Archive for Sanibel
Sunshine, seashells and friendships were beaming at Gulfisde City park beach this weekend.
I had a blast with my high school girl friends Miyuki and Laura who came to visit Sanibel this weekend with Laura’s daughter Ashley and her friends Josh and Joey. They are so stinkin cute! I was tied up in the morning so they drove up to see Captiva… they loved it of course but they didn’t find many shells so they were extra happy to see lines of shells and scoop them up by the fistfuls when I met them at GSCP. I love to see those smiling faces! Joey told me his mom does lots of shell craft projects so he was loading up on the little white ARK shells to take back home to her. Sweet!
The weather was a little hot but it was picture perfect to take a break from shelling under a few shaded palm trees.
I also met Joe and Emilie (a cool blogger at Baby Loving Mama) from MN near Gulfside City Park beach during their very first visit to Sanibel… celebrating their 12 year wedding anniversary. Congratulations!
Or should I say… “Congratshellations!”. This was also their very first time collecting shells so it was fun to see them sitting and sifting through a nice shell pile ooohing and aaaahing over beautiful CALICO SCALLOPS, AUGERS, CERITHS and LETTERED OLIVES. (Of course I was a little proud that Joe had clipped the iLoveShelling Seashell Identification card to his belt loop. Yay!)
To wind down the weekend yesterday afternoon, Clark and I stopped at Lighthouse Beach to see what type of shells had rolled up for low tide. Omigosh! It looked like high season in March on the beach… the parking lot was packed and the beach was loaded with people and umbrellas. Was this a holiday weekend that I missed? Did we miss an invitation to the beach party? Dunno but it seemed unusually busy for what we normally call the “slow season”.
At Lighthouse Beach, Clark and I weren’t finding that many keeper shells… which was just as well since I saw a few pieces of trash that had been left behind by others, so I filled up my bucket with trash and just a few treasures. As with most shellers, we always pick up trash when walking the beach- it’s just what a beach comber does. We are the best stewards of our beaches since we are paying attention to what is washing in and out. We normally see the typical wrappers and papers that get blown out of the open tote bags by the breeze- it just happens. But lots of times a thief gull or black bird raids a beach blanket with totes filled with goodies, then flies away to find a place to open the bag of chips or sandwich but then drops the plastic after the free meal or realizing it was empty or there wasnt food in there after all. I’ve seen this in action hundreds of times- and I’ve chased them away . It’s quite a show to watch!
Since Sanibel really doesn’t have a terrible litter problem like lots of other beaches in the world, we’ll keep on doing what we as shellers do best… fill our shell bags with trash and treasures, stay calm, and shell on!
PS- Lets not turn this “trashiness” into negativity. We all just need to help each other do the right thing, move on and enjoy the sunshine and treasures Mother Nature has gifted us.
As I’m listening to the loud crashes of thunder with pounding rain and watching the bright strikes of lightning on the island today, I’m thankful I got to take a few leisurely strolls on our sun filled beach this weekend before this downpour.
The water was like glass at Gulfside City Park on Saturday and clear enough to find these treasure while walking in the water.
After finding a SUNRAY VENUS and a FIGHTING CONCH as well, I started finding “Candy!” (juvie HORSE CONCHS) in the shell lines on the beach…
Seriously, there were so many different shell and wrack lines to work, I could have stayed there all day long searching each line to see what different types of goodies were hiding in each one.
But since it was a little warm (around 92 degrees around noon), I stayed either in the water or just along the edge…. where I found oodles of beautifully colored CALICO SCALLOPS (and the candies).
Last evening Clark and I took a walk around the Lighthouse Beach to find the glassy calm water with a small shell line on the Gulf side…
We rounded the tip of the island to find choppier water with lines of SEA WEED covering the shells. It’s funny… there are some photographs that I have taken over the years that stick with me for some reason and they make me smile. So when I saw this gal sifting for minis, I recognized her right away from my post Smiles For Seashells - “I took a photo of you a few years ago and its one of my favorites!”. As soon as we started talking I remembered everything else about her too. Sweet Robin! She found a few WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and lots of other usual suspects just hanging out Sittin ‘N Siftin.
