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

Seashells Rock Southwest Florida

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Baby's Ear, Cabrit's Murex, Cone, Fulgurator olive, Junonia, Scotch Bonnet, True tulip, Tulip | 19 comments

seashells you can find on Sanibel Island Florida

Shells! Shells! Shells!  I teased you yesterday with a quick update post of Beth’s beautiful seashells she found at Lighthouse Beach after west winds whipped through Southwest Florida a few days earlier in the week, but it really was just the start of an incredishell couple of shelling days.

beth from ohio found beautiful shells on a visit to sanibel florida

A few of you spotted the TRUE TULIP Beth (Ohio) found, which I believe is the prettiest TRUE TULIP I’ve ever seen. It’s “truly” spectacsheller!

beautiful true tulip found on sanibel island florida

Well… on second thought it may be the second prettiest one to the one I found while videoing after a storm on the post Fishing For True Tulips At Sanibel Pier. heehee

aperture opening of beautiful true tulip on sanibel island

I saw Connie Miller and John again and they were having a BABYS EAR hay day.

connie john shelling sanibel

She was filling her coffee cup with other treasures too but I was amazed with how many BABYS EARS.

babys ear seashells found on sanibel island florida

Jana, Andrea and Ruth Ann from Tennessee not just found beautiful LIGHTNING WHELKS….

jana andrea ruth ann from tennessee visits sanibel florida for shells

They found The Sanibel Six ….and to my surprise, Andrea found a SCOTCH BONNET! The Lighthouse Beach isn’t really known as SCOTCH BONNET territory.

seashells found at sanibel lighthouse beach in march

Later in the day, Ruth Ann posted a photo on the iLoveShelling Facebook page that Andrea found a CABRITS MUREX the same day on Captiva. Shellzam!

cabrits murex

I must have just missed them because I was on Captiva watching this major shell pile form at Blind Pass later in the afternoon….

seashells washing up on shore of captiva island florida

This is where I met Cathy (Ft Myers) after she found two SCOTCH BONNETS while the shells were rolling in. Holy Cowrie!

cathy found scotch bonnet shells on captiva island florida

But wait! after I took that photo of her holding her 2 SCOTCH BONNETS…. I heard her squeal with excitement! She found #3!!! BoomShellalaka!

3 scotch bonnets found in sw florida on captiva

It was a very happy birthday for Suzy (Fort Myers) because she found her own SCOTCH BONNET too. Here she is shellebrating with her husband Frank. Shelltastic!

suzy frank found a scotch bonnet on captiva

In a few hours, I watched lots of the shells roll back into the Gulf Of Mexico but there were so many still at the waters edge and in the pile.

beach full of shells on captiva island florida

I saw my friend Faye from North Carolina (she lived on Sanibel for years and years) find a huge handful of shells.

faye finds shells at blind pass captiva

Nice, huh?

sea shells found at blind pass captiva in march

Faye actually had a little help from Super Sheller Clark as he scooped the water with his shelling backhoe and brought us shells to sort through. Clark is on the far right getting those shells for us! I haven’t even gone through our shells yet to get a photo but I do know that in all of these years shelling Clark had never found a CARRIER SHELL… until now. He found four! hahah It’s one shell that he said he just didn’t have an eye for…. I repeat…. until now. Yay Clark!  I’ll get pictures and show you later. ;)

shelling blind pass

Right as I was leaving, Len from Illinois showed me a couple of shells he found.

len from illinois found a fulgurator olive shell

He found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Exshellent find along with the very nice NUTMEG.

nutmeg and fulgurator olive captiva florida

It has been so much fun to see the beaches change within hours and to witness Blind Pass fill up with shells again. I feel like its been three months since we’ve seen it get shell crazy by the jetty rocks. It felt sooooo gooood.

bucket of seashells on sw florida coast

I have to show you Erin’s JUNONIA again since it was so sweet.

junonia found on captiva island florida

I haven’t even caught you up on all the great shelling holes I found this week! Yes, Lighthouse Beach and Blind Pass Captiva have been fabshellous… but the shelling on Fort Myers Beach has been outragshellous too!

shelling fort myers beach point estero resort

Next post I will show you how amazing the shelling on the south end of Fort Myers Beach. Here is the first pile of shells I stooped over to find my first treasures yesterday on this beach. Just click on the photo to enjoy the CYBERSHELLING! I hope this incredishelling continues through the weekend!

cybershelling seashells at Fort Myers Beach Florida

UPDATE 3-20-14 around 6:00pm- I stopped at Blind Pass Captiva to see how the beach had changed. It was wiped clean of shells! Ack! There was still a small and very picked over pile of shells but most was just sand. All of the shells were taken back in the water. Darn it!

