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.
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!
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
I saw Connie Miller and John again and they were having a BABYS EAR hay day.
She was filling her coffee cup with other treasures too but I was amazed with how many BABYS EARS.
Jana, Andrea and Ruth Ann from Tennessee not just found beautiful LIGHTNING WHELKS….
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.
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!
I must have just missed them because I was on Captiva watching this major shell pile form at Blind Pass later in the afternoon….
This is where I met Cathy (Ft Myers) after she found two SCOTCH BONNETS while the shells were rolling in. Holy Cowrie!
But wait! after I took that photo of her holding her 2 SCOTCH BONNETS…. I heard her squeal with excitement! She found #3!!! BoomShellalaka!
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!
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.
I saw my friend Faye from North Carolina (she lived on Sanibel for years and years) find a huge handful of shells.
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. 😉
Right as I was leaving, Len from Illinois showed me a couple of shells he found.
He found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Exshellent find along with the very nice NUTMEG.
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.
I have to show you Erin’s JUNONIA again since it was so sweet.
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!
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!
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!
Note to Self: Check off “Find a Fulgurator Olive” on my seashell bucket list!
Oh Yaya! After a weekend of chilly north winds, I found my first FULGURATOR OLIVE at Blind Pass.
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…
Wow! When I got there, this is what most of the “Stooper’s” shell bags looked like…
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. 😉
Then I met another Dave (he’s from NJ) scooping up his own treasures…
Take a look at his gorgeous LACE MUREX, FLORIDA CONE and BANDED TULIP. I love the color of the LACE MUREX!
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…
Karen’s husband Scott returned (to our lucky shell pile) from a walk down the 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…
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!
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…
I 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…
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…
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?
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!
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!
I love it because it has so much character! If only this shell could tell its story…
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!!!!
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.
So I hope you had a fabulous Fat Tuesday yesterday and will have a marvelous Valentines tomorrow!
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!
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.
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.
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..
Oodles of juvie FIGHTING CONCHS…
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!
Along with the SHARK’S EYE, I kept this gorgeous multicolored CALICO SCALLOP, double JEWELBOX and a pretty orange-ish TRUE TULIP…
Speaking of SHARK’S EYES, Jeanne from South Carolina found this aaawesooome one…
She and her daughter Rachel were finding their shell loot by combing the tide pool.
These were Rachel’s faves she found…
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…
I also met Shannon from new Hampshire who collected a whole bag of goodies…
Her favorites included a PAPER FIG…
Further down the beach, I met Mary from Charlottesville, VA …
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.
If you want to see exactly what it looked like on my shelling walk this morning, clicking the next video image!
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.
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.
Wow, that’s it! And hers is so beautiful too!
It looks like it belongs in a box of delicious gourmet chocolates with those gorgeous creamy stripes on the aperture side.
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.
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.
I have obviously never found one of these OLIVES and neither has Clark. But… guess who else found one this past February. One guess. You got it didn’t you. Donnie The Shellinator found a FULGURATOR. LOL
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 can tell you now, Clark and I will be on a major hunt to find one…. and we will find you Mr. Fulgurator!
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… http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=309
Not only did Hurricane Isaac bring in loads of various species of shells and BEACH BLING, the 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!
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!
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!
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.
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…
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.
Isn’t that sooooo beautiful?? Look at the aperture side. It’s just as fabulous…
The last few weeks on the beach have been so amazing. Mother Nature has yet again colored my world.