Archive for Sand Dollar
To be by the sea collecting seashells is an amazing hobby/sport/therapy/obsession.
Sharing a shelling experience with a boat load of other people who’ve become friends after collecting shell on the beach together or meeting new friends, we all feel the same way…
It’s abshellutely scrumpshellous!
As soon as the Sight Sea-R Cruises shelling boat landed on Big Hickory Island, we saw that the beach was covered with mini shells.
Ooooh and I was thrilled to see that so many other people love the minis like I do.
Jenny showed me her favorite mini shells…
Jenny (on the right) was with Jenny and John (VA) who showed me the awesome plastic pipe connector contraption John made for his shelling scoop so that he could break it down to put in his luggage. Brilliant!
We didn’t find just mini shells, we found lots of SAND DOLLARS…
Well…. I should say Diane (Sanibel) found lots of SAND DOLLARS and FALSE ANGEL WINGS.
Helen from Indiana found a beautiful assortment of shells. She not only found this SAND DOLLAR she’s holding up but her other favorites were displayed in the first photo up top. Exshellent!
Omigosh and I loved Lolly’s (NJ) arrangement of precious little treasures.
Roger, Charlie, Dawn (WI) and Jan (Iowa) came back with some treasures as well. Jan was happy she found a beautiful big ANGEL WING.
Dawn found all sorts of fab shells like the little DUSKY CONE in the middle.
Charlie faves were TINTED CANTHARUS, ROSE PETAL TELLIN, GAUDY NATICA, FLORIDA CONE, MOSSY ARK, SAND DOLLAR and ….WORMIES (!).
Quite a few other people found GAUDY NATICAS too like Amy from VA.
Here she is (on the left) with the other cutie shellutie Virginia girls Donna, Rene and Susan.
Amy especially wanted to find an ALPHABET CONE … and she found an adorable one. Congrats!
Even though we all found treasures on the beach on our shelling trip, Sealife By Congress gave every single person on our iLoveShelling cruise a $25 gift certificate to their store on Sanibel. So generous!
It’s so much fun to meet people around the world on shelling cruises like this! On our last Sight Sea-R Cruises iLoveShelling shelling adventure, Steve Stephens from Columbus, Ohio was aboard with his family. Steve wrote an extraordinary article for the Columbus Dispatch that explains our day on our shelling trip to Big Hickory… its fantastic! Its so cool, you have to read it – CLICK HERE.
Join us on one of my next iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures- for more dates and more info CLICK HERE
It’s really a shame I’m not a morning person. Everybody assumes since I’m an obsessed sheller that I’m always the first one on the beach every morning. Wrong! I’m a lazy bum in the mornings and I love to sleep in… but there are a few certain occasions I like to see the sunrise. One of those occasions would be a really low morning tide after some nice north winds. That’ll give me a little shove out the door every time.
Every single solitary time I’m on the beach to witness a new day as the sun rises up over a fresh new string of shells with a golden glow… I wish I was a morning person.
It’s the time to see live healthy creatures.
I didn’t even have to touch this SAND DOLLAR to know it was alive. I could see cilia (or what I call “fur”) lining the outside of its body as well as each of the key hole slits. So beautiful!
This live LIGHTNING WHELK had already done an excellent job of digging itself back into the wet sand to wait for the tide to soon cover him back up completely so I left him alone as well.
My sunrise morning trip to Gulfside City Park Beach to see the beautiful colors of dawn, feel the calmness and to pick up a few treasures was well worth hearing that alarm clock ringing in the dark. But when I think about it, every single time I’m on the beach whether its dawn, mid morning, noon, afternoon, early evening or at dusk… I find something that makes me happy.
A few minutes before I headed home, I admired my loot and realized that I didn’t need to take everything I picked up. So if my biggest decision of the day was to choose which shells made it home with me… life is good today.
Come with me on a shelling trip! CLICK HERE
As we celebrate new days watching the sun rise over the horizon at low tide in the new year on Sanibel…
We also shellebrate the gifts of the sea…
We also celebrate the gift of witnessing living creatures exposing themselves for just a short time as the water recedes.
With most animals, we are easily able to see if they are alive, healthy and breathing but with creatures of the sea that have washed ashore, it’s a little bit more difficult. We (shellers) take the time to to look for signs of life with respect. As soon as I saw this shell was occupied by noticing the body and OPERCULUM of the “snail” still intact, I gently placed it back in the water covered with sand making sure the opening faced down into to sand.
Even for some shellers, it’s hard to tell if a SAND DOLLAR is dead or alive so the best thing to do first is… slow down. Take a few minutes to look for any cilia which looks like fur or looks a little fuzzy in the edges. Any time a SAND DOLLAR is this color, assume that it is still alive… gently place it back in the water.
If a STARFISH is any where near the water or if the sand is still damp where you found it, always assume it is still alive too and let it be.
Shellers are very fortunate to have seen the miracles of Mother Nature as we comb the shorelines to discover the magic of the sea. We learn new lessons every day we walk the water’s edge. For most beach combers, we know the signs of life in sea creatures but inexperienced visitors may be overwhelmed with the beauty that surrounds them and not know to take the time to look for signs of life. Since I grew up on the water, I always assumed other folks knew shells, SAND DOLLARS and STARFISH live their lives close to shore but now I’ve learned that most people don’t know much about life in the ocean or gulf. First time visitors to the beach may have heard how amazing shell collecting is and unintentionally collect a live animal without knowing it. It’s an amazing experience to see the compassion on a new sheller’s face after learning they have collected a live animal then race it to the water where they found it to save its life. Most just don’t know… and are thankful to learn and appreciate the living ocean even more.
There have been so many live critters exposed during the morning’s low tide the last few days so with many newbies on the beaches, I’m sure I’ll get to see the amazement on someone’s face that just learned for the first time that shells, sand dollars and starfish are living beings and are still actually alive.
Come with me on a shelling trip! For upcoming dates … CLICK HERE