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Aha! I Finally Found You, Fulgurator Olive!

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Fulgurator olive, Lace Murex, Olive, Scallop, Shark's Eye | 22 comments

pam fulgurator olive

Note to Self: Check off “Find a Fulgurator Olive” on my seashell bucket list!

pam hand fulgurator olive

Oh Yaya! After a weekend of chilly north winds, I found my first FULGURATOR OLIVE at Blind Pass.

me fulgurator olive ap

I found it washing up in a somewhat small shell pile about 100 yards from the jetty rocks on the Captiva side. I saw only a few shells near the jetty but when I looked down the beach further into Captiva I saw several people perfecting the Sanibel Stoop (or I should say the Captiva Crouch) then saw the small pile being formed…

shell pile captiva florida beach

Wow! When I got there, this is what most of the “Stooper’s” shell bags looked like…

shell bag collection

scallop shells red bag

Pretty awesome, huh? Karen (the first white shell bag), Lorrie (the red shell bag with all the beautiful SCALLOPS) and Dave were all from Wisconsin so the 50 degree weather didnt bother them a bit. Especially since they were finding such good shells. Oh and Dave, thanks for taking my picture with my treasure too. ;)

karen lorrie dave shelling each

Then I met another Dave (he’s from NJ) scooping up his own treasures…

shelling dave captiva

Take a look at his gorgeous LACE MUREX, FLORIDA CONE and BANDED TULIP. I love the color of the LACE MUREX!

dave lace murex cone

I was watching the shells roll in and snapped this photo of Dave using his “shelling backhoe”. The second I stood up (of course keeping my eyes on the shells), I spotted my FULGURATOR in the corner of my eye but lost it with the next wave. I stood there for less than a minute keeping my eyes on every shell washing up… and there it was again! Snag! Yeeha! I’ve looked for it in this photo several times to see if I could find it but it’s not the right angle. Its in there somewhere…

scooping shells beach

Karen’s husband Scott returned (to our lucky shell pile) from a walk down the beach…

karen scott couple beach

It must not have been just our shell pile that was “lucky” because Scott found his own luck. Look at those huge SHARKS EYES, his own brown colored LACE MUREX, ALPHABET CONE, BANDED TULIP and WHELKS, CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES galore…

scott seashells captiva

We moved to Florida because we aren’t big fans of cold weather. But when the north winds bring in shells like this… bring on the cold weather! And bring me more shells like this!

fulgurator alphabet

PS- Join Super Sheller Clark and me on an iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa Island on an awesome shelling adventure. The next one is Saturday March 16, 2013! Click on the next image for more info…


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i Heart Shelling in February

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Beach Hearts, Blind Pass, Fulgurator olive, Junonia, Olive | 30 comments

i love shelling heart iLSI love shelling because it fills my soul with happiness when I find the smallest of shells like this sweet little juvie PEAR WHELK on the beach that I’ve circled in the photo with my big heart. It looked like there was only sand washing up on the inside of the jetty at Blind Pass yesterday…

blind pass inside sand

But I didn’t give up since the day was warm and beautiful and I had a few minutes just to take it all in.  I found a nice little shell pile to sift through…

sea shells foam florida

In that small pile, there was a beautiful FIGHTING CONCH. And laying right beside that CONCH was a nice size LETTERED OLIVE. Do you see it?

seashells sea foam florida

I sifted a bit more and I found my sweet PEAR WHELK. That’s when I saw Dave and Peg from Cincinnati and he told me he a found his first JUNONIA this week! Wahoo! But he didn’t have it with him. Rasher-frasher! (What cartoon that was from??),  I wanted to see it. He was thrilled to show it off so they ran back to their place to get it! Ha! Fantastic! Here they are!

peg dave fulgurator junonia

This is Dave’s awesome JUNONIA that he found at this spot in the water right at the trough line. In the last week, I haven’t seen obvious big shell piles anywhere but everybody that has found nice shells has been hunting in the water just like Dave. He said there were only a few shells showing but he kept scooping at that spot and came up with this JUNONIA. Perseverance. Congratshellations!

