SEA PEARLS and BABYS EARS were some favorite gems to be found at Lighthouse Beach this week. They blend in with all the other shells and bling so I feel so rewarded when I find one. It’s like I feel lucky that I saw the beauty in them when others may have passed them by without giving them a glance. That’s why beachcombers “get” each other, right? Beachcombers know there are hundreds of treasures the sea offers …but we just have to take our time to look for them.
But I feel luckiest when we meet other beach combers on the beach like Lee and Susan (formerly of Guantanamo Bay) who turn into friends for life because they feel the same way. So much fun!
We not only found those SEA BEAN treasures at Lighthouse Beach, we combed the beach at Gulfside beach…
…Where we saw some nice SAND DOLLARS, OLIVES and a few other nice finds.
Each beach we went to, we saw completely different shells and bling. We walked along Bowman’s Beach to find a few small shell piles…
Lee caught a few SHARKS EYES rolling in the surf.
Oooooo… and look at that FLAT SCALLOP and ALPHABET CONE Clark found… perfect!
This was my fave find of the week… a brilliant, bright orange RIBED CANTHARUS. Omigosh… Eye candy.
But even if I didn’t find the RIBBED CANTHARUS, I found happiness…
With some of my fave peeps …
The teeny tiny SAND DIMES are back at Gulfside City Park!
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.
I just followed the wrack line to find the money trail.
I walked down to the water’s edge to find hundreds of live SAND DOLLARS washed up in the low tide.
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.
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.
Clark and I found loads of shells at Gulfside City Park yesterday and collected a few really sweet ones. Most of the sea shells we saw were the common clams and other bivalves but it’s funny to me how everybody sees something different when they look at a pile of shells like this. It’s the Is-The-Glass-Half-Full scenario. What do you see… Lots of shells? Or a picked over pile that has “nothing” in it?
I see a beautiful beach that has miles of shoreline to explore, don’t you?
Rachelle and Justin are always happy when they are on the beach and they found some nice shells in the water using their shell backhoes. They both found CONES- an awesome ALPHIE and a beauty of a FLORIDA.
Holly and Cathy from Indiana were searching in those shell piles and up high on the beach.
Cathy found her very first WENTLTRAP among some other sweet minis. I think my favorite ones she found were the teeniest tiniest little TURKEY WINGS. They are hard to see in this photo but they are perfectly darling.
I’m also usually tickled to run across a funny beach sculpture like this dog and bone… But! Remember folks, it’s SEA TURTLE nesting season. Please don’t build tall sand sculptures or dig trenches to cause mother SEA TURTLES to have false crawls or for the babies to get trapped. It’s so stinkin adorable but I’m sure SCCF turtle trackers will decide if it needs to be smoothed out.
Shellzam! This HORSE CONCH rolled up on the beach right in front of me!
As the evening tide was coming in at Gulfside City Park Beach, it was bringing oodles of PENS SHELLS, SEA URCHINS and STARFISH…
So many other cool things wash up too like yellow SEA WHIPS, DONINIAS and BONES from CRAB TRAPS. When we have high west winds, the water gets so rough that CRAB TRAPS get tossed around so hard the BONES that are left over from the bait (mostly PIGS FEET) end up falling out then wash ashore.
The Gulf Of Mexico is so powerful, even when the wind dies down the currents still have enough power to wash large live HORSE CONCHS on the beach. Clark and I saw about 6 live HORSE CONCHS wash up on to the beach. We tried to walk them out in the water far enough to not wash up again but all we can do is keep our fingers crossed they stayed there.
And then… there are magical times when one of these big, beautiful shells rolls up on the beach completely empty like this one found by Lynn from Missouri. Spectacsheller!
And then…. another big, beautiful empty HORSE CONCH rolls up for me too! We got to shellebrate together!
You want to know the most amazing thing? I filmed my find on video so you get to see it too…. hopefully soon. I was filming all of the cool BEACH BLING on my iPhone but didn’t realize that I had been videoing for 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I’ve had the hardest time downloading a video thats so long- Ack! So… as Im writing, it still has 329 minutes remaining to download. OMG Ive already been trying for a day now! So I will show you this awesome unedited video in my next post just so you can see everything single thing I saw on my beach walk and see how I found my HORSE CONCH. Its so cool!