Further down the beach I found this turquoise blue green SEA HARE (SEA SLUG) that had just washed up on the beach. I think it’s a different type of RAGGED SEA HARE than the ones I’ve found before (CLICK HERE)… since I’ve never seen this color in an adult before. Cool! I put it back in the water but I’m not sure this one survived :(.
The good news is… it may have just laid this blue green spaghetti looking EGG MASS. But, don’t quote me on that… I’m only assuming this after finding an unusual blue green SEA SLUG then only a few feet away spotting an unusual blue green EGG STRING. Hmmmm… that turquoise EGG MASS from that turquoise SEA HARE? It doesn’t seem that far of a stretch, right? LOL
Anyhoo, it was a lovely weekend to explore Southwest Florida beaches to see what treasures the Gulf Of Mexico had in store for us. And… after this storm lets up (with winds out of the west), we may have an even better week to find beach treasures. Fingers crossed!
For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.
Gwendolyn, Hailey, Sarah and Viet from the Orlando area found some sweet minis too. I especially loved that little black and white WEST INDIAN FALSE CERITH Viet found.
For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.
Anthony was amazed by the live LIGHTNING WHELK he found so while showing his family this live creature he made sure he held the shell so the MOLLUSK still had water covering the inside until he walked it back out so return to the sea- so thoughtful! He and Ryan found lots of other loot (including that gorgeous LACE MUREX) while Jose found two SAND DOLLARS that were still grey but without any cilia/fur/hair/breathing apparatus so he knew these were dead. Jose told me he saw hundreds that were still alive so he left them alone but knew these two were ones he could keep.
As the sky opened up and it began to rain (without lightning), I met these three beautiful ladies Christine, Lindsey, and Caren from Connecticut just as we were heading off the beach.
We got to talking while I looked at some of their sweet minis, and I completely lost their names! Ack! So embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me! Yes, I remember so much about y’all (first time finding wentles, watching the vids and even a first time sheller) but names? psh- sometimes they get lost. Sorry!
Notice what unusual colors the changed in all of these photos before and after the rain? Every 15 minutes it seemed as if I had sepia toned glasses on then back to colorama glasses. As I was running off the beach, a rainbow appeared for a few minutes when I saw Holly from Fort Myers again.
I snapped a photo of some of her mini finds since they were waaaay cute. See that BABYS EAR on the right? We had talked about BABYS EARS earlier in the evening… saying we haven’t seen many at the Lighthouse Beach lately… then got on another subject… walked a few feet … I looked down and screamed in mid sentence. A BABYS EAR right at our feet. LOL We both laughed and I told her that happens on the iLoveShelling cruises all the time and I swear people think I plant them. Theres NO WAY! I would NEVER do that. It’s just happens .. and yes, it’s weird but it happens… a lot (but never with JUNONIAS- dang it!).
I was now soaked…and happy… so I decided to just walk instead of run to the beach access ramp to the parking lot. That’s where Ingrid and Pat from Missouri and I laughed at ourselves for hanging out in the rain. Look at that big bag filled with shells! That’s why Ingrid said it was hard to be torn off the beach- Die-Hards!
These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!
As I was talking with Ingrid and Pat, Clark showed up drenched too but with a pocket full of minis and SAND DOLLARS. Clark found some of those grayish bald SAND DOLLARS too… and more minis- yay!
Just to make sure we don’t confuse the dead SAND DOLLARS with the live ones… we always check to see if there is anything that looks like “fur” or “hair” on them when they are gray-ish like this. Nope! These are all very smooth and bald- not a “hair” in sight.
You can compare them to these live SAND DOLLARS to easily see the cilia/fur/hair on the edges of all four SAND DOLLARS in the next photo. See?
Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.