Archive for Sand Dollar
I can find seashells everywhere on Sanibel… even at the Sanibel Farmers Market! Seriously, all of these veggies were made by Barbara Walling using different seashells. Dont you remember Barb? I filmed her making other shell art creations a few years back and she is still creating such fun shell crafts. Aren’t these the cutest veggies you’ve ever seen?
If you want to see this in person, you only have a few more weeks since this market is open seasonally from November through April where Betsy, Jean and Sherrill proudly display it at their booth.
You can even find seashell soaps at the market…
Honestly, I’m not much of a cook but when I have guests over, its fun to buy local fresh food and mingle with the island peeps like shellers Mary and Jim that I met on one of the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa.
But anyhoooo…back to the shelling on the beach. Here is a sampling of shell treasures I found at Gulfside City Park one morning this weekend.
Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.
Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.
Then Molly asked me what this unusual bivalve was. It’s a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. They are so fragile, it’s hard to find one that is not broken- so good finds!
I always say that there are enough shells on the beach for everyone because different people like to collect different shells. Sydney and Lori tom Indiana were trying to find broken shells and shells with holes in them.
They like to find the shells that already have holes in them so they can make jewelry. I love that they were getting so creative! I had to chime in too and told them that I like to collect the OLIVE shells without tips to make bracelets (for my tutorial CLICK HERE) and also explained how to make a seashell mobile too with broken shells. There are so many fun ways to decorate with shells!
PS- I got all my fresh ingredients at the Sanibel Farmers Market to make dinner because it was my turn to host for my book club (we’ve been together for 12 years!). I used some ideas from Pinterest and it was a fun, successful night with my girlfriends. If you like to read, this is my favorite book I’ve ever chosen that every sheller or treasure hunter would enjoy…
These shells are just a few of many beautiful gifts from the sea I could have easily plucked off the beach and popped in my beach bucket.
I have oodles of shells already in my house (and my yard, garage, porch, walkways, car, and of course the “shellaboratory) so I had to use restraint. But OMG, look at what washed up on south Fort Myers Beach! I showed this photo in my post but it was a little blurry so I’m trying again so you can see in just a tiny area, what kinds of shells and Beach Bling washed up together. Caryl Renz asked what was in this photo that looked like thousands of tusk shells …. here’s the answer- that’s MANATEE GRASS. When the little tubes of MANATEE GRASS get washed on shore they don’t look like your regular SEA WEED, to me it looks like parmesan cheese sprinkled over a seafood stew on the beach. But I now realize after reading Caryl’s comment, they do look like tusk shells too. Look at all the interesting things in this photo! (I hope this CYBERSHELLING shot a little more clear this time?)
Did you find these FLORIDA CONES while you were CYBERSHELLING?
I continued to walk south on the beach to see swarms of people in one area. Oooohhhh! I’ve gotta pick up the pace and find out what they are finding!
An o-ver-whelming amount of shells and bling washed up for about a mile!
My head was spinning! Everywhere I looked, I saw seashells, CRAB SHELLS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and MANATEE GRASS.
So many people were finding sweet little TRUE TULIPS like this one I saw in a cup on the beach.
There were shell lines at the shore line….
But then higher on the beach the wrack line was as wide as … well there really was no “line” …it covered the whole beach! I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!
I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!
Now you see why I had to use restraint to only pick up a few of my faves. I rinsed my treasures off then sorted them out under a cute little tiki hut where my friends are at Pointe Estero Beach Resort. It truly is paradise! Check it out… http://www.pointeestero.com
I was so tickled to find such spiny and colorful SPINY JEWELBOXES, 2 WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, NUTMEGS, GAUDY NATICAS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ANGEL WINGS, tiny TRUE TULIPS, WORMIES, 2 double PURPLISH TAGELUS, SHARKS EYES, and of course, WHELKS, OLIVES, CONCHS, BANDBED TULIPS and my 2 FLORIDA CONES. That’s the SANIBEL SIX double time! i Love Shelling!
Sunny blue skies, aqua water and warm breezes have filled our beach days in Southwest Florida this week- it’s been absolutely gorgeous!
But last week, we had some dark skies, rain and a cool (60s) weather front from the west move through to bring some unusual shells. Susan from Wisconsin found what looked to be an AMERICAN STAR-SHELL at Lighthouse Beach. That is a common shell in Caribbean waters but not often on Sanibel or Captiva. UPDATE: MurexKen notified me that this is most likely a MACULATED TOP SHELL which is from IndoPacific region…. NOT an AMERICAN STAR-SHELL. Oops!
Check out my post from our Road Trip To The Florida Keys to see our AMERICAN STAR-SHELLS we found there to compare this…
Then compare it to the MACULATED TOP SHELL at http://www.gastropods.com/4/Shell_244.shtml . Yes, he’s absolutely right- it’s not a shell that is found in our area… it’s what I call a “Wedding Shell”. Folks who decorate for weddings and parties on our beaches buy bags of shells (which originate in the Philippines or other IndoPacific areas) then spread them on the beach for decoration. Then they get washed out by the tide or thrown in and the shell gets washed up again to have a collector like Susan pick it up. I will do a post on these “Wedding Shells” very soon- I promise since this happens way too often. Thank you MurexKen for pointing it out to me!
Okay- lets get back to the beach….
I saw the Shellucky Luckett Ladies again at the beach last week too when that cold front came through. Cuties!
Martha (far right in the Shellucky Luckett Ladies photo) found this amazing LIONS PAW! Shellzam! See? Thats why they are called “Shellucky”!
When the sun came out and the weather warmed up, I headed to Captiva to do my favorite type of beach combing and experience the art of shelling…. SMELL the salt in the air, FEEL the sand between your toes, LISTEN to Beach Sounds by Mother Nature, LOOK at the seascapes and seashells, and RELAX.
On my journey, I saw this…
Such a gift. Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP!
But even better, I found a STRAWBERRY COCKLE! I know it doesn’t look like much and these are more common in the Caribbean as well, but they just aren’t common here so it’s always a happy day to find one (I think this makes only 4 in our collection from Sanibel or Captiva.
This is exactly how I found this sweet SAND DOLLAR.
I love calm days after a “storm” of busy days to slow stroll along the beach to see it lined with shellions of treasures like KITTENS PAWS, DARK CERITHS, CHESTNUT TURBANS, PAINTED EGG COCKLES and LADY-IN-WAITING CLAMS like these.
When the weather on Sanibel and Captiva is in the high 70s and low 80s during the winter months like now, it’s hard not to be outside every minute of the day… so the world slips away. This weekend, Clark and I took a few walks on the beach at Gulfside City Park to find beautiful shells like the ones in my hand. Clark was scooping just at the waters edge with his big metal shelling backhoe to pull up the LACE MUREX (Lacie!) and that very cool HORSE CONCH. We both found more MUREXES, CONCHS and WHELKS but gave them to some nice folks on the beach. And then the fog started rolling in…then out…. then in again. It was wild!
I found some beauties on the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort last week too.
Although you can only get to this beach if you are staying at South Seas Resort (or its a very long walk from Alison Hagerup Parking lot in Captiva)… if you are there, look for a nice shelly area near Sunset Beach…
It’s always a treat to find a SAND DOLLAR wash up at your feet.
I found a sweet baby SUNRAY VENUS right near the SAND DOLLAR.
And right next to the SUNRAY VENUS was this pretty little SPECKLED TELLIN. Weehoo!
After so much sand was pumped onto the beaches of Captiva a couple of months ago, some of it is already being claimed back by King Neptune. You can see two different erosion lines…
I could see shells stuck in the side of the erosion ledge so I started pulling a few out. Can you see that AUGER packed into the side?
I also pulled this bad boy out of the “cliff”. A FLAT SCALLOP. Voila!
Sending you warm sandy beach wishes of blue skies and cybershells…
Oh, how I love to hang out with so many cool shellers on our shelling trips with Captiva Cruises boating to the island of Cayo Costa!
Then to be welcomed by our favorite treasures… sea shells!
Or maybe I should say “Whelkcomed” by sea shells. Andy from England found an absolutely gorgeous WHELK at the waters edge just as he rounded the south tip of the island … probably only 10 minutes after we landed the boat. Shellzam! His wife Gill was more interested in finding the minis…
She was thrilled to find two WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, a FALSE ANGEL WING and filled her mini bag with other sweet miniature shells. After I took this picture, she told me she found another WHITE CRESTED TELLIN as well.
Besides seeing everybody get excited about finding really fun shells on the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa, the treasures that I take home with me are the memories of the people I get to meet. If you’ve ever read any of the comments on my posts here on my blog, you will probably recognize the name Pat Bradley. She was on this trip with us with her husband Arthur. Thank you Shelling Sistah Pat for joining us- it was such a treat to meet you in person…and thank you so much for so many wonderful comments!
AND…. Two other gals you might recognize from the comment section. Shelling Sistahs Diane From Tucson and Charlotte From Tucson joined us. Doesn’t “Shellotte” ring a bell? LOL They are both showing off their Olive Shell String Bracelets they made from my video…but actually Shellotte decided to use a SLIPPER SHELL instead since it had the perfect holes in it. I love these girls! Thank you for coming and being such a part of iLoveShelling.
Carrie from Wisconsin told me that she really wanted to find a SAND DOLLAR so I told her the area they have been found before. An hour later she had a smile from ear to ear when she came up to me to show me that she found one perfect SAND DOLLAR. After she told me that her grandparents used to love to collect SAND DOLLARS and show them to her when she was young, I understood completely why it made her so happy to find just one. Glad you found the perfect SAND DOLLAR Carrie!
Another lucky sheller, found this one…
I think most shellers have some connection to the beach and collecting shells through our memories. For each of us there is a different shell that has deep meaning or fills a special place in our hearts. Suzi from England showed me that she found a broken ANGEL WING but really wished that she had found a whole one. I started walking back to the boat with her and Brendan (from Ireland) as we both looked down and… you guessed it… a perfect ANGEL WING was laying right in our path. Seriously, there was nobody in front of us that could have placed it there. We both looked at each other in amazement then broke out laughing.
I know Krisitin (Kansas) was just as amazed when she scooped up this ALPHABET CONE that rolled up in the surf. Nice!
It was a BABY’S EAR kind of day too. I spotted a few BABYS EARS along one of the shell lines so I showed some folks what to look for…
They started to find them on their own. Mary (Wisconsin) found this nice sized one.
Donna (Oklahoma) found a nice one…
Sue from Fort Myers found one too and was very prepared to keep it safe.
She brought a nice little container with a lid to keep her breakables safe. She said she found them 10 for a dollar at the local dollar store. Aha! Pretty cheap investment to keep your shells from breaking and organized.
Margaret from Indiana found a variety of shells but the double SUNRAY VENUS clams were her favorite along with a FIGHTING CONCH with a gorgeous coloration.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Nancy (CA) again. We spent 4 awesome days shelling and hanging out together at Shellabaloo 3 last August so I was excited to see her back again while she was visiting her friend Terry from Fort Myers. Thank you for joining us Nancy and Terry- it was so much fun!
Super Sheller Clark joined us too! It’s always so much fun to have Clark with us since he gives a whole different view point of shelling in the water. He gave tips for using the shelling net and “backhoe” and kept us entertained with his stories.
The morning fog quickly burned off after the sun appeared but it made for a beautiful boat ride on the way to the island.
We were lucky to have passed by dozens of DOLPHINS ….
As always, our shelling adventure turned into a beautiful day with beautiful friends.
With lots of shells to comb through…
and lots of sweet sea shells to treasure forever.
Since most people that were looking for BABYS EARS on this trip found them, I thought you might like to look for one too. I always tell everybody to be patient and look through some of the seaweed lines for treasure too. It may not be the prettiest area on the beach but to me its one of the most interesting areas. You just never know what you might find. So get your CYBERSHELLING eyes on and click on the next photo to find a little treasure among the “weeds”. Enjoy!
Join us on another upcoming Shelling Adventure … CLICK HERE for dates and information.
PS- We just added June 6, 2014 (yay!) to our iLS cruises and I’ll try to add more soon.
Every time I’ve visited my friends at Point Estero Resort on Fort Myers Beach, I’ve found SAND DOLLARS (and so many other beautiful shells). It’s crazy!
I met Laura, Bruce, Rhonda and Darrell (Michigan) who were happy as clams they found so many SAND DOLLARS …
They filled up 2 bags! They asked me how they could get them home without breaking them so I suggested finding plastic containers. When we travel, we buy groceries based on what type of containers they come in… like chicken salad, lunch meat, peanut butter, etc. So what if we don’t finish the peanut butter, we get several lunches out of it and then clean out the jar and use it for shells. CLICK HERE to see one of my posts on my containers.
Susan and Vince from Canada said they could have picked up hundreds of them but chose to only take a few as souvenirs.
They picked the most perfect ones!
Other than SAND DOLLARS, I found some really pretty SPINY JEWELBOXES…
I betcha a SAND DOLLAR the next time I take a stroll on this beach, I will find a POINTED VENUS and be just as tickled as if I found a dollar bill on the beach.
Dont Forget to check out our new dates for Shellabaloo 5!