Navigation Menu

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

Treasures of Beachcombing on Fort Myers Beach

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Angel Wing, Fighting Conch, Fort Myers Beach, Purplish Tagelus, Sand Dollar, Sanibel Six | 33 comments

assortment of shells collected while beach combing swfl

These shells are just a few of many beautiful gifts from the sea I could have easily plucked off the beach and popped in my beach bucket.

beachcombing on fort myers beach

I have oodles of shells already in my house (and my yard, garage, porch, walkways, car, and of course the “shellaboratory) so I had to use restraint. But OMG, look at what washed up on south Fort Myers Beach! I showed this photo in my post but it was a little blurry so I’m trying again so you can see in just a tiny area, what kinds of shells and Beach Bling washed up together. Caryl Renz asked what was in this photo that looked like thousands of tusk shells …. here’s the answer- that’s MANATEE GRASS. When the little tubes of MANATEE GRASS get washed on shore they don’t look like your regular SEA WEED, to me it looks like parmesan cheese sprinkled over a seafood stew on the beach. But I now realize after reading Caryl’s comment, they do look like tusk shells too. Look at all the interesting things in this photo! (I hope this CYBERSHELLING shot a little more clear this time?)

manatee grass with seashells

Did you find these FLORIDA CONES while you were CYBERSHELLING?

florida cones found on Fort Myers Beach

I continued to walk south on the beach to see swarms of people in one area. Oooohhhh! I’ve gotta pick up the pace and find out what they are finding!

crowd of shellers on fort myers beach

An o-ver-whelming amount of shells and bling washed up for about a mile!

collecting sea shells after a storm

My head was spinning! Everywhere I looked, I saw seashells, CRAB SHELLS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and MANATEE GRASS.

cybershelling ft myers beach for seashells

So many people were finding sweet little TRUE TULIPS like this one I saw in a cup on the beach.

seashells in a cup

There were shell lines at the shore line….

shellers stooping for shells in sw florida

But then higher on the beach the wrack line was as wide as … well there really was no “line” …it covered the whole beach! I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!

gobs of shells o ft myers beach

I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!

horse conch fort myers beach

Now you see why I had to use restraint to only pick up a few of my faves. I rinsed my treasures off then sorted them out under a cute little tiki hut . It truly is paradise!

 beach resort tiki hut with shells


shells collected on south Fort Myers Beach Florida

UPDATE: I’ve had lots of folks ask me about parking to get to this beach. In the comments section of this post I responded to Holly so I will repost here as well just in case you don’t read the comments…

There is public parking further north on Flamingo Rd with parking meters. But…. Between you and me….;) there is a shopping center near there called Santini Plaza. Some of the locals say you can park there and walk over to the beach… but don’t quote me on that, please. Id hate to have them mad at me for filling up their parking lot so they don’t have room for their patrons. If the lot is empty, I’m sure its ok but please Just be thoughtful of their parking issues for the businesses. My mission is to share the shelling love <3 but the locals with businesses of Southwest Florida need the love too :) Its gotta be a happy balance to shellebrate together! That beach is best at low tide but Let us know if the piles are still there.

PS- I tried to explain the parking in a previous post about this beach but like I said back then, it’s a little harder to get to so you don’t have as much competition. hahaha so to me thats a good thing!

Read More

Beautiful Buried Treasures

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Angel Wing, Augers, Bubble shell, Cerith, low tide, Pen Shell, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel | 10 comments

live starfish with people gathered

 Gabriel found this live STARFISH (BROWN SPINY SEA STAR) on a PEN SHELL at low tide late this morning at the Sanibel Lighthouse beach. His whole family came over to look at it and to ohhh and ahhh so I had to find out what the fuss was about. It’s just beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, I mean the STARFISH is beautiful but also to hear the excitement and amazement of finding life and treasures that come from the sea. That’s beautiful too.

family of sanibel shellers michigan

Gabriel, Danielle, Peggy, Paul and Mark

It was such a pleasure to meet this family! They were trying to learn the names of all the shells they were finding so I was thrilled to help them. This was our best find…. an ALPHABET CONE that was semi buried in the sand.

alphabet cone lighthouse sanibel florida

I don’t have photos of all the shells we were finding but here are some of the shell they found that  I help identify…

Auger Shell ID Cerith Seashell ID Wentletrap ID Bubble Seashell ID Nutmeg ID button Shell ID Sharp-Rib Drill Shell Identification Purplish Tagelus Shell ID Keyhole Limpet Shell Identification

Oh how I’ve missed my walks at the lighthouse  beach on Sanibel. Ever since the day light savings time change, I’ve been discombobulated. I like my walks with Clark in the evening but now it gets dark too early for me to wait until he gets home from his office. But now after meeting such an amazing family on the beach today, it got me right in my beach combing time zone again. Here are a couple of my finds….

