Tropical Storm Andrea gave Southwest Florida pounding rain all day yesterday (and a little the day before) but didn’t seem to do much damage (if any … that I heard). It looks like we will have another round of heavy rain and wind today but before another storm band comes through again, I’ll try to take a peak at a couple of beaches to see if the site of shell piles rolling up on the shores look promising. If I hear thunder? We’ll have to wait it out and check the beaches when it settles again. Until then, I’ll show you what I found Tuesday evening at low tide on Fort Myers Beach just before the storm hit.
Yep, I said Fort Myers Beach! I had to be there Tuesday afternoon to meet somebody so I snuck out to the south end of the beach to see if there were shells. Oh my! I’d say YES!
As soon as I stepped on the beach, Linda from New Jersey was thrilled to show me all of her shells and SAND DOLLARS. I was amazed to see so many SAND DOLLARS!
Then I walked further down the beach to see Wesley from Kentucky holding up this huge LIGHTNING WHELK. Wow!
He had just met Ace (also from Kentucky) and his his wife (she’s camera shy) as they became fast friends finding out they had so much in common. Both being shellers from Kentucky was just a start!
Can you believe how many SAND DOLLARS Ace had in this bag? They were everywhere!
Look how happy this next family is! They all came from West Virginia to be together for a family reunion on Fort Myers Beach. That’s my kind of family reunion- shorts and tee shirts wading around in the water at the beach finding treasures together. Let me introduce you to this awesome family. From left to right… Jackie, Matt, Nancy, Charlie, Mike, Marc, Mollie, Lydia, Savannah and Michelle.
They combined all their loot then they will share it all later. What a wonderful idea.
Although… I didnt share the ALPHABET CONE I found. Oops! LOL
Nobody could have pried this next gem out of my hand either. I found a GOLDEN OLIVE! Boom Shellalaka! I still cant believe it. The lip is just a little bit ragged but the color- Oh, the color is spectacsheller.
I also found a MINOR JACKKNIFE on this beach. We’ve found these before but I dont think I’ve ever found one on Sanibel. Interesting, right?
And of course I found a few SAND DOLLARS too.
I saw lots of live MILLEPEDE STARFISH scooting along in the tidal pools….
And a beautiful dried BRITTLE STAR was mixed in with shell crumbles. I didn’t have a safe place to put it to get it home in one piece, so I left him on the beach.
It was funny to me that I didn’t find lots of the same shells. Yes, there were plenty of SAND DOLLARS… but it’s like I found one cool shell after another. Just one of a kind. Like this one ANGEL WING.
Can you identify this next half buried shell? Would you have seen it? I know who else would have seen it… Cheri B! LOL Remember? She picked up the SPINY JEWELBOX I missed in a video finding an ALPHABET CONE. Crazy!
As much as I hate to admit it, this is first time I’ve ever shelled on the south end of Fort Myers Beach near the “lagoons”… but it wont be my last! I had a blast!
But what I really can’t wait for is…. to see what Tropical Storm Andrea left on our beaches! She came in with strong SSW winds from the Gulf Of Mexico to blow through Southwest Florida so I’m sure most every beach on the island will have some good shells by sometime this weekend. When? Where? What? It’s hard to pinpoint because all storms are so different. But… since Andrea came in from the southwest, Lighthouse Beach would be a logical start. Although I’m excited to scout every beach, my experience with past storms tells me the waves will still be too rough for the shells to pile up on the beach just yet. But this is what’s fun… following the clues. I’m going to follow clues of areas collecting PEN SHELLS or other sea debris or BEACH BLING to narrow down the search for shells for this fabulous treasure hunt Andrea has given us. I’ll keep you posted!
PS- I’m just gonna go ahead and keep reminding everybody until the 15th … Enter To Win a Shelling Vacation on Sanibel! CLICK HERE!
Me and my blog buddy Lizbeth sloshed around the sand flats at Bunche Beach yesterday looking for ANGEL WINGS. She found about 30 single valves earlier in the week so she wanted to go back to try to find a pair.
We found a few more single valves but nope… no pairs like MurexKen and MurexAlice found in November 2010. I think any day you can find one ANGEL WING is a good day but I know she will find a pair some day. She is determined! Did you notice that sweet little ROSE PETAL TELLIN in the photo too? Well, we found quite a few of those too. Here’s my stash…
We also found a few MINOR JACKKNIFE CLAMS…
We found more TELLINS too. These look like orange ROSE PETAL TELLINS (they are the same size) but they also could be CONSTRICTED MACOMA TELLINS. I’ve got a few feelers out there to see if anybody can correctly identify them. So hang on…
I know that just looks like “goo” on the inside but it’s really the color of the shell. It looks like it was stained, right? I hope to know soon what they are other than what I’ve been calling them… Dreamsicle Tellins.
UPDATE 6/16: Okay, got a positive identification from Dr Jose Leal from the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum…. it IS a ROSE PETAL TELLIN. Thanks Doc! (but I still think I might call it a Dreamsicle Rose Petal Tellin)
There were also oodles of SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Lizbeth found this gorgeous SHARK EYE! Okay, I’ve always called any shell that looks like this a “SHARK’S EYE” but this is actually a FALSE SHARK EYE…
Look at the side view…
It’s actually a different shell that the ones we find with a rounded top. Susan H showed me this difference last year then commented on a previous post
“Hey Pam. As you probably noticed, that shark’s eye is the “other” species, the high-spired more southerly one that has a much more restricted range, Neverita delessertiana, rather than the low-spired regular shark’s eye which occurs from Massachusetts south, Neverita duplicata. Cool.”
You know I don’t like to get too technical so I took a photo with the two different species side by side so you can see the difference. The one on the right is a Neverita duplicate (SHARK EYE) and the one on the left is a Neverita delessertiana (I’ve see it called a FALSE SHARK EYE). See the difference? I think we should just call the one on the left a SHARK’S POPEYE. LOL
And how I loved seeing this next creature! It’s a live KINGS CROWN laying eggs! Go Momma! Make more babies!
Look at the brilliant orange beak on this bird. It’s an AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER…
I had a wonderful day hanging out with Lizbeth- the girl had my sides splitting ROTFL (I know, I’m not much for those acronyms but they really do explain it sometimes) while we hunted for her WINGS. Good luck in finding your pair!