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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Tropical Storm Andrea Brings Seashells To Sanibel!

Posted by on Jun 8, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Angel Wing, Atlantic Giant, Baby's Ear, Blind Pass, Carrier Shell, Fighting Conch, Horse Conch, Junonia, Lighthouse, Lightning Whelk, Octopus, Starfish, Tropical Storm Andrea | 27 comments

sara daren shells sanibel

Tropical Storm Andrea blew through Southwest Florida this week without stirring up too much ruckus.. other than seashells and Beach Bling! It was a sheller’s playground at Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. Sara and Daren from Fort Myers were very happy Sanibel is practically in their back yard so they could drive over after the storm to find all of those seashells in the top photo by sifting through the shells at the water’s edge.

sara daren sanibel tropical storm andrea

I think the happiest gal on the beach was Jessica who was visiting from Kentucky. The beach was buzzing with the news that she found a JUNONIA!!! Boom Shellalaka!

jessica junonia sanibel tropical storm andrea

She said she saw lots of shells half buried in the sand so started digging around and up popped her JUNONIA! … And that gorgeous dark LIGHTNING WHELK… And an ANGEL WING! Wahoo!

junonia sea shell whelk storm andrea

Jim and his wife Linda took a different method of collecting shells. They plopped right down to sit in the shallow water because they were feeling so many shells at their feet. Jim scooped up this exshellent empty HORSE CONCH!

Jim Sanibel horse conch TS andrea

I couldn’t resist peaking in his shell bucket to see the rest of his finds from the water. Wanna peak too? Oh I know you DO!

bucket of seashells tropical storm andrea

Linda was holding her own on finding great shells. Oh yes she was! She found a perfect (and huge) ALPHABET CONE and two, count them… two perfect TRUE TULIPS…

Linda shells water sanibel storm andrea

I was thrilled to see Angela and her sister-in-law Candy again (I met them about this same time last year) loading up their buckets with goodies.

angela candie shells tropical storm andrea

Awesome, right?

sanibel shell buckets tropical storm andrea

I love to see such happy families on the beach doing their own treasure hunt. All visiting from Alabama is Gracie, Dennis, Gloria, Sonya and Tyler…

family finds seashells Sanibel

They were doing yet another method of shell collecting… looking for minis! They found WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and all sorts of fun tiny miniature shells…

mini shells tropical storm andrea

All while we were all finding shells, there were DOLPHINS swimming by, STARFISH scooting around in the tidal pools, live FIGHTING CONCHS burying themselves. Misty and Davis from Alabama were amazed by the all of this sea life.

misty davis sanibel tropical storm andrea sanibel

Misty even found a live baby PYGMY OCTOPUS! Cool! This is not much bigger than the babies I filmed hatching on video I took several years ago. So see that video CLICK HERE. After showing this baby to us, she gently put it back in the water.

pygmy octopus tropical storm andrea sanibel

Earlier yesterday, I went to Blind Pass Captiva to see if the shells were coming in there too. Yes they were! The water was much rougher so it wasn’t as easy to get the rolling shells but Joe and Penny from MA were toughing it out and scooping up the goods…

joe penny shelling captiva tropical storm andrea

They found some nice WHELKS, CONCHS, COCKLES and SCALLOPS.

collecting seashells tropical storm andrea

Tom and his daughter Alma from Wisconsin found a few treasures but the rough water kept them away from filling up their bags. The water was still a bit too rough in the Gulf Of Mexico at Blind Pass for really good shelling.

alma tom shells captiva tropical storm andrea

There was such a big difference from rough waters at Blind Pass to the calm water around the tip of Lighthouse Beach by the Sanibel Pier. This is actually on the San Carlos Bay side of the Lighthouse. This area is great for kids at a time like this since they get to see and learn about live sea creatures and also get to take empty shells home to remember their vacation forever…. just like these cuties Cole, Chase and Isabelle visiting from Kentucky.

kids shelling sanibel tropical storm andrea

This is where Super Sheller Clark found this one of three ALPHABET CONES. Happy guy!

super sheller clark sanibel alphabet cone

And this is also where I found my best find… a CARRIER SHELL! I know, it doesnt look like much but finding a shell I rarely see, aaaalways makes me happy. Thank you TS Andrea!

carrier shell sanibel storm andrea

I think the best shelling today will be in the afternoon at low tide again either at Lighthouse beach or Blind Pass Captiva. I just checked the Web Cams around the island to see if the water has calmed down a little at Blind Pass Sanibel and it does look a little calmer so it should be good by the jetty rocks on the Captiva Side soon…if not now. OMG So I have to go! I’ve got to get out there before I miss something! I’ll post more soon but in the meanwhile,  CLICK HERE to see the best shelling web cams for Sanibel Captiva and Ft Myers Beach.

tropical storm andrea brings seashells sanibel

Don’t forget to enter to win the Sanibel Shelling Vacation giveaway! Click on the next image!