Most of my finds today were half buried in the sand like this half buried perfect ANGEL WING.

buried angel wind seashell

 This LIGHTNING WHELK was perfectly empty too but I almost missed it since only this much of it was showing. More buried treasure.

buried whelk sanibel lighthouse

This morning started off my weekend with a smile so I  hope I can pass it along to you too. Have a great weekend!

Sanibel lighthouse point

miniature shelling sanibel florida Sanibel shelling

Read More

This Weekend Rocked

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in Alternate Tellin, Angel Wing, Baby's Ear, False Angel Wing, Mangrove seed pod, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel, Tellin, Worm Rock | 24 comments

diane in surf

My friend Diane joined Clark and me on the beach off West Gulf Drive yesterday for a lovely afternoon of shell seeking. We wanted to find a big WHELK like last week but she was just as happy with a candy HORSIE CONCH.

Diane with beach candy

She was even happier to find 9 BABY’S EARS…

babys ears on pen shell

Then to top it all off she framed her Sanibel Six in a very creative MANGROVE SEED POD picture frame.

sanibel 6 mangrove seed

I met another blog buddy Candice from St Pete! She saw Clark with his shelling backhoe and asked him “Are you Clark?” LOL

Candice iLS sanibel

She said she wasn’t finding much, so I walked with her just for a few minutes and we found a few goodies… 3 ALTERNATE TELLINS, a PURPLISH TAGELUS, COQUINA, FALSE ANGEL WING, 2 CONCHS, a LACE MUREX, a TURBAN and a beautiful BABY’S EAR.

candice shells

All of Candice’s shells were found on the high and dry wrack line on the far right of this next picture. On the sand bars, there were hundreds of FIGHTING CONCHS  and a few bigger shells…

shells at low tide

Aha! That’s where the big WHELK was that we were looking for. Jennifer (Sanibel) had already found that prize AND three ALPHIES!

Jennifer's shells

Nice finds, Jennifer!

Jennifer Sanibel cones whelk

Clark didn’t find another big WHELK but he did find a huuu-jahh piece of WORM ROCK. He knows this is another fave of mine. It doesn’t look like anything fabulous in this photo but trust me, it’s cool. This is a rock formed by a colony of VARIABLE WORM SNAILS (not exactly the same thing as my “wormie shells” we find) and it’s not every day for us to find it this big.

worm rock

Look at it close up…

worm rock copy

Rock on and have a happy Monday!

sand dollar in tidal pool



Read More

i Love Shelling In A Pink Tutu

Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Calico, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel, Scallop | 19 comments

pink tutu beach baby

I am so glad I didn’t wear my pink tutu to the beach shelling yesterday because I know I wouldn’t have looked this stinkin cute. Clare (CT) was workin her adorability showing us all how to look good picking up shells. Such a little cutie petutie! I’ll have to think twice before I break out my tutu again after seeing how well it can be worn…… and the fashion police might lock me up for good. ;)

So after seeing Clare, I had pink on the brain and fell in love with this pretty little pink SCALLOP shell.

Pink scallop shell

And guess who else I saw…. Penny from Jupiter (in the pretty pink shorts) with her friend Faye.

Penny Faye shell Sanibel

Penny found this “pinkish” PURPLISH TAGELUS half….

Purplish Tagelus seashell

I ran down to Blind Pass Captiva side today to see what kind of shells were there and to see if there were any changes since last week. Of course there were changes!

Beach Weeds BP

I’m not sure when all that seaweed floated it but it was nice to see that ledge wasn’t still there that I showed 2 weeks ago (to see click here).

Shelling sisters

I found sisters Cheryl (NJ) and Cindy (IL) sittin’ and siftin’ for shells in that pile that has come and gone a few times high on the beach. They were finding good shells! This was Cindy’s bucket filling up with OLIVES, CONCHS, pink SCALLOPS and yes, that’s a FLORIDA CONE right on top.

Shell Bucket

This was Cheryl’s shell bag with a perfect little pink FLAT SCALLOP, a NUTMEG, plenty of CALICO CLAMS, KITTEN’S PAWS and more pink CALICO SCALLOPS….

Shell bag

Okay yes, I had a short little affair with pink but you know what is my true love and gives me huge warm and fuzzies when I see it? Aqua! Especially when it’s an i Love Shelling tee shirt on some cutie Shelling Sistahs surrounded by aqua and seashells! Oh, can it get much better?

