medal winning seashells this weekend. It’s a little beat up but it really looks like a juvenile QUEEN HELMET!

queen helmet captiva

You can find QUEEN HELMETS in the Caribbean, the Keys and on the east coast of Florida but they are not native to our area so this is a really rare find too. It’s amazing this made it here mostly in one piece with just some bumps and bruises.

queen helmet seashell florida

Okay, I already gave you a “medal” Donnie, so you’ll just have to add this shell to your other winners. hahaha Which here is a photo of the HELMET with his other awesome finds. He found part of a JUNONIA!

junonia helmet

Local sheller Michelle (with Eric) found a piece of JUNONIA too this weekend.

michelle eric junonia

Evan found a SAND DOLLAR and a JUNONIA piece too! Wow! They all found the JUNONIAS at low tide in the same place Tobias found his- Blind Pass.

Evan sand dollar junonia

 Jeannie from Tampa found some great shells too…

jeannie worm shell turban

She found this nice WORM SHELL (Woohoo! WORMIE!), some pretty CALICO SCALLOPS and a bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN (I wish I had gotten a better picture of that- i love those shells!).

jeannie seashells

On the Sanibel side of Blind Pass I met the nicest family from Michigan plucking seashells right out of the surf. Meet Gail, Larry, Laura, Kevin and in the front row- Ella, Theo and Emma.

family on sanibel

They had just gotten to the beach but they all already found some faces…

hands of shells

Congrats again to Tobias! Thanks for tweeting this photo!

tobias moran junonia

 

Categories : Helmet, Junonia, Queen Helmet
Comments (42)
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