Seashell Island Shelling Vacation

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Pen Shells and Beach Bling

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Angel Wing, Eel, Egg Casing, Octopus, Pen Shell, Purple Sea Urchin, Shark's Eye Egg Collar, Shortnose Batfish, Wentletrap | 34 comments

pen shells wash sanibel

It has been an unusual week on Sanibel. The winds are changing directions and speed by the second which makes for an interesting site to see of all the different things that wash up on our beaches. I showed you lots of different EGG CASINGS in my last post but I found another one today… a SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLAR…

sharks eye egg collar

…oodles of PEN SHELLS…

pen shell wrack line

but we also are seeing PURPLE SEA URCHINS…

urchins wash up sanibel

And weird fish like this SHORTNOSE BATFISH

shortnose batfish

EEEEK! And an EEL! Yall know I love me some BEACH BLING… but EELS? They kinda creep me out for some reason.

Sanibel eel

Blllaaaahhh, Okay, now that I’m completely creeped out… I have to change the subject because I have some happy, happy stuff happening here too that I dont want to ruin! Okay.. here is a happy picture to get back in the mood of what Sanibel is NORMALLY like… having fun doing the Sanibel Stoop!

sanibel stoop lighthouse

I met some awesome folks on the beach this week at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach! This is Shelling Sister Donna R from NY…

donna r sanibel shelling

She was on her way to finding the Sanibel Six. Yes, that ALPHABET CONE is pretty beat up but It’s still a CONE and it’s whole and HUGE!

Sanibel six almost

I also met sweetie pie Katherine Haskins with her husband Tom.

tom katherine sanibel shelling

 Katherine love the minis so she was finding lots of different miniatures like WENTLETRAPS along with AUGERS, CERITHS and a little perfect WORMIE.

wentletrap mini shells

It was fun to see them on the beach together with their iLS shirts on! (teehee) Warms my heart.

tom katherine donna sanibel

I also met another awesome couple while walking on the beach today several miles west of Lighthouse Beach. Here are shellers Linda and Glen from Ohio…

linda glen ohio angel wing

Linda found an ANGEL WING! They also were happy to find their first KEYHOLE LIMPET along with these other goodies. Notice they even collect the broken SHARK’S EYES if the “eye” is still intact. Yep, they really are beautiful. I told them that when the SHARK’S EYE is brilliant blue in the middle that I’ve heard it called “Paul Newman’s eye”. This one is definitely a PAUL NEWMAN’S EYE!

linda angel wing shells

Oh wait… I feel so badly that I never introduced you to Shelly (love that name!) and Kayle whom I met last week at Blind Pass when the weather was a little cooler…

shelly kayle indiana seashelling

I found a PYGMY OCTOPUS inside a PEN SHELL and Kayle offered to take it out in the water to put it back. So sweet!

pigmy octopus penn shell

Here are Shelly and Kayle’s gorgeous treasures from the sea that they were collecting. Keep the image of this gorgeous PAPER FIG (in the middle of this green bucket) in your mind to leave you with a happy day. See? I told you I had happy happy stuff to show you. :)

kayle seashells


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2011 Top 10 i Love Shelling Posts

Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 in Bobcat, Decorate with shells, Dolphin, Florida Keys Trip, Junonia, Octopus, Roseate Spoonbill | 23 comments

My Top 10 Most Fave Posts Of 2011! 

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been an amazing year on the beach so I thought I’d look back on all of my favorite posts of 2011. I realized not all of my favorite days were completely about seashells. Some of my favorite days of 2011 have been about the wildlife I’ve experienced because of my obsession (ha!) passion for shelling. So I’m starting with #10 then counting down to my number ONE favorite post. I bet you guess what that will be- heehee. Click on each title or photo to read each post…


Tips To Decorate Your Home with Seashells

Seashell mirror top dmm


Seashells Swarm The Shell Fair

Junonia shell collection


Sorting Seashells For The Holidays

sorting seashells identification


Bobcat On North Captiva Beach

Bobcat on Florida Beach


Top 10 Reasons Why I Love The Beach

Reasons why I love the beach- sea oats


Road Trip For Seashells In The Florida Keys

MurexKen with Queen Conch


Splish Splash Sanibel Dolphins Having a Blast

Sanibel Dolphin at sunrise


An Octopus Hatching Babies Video

octopus eggs hatching


Roseate Spoonbills By Sanibel Causeway Video

Roseate Spoonbill Sanibel


 #1 Favorite !!!!!     (Of Course, right?!!!)

