It was an especially good day on the Sanibel today. On the beach at Island Inn, the weather was perfect (high 70s), the water was calm, there were piles of good shells… and I had Clark with me. That’s why I love this next photo… it’s everything I love all in one shot. Clark, the beach, the water and a ton of shells to pick through to collect in an aqua shell bucket.
My day was made.
I wasn’t the only one loving the day either, if there’s a good shell pile it seems I always find Connie K. right smack in the middle of it. Ha! She can sniff ’em out!
I also met another happy gal… Faith from Ohio. She is a ball of fun!
These are just a few of the beautiful shells she found. She found a LIONS PAW too but I didn’t get a chance to see it since she had already packed it up in her room. Happy.
Sitting on the big pile of shells (after walking to the right from Island Inn), I saw OLIVES, CONCHS, WHELKS, SCALLOPS and TULIPS but I had to snap a picture of this adorably tiny horsie candy (juvie HORSE CONCH). Omigosh- so stinkin cute.
Clark’s fave find of the day was of course that awesome ALPHABET CONE (first pic) but mine was this teeny tiny ROCK SNAIL SHELL.
I haven’t found a ROCK SHELL in a while and I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen one this small before. I love it!
Wishing on this shell tree that everybody gets to experience a day like this on the beach to feel this calm and happy about simple pleasures.
PS- Thank you Heather for the heads up about the shell pile!
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!
My favorite part of meeting other shellers is to see what makes them happiest. Interestingly enough, I heard almost everybody from Shellabaloo 4 say it was finally so nice to meet other people that feel the same way about beach combing as they do. There are other folks out there that don’t think we are crazy for wanting to shell all day!
On our final night, Kris made a beautiful display for our Shell ‘N Tell and pizza party in the newly remodeled Florida Room in Kimball Lodge at Island Inn– it’s perfect for parties and games. And I love games! So we played a game throughout our shelling adventure. I made up a scavenger “Shellinger Hunt” game that gave points for different shells and beach bling finds to display for our party night. So much fun! You can see Kris showed some of her answers as… 3 sets of THE SANIBEL SIX, a FOSSIL, 10 JINGLES in any BIVALVE and 2 pieces of BEACH BLING. Hmmmmm…. she found some interesting BEACH BLING, huh? A pipe? LOL
(Oh, and her hand in the first photo has a “wedding shell cone”- I don’t think thats a FLORIDA CONE)
This is another beautiful shell display by Nancy for our Shell ‘N Tell night….
Some folks may have been disappointed to come to Southwest Florida to wear coats and long pants earlier this week… but not shellers! Shellers know that, almost always, cold north winds bring in lots of sea shells. So when a group of shellers like the wonderful folks at Shellabaloo get together… cold weather gets us excited!
We get excited because we find shells like OLIVES, SHARKS EYES, GAUDY NATICAS, WHELKS, TULIPS, MUREXES, BUTTERCUPS and so many other shells…
A little cold weather in Florida would never have made Bette and Rick disappointed when you can stand a beach filled with shells.
There were so many miniature shells to be found too…
Suzanne found all of these mini shells by sifting through the shell piles right in front of Island Inn.
Conne was so excited to find a SAND DOLLAR since I think that was on her bucket list… I mean shell bucket list. heehee
I think everybody found a SAND DOLLAR or two. These were some of Ricks finds…
Angela (who I’m now calling “Anshella”) was thrilled to show us her favorite finds for our Shell ‘N Tell and pizza party…
Between “Good Will Shelling” (Will) and his wife Sarah The ShellAnimal, they found such interesting shells and bling. He found MERMAID PURSES (SKATE EGG CASES), a huuuge old FOSSIL shell (bottom right), and a “wedding shell” Ive never seen before. I told him that shell (top left between the SUNRAY VENUS) was a foreign shell that was probably bought for decoration for a wedding or party on the beach. I told him to take to to the Shell Museum to ask what it was and Dr Jose Leal verified that is was a TORPEDO shell probably from Indopacific area. They were still excited to find it!
Super Sheller Clark couldnt be with us each day for shelling (that “work” thing gets in the way)but he still wanted to participated in the Shell ‘N Tell so he brought some of our favorite finds over the last couple of years…
Clark helped me add up the points for each of the shells entered in the game so we could give the winner of the Shellinger Hunt this gorgeous STARFISH REEF necklace donated from Sealife by Congress. Thank you Sealife By Congress for supporting our Shellabaloo!
Drum roll Please! ……. The winner of the Shellinger Hunt was…. Sarah The ShellAnimal!!!! LOL She found 2 big WHELKS, a CARRIER SHELL, CONES, PAPER FIGS, 4 BABYS EARS, WENTLETRAPS and more. Congratshellations Sarah!
She had so many shells spread out, I didn’t even get a decent photo of them. But… I did get a photo of her prize shell. Her ROCK SHELL. We just don’t find these every day so I asked her to show Jose Leal at the Shell Museum too. Dr Leal verified that this shell is more rare (on Sanibel -where she found it) than the JUNONIA. Shellzam Sarah!
We had such a fabshellous time getting to know each other while shelling the beaches, sharing meals, exchanging stories and laughing with joy. I can’t put it any better than what Sarah said…. “I have to say this was one of the best times of my life! William surprised me with it for my birthday, and it was epic! These memories and friends I made will last forever!!”
When we have dates for Shellabaloo 5, you will be the first to know!
Our shelling adventure this week was absolutely SHELLTABULOUS! It may have been unseasonably chilly but we found lots of shells, shells, shells conveniently right in front of our hotel Island Inn Resort… our exshellent hosts for Shellabaloo 4.
