Archive for low tide
I grew up with my toes in the sand. My whole life has circled around playing on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf Of Mexico so I can’t remember how I learned about tides, currents, sand dunes or how I first learned where to look to find the best shells. I feel like this information was already embedded in my brain the day I was born, so I sometimes assume that other folks that love the beach have this information too. While on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa on Saturday, I was asked a perfectly good question from a lovely woman which threw me for a loop…. “Can you explain Shell Lines?”. “Well… they are lines of shells” I said. I often write about wrack lines, shell lines, the surf line and so on because I assume everybody knows what I’m talking about. She said “I was born and raised in land locked U.S. so I’m really not sure exactly where to look”. This was an Aha Moment for me. Ohhhhhh- I’ve never really explained what a wrack line is and how it forms, have I. Since my mind went into a sort of panic, I didn’t even get her name but I wish I could thank her for bringing that to my attention!
So I went to Gulfside City Park this morning at low tide to try to explain the many different ways you can find shells on each different part of the beach. I combed each area of the beach to show how many shell lines, wrack lines and tidal pools can be productive for shelling.
Instead of just taking photos, I shot a video to explain each area and to show what types of shells I found in each area. I hope it makes a little more sense to you and understand how I can get caught up with finding minis and why I love my BEACH BLING so much. It’s a little long, so grab a drink and get relaxed and enjoy the ultimate CYBERSHELLING with me… Oh and PS- You’ll find a few of the shells I found in this video displayed in the first photo on this post. I lost a few in the shuffle like that little tiny sweet “AUGER”. And PS again- that little shell I found under the seaweed and got so excited about isn’t called a PAINTED PERIWINKLE (oops!)… its called a LINED TREE SNAIL.
Shellzam! Elyssa found a CABRITS MUREX! We don’t see these spectacsheller spiny treasures wash up on our shores of Southwest Florida very often so it was exciting to see such a beauty. But wait! Huh? Another one? Yes! Elyssa’s mom Jeanne (Indiana) found one too in the same area at Blind Pass Sanibel this morning. Woot Woot!
They must have some good shelling blood in their family. Congratshellations y’all!
I got out on the beach this morning before sunrise at a negative low tide to see what loot I might find washed up on the shore. First person I saw was Tracly (Gainsville, FL) with her flashlight – they were both beaming.
She was thrilled to find her ALPHABET CONE along with a nice FLAT SCALLOP, TULIP, NUTMEG, WHELK and a very cool cluster of BARNACLES.
It was so nice to meet Linda from PA too. She was overjoyed after finding her JUNONIA. Boom Shellalaka! This was just one of many great shells she found before I got there at 7am. She was there at 5am. hahaha Love it!
Erin (Ft Myers) and Shannon (Norfolk, VA!) were there with their flashlights too letting the shells wash up to their toes.
Erin and Shannon showed me their fave shells and I fell in love with her wrist tatt. (okay, I’m really not that cool to have a tattoo or to even call it a “tatt” but I couldn’t resist- heehee). Seriously though, its so sweet. It’s says …. just breathe ♥♥♥
Savannah was collecting shells for her mom’s birthday…
Here is Savannah with her brother Tommy, her mom Melissa and dad Thom. Melissa told me that her mother Barb was the sheller of the family who got them all hooked on beach combing but instead of hitting the negative low tide, she wanted to bake Melissa her favorite birthday cake. Awwwww…. so sweet!!! Happy birthday Melissa!
Kevin from Ontario was very happy to be in 70 degree weather but even happier to have scooped up the perfect ALPHABET CONE. He said his favorite saying is “Conch If You Love Shelling!” hahahha I’m Conching!
Okay, do me a favor… I want you to go back up and look at the photo of the beach where Tracly was sitting with her yellow bucket and flashlight. That was at 7am … and by 10am this is what happened to that same spot. A shell mound! OMG That’s how quickly the beach changes!
