There is nothing more exciting than seeing shells line the beach as far as the horizon.
At Tarpon Road beach access (mid island on Sanibel)… that’s what we saw yesterday- miles of shells. Amy from Alabama was a happy girl be able to witness this beautiful site as well.
She found oodles of APPLE MUREXES and FIGHTING CONCHS in a wide assortment of colors, patterns and textures along with some other beauties.
I ooohed and ahhhed over her best find (well, her best find to me anyway) which was this ROCK SHELL. Its not often I see these shells so I was excited for Amy that she found one.
I saw Ellie from Wisconsin holding her hand in a way to protect something delicate.
It was a gorgeous double ALTERNATE TELLIN with colors of yellow, pink and mauve. It looks like a beautiful butterfly!
I was thrilled to find a LONG-SPINED URCHIN and a WEST INDIAN SEA URCHIN to add to my mix of treasures (OLIVES, CONCHS, TINTED CANTHARUS, NUTMEG, ROUGH SCALLOP, dark rich BANDED TULIP, a WORMIE and …. candy!)
Then I walked the beach at BLIND PASS Sanibel to see Michelle from Illinois (right) with her family Mary, Mike, Patti and Molly. she was carrying a strange looking shell so I stopped her.
OMG its the lip of verrrry large HELMET shell. Wow! HELMETS are from Caribbean so to see the lip of that shell in such good shape and color was impressive. She also found a nice THORNY OYSTER too. Good eye, Michelle!
I saw Justin and Jeff from Connecticut scooping in the water and Bonnie combing the beach about a mile from the pass (the furthest point in the background).
They were having a ball finding some really nice shells like TULIPS, WHELKS and huge COCKLES. They said they were just as happy to find shells as being here to enjoy this awesome weather.
Krystal S posted on iLS Facebook all the shells they found yesterday morning at Blind Pass Sanibel….
Molly P posted there as well to show us she found this LIONS PAW this week on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. Congratshellations, to all of you!
Keep ’em coming, Mother Nature!
I have said countless times that the beaches of Southwest Florida change every day and by the hour so finding shells becomes a fascinating treasure hunt. So I would say Tam Tam from Michigan has had quite a treasure hunt this week! She found so many shells that aren’t found on our beaches all that often like that sweet baby LIONS PAW (top left), a CABRITS MUREX (middle), a LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN (okay, thats not a shell but its just so beautiful and big for that type of URCHIN) and a THORNY OYSTER (bottom). The ALPHABET CONE isn’t rare at all but it is just dang gorgeous…. and same for that BABY’S EAR. And of course you see she found a JUNONIA too!
Tammy found her LIONS PAW along West Gulf Drive and found her JUNONIA and CABRITS at BLIND PASS SANIBEL. Her friend Barb from Virginia found a CABRITS MUREX at Blind Pass Sanibel too!
I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!
Oh but hold on there’s more… Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!
Her LIONS PAW is soooo pretty, right? The CONE is just as spectacshellar and both were found off West Gulf Drive. That is a very dark rich color variation of a FLORIDA CONE. Shellicious!
Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.
They are very new to shelling but as you can see, they already have a great eye for such pretty shells. They found out about all the seashells on Sanibel from Derek’s dad Darrell who caught the shelling bug about 5 years ago on his first visit to Sanibel. Hey Darrell! Thanks for spreading the shelling love on to your kids- Derek and Lisa cracked me up!
Lisa could identify most of their other shells but she showed me this little mini shell and asked me what it was. Its a PITTED MUREX! I don’t find these all that often but I loved that even as new shellers, they both were so interested in this tiny shell that turned out to be not all that common in our area.
Every day is a new adventure on Sanibel, Captiva and all of the beaches in southwest Florida. What I find even more rare than these shells that my lucky shelling friends found, is that our islands are filled with so many friendly, smiling folks that enjoy every gift from the sea whether its rare or not. (oh…and the view aint half bad either ;) )
It’s already a spectacsheller 2014! My dear friend Ellen found not just one LIONS PAW at Blind Pass Sanibel… but she found two LION’S PAWS!
We walked passed that sand bar area that I’ve shown you in my last couple of posts towards Bowman’s Beach where they just finished the beach renourishment project. Remember I showed you that old wooden jetty that was newly exposed last year? Well, it’s all covered up again and filled in with fresh new sand that was pumped in from the deep waters off shore in the Gulf Of Mexico. So I’m assuming that these came in with the sand since both of them are so incredibly perfect. I want to show you the interior of this LIONS PAW so you can be on the lookout as well. I was right there with her shelling and I didn’t see either of them… I missed them both! She picked them up right after I looked in the same spot. LOL All I saw were oodles of KITTENS PAW and CALICO SCALLOPS (you know I love both of them so I was already mesmerized- hahaha) It just goes to show you, there are enough shells for everybody in southwest Florida since we all see different things while shelling on the beach. I think Im going to have to call her Shellen instead of Ellen from now on. heehee She’s got the LIONS PAW eye for sure! Shellzam! Congratshellations, Shellen!
