Star light, star bright. First STARFISH yesterday in sight.
SEASTARS are always so much fun to see. This beautiful creature went right back in the calm, clear Gulf water where Linda and David (TN) found it while on our iLoveShelling adventure with Captiva Cruises yesterday.
I was also thrilled to see this gorgeous SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM that Jill (Peculiar, Missouri) found. She brought it over for me to identify and I think I went a little crazy… “Omigosh it’s perfect!”.
I always love when other beachcombers have an eye for the unusual pieces of beach bling and want to know what it is. She said she saw that cool swirl on it so she picked it up. Most people would have walked right over it… but not Jill! (check out our first one CLICK HERE-errr…. but its nowhere near as pretty as her’s).
I think Jill found that OPERCULUM because she has an eye for the small BIVALVES and likes to find shells she’s never found before. I think there are about 9 different species on her towel she brought to wrap them in for safe travels.
Jill’s not the only one that loves the bling and unusual, Shelly found all sorts of fab finds like FEATHERS, SEA URCHINS and huge shell pieces. Look at that happy smile on such a beautiful day at Cayo Costa Island!
The water was an amazing 75 degrees for Mac and Delta ( Los Angeles) to wade and scoop up a few treasures like LETTERED OLIVES and FIGHTING CONCHS. So much fun hanging out in the water with y’all!
We all found oodles of live OLIVES in the water and on the beach that we had to put back where we found them… but we were also lucky enough to find a few really glossy empty ones too.
Sue and Jens from NC were happy to find a few OLIVES and a stunning LIGHTNING WHELK too.
And PURPLISH TAGELUS shells too. These were scattered all along the mid tied wrack line on the beach so once we found one, we followed the same tide line to find so many more.
That was actually the same shell line that Krys and Mandy (Richmond, Virginia) found lots of dried out SEA URCHINS. They also found some sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS with amazing patterns but my photo just didn’t turn out well. (I’m going to look for those COMB BITTERSWEETS the next time on Cayo Costa)
We were barely off the boat stepping foot on the beach when Louisette and Michael (from Massachusettes) found a pile of shells they started scooping up. Louisette is a Sailor’s Valentine artist so she was in heaven with all of the common ARKS, VENUS shells, JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS all the same size for her work.
Local shellers Cazzie and Beth (Fort Myers Beach) found showed me their fave shells they found- Cazzie with a CONCH and Beth with a juvie lemon yellow HORSE CONCH.
So Cazzie realized that he had never seen this shell ever before on our beaches … hmmmm… Yep- he was right. We don’t normally find these type CONCHS on our beaches. It’s what I call a “WEDDING SHELL” which is a shell from the other side of the planet that someone bought in a shell shop and threw out on the beach to decorate or something (for whole story- CLICK HERE). I haven’t seen that many WEDDING SHELLS at Cayo Costa so it was pretty fun to see this one and know it is a very common shell in Okinawa, Japan– we saw them on every single beach when we visited there. When I asked Cazzie what his favorite shell of the day was… he showed me the WEDDING SHELL. :)
Rena brought her friend Nancy (Boston) who had never even heard the term “sheller” before this trip- A newbie! She might even consider herself a sheller now? haha Hopefully!
I had a twin on our cruise! Susan and I showed up with the same outfits on- same hat and iLoveShelling tee shirt. She and her husband Stuart were on a cruise last year with us when Stuart found an OLIVE without a tip. She took that OLIVE shell to Congress Jewelers with her certificate she received on our iLoveShelling trip and had this necklace made she has on this the next photo. A wonderful memory from last year- i LOVE that!!!! So much fun to see y’all.
Just like Susan and Stuart, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!
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.
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?)
Did you find these FLORIDA CONES while you were CYBERSHELLING?
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!
An o-ver-whelming amount of shells and bling washed up for about a mile!
My head was spinning! Everywhere I looked, I saw seashells, CRAB SHELLS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and MANATEE GRASS.
So many people were finding sweet little TRUE TULIPS like this one I saw in a cup on the beach.
There were shell lines at the shore line….
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!
I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!
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!
I was so tickled to find such spiny and colorful SPINY JEWELBOXES, 2 WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, NUTMEGS, GAUDY NATICAS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ANGEL WINGS, tiny TRUE TULIPS, WORMIES, 2 double PURPLISH TAGELUS, SHARKS EYES, and of course, WHELKS, OLIVES, CONCHS, BANDBED TULIPS and my 2 FLORIDA CONES. That’s the SANIBEL SIX double time! i Love Shelling!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 Clarkin 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.
This LIGHTNING WHELK was perfectly empty too but I almost missed it since only this much of it was showing. More buried treasure.
This morning started off my weekend with a smile so I hope I can pass it along to you too. Have a great weekend!
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.
She was even happier to find 9 BABY’S EARS…
Then to top it all off she framed her Sanibel Six in a very creative MANGROVE SEED POD picture frame.
I met another blog buddy Candice from St Pete! She saw Clark with his shelling backhoe and asked him “Are you Clark?” LOL
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.
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…
Aha! That’s where the big WHELK was that we were looking for. Jennifer (Sanibel) had already found that prize AND three ALPHIES!
Nice finds, Jennifer!
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.
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.
And guess who else I saw…. Penny from Jupiter (in the pretty pink shorts) with her friend Faye.
Penny found this “pinkish” PURPLISH TAGELUS half….
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!
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).
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.
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….
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 shirton some cutie Shelling Sistahs surrounded by aqua and seashells! Oh, can it get much better?
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 Shellthat filled “shelling sistah” Eileen’s hand. Here’s the “before” picture…..
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?
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!
So after all that, guess who I saw on the beach visiting from PA again! Robert and Eileen…. looking for more CONES.
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.
She found this perfect PURPLISH TAGELUS. They aren’t rare for this area but I always think they are a very nice find.
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.