I took a video so I’ll try to get that up and running soon so you can see for yourself how exciting it can be to watch the shells come in. Tomorrow is another veeeerrrry low tide in the morning so it should be fun to see what washes in next! To see the Tide Chart CLICK HERE.
Come shelling with us this Friday January 3, 2014!!! CLICK HERE for more info
There are many different approaches to finding shells on Sanibel. Shellers like Clark love to walk the water’s edge to scoop up shells with a shelling backhoe… I love to explore all of the wrack lines on the beach by walking in a zig zag formation. Some shellers snorkel for their shells. Some shellers love to find a pile of shells on the surface of the dry beach then sit and sift. Eldon from Indiana likes to find an area with shells half buried in the wet sand then start digging a hole.
As I walked up to Eldon at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach with a smile on my face watching his clever work, he reached in that hole and pulled out this gem of a shell… a perfect bright red TRUE TULIP.
And that wasn’t his only treasure that was unearthed from that hole… WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES, NUTMEGS, MUREXES and so much more…
Of course as always at low tide, I saw live MOLLUSKS as well. Live LETTERED OLIVES were making their tracks throughout the damp sand (check out olives spelling out letters on my post Olive i Love Shelling) making fun curly Qs and letters of the alphabet…… OMG! Oh Wait! Holy Cowrie! That’s a GOLDEN OLIVE! a L-I-V-E GOLDEN OLIVE!
Oh. How. Beautiful. As much as I wanted to pick this fella up and examine the whole shell, I left him exactly like this so I wouldn’t disturb his mission. Since GOLDEN OLIVES are just a color form of the LETTERED OLIVE, I’m really not sure if they will pass on the color form in the breeding process or not. Hmmm. Not sure if the color is in the DNA or from the eating habit or environmental factors. I didn’t have time to research it but in any case, I didn’t want to change anything in his environment by picking him up… if there is even a slight chance that this color can be passed on in breeding, I didn’t want to be responsible for upsetting him in any way. I know my theory is probably silly (MOLLUSKS get displaced all of the time- its nature!) but I sure felt better about watching and not touching.
I finally got my video downloaded from my day at Gulfside City Park on November 3! I just said how much I love to explore the wrack lines in “Z” formation, but I’m fickle about shelling… I always change it up and I also loooove to shell in the tidal pools at low tide. So I invite you to virtually take a walk with me by watching this video of my low tide shell collecting day at sunrise…
We’ve been waiting for a morning low tide that exposes parts of the beach we haven’t seen for months… and we got it this weekend at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel. Near the water’s edge, we witnessed hundreds of live SAND DOLLARS uncovered for a short time while the tide was at its lowest. I could hardly walk without almost stepping on one so I searched higher on the beach in a few of the tidal pools. I had some great luck! I found LIGHTNING WHELKS, PAPER FIGS, APPLE MUREXES, BANDED TULIPS and so much more…
This is how I saw most of the shells… half buried in the sand.
I was thrilled to find this perfectly colorful KINGS CROWN CONCH. A baby!
I met Jan from Illinois who found this perfectly colorful LIGHTNING WHELK…
Hers is no baby. It’s a gorgeous adult.
To make the shelling even better, we had a little cool front come in on Saturday so the winds changed from the east to the west. That’s what we like to see in Southwest Florida! So with low tide mornings and west winds, today was some great shelling. I met Karley and Julie on Friday morning before the winds had changed but they still found a few treasures to start the week off. I hope you guys found lots more goodies this morning!
Unfortunately, I’m having troubles downloading the video I took this morning of my shell hunt to show you how to spot even more shells that are half buried in the tidal areas. Ack! It won’t download tonight! So I hope to get that fixed in the morning (after I get back from low tide shelling) so I can show you.
Until then, think about joining us on Thursday November 7 for our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa in the morning. The tide will be low and after a few more days of this north west wind, the shelling should be awesome. Meet lots of other folks with the same shelling passion! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
I may not be a champion but I like my weekend breakfast to be garnished with TULIPS while I fill up on PEARS….
Quite a few PEAR WHELKS …
With a little NUTMEG…
This weekend’s low tides were in the early morning so it was such a treat to see the sunrise… and to collect the shells from the shallow tidal pools.
But I started the weekend running into an awesome family at Blind Pass Captiva around sunset as they were just packing up all the shells they found after snorkeling. Paul, Darren, Gabe, Kyle, Emily, Ellie from Naples are all like shelling encyclopedias. They knew the names of all of their shells and little tid bits about them too. Hmmmm… “Enshellopedias”! Ha! They were so much fun to talk to…
They found lots of CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, COCKLES, OLIVES and all sorts of treasures. You know I love to peek at other people’s shells so I was thrilled to take a look into Paul’s green shell bag. Wanna see too? Ha! I knew it! Here you go… Fun!
The next morning at the Lighthouse Beach, I met Charity holding a double ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE she was holding like a treasure box. It was a treasure box! She had filled the COCKLE with all of her other tiny treasures she found at low tide.
I met the rest of her family… Janssen, Lynn Ann and Joann visiting Sanibel from the Tampa area…
Lynn Ann told me that they found all of these shell like the fab SHARKS EYE, HORSE CONCH and APPLE MUREXES (and the SEA BEAN) at the tip of the island in front of the lighthouse.
At low tide, it’s always glorious to see and touch live MOLLUSKS… especially this live 14 inch HORSE CONCH. No worries- this creature was very happy to be put back into the water where it could keep healthy and hopefully have lots of babies.
I’ve never been much of a morning person (I know. Sounds crazy for an obsessed sheller like me to say that but it’s just the truth)… so I hope this next season I learn to enjoy mornings like I did this weekend. I meet people like Angela from the Outer Banks of North Carolina who was too shy for me to take her picture but made a big impression on me. It was a pleasure to talk with you Angela!
But now that I think about it, I doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I always find shells and I always meet awesome people shellers. I meet them finding shells at breakfast time , lunch time , afternoon snack time, dinner and evening snack time. It really doesnt matter! Errrr. I might sleep in tomorrow morning. heehee
Boom Shellalaka! This is what you call a shellacious prize find! A huge, perfect, colorful, empty TRUE TULIP.
Joyce from Alabama found this gorgeous specimen on the Captiva side of Blind Pass in the shallow water sand bar on a very low tide Friday evening. Her husband Dan was right there by her side to help her shellebrate. Congratshellations! Lucky Dog!
She probably found this about the same time I was shooting a little video showing the tidal water running out of the pass and catching a few shells. At the end of the clip, I show Dan and Joyce shelling in the background and comment that I’m sure they found some good shells too. I had no idea HOW good. Ha! Check it out…
I loooove that spot when the low tide is still receding and just strong enough to carry the shells along with it.
Augusta, Philip, Sybil, Guy and Pierre from my old stomping grounds Chattanooga, TN (I lived there 1988-91 and loved it!) were especially thrilled to find FIGHTING CONCHS since they are a Fighting Irish family. Cute!
I met another happy family… Emma Caroline, Jeb, Carolyn and Keith from Mississippi had bags filled with shells from the Sanibel side of Blind Pass.
Marie from PA was bound and determined to find treasure. I saw her pacing back and forth on the outer sand bar and couldnt wait for her to come back int to see what she got. A beautiful lemon yellow HORSE CONCH…
And more pretties…
Marie is only half of “Two Crazy Girls from Philly” (as she commented on iLS Facebook). Here she is with her best friend and other “crazy girls” Sue…
The shells were still at the same spot I showed you on my last post…
We all felt like lucky dogs just to be out on the beach on such a beautiful Memorial Day weekend… even the real dogs were having fun doing the Sanibel Stoop!
Yes, Lucky Dogs indeed.