Archive for Sanibel Six
The Sanibel Island shellers have been out the last 2 days having great luck with and without their scoops. Kim from St Louis was in knee deep water scooping up treasures with her net this morning at Blind Pass Sanibel…
She found a bag full of trophies! She found The Sanibel Six, COCKLES, SCALLOPS plus a big honkin’ HORSE CONCH! She said it was rolling by her foot when she was in the water.
She was workin’ it!
The shells were piling up at the same spot I showed you last week when the Shellingmen Tribe was out in full force…
I also met Darlene from Pennsylvania but was too shy to have her photo (not sure why- she’s cute as can be) but she definitely wanted to share her loot because she was happy as a clam to find all of these WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES, TULIPS, MUREXES (The Sanibel Six minus the CONE) , SCALLOPS and some cool CORAL.
Okay, I told you this was the same spot on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass as last week where the shells were rolling in… but yesterday I found another shell pile at Blind Pass. This time it was under the bridge on the Sanibel side.
Kim from Cape Coral didn’t need a net or a scoop to sift through this pile on the canal to find some goodies to take home…
She sorted through to find a KINGS CROWN, HORSIES, WHELKS , TURBANS and my latest faves… the amazing colorful SCALLOPS.
And last but not at all least, cutie pies Emily and Brian from Boston were wading in the water to find this live LIGHTNING WHELK…
I write some times about finding an OPERCULUM on the beach so now you can see what it looks like when it’s still useful to this live MOLLUSK. It acts as the door to the opening of the shell so it can protect itself from predators. The black part around the OPERCULUM is the animal going back inside its shell. Cool, huh? So after we looked at this magnificent live creature, Emily and Brian walked it back out to the water to live happily ever after.
That’s what makes shelling so much fun… every day the beaches change and every day you see something different.
How does Donnie keep finding such incredible shells? On August 20 post, I showed yall all of the incredible shells he found right after Hurricane Isaac passed us by…but now this huge HORSE CONCH too? Wow! Debbie Yuhr said it best… “he should be named The Shellinator!” Bahahaha Perfect!
As you can see, The Shellinator had some competition.
Okay, Beeep Beep (the sound of a truck backing up) before I go any further I have to tell y’all what else happened this past week. My iPhone died. Long story short… I lost all of my voice memo notes. You see, when I meet someone on the beach for the first time, I have to take notes on my iPhone because I am terrible at remembering names. I also have a hard time spelling names so it’s become a crutch to just talk into my phone recorder. So all of my notes were lost when I iPhone died and the guys at the Apple store couldn’t recover them all. Aawk-Waaard! So I’m going to show you some photos of people with only nick names. You have no idea how embarrassed I am so… please, please, please comment on this post if you are one of these people to tell me your real name so I can recover from this mess. Okay, now on with the story of the awesome shelling this week.
The Shellinator had some competition… I saw our friend Mary walking down the beach with a huge HORSE CONCH too! She told me that a German guy gave it to her after she commented on how pretty it was. Yes you read that correctly. The German guy just gave it to her because he said it was too stinky to take it on the plane tomorrow back to Germany. Wow! Here is “The German Guy” (heehee) and Mary with his gift to her…
UPDATE: “The German Guy” has a name now! Glad you had a great time in Florida, Andrew (from Bavaria)! And yes, Mary loves that shell!
“Fort Myers Shelling Mom” and her daughter ”I Live In Texas But I Want To Be Back In Florida” were finding shells on the beach, in the water and every where they looked.
Deana and her daughter Valerie (whew, I recovered a few!) found an ALPHABET CONE and their first ANGEL WING.
I saw cutie Shelling Sister Leanne pull this gorgeous dark orange FLORIDA CONE out of the water just a few feet from me.
Shelling Sister Kathy (Oh please tell me I got your name right!) used this strainer to scoop up her goodies.
I love the shell bags! They have a strap for cross shoulder handsfree shelling. These “Strappy Happy Shellers” had plenty of room for all of their treasures.
I saw Shellcrafter Jean collecting minis for her art.
She’s holding two nice DUSKY CONES in her hand but her bucket looks empty….oh no it isn’t. Lots of WENTLEPTRAPS are hiding in that round container inside her cute pink bucket.
Then I visited Blind Pass Captiva again to find our friend Sue (Illinois) with a really cool HORSE CONCH. It’s white with a yellow top!
Then I saw Shelling Sistah Lauren with bags of shells… with her iLoveShelling bag and tee! Adorable!
But Wait! What? One of those bags was filled to the brim with SAND DOLLARS! Yowza! See how grayish they are? They arent completely white but you could tell they all had been dead for a day or so since their “fur” (it’s really their feet which is how they breath) was gone. Score! And she found dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH and everything in between not even to mention a huge chunk of JUNONIA. She said she found them all walking from Bowman’s Beach to Blind Pass. That is quite a hike! She deserves all of these treasures!
As I was about to leave Blind Pass, my friend Diane and her visiting girlfriends (they call themselves “Chicks On The Go”!) Juli, Denise, Marsha, Vicki, Diane and Jackie from St Louis swarmed the beach to instantly find great shells. Let me tell you, these chicks know how to have a good time!
And like most shellers at Blind Pass this week, they found their SANIBEL SIX.
PS- Happy Labor Day… gone shelling.
The full moon low tide yesterday made for a beautiful morning walk at Blind Pass Captiva. But there was so much sand filling in around the jetty on both sides that I wasn’t finding the seashell treasures that usually build up there.
As you can see the beach on the left hand side has filled in again like it did last year in December so I walked along the sand bar towards the bridge….. and finally found treasures.
I was tickled to find this beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK up on the beach…
The minute I finished taking this picture below, the big WHELK caught me eye because it seemed to change position. There was a crab in there! He was tucked in there so deeply I didn’t see anything in there when I picked the shell up. Woops! Back in the water he went to grow big enough to claim his home a little better. So I had to hunt for another WHELK to make my Sanibel Six complete.
Earlier in the week, I walked down the beach in Captiva with my friend Ellen at low tide to find hundreds and hundreds of GULLS and other birds hanging out.
They were having a feast on thousands of tiny fish caught in the tidal pool. It was fascinating being there to see half these birds enjoying an early Thanksgiving and watching the other half probably feeling a little overstuffed wanting just to take a nap. Ellen and I couldn’t figure out what kind of fish they were munching o so I’ll just call them Guppies… I know they aren’t guppies… but enjoy Guppies And Gulls with Ellen and me.
Not many shells were to be found on the beach at Blind Pass Sanibel yesterday evening….but we sure were finding them coming in with the waves.
I ended up finding a very nice sampling of the Sanibel Six ….
We only saw a few other people on the beach to share the gold with so it was a pleasure to hang out and talk with Lynda from Palm City, Florida.
Diana rented a convertible in Orlando to bring her daughter Maddie to her favorite place on earth…. Sanibel to find shells.
Looky what Clark found….. A nice wormie!
I just love finding a double SPINEY JEWELBOX…..
Just because you don’t see a lot of of shells on the beach, doesn’t mean you won’t find a treasure or two. Get your toes in the water and let the waves do their job of bringing the gifts of the sea right to your feet.
PS- Don’t forget to sign up for the Susick Sea Shell Sifter GiveAway if you haven’t entered- CLICK HERE
If the SANIBEL SIX seashells are the favorite achievable shell finds for shellers on Sanibel and Captiva, then the JUNONIA, SCOTCH BONNET and LION’S PAW seashells must be The Elite Three. These shells are the mac daddies of local finds….for us, anyway. Pictured above is Clark’s JUNONIA (found in 2004), my SCOTCH BONNET (January) and Clark’s LION’S PAW ((2006) found on North Captiva. I found a LION’S PAW too but Clark must have hidden it (so competitive! LOL) since I can’t find it….. but it did have a little damage.
