Archive for Sand Dollar
For me, this is the perfect evening… taking a walk on the beach without any rush, without an agenda and being happy with whatever I find.
That’s how I felt this week. I just want to melt into my beachcombing and have my mind completely focused on… well… focused on NOTHING. Ahhh. It worked. And as soon as I started breathing, feeling the warm breeze and being so happy to have my toes on the sand after a long week…. the rest of the world melted away.
That’s when I found WENTLETRAPS! …And SAND DOLLARS!
I get a little “edgy” when I cant get my fix of the beach. Yes, I know, I’m VERY fortunate to be have access to the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva as often as I do but this week was so busy catching up with life in general (we all know how that goes) I didn’t get to get my normal beach therapy. There is one thing I NEVER take for granted… beach time. That’s why I think it’s important to share it because I loooove looking through wrack lines like this one near LIGHTHOUSE BEACH and knowing you love it too…
I even think it’s cool to see SEA PORK…
I was thrilled to find my treasures to take home but my favorite thing on the beach I found this week (that I couldnt take home) was seeing a mama SNOWY PLOVER and her babies. So sweet!
They are so hard to see because they blend in so closely to the sand but I snapped a few pictures of them without getting too closely to disturb them. And I got a little video! Enjoy the THREE SNOWY PLOVER BABIES AND THEIR MAMA video and if you are near SW Florida, join us on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa tomorrow- Sunday May 18, 2013 at 1pm at Captiva Cruises. Call 239-472-5300 for reservations.
All along the jetty rocks at Captiva’s Blind Pass, there are still bucketfuls of shell jewels to be found at low tide. It was so much fun seeing Michelle of Buckingham, Florida wading and working the water to pluck out so many beautiful gems. She found a shellacious ALPHABET CONE and too many other perfect shells to count! I also saw Steve and Karen (MI) with their grandsons Noah and Josh from Lakeland, FL with a tons of shells ready to pack up in the car after a great afternoon shelling. It was really good to see you guys again and seeing you had another successful day at Blind Pass.
Mark had lots of great luck finding shells with his snorkel gear! He and his mom Brenda were so cute enjoying everything there was to enjoy about looking for shells. They get it! It’s a treasure hunt! If the shells aren’t on the beach, you’ve got to get in the water to look for them.
Then I met the rest of the family and fell in love with every one of them. Here’s (clockwise) Brenda, Mark (Mark Senior … but lets just call him BigMark), Mark, Conner, Renee, and Aiden. See? Happiness.
And they had major success! This is just a few of their jetty jewels…
Over the weekend, Clark and I hit just about every beach and had success at each one but only brought few home (there’s only so many shells one can find room for!). This FLAT SCALLOP Clark found is our favorite shell that made the cut. I actually think this one is the prettiest one we have in all of our collection. I didn’t get a chance to take a close up but it is rich purple with a detailed line then light purple on the bottom.
Everybody always asks me where they can find SAND DOLLARS but like all shelling, it’s timing, tides, currents and just being darn lucky. Our friend Mary was lucky at the Sanibel Causeway Beach where she found this SAND DOLLAR. Wow! I had no idea SAND DOLLARS were there. Something surprising every day.
Okay, one more surprise. At dusk last night at the Lighthouse Beach…. we saw a SCREECH OWL! He was in the parking lot right next to the beach path. Can you see him?
Hmmmm. Where’s your sticker or hang tag, dude?
My favorite time to shell is in the warm evenings when the receding low tide seems to expose a mile of undiscovered beach…
Whichever way you walk, you know will be the right way…
When treasures are half buried but you see just enough of a clue to know you’ve found something special…
When there are live creatures trying to camouflage themselves until they can make it back under the sand like this tiny baby SAND DOLLAR…
When the sky glows like a bon fire just before the sun sinks behind the horizon.
There were quite a few shells half buried all along the Lighthouse Beach (like the NUTMEG) but if you walk west on the gulf side this week in the evening you will see oodles of live FIGHTING CONCHS, STARFISH and other amazing creatures… oh and some treasures like the empty LIGHTNING WHELK as well. It’s just a beautiful site to see. I’ve heard that Bowmans Beach and Blind Pass have some great shells right now so if you are around Southwest Florida, you should get out on one of the beaches this afternoon/evening. It’s a site to behold.
And we have a little bit of SHELLEBRATING to do too! The iLoveShelling facebook page now has over 5000 fans! Wahhooo! 5000 shellers who love shelling as much as we do! We are in some exshellent company, my friends. Here’s a little shout out to our 5000th shelling friend, Angela Lucas! Thank you Angela and welcome to the world of iLoveShelling! Here’s Angela and her mermaids!
Since we knew we’d be gone for the entire day, Clark and I packed up a cooler, snacks and a change of clothes to head for Marco Island, Florida for a day trip from Sanibel. Clark’s Rotary Club had an event in south Marco that we wanted to attend (he is still President – so proud of him!) so we figured if we had time on the way home, we’d stop at a beach. We did! We stopped at Tigertail Beach!
This is the very first time we’ve been on this beach so we had to get the lay of the land by looking at the map (above). We decided to wade through the little lagoon to get to the gulf side beach on the other side…
On my way over, I saw Jonathan and Rachel carrying handfuls of SAND DOLLARS…
Wow! They said they found them all along the beach in the surf line…Cool!
So wading through the lagoon and down a sweet beach path we went… to find our first treasures from the Gulf Of Mexico.
All I started seeing was ROSE PETAL TELLINS! I love them!
And double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
We could not find any SAND DOLLARS but that’s okay because we found so many other goodies like these two FLAT SCALLOPS. Clark’s beautiful orange one is on the left, and I found the larger perfect (heehee) purple one on the right. I call them “FLATS” but they are really called ZIGZAG SCALLOPS .
Clark found the prettiest PURPLISH SEMELES!
We both found CANCELLATE SEMELES as well…
I was thrilled with all of the multi colored JINGLE SHELLS and those ROSE PETAL TELLINS!
From Tigertail Beach in Marco, Florida traveling back by car to Sanibel Island it took us about 1 and 1/2 hours by way of interstate 75…
We didn’t even get there until after 4 pm and we stayed about 3 1/2 hours to have a wonderful evening exploring a new beach.
I am so glad we had the time to stop and take our time to walk down to the north end of the spit. It took us an hour and 1/2 each way so I’m so glad we had plenty of water and thank goodness we always have shelling supplies and sunscreen in the car at all times. This was our loot we brought home… and yes, Super Sheller Clark found that gorgeous ALPHABET CONE I put right smack in the middle of our fabulous collection. Thanks Tigertail!
Join us on our next trip tomorrow, Saturday April 12, as we are taking a shelling cruise to explore the island of Cayo Costa! Clark and I will show you where to find the hidden treasures of that beautiful island… CLICK HERE.
You want another reason why i Love Shelling? Seeing a site like this! This Reddish Egret was wading in a tidal pool at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach pacing back and forth stalking his prey. I could have stood there for an hour watching this entertaining canopy dance. Errrr….. wait, I DID stand there for an hour fascinated by his show of chasing minnows.
Even though it distracted me from finding more shells, I didn’t regret one minute of it. To me, that’s what shelling is about…. finding treasures AND drinking in nature and the view along the way. Even the man made views. How cute!
And yes, there were even shells and SAND DOLLARS too!
I found more of those cute little juvie SAND DOLLAR “sand dimes”! I found live ones down on the surf line which I left alone but I also found them high in the high tide wrack line to bring home. Way in the background you can see the Lighthouse so you can see how far I was from the point. It was a hike but worth it.
I found all sort of BEACH BLING semi hidden in the seaweed. I placed the LEOPARD CRAB SHELL on the purple SEA WHIP but I saw the SAND DOLLAR laying exactly like this…
I zig zagged the beach to look on the edge of the tidal pools to find a clump of BUBBLE SHELLS…
When I see lots of BUBBLES hanging out like that, I immediately start looking for WENTLETRAPS!