We had great times getting to know each other during our yummy meals together by taking turns telling our other Shellabalooers about ourselves, our shelling stories and what shells are on our bucket list. Shellers are such interesting people!! We had an Olympic athlete, a winery owner, a nurse, an engineer and a bakery owner just to name a few of these amazing folks.
Then we shelled, shelled, shelled together while this cold weather brought piles of shells to the shore for us.
We had the pleasure of getting a behind the scenes tour of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum by none other than the museum’s curator Dr. Jose Leal.
Not one person in our group wanted to miss this event. His talk was so impressive!
Then we shelled, shelled, shelled again. Nancy found a nice shell pile to finally do that awesome sit ‘n sift.
Here is Nancy (on the right) with our beautiful hostess who organized this wonderful event at the Island Inn… Blanaid. Thank you so much, Shelling Sistah!
Thank you so much, Shelling Sistah Blanaid for putting together delicious overstuffed sandwiches, fruit, chips, salad and desert for our lunches. We worked up such an appetite each morning finding shells! Here are Rick, Bette, Angela and Conne enjoying good food and good company…
Then we hit the beach again for more shelling, shelling, shelling…
This had to be the biggest 5 minutes of the whole week for Sarah The Shellanimal. Yes, this chick is an animal at shelling! She has such a keen eye for shells, she found all 3 of these shells within 5 minutes at Blind Pass Sanibel. She knew immediately that the shell on the left was unusual. Yes it is! That’s a beautifully perfect Rock Shell! We’ve only found a few over the years so I would call that a rare find. Congratshellations, Sarah The Shellanimal! LOL
This is Sarah and her husband Will (Kentucky) all cleaned up for dinner one night. Such fun peeps.
Will found a little honey hole with MUREXES, WHELKS and even a CARRIER SHELL at Lighthouse Beach digging around those concrete blocks.
He made all of our other shellers VERY happy since he isn’t much of a collector in the miniature shells “department” so he scooped up buckets of shells over and over to let everybody sift through to find WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS, DRILLS and so many other little cuties. How about this… his new nick name is Good Will Shelling.
The shelling, shelling, shelling continued for Linda (Land O Lakes, Florida) on top of shell mountain. A fresh new pile!
This is Linda with her sweetie Jerry… who by the way has a very keen shelling eye too. (I’ve got his shell photos coming soon!)
There were quite a few STARFISH like the MILLEPEDE SEA STAR that washed up on the beach with the shells. Ron found this one and realized it was still alive so he gently returned it to the Gulf Of Mexico. Cool!
Here is Ron and his lovely bride Cheryl who traveled from Maryland to be with us on the shelling hunt.
Sweet Suzanne loooooves the mini shells so she was happy to find several nice “mini” shell lines on our trip to Cayo Costa (more pics soon from our Captiva Cruise boat trip!)
This is Suzanne and her husband Bill who traveled from Iowa to shell with us…
I introduced Kris, Kristin and Cheryl in my last post but you will see more photos of our cruise to Cayo Costa and of course …. our Shell ‘n Tell!
But… before then, I’d like for you to join us just for a few minutes. I took a short video of those shells washing up on the beach while we were sifting. Enjoy!
I found this 1 5/8 inch ROCK SNAIL SHELL this week. This is only the third one we’ve ever found so it’s not such common shell on Sanibel. I’m not sure there’s going to be too many people disappointed they can’t find one because… well, it’s not the prettiest shell. All three of ours look a little beat up just like this one but for me, it’s a cool treasure.
This little teenie tiny ROUGH SCALLOP was a true treasure to Stephanie (Ft Myers).
I met Stephanie and her mom Judy at Blind Pass Captiva and they were thrilled about the absolutely gorgeous day and that they found a few goodies.
Here’s just a handful of Stephanie’s finds.
I saw some RED DRIFT ALGAE this week too. I didn’t have any coughing spells, throat tickles or any reaction to it so I looked up the difference between RED TIDE and RED DRIFT ALGAE. Mote Marine has an easy to read chart for us to learn about them both. CLICK HERE for the link. Maybe we’ve had both in the last few weeks? And yes, it’s really that red/magenta/fuchsia.
Oh, and BTW (funny story)… Stephanie from Ft Myers told me a guy that lives down the street from her looked a little familiar so she asked him if he was a sheller. He looked at her a little funny and said “yeees”. Then she pointed at him, laughed and said “You are Donnie Benton, aren’t you!?”. It was! She met her neighbor Donnie from reading iLoveShelling! LOL Don’t you just love that?
Live Limpets on a fallen tree on Cayo Costa
No rain and no work! …. Time to get out on the water. We took the boat out to our fave spots North Captiva and Cayo Costa. We found three BABY’S EARS, a few WHELKS and WORM SHELLS (only a few) and the views were spectacular. Well worth the trip.
Periwinkle on Cayo Costa
Ibis and roots
South tip of Cayo Costa
Limpets in wood grain
Barnacles on tree root ( I know, nothing fancy but I thought it looked very picturesque)
Ibis in a Cayo Costa tree
Ibis enjoying the view
Clark with a Rocksnail
We weren’t really sure what this shell was Clark found but he insisted it was something good. It kinda looks like a worn KINGS CROWN but the opening edge is sort of serrated. It was really slimed with algae and gunk so Clark got it cleaned up and then check again in the books to see if it’s a ROCKSNAIL . That’s what it looks like so far. It’s got some wear and tear but it’s 2 and a half inches long and it’s not something we find every day. I think it’s a good find too, Clark! (Update- 10-7-10: Yes, it’s a rocksnail. We got verification from MurexKen and Dr. Jose Leal from the Shell Museum. Thank you both!)
Birds on North Captiva
Christine (Venice FL) finding shells on North Cap
Pelican landing strip