Archive for Kitten’s Paw


Shell ‘N Tell At Shellabaloo 2

Posted by: | Comments (30)

Michele Junonia Sanibel Bill

After you enjoy feeling the excitement of finding shells on the beach, you get to enjoy the excitement all over again when you show them to someone else that “gets” what you found and knows how you feel. That’s why our Shellabaloo 2 “Shell ‘N Tell” was one of my favorite days of the whole week during Shellabaloo. Do you see what Michele (Ohio) is holding in her hand in the first photo with her husband Bill? She found a JUNONIA! But that’s not it… she found what she calls “The Trifecta!”… A large HORSE CONCH and a large WHELK along with her JUNONIA. Do you think she was a happy girl or what! So happy for you Michele!

michele trifecta seashells

Here are some of her other finds (minus the JUNONIA since she was showing it to the others when I took this) …

seashells found sw florida shellabaloo 2

For the week of Shellabaloo 2, I made up another Shellinger Hunt. The hunt is really meant to just have fun learning about different shells and not to overlook some of the common shells like JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS because…. well… because I think they are beautiful too! So you will see some of the displays with a dozen JINGLES in a COCKLE SHELL because that was point for the Shellinger Hunt. It wasn’t about who could find and take the most shells off the beach- it was all about enjoying the shells that were found… and some bigger points for finding things like The Sanibel Six or finding the rarer shells. It was so much fun to see these shellers find shells they’ve never found before and to rediscover the ones that can easily be overlooked.

shellinger hunt dustie

On our last day, I asked everybody to bring their fave finds and/or their entries for the Shellinger Hunt at our home base at Island Inn so we could all see what everybody else was collecting. We set up tables for each person to display their shells and it turned out to be a mini Sanibel Shell Show!

Shellabaloo 2 Shell and Tell show

Terri (NY) made a beee-uuuteeeful display of her favorite finds.

Terri seashells shellabaloo

Lee and Susan (Cuba) narrowed down their favorite finds on a cooler tray for the Shellinger Hunt…

Lee Susan shell display

Of course I added a BEACH BLING category on the hunt ( i Love the BLING!) so it’s so funny they added a dried up fish tail that looks just like a MERMAID and a washed up fishing bobber as the faves in that category. LOL

lee susan shellabaloo shellinger hunt

Rick (Texas) brought a plate of his fave shells… the miniature shells. I just love how everybody organized their shells so creatively!

Rick miniature shells favorite

rick miniature shells sanibel

Rick’s wife Murfy showed her faves along with her favorite vintage shell book…

Murfy seashell display

There is one shell in the middle of the others that is a little different. It looks like some sort of a TURITELLA… which I dont think is native to this area. I think it is either a FOSSIL shell that found it’s way to the gulf on a high tide from sidewalk fill or it was left over from a party or wedding after someone bought shells to decorate with. Hmmmm.

Murfy seashell display shellabaloo 2

If there was a prize for being creative…  Sharene and Tom (Ontario) would have won for creativity!

sharene tom shellabaloo shells

seashells display shellabaloo 2 sharpen tom

Rusty and Donna (Apopka, FL) narrowed down the favorites and of course it included an ALPHABET CONE and the SEA WHIP that had the ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS I showed you in the first Shellabaloo 2 post.

Rusty Donna seashells shellinger hunt shellabaloo

rusty donna seashell shellabaloo hunt

Roger (MO) told me that his favorite shells were the minis he found at Lighthouse Beach. It was his first time finding WENTLETRAPS, RICE OLIVES and TUSKS so it was really fun to find something new.

roger shells shellabloo shellinger hunt

roger shells shellabloo

Margie (AL) is so adorable! Her favorite shell was the PONDEROUS ARK because she loved the black PERIOSTICUM (the shell’s “skin”) on the white shell so that’s all she collected. She is going to make a black and white frame for a mirror when she gets home so I hope we get to see it!

Margie shells for mirror

Ponderous ark shells sanibel shellinger hunt

Cutie Pie Becka needed her own table to make room for all of her newly found treasures.

Becka shells shellinger hunt

Kendra (IN) had a sweet organized display of her favorites but also for the Shellinger Hunt.