dave junonia

I love it because it has so much character! If only this shell could tell its story…

junonia ap dave

Did you notice Peg has a shell in her hand too? She found a FULGURATOR OLIVE!!!! She actually found it a few weeks ago on the other side of the pass when we had the cold snap but since they went back to get Dave’s JUNONIA, she wanted to show me this too. AWESOME!!!!

golden fulgurator olives

And within the last month, she found TWO GOLDEN OLIVES as well. Wowza! They have found some spectacsheller treasure in the last month. We had to shellebrate! Since this was yesterday (Tuesday, February 12), I shared my Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras beads with seashells, mermaids, lobsters and flip flops that Linda From Pensacola gave me. Thank you Linda! That’s so sweet! They went to great use since I had a great time sharing them all day long.

seashell mardi gras beads

So I hope you had a fabulous Fat Tuesday yesterday and will have a marvelous Valentines tomorrow!

i love shelling heart

Don’t forget to check out the new dates to join us in one of our Shelling Adventures by CLICKING  HERE or the next image!

iLoveShelling ShellingAdventures

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Gulfside City Park Low Tide Seashells

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Atlantic Giant, Fulgurator olive, Shark's Eye | 17 comments

double jewel box

Magnificent seashell treasures can be found on Sanibel when so much of the beach is exposed during very low tides like this morning at Gulfside City Park.

seashelling sanibel

Shelling at a really low tide gives you several beach combing options as well. The high tide wrack line can produce new shells to sift through but I always feel like I  can look through those shells on my walk back since it will take some time for the tide to come back in to cover those up.

high tide wrack line sanibel

So I search the tidal pools and areas of the beach that are newly exposed at the shore line which will be covered up quickly when the tide starts to come in. That’s where I found an ANGEL WING and DOUBLE ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE..

angel wing double cockle

Oodles of juvie FIGHTING CONCHS…

seashells to collect on Sanibel

During these low tides, shells (MOLLUSKS) may still be alive or have live HERMIT CRABS in them so you have to look very carefully not to take any shells with live creatures in them. So when I saw this upside down SHARK’S EYE , I still had to check to make sure there was no live animal inside. Nope! Nobody was home! A keeper!

sharks eye seashell

Along with the SHARK’S EYE, I kept this gorgeous multicolored CALICO SCALLOP, double JEWELBOX and a pretty orange-ish TRUE TULIP…

pams favorite seashells of day

Speaking of SHARK’S EYES, Jeanne from South Carolina found this aaawesooome one…

sharks eye moon shell sanibel

She and her daughter Rachel were finding their shell loot by combing the tide pool.

rachel jeanne seashelling sanibel

These were Rachel’s faves she found…

assorted seashells sanibel rachel

Did you spot that orange JINGLE near the tip of her finger? It has both valves! Yes, it’s a double JINGLE! She said it was just laying in the very shallow water in the tidal pool not attached to anything. I rarely see both sides together without having to pry it off a PEN SHELL. Cool! Here’s a better view…

double jingle shell sanibel

I also met Shannon from new Hampshire who collected a whole bag of goodies…

shannon new hampshire seashells

Her favorites included a PAPER FIG…

seashells shannon sanibel

Further down the beach, I met Mary from Charlottesville, VA …

Mary seashells sanibel

I was super excited to see she picked up part of a FULGURATOR OLIVE. She had no idea what it was but knew it was special enough to keep it. The same goes for the THORNY OYSTER (the bivalve with the orange around the edge). I rarely see those shells.

seashells crab shell

If you want to see exactly what it looked like on my shelling walk this morning,  clicking the next video image!

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Brown Olive Shell Mystery Solved!

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 in Fulgurator olive | 46 comments

brown olive gulf coast

This, my friends, is NOT a very different color of a LETTERED OLIVE as I assumed on my September 7 post.  It is FULGURATOR OLIVE (Oliva fulgurator form formosa) which is a species that only recently started to appear on our islands… particularly at Blind Pass Captiva.

oliva fulgurator captiva

We had quite a discussion in the comments section about what kind of OLIVE shell this could be after I showed 2 photos of the shell found at Blind Pass after Hurricane Isaac stirred the Gulf Of Mexico. Since I couldn’t get in touch with Amy who found the original shell, I asked around on the iLoveShelling FaceBook page to see if anybody else had found one of these “brown OLIVES”. Kari Newman who lives in Fort Myers said she found one July 29, 2011 at Blind Pass Captiva too and would love to show it to me.

kari oliva fulgurator

Wow, that’s it! And hers is so beautiful too!

fulgur olive kari

It looks like it belongs in a box of delicious gourmet chocolates with those gorgeous creamy stripes on the aperture side.

fulgurator olive ap

I asked Kari if I could take the shell to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to get a positive identification from Dr. Jose Leal. Yes! She was thrilled… and so was I. So today I took the shell over to the Shell Museum to have Dr. Leal take a look at it and he identified it as the OLIVA FULGURATOR.