There’s A New Super Sheller In Town!

My first junonia aperture


These were my favorites, what was your fave iLoveShelling post of 2011?



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Pygmy Octopus On The Loose

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Octopus, Sanibel | 13 comments

Pygmy Octopus close fingers

I had just gotten on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva when I heard an “Eeeek!”.

Pygmy octopus tentacles

It’s an OCTOPUS!

inside pygmy octopus

I ran over to see Logan showing his family a cute little PYGMY OCTOPUS hanging on to a FIGHTING CONCH.

pygmy octopus sanibel

Did you know that a PYGMY OCTOPUS is a mollusk? Yes! It’s related to the animals that create all the beautiful shells like clams and gastropods (WHELKS and CONCHS) but does not have a shell itself. It is in a class called Cephalopod. If you want more info, I found a really good source at The Cephalopod Page- Click Here.

captiva octopus pygmy

If you didn’t see my video of baby OCTOPUS eggs hatching in April, you have to see this…CLICK HERE! It’s a sight I will never forget.

pygmy octopus florida

This is Logan learning all about how cool live OCTOPUSES really are in the wild.

logan pygmy octopus

He got to share this with his whole family- Poppy, Gramma, Julie (the one who “Eeeeked! LOL), Jayden, Eric, Logan and Dylan. He then gently put it back in the water after saving it from being on the beach.

Captiva beach family Florida

 There were a few shells to pick through on the sand bar jutting out from the Captiva side of the pass.

Captiva florida shell beach

There was a pile of semi fresh shells on the right side of the jetty rock too.

shell pile blind pass captiva florida

 Ohhhhh. A piece of JUNONIA!

piece of junonia

 And a little piece of a LION’S PAW…

piece of lions paw

 Get ready to click on the next photo for some CYBER SHELLING!

cyber shelling captiva

 This weekend may bring some really good shelling but don’t forget if you are in town to come by and see us at the Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade on Saturday at 3 pm. It’ll be so much fun!

Sanibel to captiva photo

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An Octopus Hatching Babies Video

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 in An Octopus Hatching Babies Video, Octopus | 42 comments

Live Octopus eggs hatching

Live Octopus eggs hatching

To witness a PYGMY OCTOPUS with her eggs forming into tiny OCTOPUS babies in front of my very own eyes was a moment I will never forget. This small miracle happened today near the Sanibel lighthouse after strong west winds churned the Gulf Of Mexico all week to wash many shells and other live creatures up on the beach.

octopus with hatching eggs

Octopus with hatching eggs

I met Lauren a few minutes before she found the momma “Octi” on the beach and after she had already saved several live STARFISH and other live shells that were getting trapped on the beach from the receding tide.

Sanibel girl with moon snail seashell

Lauren with a shark’s eye an starfish

When she felt one of the arms of the PYGMY OCTOPUS reach out and touch her ankle, Lauren immediately looked down to see the beached momma next to the PEN SHELL that was housing the nest of her eggs.

Live Octopus eggs hatching close

Live Octopus eggs hatching close

She picked up the little family nestled in the shell and shared this wonderful world of nature in the wild with a few other shellers then let her dad Ron return them to the sea.

I wanted to know a little more about how an octopus lays eggs so this is what I found from Yahoo Answers

“….The female octopus lays about 200,000 eggs (this figure dramatically varies between families, genera, species and also individuals). The female hangs these eggs in strings from the ceiling of her lair, or individually attaches them to the substrate depending on the species. The female cares for the eggs, guarding them against predators, and gently blowing currents of water over them so that they get enough oxygen. The female does not eat during the roughly one-month period spent taking care of the unhatched eggs.”

Look closely at this photo….. it’s absolutely mind blowing that we saw this at the perfect moment in time.

octopus eggs hatching

octopus eggs hatching

Sanibel beach family

Lauren (on the right) with her mom Chris, brother Alex and dad Ron

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Saving An Octopus

Posted by on Nov 10, 2010 in Octopus, Octopus Video | 14 comments

Octopus at Little Hickory

Octopus at Little Hickory

Rhonda picked up this OCTOPUS on Monday at low tide and walked it to the water to help him survive. This past Saturday, I saw several octopuses washed up on the beach at low tide too. Here’s a video of one of those poor guys stranded up on the beach as I picked him up with a PEN SHELL to carry him to safety.

If the video doesn’t work properly, you can view it at

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