This is what I found…. Are you ready CYBER SHELLERS? Now after you take a little CYBER SHELLING stoop by clicking on the next photo to enlarge, make sure you scroll down even more on this post because I have another somethin to show you… a video too. Shell on!
Did you find anything? Okay, before we get to the movie, I want to tell you that I’ve gotten quite a few requests to sell my Seashell Identification Cards online. I want to thank everybody for buying them in the local retail stores that are carrying them and would love for you to continue to support them. But for those of you who can’t be here, I’ve added a BUY NOW button so I can send them directly to you. Check it out by CLICKING HERE…
Okay, back to the movie! Now you will be able to see the low tide tidal pools I was walking through and around to see so many amazing sites during the Easter Holiday weekend. There were so many live STARFISH! They are amazing to watch so enjoy the show!
Have you heard? The island of Cayo Costa has the best PANCAKES in the world! But save the butter and maple syrup because this is a PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR, baby.
It looks like a KEYHOLE SAND DOLLAR without the slits, right? Well wait until you see the side view because it really looks like a pancake with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
This is a really big find. Not only is it about 6 inches round but it is a very rare find here! It has one little crack on the top but other than that, it’s unbelievable.
I am so thrilled for Jan who found it on Cayo Costa last month. She said she was wading out at low tide to put a beautiful live horse conch back in the water and looked to her right in about knee deep water to see this beautiful find. I think it was Mother Nature’s way of saying “Thank you”. It was a first for her and honestly, this is the first one that I have seen too so I was thrilled to see it in person. Here’s Jan and her PANCAKE…
I met Jan last year at the Sanibel Shell Fair and as we were talking, Bill Geist and the CBS Sunday Morning Show crew started filming us. It’s a moment we will never forget so we became fast friends. Jan and her husband Bill are volunteers at the Cayo Costa State Park so Clark and I were invited to visit them on Sunday. They greeted us at the dock with a warm smiling welcome…
Just so you get your bearings straight, on Saturday’s iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa, we were on the south tip of the island but on Sunday we were visiting Jan and Bill on the north side of Cayo Costa. Here are the four of us… Bill, Jan, Clark and me.
I’ve only been to this part of the island one other time which I blogged about it HERE. So we felt so lucky to be able to ride in a golf cart because unfortunately the golf carts are private… don’t rent them on the island. It really is a secluded place so that’s what makes visiting here so wonderful.
The first stop was to see their shell collection from the past couple of months. This is where she showed us the PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR but Jan also collects a few of her favorites or odds and ends. Look how big those SHARK’S EYES are.
This is the prettiest CANCELLATE SEMELE !
Look at this rich purple color on the inside…
I love that she likes to find the unusual shells like this damaged “FREAK” SOUTHERN QUAHOG (well that’s what the large white shell with the dent in the middle looks like to me). AND she found three MACULATED BABYS EARS. The brown ones are so hard to find!!!
I could have ohhhed and ahhhed over all of her shells since each one she collected has a little something different about it. But we moved on because they wanted to show us her shell identification board she finished making this month. Wow! It’s beautiful. We got so tickled because she chose just about the same shells to put on her shell board that I chose for my seashell identification card. (It was St Paddy’s day so I had on my green)
We met Resident Ranger Mary on her day off having fun. It was great to meet you Mary and thank you for everything!
On our way to the beach, we passed the small island cemetery with the plots lined with shells.
Then we hit the beautiful beach. This is on the north side of the island so behind Bill and Clark, you can see Boca Grande.
You know we were looking hard for a PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR but no such luck. It was high tide and she said she found it near the camp ground beach. But I was happy because I found a SHARK’S TOOTH…
We had a fantastic day exploring Cayo Costa State Park ! Thank you Jan and Bill for inviting Clark and me to hang out with you on your day off. It will be another special day to remember forever. And congratshellations again on your PANCAKE SAND DOLLAR! Way cool.