Dr Jose Leal Shell Museum

Wahoo! So cool! It turns out that the museum does not have a specimen of a FULGURATOR found in our area. They only have specimens found on the east coast of Florida. This is how beautiful Kari is…. she donated her shell to Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. She told me her whole family was shelling that day but her 3 year old daughter Kadence was actually the one who picked up this shell first. (Ha! Teach ’em to young, Kari!) She wants little Kadence’s shell to be in a museum so she will know how special it is.

brown olive sanibel

 But… guess who else found one this past February. Donnie found a FULGURATOR. LOL

fulgurator olive donnie ap

He didn’t think anything about this shell until he saw the photo in my other post. He said he thought it was a non-native species so didn’t give much thought and threw it in with some other “just okay finds”. I’m sure he will look at this one a little differently now, right? I have obviously never found one of these OLIVES and neither has Clark but I can tell you now, Clark and I will be on a major hunt to find one…. and we will find you Mr. Fulgurator!

UPDATE: I finally found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Check out my post

pam fulgurator olive

fulgurator oliva donnie

Thank you Dr. Leal for doing such a great job for the Shell Museum and solving this mystery for us! And Congrats to all who have found this luscious chocolate treasure.

UPDATE 11/28/2012: Dr Leal added Kadence’s FULGURATOR to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum website and named her as the collector. Congrats Kadence! Check it out…

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Seashells And Beach Bling Colored By Isaac

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Albino Shells, Alphabet Cone, Conch, Cone, Fighting Conch, Florida Cone, Fulgurator olive, Millipede Starfish, Olive, Turban | 71 comments

seashells huricane isaac

Not only did Hurricane Isaac bring in loads of various species of shells and BEACH BLINGthe storm brought in the most glorious colors of treasures I’ve ever seen. As you can see in the picture above, the shell colors are spectacsheller but it was also so exciting to find a few pieces of SEA GLASS, MILLIPEDE STARFISH, CORAL, WORM ROCK, OPERCULUMS, and BRYOZOAN COLONIES.

I was also thrilled to find quite a few CONES but look at the variation in color of these ALPHABET CONES. I love this deep dark brown one in the middle!

alphabet cone colors

 I found this brownish CONE which I assume is just a really fabulous FLORIDA CONE like the others but I haven’t seen that deep rich color here in SouthWest Florida before. Look how big it is…. I loooove it!

florida cone colors

 I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this CHESTNUT TURBAN either! Look at the fantastic pattern and colors of the one on the left!

turban colors

The FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS were everywhere so it was almost overwhelming. I normally don’t collect them any more but I couldn’t help but pick up a variety of the colors after Clark found the ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH. There were so many different colors than this (and in better shape) but these are the ones that made it home with me… White, tan, orange, brown and black.

florida fighting conch colors

The JUVENILE FIGHTING CONCHS were out of control! I could have gone crazy! But then again, I had to ask myself… “Self?” “How many shells do you really need to take home?” … Then I answered “Okay, Self, I’ll only take enough to show my fave peeps on my blog”. (That gave me a great excuse to take just a couple more than I needed. ;)) So now you have to look at all of these patterns and colors so I can make my Self feel better… heehee…

juvenile fighting conch colors

  On my August 30 post, I showed you a darling blue bucket with all kinds of great shells pile to the top and the lucky gal Amy who found them. Well Amy also found this incredible brown OLIVE shell that I am assuming is an unbelievable LETTERED OLIVE (9-13-12 UPDATE: I assumed incorrectly! It’s a FULGURATOR OLIVE! ). I know, I know, it doesn’t look like a LETTERED OLIVE (because it’s not… please see my post Brown Olive Shell Mystery Solved!) but just like the other shells I’ve shown, the coloring can vary tremendously.

brown olive sanibel shell

Isn’t that sooooo beautiful?? Look at the aperture side. It’s just as fabulous…

amy brown striped olive

The last few weeks on the beach have been so amazing. Mother Nature has yet again colored my world.

red paint sky seahells

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