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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Whelkome To Paradise

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Lighthouse, Lightning Whelk, Sand Dollar, Sanibel, Whelk | 8 comments

Whelkome lightning whelk

Life on a tropical island is magical. Our skies change from blue to pink to orange to grey any given moment bringing rain showers to cool off from the heat of the day which produce rainbows and picturesque reflections.

Reflecting on the power of the dollar-  a sand dollar
On my beach walk at low tide just before yet another stunning sunset, I found a few treasures on the gulf side near Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach.

Beachcomber small shells and sand dollars

Milt and Jenna from New York found about the same sweet little minis I found walking toward the lighthouse.

Shellers Milt Jenna from New York visit Sanibel Floridav
After making a turn around the tip of the island heading towards the fishing pier, we saw lots and lots of people.

Sanibel Lighthouse beach with shellers

If you were lucky like Bryce from Kansas, you could find TULIPS and WHELKS half buried around those old concrete slabs. (For the history of those slabs CLICK HERE)

Collecting shells around rocks

Hmmm…. I don’t think Bryce was the only lucky one. I’m sure everybody who sees beauty like this feels very lucky.

Sanibel catamaran at sunset with a shell

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For me information and dates CLICK HERE

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Sand Dimes By The Dozen

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Live Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar, Sanibel | 13 comments

Tiny baby sand dollars found on Sanibel

The teeny tiny SAND DIMES are back at Gulfside City Park!

finger tip sand dollar

Yahoo! There’s gold in them that SEAWEED hills. I found these sweet little white SAND DOLLARS high on the dry beach mixed in with the wrack line dry SEA WEEDS…. so far from the water. Dollar days are back.

beach treasure sand dollar in sea weed

I just followed the wrack line to find the money trail.

Dry white sand dollar dimes in high tide wrack

I walked down to the water’s edge to find hundreds of live SAND DOLLARS washed up in the low tide.

Baby live sand dollar dimes in the sand

As the tide turned and the water started covering them up, all of the live ones all along the tidal line dug themselves back into the sand where they will hopefully grow into adult SAND DOLLARS.

Tiny live baby sand dollar Sanibel

Mother Nature had other plans for this fist full of dollars. She was giving out SAND DIMES by the dozen in the high dry wrack.

small dried sand dollar dimes

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Beautiful Life On The Beach Video

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Baby's Ear, Birds, Conch, Fighting Conch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, live baby ear, Live Sand Dollar, Live Shark's eye, Sand Dollar, Shark's Eye, Starfish | 33 comments

bird in the yellow sunset

You wanted a video? Is that what I heard earlier this week after I posted photos of lots of living sea creatures in the low tidal pools? If so….  I’m delivering! I captured some footage of the awesome SHARKS EYE, STARFISH, SAND DOLLAR, FIGHTING CONCHS, BABYS EAR and an incredible LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. Wherever in the world you might be, sit back and enjoy the beautiful life on the Sanibel beaches.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/uhqv8NTu3nw[/youtube]

 

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How To Identify Differences Between Live and Dead Sand Dollars

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar Video, Video | 8 comments

keyhole sand dollar mellita isometra

It’s thrilling to see a live SAND DOLLAR at low tide half buried in the sand and water, isn’t it?

cilia showing on a live sand dollar

It’s also thrilling to see bleached out SAND DOLLARS washing in with the tide as well, right?

sandy sand dollar CLW beach

But how do you know if a SAND DOLLAR is alive or not when it is isn’t bright white?

sand dollars in the surf ft myers beach

If a SAND DOLLAR is dark in color and half buried in the sand and/or water, it is most likely still alive and we should let it stay in its place in the water.

Little Hickory Live Sand Dollar

There have been times I have posted photos of SAND DOLLARS in my bucket that were grey in color. This has been a concern to folks who were worried about whether or not I collected live SAND DOLLARS. First of all, I would never collect a live SAND DOLLAR. But I completely understand the concerns from anyone who wants to make sure nobody takes a living creature out of its habitat – especially just to take it home for a souvenir.

sand dollars and shells in a blue bucket

So here’s the way to tell if it’s alive or not… Look for the CILIA and velvety skin. These are the things that keep the animal alive and on these SAND DOLLARS… they are missing so they are not alive any more. These are now just the TESTS of the animal… like the shell (although its not technically a shell).

dead sand dollars without cilia

Do you see how the edge and surface of this SAND DOLLAR looks like it has fur?

sand dollar cilia

SAND DOLLARS have short SPINES covered in CILIA (tiny hairs) so it can move along the sand and grasses. Along with those “hairs” are TUBE FEET (which look like “fur” to me too – heehee) which is actually how the SAND DOLLAR breathes.

live sand dollar with cilia and tube feet

I bet now, you can look at this next photo and see that all of these baby SAND DOLLARS in Clark’s hand are alive. After I snapped this photo, he put them back in the water.

live sand dollars sanibel Clypeasteroida

You can see it here too, right? These need to go back into the water where they belong.

baby sand dollar

So now take a look at this next photo…. is this still alive? No. Even though this SAND DOLLAR is still gray in color, there’s no possible way it could be alive since there are no SPINES nor CILIA nor TUBE FEET. It has no way to breathe or move without those things.

sand dollar without cilia

Julianna shows us that the SAND DOLLAR to the left of the photo is still alive and the other one on the right side of the photo has no “fur” whatsoever. She is a good steward of the earth so she put the live one safely back in the water and she gave the other “hairless” one to her mom for safekeeping.

how to tell if a sand dollar is alive

Most days you will see sun bleached SAND DOLLARS just like this…. Hairless! Furless! Completely “Bald”! haha

sun bleached sand dollar without cilia

So next time you see a SAND DOLLAR while walking the beach, remember to leave it alone if it’s dark and hairy but if you are unsure if it’s alive… take your time to inspect this amazing creature before you assume it’s a “keeper”. Look for any signs of hairs, fur or velvety skin.

Sand dollar sanibel

Now you can bet your bottom DOLLAR you’ll know when to leave those sweet living SAND DOLLARS alone…

low tide sanibel sand dollars

and when you can jump for joy when you find that keeper almighty DOLLAR.

sand dollar on a Sanibel beach

Oh, and I took a short video of a cutie little juvie LIVE SAND DOLLAR to show you how they move those little hairs around. I hope this helps![youtube]https://youtu.be/enozi-3lWZg[/youtube]

PS- Most of these photos are from articles I’ve published in the past, just click on each photo to be linked to those posts.

pam rambo shelling trips

 

 

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Flip Flop Between Sand Dollars and Angel Wings

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Angel Wing, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Beach, Bonita Out Islands, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, False Angel Wing, Sand Dollar, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 11 comments

flip flops and seashells

I always flip flop when I try to decide which I like better… SAND DOLLARS or ANGEL WING shells.

sand dollars and angel wing shells

Some of the lucky shellers on our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises found both!

iLoveShelling Shelling trip on Sight Sea R Cruises

They were mixed in with WORM SHELLS and double SUNRAY VENUS shells too.

seashells found on big hickory island, florida on sight sea-r cruise

Loved hanging out with Shannon and Mark from Minnesota. The were happy to find their first ANGEL WINGS…

Shannon Mark MN on Big Hickory Island Florida beach

Lookie at these cutie shellooties Ellen, Paige, Melissa and Gail from Oregon all dressed up in their iLS gear. Love these shelling sisters!

Ellen, Melissa, Paige and Gail OR beach comb Florida

It so much fun to see so many familiar faces like cutie Mary. She was finding lots of perfectly dried HORSESHOE CRABS and WORM SHELLS.

Mary finds horseshoe crabs

Awwww and Michelle had her FLAT SCALLOP necklace on again to bring back lots of fun memories. She brought her sister Patti this time too so it was so much fun to hear their shelling stories together.

Patti Michelle shelling on Big Hickory Island

Michelle found a nice ALPHABET CONE to go along with her ANGEL WINGS and other BEACH BLING.

beach find faves for the day

I met another set of sisters Lyn and Lucy from Iowa at my Shellography Photography opening earlier in the week so it was so good to see them again.

lyn lucy iowa on shelling cruise

Lyn loves the minis too so these were her faves. This was the first time that I’ve seen anybody find a MORTON’S EGG COCKLE (bottom left of the ROSE PETAL TELLIN) on Big Hickory Island. Hmmmmm…. I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m there!

mortons egg cockle, rose petal tellins, dusky cone, worm shells

Gary and Pam (Hi Pam!) found their first ANGEL WINGS too.

Pam and Gary find angel wings on Big Hickory Island

Along with Kathy and Bob from Mayaka, Florida…

kathy bob from mayaka, florida find angel wing shells

Who’s cute flip flops were those in the first photo? They were Linda’s! She and Jay from Cape Coral found those SAND DOLLARS, ANGEL WINGS and that big LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line.

Linda Jay Cape Coral found sand dollars angel wings

Since Linda was afraid she was going to break her SAND DOLLAR before she got back on the boat, she saw Sight Sea-R’s Captain Phil combing the beach and checking the water conditions. He offered to “baby sit” her SAND DOLLAR to get it back to the boat in one piece. So nice! I guess he was her Shell Bank- a place to keep her DOLLARS safe.

Salty Sam's Captain Phil finds shells beach combing

My friend Robin Draper from Authentic Florida was on our cruise too along with her husband Mike. Woohoo! We might be seeing an article about this shelling adventure soon- if we do, I’ll post it here when she sends a link.

Robin Draper and Mike beach combing on shelling cruise

As on every iLoveShelling cruise, each passenger received an awesome $25 gift certificate from my fave jewelry store on Sanibel… Sealife By Congress (inside Congress Jewelers). They are fabshellous to the shelling community!

Congress gift certificate

It was such a fun day meeting so many incredishell shellers and hanging with so many familiar faces. I’m over the MOON SHELL.

gaudy nautica on southwest florida beach

 

Join us on an iLoveShelling Adventure… CLICK HERE

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Meeting Friends and Collecting Seashells

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Angel Wing, Big Hickory Island, Bonita Out Islands, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fallen Angel Wing, False Angel Wing, Sand Dollar, Sight Sea-R Cruises Shelling Boat | 12 comments

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

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