Kendra shellinger hunt sanibel

She was so afraid she was going to lose her first TUSK SHELL so she wrapped half of a bandaid around it so she would know where it was (on the blue plate). LOL

kendra seashells shellabaloo

Pat (Boca Raton, FL) had an amazing display of shells and BLING for the Shellinger Hunt.

pat shells shellabaloo shellinger hunt

While I was oooohing and aaaahing at all of her finds, she pointed out a piece of BEACH BLING that she wanted to know what it was. Whoa! Pat! You found the OPERCULUM to the SHARKS EYE! Clark just found our first ones just last month so I was absolutely thrilled for her that… A) she saw it and picked it up… and B) that she knew it was something special to show at the Shell And Tell. See why I love these shellers? Who else would think this thing on the beach was cool…

moon shells sharks eye operculum

pat shellinger hunt shellabaloo treasures

Speaking of awesome shellers, unfortunately, Gina couldn’t come to the Shell ‘N Tell but I still have to show you one of her exshellent finds… Gina found a yellow SEA WHIP. We find the purple ones a little more often but not the perfect yellow ones like hers. And no, I couldnt get her photo either because she was a little camera shy but Ha! I took a “long-arm shot” with me in it so we could get her picture and the SEA WHIP. LOL    And yep, you guessed it! There were two ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS on it!

gina pam yellow sea whip

I have found yellow SEA WHIPS before but never one with the yellow ONE-TOOTH SIMINAS on it. Yahoo! Gina did! Such a treasure!

yellow sea whip one tooth simnia

Okay back to the Shell ‘N Tell with the rest of the awesomeness…. Here’s Cindy with her huge HORSE CONCH I showed you in my last post! Now you can see all of the other fabulous shells she found as well.

cindy shells shellabaloo shellinger hunt

She also found a big ALPHABET CONE …which is part of 2 sets of The Sanibel Six for her Shellinger Hunt finds. She found a FLORIDA CONE to make her other set. And look at all of the SHARKS TEETH!

shellinger hunt cindy shells shellabaloo 2

Okay… It’s time to announce the winner of the Shell And Tell and you won’t believe this prize! The winning sheller went home with a silver JINGLE SHELL necklace made by Sealife By Congress. It is beautiful! This new Sanibel jewelry store in Periwinkle Place Shopping Center is filled with seashells, SEAHORSES, DOLPHINS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and every other sea life in gold, silver and with tasteful gemstones as well. I was thrilled they wanted to give our winner this perfect shell necklace.

Sealife By Congress jingle necklace

After much laughter and ado, we narrowed the winners down to Michele (with her JUNONIA and  HORSE CONCH) and Cindy with her HORSE CONCH based on their points score…

shellabaloo 2 shell winners

Before we announce the winner, Cindy and Michele clicked their CONCHS as if it was a toast. Cute and so much fun!

cindy michele conch shells

Drum Roll Please! …. wait for it…… The winner is Michele! Her JINGLE necklace is perfect for her! Congratshellations, my friend!

pam rambo michele winner necklace jingle

 I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun both Shellabaloo 1 (in January) and this Shellabaloo 2  have been since it really brings amazing people together with not just shelling in common but we all seem to be like-minded in so many other ways. It’s quite a bonding experience, I must say. Thank you Island Inn for hosting such a great Shellapalooza. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know when the next one will be- no dates of been set yet for this 4 day Shellathon but as soon as we’ve come up with a plan, you will be the first to know.

But wait!  I’m gathering a group of shellers for an afternoon of shelling at Cayo Costa next Sunday May 19 from 1-4pm on a Captiva Cruise. Join us! CLICK HERE for more info or call 239-472-5300 and ask to come along for the next iLoveShelling cruise!

seashell shelling adventures pam

Shellabaloo 2 seashell pile captiva

constricted macoma

When I am shelling on the beach, the rest of the world melts away. My breathing gets easier because my body loosens up and my whole outlook widens. To think of anything that is constricted about shelling seems like an oxymoron to me. Constricting and shelling are contradictory words! That’s why I was surprised to find this CONSTRICTED MACOMA mixed in with oodles of ALTERNATE TELLINS around West Gulf Dr.

contricted macoma front

This one looked so different because it looked like the sun melted one side of it. I couldn’t find a match in any of my books to identify it but MurexKen assures me it is the CONSTRICTED MACOMA. I wonder what it is so constricted about? I would have called it the MELTED MACOMA or MELTY TELLIN…  but who asked me, right?

constricted macoma bend

 Quit constricting, MACOMA!

constricted macoma interior

Relax like some of your other relatives, the ALTERNATE TELLINS…

alternate tellins

 …and like some of my buddies when we get together to enjoy just hanging out on the beach and shelling…

girlfriends shelling

Nancy, Sarah, Jodi, Toni, Di, Ellen and Me

Toni had a theme going… KITTEN’S PAWS in a kitten’s paw bag.

kittens paws in a paw bag

girlfriends scatterd shelling

Di Ellen shelling


Cyber Shelling Bivalves

Posted by: | Comments (8)

Kitten paws

How could anyone think KITTENS PAWS aren’t cute?  It was like it had rained KITTEN’S PAWS yesterday since there were so many on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva. Here’s a cyber shelling photo so you can virtually pick through the piles and find some yourself. Enjoy!

Bivalve cyber shelling

 Also mixed in were hundreds of TRANSVERSE ARKS

Transverse Ark shells

 Oodles of CROSS BARRED VENUS clams…

Cross Barred Venus

And a few LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS clams mixed in too…

Lady-in-waiting venus

I would say that the KITTEN’S PAWS, CROSS BARRED VENUS and the TRANSVERSE ARKS are the most common shells on Sanibel but I’m still not convinced what the top six commons shells are. I just loved seeing so many LADY-IN-WAITING VENUSes mixed in too, I wanted to show you those. They are so pretty and I normally never pay attention to them. When I don’t have a lot of time, I need to stay out of the sun for a bit or we are having lots of scattered showers, I just like to stop by the beach for a short time and enjoy all of the shells that I seem to neglect the rest of the year. Most of the shells in this next photo are all bivalves…. they did not let me neglect them this time.

Blind Pass with shells board

PS- I have no idea how that board got there. I guess it washed up?



Miniature Seashell Zone

Posted by: | Comments (18)
Miniature seashells

Top row- Pear whelk, Drill, Dwarf olive, Bubble (above), Keyhole Limpet, Tusk, Wentletrap. Bottom row- Auger, Coquina, Murex, Fighting conch

Shelling is just like life…. look beyond the obvious and you will find something beautiful and extraordinary. I always feel a calmness come over me when I search for the mini shells. When I begin to focus on all the different wash lines of the beach, I feel myself zone everything else out.

Wentletrap in water

Wentletrap in tidal pool

One weedy wash line leads me to another line of sticks, broken shells and what looks like mulch. See that little WENTLETRAP among all that “mulch”? I tried to keep that bubbly foam in the photo so you could tell how it was in about 2 inches of water.

water pools at sunset

Tidal pools at sunset

I come out of the shelling zone every once in a while to soak in how beautiful this time of day is here on the beach at the lighthouse. Calming.

Tusk shell in sand

Tusk shell in sand

Then I go into the shelling zone again and remember to look for TUSK shells too. Can you even spot the TUSK shell?

Tusk shell finger

Tusk shell on my finger

I didn’t actually mean to focus on the sand instead of my  finger but I’m kinda glad you got to see how big (or I should say how “little”) the TUSK shell is AND to see what the area looked like where I found it.

Sanibel lighthouse miniature shells

Sanibel lighthouse miniature shells

These are some of the same shells as the first picture but there’s also a CANTHARUS (top left with barnacles on it), 2 KITTENS PAWS, BARNACLES, a BABY’S EAR (broken), a TURBAN and 2 CROSS BARRED VENUS clams.

Sometimes the treasures we take from the beach are the friends we meet there~” quote by Carla Barone…

Sheller with shelling scoop

Gerry (New Hampshire) with a sea whip

Collecting miniature seashells

Chris (IL) collecting minis

beached sailboat

beach daisies


The Alphabet On A Cone Shell

Posted by: | Comments (21)
Fist size Alphabet cone

Very Large Alphabet Cone

Holy Spelling Bee, Batman! This is the largest ALPHABET CONE I’ve ever seen come off the beach. It’s so big….I’m sure this one has the whole alphabet….. twice …on this beauty (heehee).

Large alphabet cone shell

Eileen's Alphabet cone

I met Eileen and Rob coming off the beach on Sanibel’s side of Blind Pass (Turner Beach) and Eileen told me she found this humongo ALPHABET out in the water where the beach is forming a little sand tip (I’ll show you a picture of where in a minute) early this morning. As you can see in the first picture, it has some gunk still on it but I think this baby will clean up easily with a little tooth brush action using a little bleach and water. If they send pictures after its cleaned up (my fingers are crossed), I’ll share them with you as well.

Eileen and Rob are Shellers from PA

Eileen and Rob (PA)

Eileen and Rob have a Sanibel shelling trip planned for March but Rob told me he couldn’t wait another month since Eileen has been watching the happenings on the beaches and talking about my blog every day (really, he said that ! ;) …blush… blush.. I’m so flattered!) so he booked another trip this month to give to Eileen for Valentine’s Day. Awwww. What a Valentine! And then to find this awesome shell… wow… doesn’t get much better than that.

Collecting seashells

Collecting seashells on the "tip" of Sanibel's Blind Pass

This is where Eileen found her ALPHABET CONE. I took this photo from the Sanibel side looking towards Captiva. You can see a tiny piece of the jetty of Captiva on furthest right side of the horizon. While I was there I met some other shelling sisters!

Ann with scents

Ann (Minnesota)

Ann was so sweet to run back to her car after we met to bring me some of her handmade aromatherapy “melts”. Thank you, Ann, they smell sooo good! Here are her seashell finds and while you check out her shells, check out her nails too..nice….

Ann's handful of shells

Ann's handful of shells

Another shelling sister having a great time working the surf  in the shallow tip.

Sheller Teresa Tennessee

Teresa (Tennessee)

Then two more joined us so I  took a photo of the whole gang. They all hang out with us on iLoveShelling- What a fun morning!

Shellers at BP Sanibel

Mary, Debbie, Teresa and Ann

I think I did more socializing than shelling (shellers are so darn nice!) on the Sanibel side so I didn’t get many shell photos but I did get some shots from the Captiva side… where I started my day. I didn’t find anything exceptional like Eileen, but I enjoyed what I found.

Kitten's Paws

Kitten's Paws everywhere!

Giant Bittersweet

I found several Bittersweets

Calico Clam

Lots of Calico Clams

All of these shells were found on the left side of the jetty on Captiva. The long sand bar that we saw last month is gone but there is a smaller sand bar that has formed at the end of the jetty. I didn’t find all of these shells together in the photo below but I did find them all within 10 minutes.

Shells on Captiva beach

Murex, conchs, an olive and a bittersweet

In the photo below, this is what the other side of the jetty looked like today. This is where I filmed the Sit N Sifters last week. Can you believe it? Now….. zip, zilch, zero shells.

Fisherman on Captiva

No shells, only a fisherman

So many of you are keeping up with the changes at Blind Pass.. so I took another short video this time from the Blind Pass bridge. When I pan over to the left side (the Sanibel side), I zoomed to the furthest sand tip where Eileen found her cone and where I met all of my new shelling sisters. I actually took this before I met them all but seeing alot of shelling going on out there, I knew it was a hot spot. YouTube Preview Image

If you want a little more info on the history of the Blind Pass dredging, read this article To Dredge or Not To Dredge


Shelling on South Seas Island Resort

Posted by: | Comments (22)

Bird in paradise

I was tickled to be able to go shelling on South Seas Island Resorton Captiva Island yesterday.  I’ve been hearing about the big shell pile on the north tip by the jetty along Redfish Pass…… I was not disappointed. Now, that’s a shell pile! I found lots of different shells like WHELKS and FIGHTING CONCHS but tons of LETTERED OLIVES and KITTEN’S PAWS with both sides together.

Lettered Olives on a jetty rock

Whole Kitten's paws

If you know me? You know I loooove WORM SHELLS!  Oh yeaya, I got me some WORMS SHELLS. They were just sitting on top!

Worm shell just waiting to be picked

Worm shell on top of the pile

Florida worm shell

I did place this last one on a broken clam shell so you could see the color, the funky curl and the little white tip. I just love them- call me crazy.

Brenda (Loxahatchee, FL)

A South Seas guest, Brenda, was in her own heaven finding FIGHTING CONCHS. She told me she makes tables with them that she uses in her home on the East coast of Florida.

South Seas Resort beach with shells

You have to be an owner or a South Seas Island Resort guest to access this part of the beach.  I felt fortunate that I was asked to be a guest by a friend….sweet, huh?  So, if you are staying there, you practically have first dibs on the shells.

South Seas Island Resort entrance