Archive for low tide

Jul
11

Summer Calm Low Tide

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Sanibel Island sea shells

There are days in the summer when all I need is an evening walk on the beach to turn a hot, hectic day into a calm, relaxing oasis.

Simply a Sanibel Sky with shells

Especially if I have my best friend with me. Even if Clark (yes, he’s my husband too- heehee) and I walk separate ways on the beach to cover more ground, it’s always fun to see what the other one collects when we finally meet back up.

Clark Rambo with mini shells

We both went for the minis at Gulfside City Park but I had to keep one large FIGHTING CONCH because of the fabulous rich color and Clark kept a “larger” one too- a GAUDY NATICA. I guess so! Is there anybody who can pass up a GAUDY NATICA if you see one? I think not.

Some small shells found on Sanibel

We both found lots of sweet, itty bitty LETTERED OLIVE shells but most of the large adult LETTERED OLIVES were alive and scooting over all the other empty CLAM shells…

Live olive mollusk shell on Sanibel

We both saw several large live LIGTHNING WHELKS as well. That’s what is so fascinating about shelling during low tide… you get to experience seeing beautiful living creatures in their natural habitat. I actually walked this guy into the Gulf Of Mexico just a bit just to get him covered with water again.

lightning whelk shell sanibel

Clark said he was also busy saving several SEA HARES that washed up on the shore. Me too! This one looked like a gooey mess lying in some SEA WEED on the beach. I gently picked “him” up then submerged him into the calm water then let him go when he started coming to life. This is the same way Bryce and I saved a SEA HARE on the Sight Sea-R cruise last month but I didn’t get a photo, remember?

Sanibel Sea Slug Hare

There is something mesmerizing about watching them swim.

Swimming Sea Hare Nudibranch

Talk about calm, relaxing and mesmerizing…

Beach chairs at low tide Sanibel

Throughout the weekend we will have nice low tides in the evenings so if you want a retreat to the beach, I would suggest heading out to the closest SW Florida beach in the early evening (hopefully we can dodge the summer rain storms!) to talk a slow walk to experience this natural paradise at its best.

Beautiful sea shells on a Sanibel beach

Join me on our next iLoveShelling adventure on Sight Sea-R Cruises Wednesday- July 16, 2014 to our newest shelling destination! Call 239-765-7272 or CLICK HERE and tell them you want to join the iLoveShelling cruise! UPDATE: July 16th is now SOLD OUT! Wow!

shelling adventures trips by pam

PS- I tool this video of a SEA HARE about 4 years ago… seriously, I can’t believe this was FOUR years go but I figured it would be fun to show again…YouTube Preview Image

Jun
16

Full Moon Rises, Shelling Tide Lowers

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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

Lightning whelk in Sanibel surf

If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.

live starfish at sanibel lighthouse beach

This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!

Curled live starfish sea star Sanibel Island

The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…

live lettered olive shell

The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…

live auger shells at low tide Sanibel

This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…

live babys ear shell

The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…

live fighting conch in sand

There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.

apple murex with hermit crab

We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…

sharks eye egg collar

We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemone

Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemonae CNIDARIA

The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…

purple sea sponge Sanibel

A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.

collecting seashells on the seashore of Sanibel Island

Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.

Matt Leah from Georgia vacation on Sanibel for shells

Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!

seashells found on Sanibel Island by Leah

The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.

Whelk in the surf of Sanibel Island

sand dollar at low tide Sanibel Island

exploring low tide on Sanibel Island

Feb
05

Shelling 101

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seashells from Sanibel wrack lines shelling 101

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!  

landscape of gulf side city park sanibel

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. 

swash Shell wrack lines on Sanibel beach

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”. YouTube Preview Image 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.

Dec
30

Just Breathe. Shell. Love.

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cabrits murex Vokesimurex cabritii sanibel florida

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!

jeanne elyssa indiana find cabrits murex sanibel

They must have some good shelling blood in their family. Congratshellations y’all!

pair of cabarets murexes sanibel

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.

tracly seashells sanibel blind pass

She was thrilled to find her ALPHABET CONE along with a nice FLAT SCALLOP, TULIP, NUTMEG, WHELK and a very cool cluster of BARNACLES.

tracly negative low tide shells

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!

linda pa found junonia at blind pass sanibel

Erin (Ft Myers) and Shannon (Norfolk, VA!) were there with their flashlights too letting the shells wash up to their toes.

sanibel shellers collecting seashells

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 

just breathe in shelling

Savannah was collecting shells for her mom’s birthday…

gift of shells from melissa's daughter

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!

melissa thom tommy savannah Wisconsin shelling sanibel

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!

kevin ontario cananda visit sanibel florida

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!

sea shell pile sanibel florida shellers

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.

melissa shelling sanibel negative low tide

Come shelling with us this Friday January 3, 2014!!! CLICK HERE for more info

shelling adventures trips by pam

pam rambo art gallery iloveshelling

Nov
06

Sanibel Low Tide Still Producing Shells

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low tide shelling on sanibel

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.

eldon indiana finds shells on sanibel island florida

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.

true tulip shell yellow glove

And that wasn’t his only treasure that was unearthed from that hole… WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES, NUTMEGS, MUREXES and so much more…

shells filling mesh bags sanibel florida

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!

live olive making tracks on sanibel island

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.

live golden olive making tracks

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… YouTube Preview Image

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