If you want to see it as soon as it’s published on Youtube…. you can subscribe to my iLoveShelling Youtube channel to always be the first to be notified when I publish a new shelling video. After CLICKING HERE- Just click the red button on the right that says “Subscribe”
So until then… enjoy the gorgeous sunset we saw as we walked back to the car carrying my exshellent treasure.
UPDATE: The video is done and I have another post with more photos … CLICK HERE to see it!
It’s really a shame I’m not a morning person. Everybody assumes since I’m an obsessed sheller that I’m always the first one on the beach every morning. Wrong! I’m a lazy bum in the mornings and I love to sleep in… but there are a few certain occasions I like to see the sunrise. One of those occasions would be a really low morning tide after some nice north winds. That’ll give me a little shove out the door every time.
Every single solitary time I’m on the beach to witness a new day as the sun rises up over a fresh new string of shells with a golden glow… I wish I was a morning person.
It’s the time to see live healthy creatures.
I didn’t even have to touch this SAND DOLLAR to know it was alive. Not only was it dark brown, I could see cilia (or what I call “fur”) lining the outside of its body as well as each of the key hole slits. So beautiful!
This live LIGHTNING WHELK had already done an excellent job of digging itself back into the wet sand to wait for the tide to soon cover him back up completely so I left him alone as well.
My sunrise morning trip to Gulfside City Park Beach to see the beautiful colors of dawn, feel the calmness and to pick up a few treasures was well worth hearing that alarm clock ringing in the dark. But when I think about it, every single time I’m on the beach whether its dawn, mid morning, noon, afternoon, early evening or at dusk… I find something that makes me happy.
A few minutes before I headed home, I admired my loot and realized that I didn’t need to take everything I picked up. So if my biggest decision of the day was to choose which shells made it home with me… life is good today.
Come with me on a shelling trip! CLICK HERE
As much as I love cold fronts blowing NW winds through SW Florida to bring loads of shells, the simple pleasure of walking the beach on a warm sunny day in December looking for minis … is what makes me tic.
Seeing a fresh pocket of shells washing up on the beach as the tide flows puts a smile on my face every time.
Sisters Linda (NY) and Sharon (PA) feel the same way. They met on Sanibel every year to comb for treasures knowing that each year they will find something different.
Sharon said she found double JEWELBOXES and her gorgeous yellow RIBBED CANTHARUS in the high tide “mud line” as she called it (which is the semi dried tidal pool). Linda found her sweet mix just at the water edged washing back and forth in the surf line.
Finding my way back to the beach access path at Gulfside City Park, I took this photo of shells that were left on the post for somebody else. The ShellFairy was there! I guess she doesn’t need any more shells but wants someone else to enjoy their beauty too. Hmmm… but why doesn’t she leave little baby HORSE CONCHS?
Dont forget! The Golf Cart Parade is Saturday starting at 3:30. This is the cutest holiday parade ever and it’s the first year I won’t be decorating a golf cart because… Im a judge! You can be a judge too since this year they have added a People’s Choice Award. Go to Captiva Holiday Village at http://captivaholidayvillage.com to get more info. But wait that’s not all, Captiva Luminary is after the parade and it is always a blast – last year Clark and I played the saw in the drum circle at Yolo Watersports… yes, a real saw with a screw driver as an instrument (CLICK HERE to see that crazy sight for sore eyes -heehee). If you can make it to this fun fun event, Clark and I will be a Shell Elves (“Shellves” haha) with our Seashell Santa Hats so if you recognize me or Clark, please say Hello!
This parade is so good- it was on the Travel Channel last year!
After all of the fun Captiva holiday festivities on Saturday, I’m sure you’ll want to be getting back to the beach on Sunday, right? So join me for our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure to Cayo Costa for a spectacsheller Captiva Cruises trip to the out island. CLICK HERE for more info