Clark was shelling just at the water’s edge with his shelling backhoe when he scooped up these beauties. Can you believe it? He found a CABRITS MUREX too! This one is pretty beat up but still… its a rare find for Sanibel. Again, prob from the beach renourishment. I haven’t gotten to a chance to see if that FLAT SCALLOP near his thumb will clean up well but its a beauty along with that bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN.
Shellen has an eye for LIONS PAWS, Super Sheller Clark has an eye ALPHIES and I seem to have an eye for finding CARRIER SHELLS.
I also have an eye for WENTLETRAPS. As you can see in the next photo, all the way as far as you can see in the background, is a palm tree sticking up. That’s about 200 yards from the Blind Pass bridge (guestimate of course) so this is how far we walked to find our loot. Now look how far I was from the water and in that sparse shell line, I found what I believe is a TOLIN WENTLETRAP. I’ve found lots of different species of WENTLETRAPS (CLICK HERE for a line up of them) but this one looked different from the others so in my humble opinion, I think it’s a TOLIN.
But honestly, I got more excited about this beautiful piece of BEACH BLING I found. It’s a purple SEA WHIP with a few cool hitchhikers! Click on the photo to enlarge to see if you can find them too before I tell you what they are.
Did you find the ATLANTIC WING OYSTER? So cool, right?
But wait, there’s another tiny baby WING OYSTER too! Can you see it?
And then I spotted a ONE TOOTH SIMNIA on this same SEA WHIP! It’s camouflaged but look closely…
Shell Boom Bah! There are two ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS! Click this next photo to see both of them. Then go back and see if you can find both WING OYSTERS and both ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS in the first full size pic of the SEA WHIP. I know its weird but I felt like I had won the lotto. LOL This is why I love shelling so much. There are always magnificent hidden treasures on the beach… you just have to find the treasures that make you happy.
I have one more photo to show you… I am so stinkin happy for my buddy Kaybe from The Essential Beachcomber!
She finally found her JUNONIA! She posted this on iLoveShelling Facebook page… “I’m making progress. Went from finding a little tip last week to an almost whole junonia this morning at Boca Grande. It was all wrapped up in some seaweed on the wrack line.” Exshellent!
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As I walked onto the sand of Blind Pass Captiva towards the Gulf Of Mexico yesterday, I didn’t see much of a shell pile forming on the beach. But I did see Rena (Fort Myers) in the water about knee deep with her shelling backhoe filling up her bag. It was so much fun to see such much beautiful CORAL in her bag then she showed me her two FLORIDA CONES, GIANT BITTERSWEET and that sweet little orange candy.
There was one small string of shells that had come in at the high tide, that most of the shellers were picking through to find a treasure or two. Since this was on Captiva, you could say they were doing the Captiva Crouch instead of The Sanibel Stoop…. Oh yes… that would be a crouch!
After lots of people had already picked through this wrack line, Jay still found an amazing treasure. A perfect SCOTCH BONNET! Shellzam!
Brenda and Jay from St Louis were already happy with all of the other shells that they had found so the SCOTCH BONNET was just icing on the cake.
He was so surprised that it was in perfect condition with such great color just sitting in that shell line. You just never know!
Jamie from Ft Lauderdale was doing double time. After he threw out a fishing rod to catch a few fish, he couldn’t help but catch a few shells as well.
Beautiful OLIVES and CONCHS but I couldn’t take my eye off that gorgeous ROUGH SCALLOP right below the bucket.
Around 11am I felt so lucky to find a CARRIER SHELL! This is how I saw it….
I had to leave the beach around noon but came back to Blind Pass Captiva around 3:30pm just to see what the low tide had exposed. The beach hadn’t changed that much (actually, it looked pretty picked over by then) and didn’t see lots of shells in the water like the high tide had shown… BUT …. I saw another CARRIER SHELL! I may have missed it earlier since I don’t think the tide had brought in more shells after I left but this is exactly what it looked like sitting with the other shell. Click on this next photo. Would you have noticed it?
This is what it looks like from the side view. See how it collects other shell fragments and CORAL to cement them to its shell?
Here is another view of the one I found in the morning. I love that this shell is a shell collector too like us!
I love to find unusual shells so I was thrilled with my treasures. Other than the CARRIER SHELLS, I didn’t find many whole UNIVALVES like WHELKS or TULIPS in that line of shells but I did find a piece of a LIONS PAW and a piece of JUNONIA and some awesome CALICO SCALLOPS and CORAL.
The other shell above the piece of CORAL in my last photo is a FROND OYSTER. I wouldn’t say it was a rare shell, but I don’t find many of them in good condition like this one. I know, it’s not so pretty (like the CARRIER SHELL) but I gotta tell ya, these things make me so happy when I find them. It’s all about the little things in life.
Have a great weekend!
Low tide Sunday morning shelling at Blind Pass ….ahhhhhhh. Hawg heaven!
Even if there wasn’t a shell in site, I would have been a happy girl just to walk on the beach, breath the salty air, feel the waves touch my toes and hear birds singing their sea songs. But I did have a bonus… Shells!
While I was finding my mermaid loot, I met Lisa and Stan (Tampa) with their 2 kids Josh and Allison finding their own treasures from the sea.
Stan was snorkeling about chest high to find some CONCHS, OLIVES and an ALPHABET CONE that he pulled out of his pockets to show me…
But that wasn’t it! They had a big bucket filled with CORAL, PEN SHELLS, a few BANDED TULIPS, an APPLE MUREX and a nice SUNRAY VENUS.
I walked over to the Sanibel side of the pass and met Holly from Sanford, Florida who found an awesome orange HORSE CONCH.
I love this mid size HORSE CONCH! There are some BARNACLES around the lip and spire but I suggested waiting to get home before trying to get them off. When those barnacles are anywhere near that fragile lip, I suggest being very delicate picking around that lip by inserting a dental tool in the middle of the barnacle to work inside out first…being very easy. I’m sure it will clean up beautifully if you take your time… its worth it- that’s a fantastic find!
I even stopped by Gulfside City Park (mid island Sanibel) for a few minutes today too just long enough to find another tiny SAND DOLLAR. Sweet!
Okay, I can’t wait to show you a closer view of my other finds today. I was very happy to find a double ATLANTIC WING OYSTER . I know it’s not so pretty on the outside…
But goodness… look at that special inside. It’s pearlescent!
My fave find of the day is an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH!
It looks a little yellow because it has the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it but if I cleaned it completely off, it would be stark white…. ALBINO! Okay- this is funny…. When I told Clark I found an ALBINO, he first congratulated me then looked at my photo of it since I left the shells in the sink in the garage. He said “That’s not an ALBINO, Pam!” (Ha! He thinks he’s the ALBINO expert since… well, I’ll have to give it to him… he does have a knack for finding them). So I sashayed to my shell stash and brought him my shell. “Hmmmm….Oh, okay.” He said. HAHAHA
I haven’t decided yet if I want all of the PERIOSTRACUM off yet so I’m going to be like Scarlett Ohara so… “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
PS- Did you see “land” snail in my bucket too? I found a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (bottom left about 7 o’clock) on the path back to my car. It’s still “rosy”.
**** Calling all shellers! We are having a SHELLATHON in January CLICK HERE for details! ****
I found more shells clinging to SEA WHIPS! This time I found quite a few ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS hitch hiking on those beautiful SEA WHIPS I talked about on my last post.
Notice how pearlescent the inside is! I didn’t want to break the two valves apart but you can peek in to see the beauty.
I found quite a few of these attached to the SEA WHIPS I found in the BEACH BLING last month.
I know, this WING OYSTER doesn’t look that pretty hanging on to this gorgeous purple WHIP but he would definitely clean up nicely if I chose to untangle him.
I’m just always amazed at what I’ve overlooked before.
I didn’t find all of these on the beach in the last month. I looked through some of my other SEA WHIPS I collected through the years and low and behold… I didn’t even realized I had perfect specimens of ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS wrapped up in my WHIPS.
I can’t believe I can’t find the photo (sorry!) …. but at the 75th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show this year there was a display of an ATLANTIC WING OYSTER still attached to a SEA WHIP. I kind of laughed to myself because at first it looked like a dirty purple SEA FAN with some junk not washed off. Then I put on my cheater glasses to look at the display. Cool! A WING OYSTER treasure! I love it- I learn something new every day.
After looking closely at the larger double shells, you’ll be able to see that both the sides don’t match. The two valves are completely different sizes and even the shape is different too.
You might not think these shells are pretty enough to toss in your shell bag, but at least when you see those SEA WHIPS, you might be able to find a little hidden treasure that most other people would pass right by and never see.