Archive for Sand Dollar

Apr
07

Shelling at Sanibel Farmers Market

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seashells at Sanibel farmers market

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?

Sanibel farmers market vegetables made from seashells

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.

Sanibel Farmers Market with owners Betsy Jean Sherrill

You can even find seashell soaps at the market…

sanibel soap in the shape of seashells

seashell shaped soap

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.

shellers mary and jim from wisconsin sanibel farmers market

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.

shells from Sanibel's gulf side city park

Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.

nora mac dan molly illinois find sand dollars on sanibel

Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.

sand dollar under seaweed at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel

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!

Sanibel smooth duck clam and sand dollars

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.

sydney, lori from Indiana finding seashells for making shell crafts

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!

seashells with holes for crafts

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…

assortment of shells collected while beach combing swfl

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.

beachcombing on fort myers beach

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?)

manatee grass with seashells

Did you find these FLORIDA CONES while you were CYBERSHELLING?

florida cones found on Fort Myers Beach

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!

crowd of shellers on fort myers beach

An o-ver-whelming amount of shells and bling washed up for about a mile!

collecting sea shells after a storm

My head was spinning! Everywhere I looked, I saw seashells, CRAB SHELLS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and MANATEE GRASS.

cybershelling ft myers beach for seashells

So many people were finding sweet little TRUE TULIPS like this one I saw in a cup on the beach.

seashells in a cup

There were shell lines at the shore line….

shellers stooping for shells in sw florida

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!

gobs of shells o ft myers beach pointe estero resort

I usually find very cool shells on this beach but the shelling was ridiculous this week!

horse conch fort myers beach

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

Pointe Estero beach resort tiki hut with shells

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!

shells collected on south Fort Myers Beach Florida

Mar
12

Smell The Salt In The Sanibel Captiva Air

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The beach will color your world

Sunny blue skies, aqua water and warm breezes have filled our beach days in Southwest Florida this week- it’s been absolutely gorgeous!

seashells on the beach- Captiva Island Florida

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!

susan from wisconson found an american star shell sanibel

Check out my post from our Road Trip To The Florida Keys to see our AMERICAN STAR-SHELLS we found there to compare this…

American star-shell found on sanibel island

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!

susan found an american star shell on Sanibel island

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!

shellucky luckett ladies shelling sanibel

Martha (far right in the Shellucky Luckett Ladies photo) found this amazing LIONS PAW! Shellzam! See? Thats why they are called “Shellucky”!

martha's lions paw

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.

beachcombing Captiva Florida

On my journey, I saw this…

zig zag flat scallop cybershelling

Such a gift. Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP!

beautiful flat scallop Captiva Florida

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.

strawberry cockle found on Captiva Island Florida

This is exactly how I found this sweet SAND DOLLAR.

sand dollar cybershelling

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.

collecting seashells on Captiva Island florida

shelling adventures trips by pam

Feb
23

Warm Sandy Beach Wishes

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variety of seashells on Sanibel Island Florida

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! 

foggy day on sanibel

I found some beauties on the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort last week too.

shells on the beach at South Seas Island Resort Captiva

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

seashells wash in south seas resort captiva florida

It’s always a treat to find a SAND DOLLAR wash up at your feet.

sand dollar in sand captiva

I found a sweet baby SUNRAY VENUS right near the SAND DOLLAR.

sunray venus  clam south seas resort shell

And right next to the SUNRAY VENUS was this pretty little SPECKLED TELLIN. Weehoo!

speckled tellin captiva south seas resort

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…

beach erosion south seas plantation

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?

sea shells packed in sand from erosion

I also pulled this bad boy out of the “cliff”. A FLAT SCALLOP. Voila!

flat scallop south seas resort captiva

seashells and sea foam on Sanibel island

Sending you warm sandy beach wishes of blue skies and cybershells…

 beach art smiley face with seaweed hair

Feb
03

Whelkcome to Cayo Costa Shells!

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whelk on cayo costa beach

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!

iLoveShelling captiva cruise to Cayo costa

Then to be welcomed by our favorite treasures… sea shells!

seashells line the beach at cayo costa i love shelling

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…

andy england jill whelk and 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.

white crested telling false angel wing bag of minis

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!

pat arthur  iLoveshelling cruise

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.

shelling sistahs diane shellotte tucson

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!

carrie wisconsin sand dollar cayo costa

Another lucky sheller, found this one…

sand dollar and sea shells cayo

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.

suzi england brendan ireland come every year

I know Krisitin (Kansas) was just as amazed when she scooped up this ALPHABET CONE that rolled up in the surf. Nice!

kristin kansas alphabet cayo

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…

babys ear shell found cayo costa island florida

They started to find them on their own. Mary (Wisconsin) found this nice sized one.

mary wisconsin baby ear cayo

Donna (Oklahoma) found a nice one…

donna oklahoma finding shells cayo costa florida

Sue from Fort Myers found one too and was very prepared to keep it safe.

sue ft myers small container for shells

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.

baby ear shell in small container from dollar store

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.

margaret indiana sunray venus conch cayo costa

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!

nancy S2 terry ft myers iloveshelling cruise

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.

clark shells cayo costa captiva cruise

The morning fog quickly burned off after the sun appeared but it made for a beautiful boat ride on the way to the island.

foggy sailboat captiva florida

We were lucky to have passed by dozens of DOLPHINS ….

dolphin in calm bay captiva

As always, our shelling adventure turned into a beautiful day with beautiful friends.

beach combing cayo costa with i Love Shelling

With lots of shells to comb through…

cayo costa shells line the beach

and lots of sweet sea shells to treasure forever.

sweet little sea shells

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!

babys ear hiding in the seaweed line

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.

shelling adventures trips by pam

find sand dollars on fort myers beach florida

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!

sand dollars conchs sunray venus spiny jewlbox

I met Laura, Bruce, Rhonda and Darrell (Michigan) who were happy as clams they found so many SAND DOLLARS …

laura bruce rhonda darrell michigan shelling ft myers beach florida

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.

bags of sand dollars fort myers beach florida

Susan and Vince from Canada said they could have picked up hundreds of them but chose to only take a few as souvenirs.

susan vince waterloo canada visit fort myers beach florida shelling

They picked the most perfect ones!

hand full of sand dollars ft myers beach

Other than SAND DOLLARS, I found some really pretty SPINY JEWELBOXES…

spiny jewel boxes fort myers beach

And POINTED VENUS shells too. I don’t find many of these on Sanibel but every time I go to beautiful  Point Estero, I’ve found them.

pointed venus clams fort myers beach florida

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.

birds on piling fort myers beach florida

Dont Forget to check out our new dates for Shellabaloo 5!

shellabaloo 5

pam rambo art gallery iloveshelling