That’s why my jaw dropped when I heard that 5 year old Alyssa found both a JUNONIA and a SCOTCH BONNET within the last few months. She and her dad are avid shellers who head to Blind Pass or the lighthouse from Ft Myers every other weekend to hunt for seashell treasure. Congratulations, Alyssa!
Okay, take a look at this photo Donnie (Alyssa’s dad) took last month. You can see they found the SANIBEL SIX, TURBANS, a SAND DOLLAR, ANGEL WINGS, a pretty SCALLOP, JEWEL BOXES , NUTMEGS, a SHARK’s EYE (and the magic marker to judge the size- clever!) and do you see that other shell above the LIGHTNING WHELK? Donnie said it’s a piece of a DEER COWRIE that he found in about the same spot as Mother Earth Marilyn’s DEER COWRIE. Remember that?
Yep! Looks like it to me too! Even a piece is a great find.
The shells above were finds within the last three months. Love those FLAT SCALLOPS and oh, by the way, nice HORSIES!
Another cool thing I have to show you from their collection is an ALPHABET CONE. After seeing the video on my post ABCs Of Alphabet Cones, they checked their CONES and found a shelling “scene”. On the third row down there are three stick figures. From left to right it looks like a sheller walking along with the sun (or moon- haha) shining…. then he/she finds a treasure and does the Sanibel Stoop….. then raises the treasure up to show it off and does the happy dance! So funny!
They found this batch of shells (above) last weekend at the jetty on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. I asked him how he cleans his shells and told me 50/50 bleach to water over night then he puts mineral oil on them to bring back the color and shine them up. They look so good! The next photo shows Alyssa’s JUNONIA and the rest of their loot they found the end of February.
PS- Clark looked through our ALPHABET CONES too after I did that video and he found one for all you New York Yankees fans……
I’m a nosey sheller. I’ve had a habit of peering into the shell bags of Sanibel and Captiva shellers for quite some time. I’m just curious as to what other beach combers are finding, what they pick up and what their favorites are. I, of course, ask them most of the time if I can look at their collection but if a bucket is just sitting there on the sand……well, it’s fair game to look inside it, right? Just to be clear- I just look, I don’t touch any body else’s shells before asking… that’s a no-no.
After many years of looking in shell bags and buckets (including looking at our collections too, of course), I’ve tried to narrow it down to the over all SIX favorite shells that most people collect on Sanibel. Yes, it was hard to narrow it down but I left a little room for interpretation…. like CONCH could be the FIGHTING CONCH or the KINGS CROWN CONCH. MUREX could be APPLE MUREX or LACE MUREX and so on.
This all came about because I stopped at Blind Pass yesterday….
There was a huge shell pile still there. People were filling up buckets and bags with OLIVES, MUREXES, TULIPS, WHELKS and CONCHS. Three people I talked to said the shelling on Wednesday was fantastic (Darn! I had jury duty- ugh) at the very same spot but the only difference was that they were finding CONES.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to join the fun with “shell chatter” (definition: shouting out to anyone around you “Hey! I just found a BANDED TULIP!” or “Whoa! I just found a piece of JUNONIA!) but I wanted to let you know what the shelling was like yesterday afternoon and what people were finding.
They were finding ‘THE SANIBEL SIX”!
I did contemplate adding the NUTMEG and MOON snails but don’t seem to see them as much in bags. Lots of my faves didn’t make it since most people don’t collect them.. ie- WORM SHELL and WENTLETRAP. And it seems most people don’t get as excited about the bivalves either. I’d love to hear what you think the SANIBEL SIX would be.
Okay, you got me, this wasn’t actually Sanibel, it was the Captiva side of Blind Pass but Sanibel is the one known for shells and “Captiva Six” didn’t sound so cute.
To see where lots of the Sanibel Six are found, go to SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page and click on the pictures.