Aqua shell girls

Jeri, Lori and Candy (Spokane, WA)



Read More

ABCs Of Alphabet Cones

Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 in ABCS of Alphabet Cone Video, Alphabet Cone, Cone, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show | 14 comments

Eileen Rob alphabet cone

I doubt you recognize this APLHABET CONE ….. but I posted a picture of this seashell in February. This is the same gigantic gunked up CONE in my post The Alphabet On A Cone Shell that filled “shelling sistah” Eileen’s hand. Here’s the “before” picture…..

Fist size Alphabet cone

It cleaned up pretty nicely, huh? I joked that this ALPHABET CONE was so big it probably spelled the whole alphabet on it. Did you know sometimes the patterns on them really look like letters?

word on alphabet cone

I have proof that each letter of the alphabet has been found on these shells from a display by Amy and Bill Tripp at this year’s 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show. Check out this video from the Shell Fair in March (and then I’ll show you more photos)…….

It is so much fun seeing all those letters! Thank you Amy and Bill for making such a great display for those of us who love, love, love ALPHABET CONES!

Robert and Eileen Sanibel shellers

So after all that, guess who I saw on the beach visiting from PA again! Robert and Eileen…. looking for more CONES.

shell digger

He was so smart by digging around this buried crab trap near Sundial Beach Resort hoping to find another monster shell. There are lots of good shells that roll up and get stuck near any buried objects. He didn’t find a big CONE but he did find TULIPS, MUREXES, OLIVES and CONCHS.

purplish tagelus seashell Eileen

She found this perfect PURPLISH TAGELUS. They aren’t rare for this area but I always think they are a very nice find.

Low tide local shellers

We also ran into long time Sanibel locals Sarah and JB looking for beach treasures. Sarah is showing off a beautiful PAPER FIG she found. 

Sanibel locals Sarah and JB

Sanibel locals Sarah and JB



Read More

I’m Tellin’ On Some Tellins

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Alternate Tellin, Baby's Ear, Morton's Egg Cockle, Purplish Tagelus, Rose Tellin, Sanibel, Scotch Bonnet, Tellin, White Crested Tellin, Yellow Alternate Tellin | 26 comments

Crested White Crested Tellin

White Crested Tellin

The island seashell telegraph was buzzing yesterday with the news that a rare WHITE CRESTED TELLIN was found by our shelling friend Nancy (see her on post Seashell In My Pocket) while she was shelling the out islands with her husband Dayton and their best friends Gary and Sandy. Look at the cool serrated edges on this shell- those aren’t chips. This photo only shows the one side of the shell…the other side is attached as well! They took it to the shop Sanibel Seashell Industries and he said it was a rare find.

Rose Petal Tellins Gary Preston

Rose Petal Tellins

Gary found all of these ROSE PETAL TELLINS out on the out islands too.  They got out there by hiring shelling guide Brian Holaway to take them out near North Captiva and Cayo Costa.

Yellow Alternate Tellin

Yellow Alternate Tellin

I think it’s the prettiest yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN I’ve ever seen. Guess who found this. Nancy! She was a hawk eye out on those flats. This shell looks similar to a COQUINA in this picture but it’s about an inch bigger.

Alternate Tellins

Alternate Tellins

These are the color that these TELLINS normally are. Nice… but can’t really compare to that yellow!

Scotch Bonnet Nancy

Nancy's Scotch Bonnet

Brian surely did not disappoint this crowd. Nancy found this SCOTCH BONNET too!! This was her first time she has found a SCOTCH BONNET and she said Brian seemed just as excited as she was.

Morton's Egg Cockle close

Morton's Egg Cockle

They all found MORTON’S EGG COCKLES which are another shell crafter favorite since the inside is such a bright yellow. I forget the variety, but to me, they look like orchid petals. Please help me if you know what orchid I’m thinking of.

Purplish Tagelus

Purplish Tagelus

The shelling continued with PURPLISH TAGELUS shells.

large Wentletrap

Sandy's wentletrap

Sandy found this super big WENTLETRAP and lots of BABY’S EARS. You wouldn’t believe the bags and bags of goodies the whole gang brought back.

Bags of shells

Bags of shells

They all could not get over how much fun they had and how many shells they found with Brian as their guide ( click HERE for info on Brian). Congrats to you all and thanks for sharing your goodies.

shellers Minnesota

Gary, Sandy, Nancy and Dayton (MN) from October

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest