Archive for Sand Dollar

Feb
05

Meeting Friends and Collecting Seashells

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Seashells found from Bonita Springs Florida

To be by the sea collecting seashells is an amazing hobby/sport/therapy/obsession.

collecting sea shells on the beach

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…

iLoveShelling boat of shelling enthusiasts

It’s abshellutely scrumpshellous!

shellers on a shelling boat

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.

Collecting seashells on Bonita Springs Florida island

Ooooh and I was thrilled to see that so many other people love the minis like I do.

small sand dollar limpet, drill, purplish tagelus sun ray venus angel wing

Jenny  showed me her favorite mini shells…

miniature shell hand collection

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!
jenny john janie newport news with shelling scoop

We didn’t find just mini shells, we found lots of SAND DOLLARS…

Sandy sand dollars found Bonita Springs Florida

Well…. I should say Diane (Sanibel) found lots of SAND DOLLARS and FALSE ANGEL WINGS.

Diane finds sand dollars with iloveshelling gear

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!

Helen from Indiana finds sand dollars in Bonita Springs Florida

Omigosh and I loved Lolly’s (NJ) arrangement of precious little treasures.

lolly nj holding seashell treasure

Roger, Charlie, Dawn (WI) and Jan (Iowa) came back with some treasures as well. Jan was happy she found a beautiful big ANGEL WING.

Roger, Charlie, Dawn Jan find seashells in Florida

Dawn found all sorts of fab shells like the little DUSKY CONE in the middle.

variety of mini seashells found with Pam Rambo shelling trip

Charlie faves were TINTED CANTHARUS, ROSE PETAL TELLIN, GAUDY NATICA, FLORIDA CONE, MOSSY ARK, SAND DOLLAR and ….WORMIES (!).

a few fave shells found in swfl

Quite a few other people found GAUDY NATICAS too like Amy from VA.

amy collecting gaudy antic moon snail

Here she is (on the left) with the other cutie shellutie Virginia girls Donna, Rene and Susan.

Amy Donna Rene Susan from VA shelling trip with iLS

Amy especially wanted to find an ALPHABET CONE … and she found an adorable one. Congrats!

Amy's shells gaudy natica, cone, rose petal tellin

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!

SLBC iLSPromo

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

Pam Rambo iLoveShelling article COLUMBUS dispatch

Join us on one of my next iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures- for more dates and more info CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

Jan
19

Life Is Good With A Sanibel Sunrise

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closeup shells on the beach

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.

sunrise over sanibel shells

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.

sanibel shoreline at dawn

It’s the time to see live healthy creatures.

live sand dollar in crushed shell

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!

cilia showing on a live sand dollar

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.

live lightning whelk digging in the sand

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.

Seashells by the Sanibel seashore

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.

Collecting seashells at Gulfside City Park beach Sanibel

Come with me on a shelling trip! CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

Jan
05

Sanibel’s Captivating Live Sea Creatures

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lightning whelk in surf

As we celebrate new days watching the sun rise over the horizon at low tide in the new year on Sanibel…

Sanibel sunrise

We also shellebrate the gifts of the sea…

seashell and waves at blue dawn

We also celebrate the gift of witnessing living creatures exposing themselves for just a short time as the water recedes.

live lightning whelk at sunrise

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.

live lightning whelk in sand and sea foam

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.

Live sand dollar bottom

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.

starfish in the sand with shells

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.

father and daughter on the beach at sunrise

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.

live fighting conch sw florida

Come with me on a shelling trip! For upcoming dates … CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips