Archive for Gulf Side City Beach (Algier’s)
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!
There are days in the summer when all I need is an evening walk on the beach to turn a hot, hectic day into a calm, relaxing oasis.
Especially if I have my best friend with me. Even if Clark (yes, he’s my husband too- heehee) and I walk separate ways on the beach to cover more ground, it’s always fun to see what the other one collects when we finally meet back up.
We both went for the minis at Gulfside City Park but I had to keep one large FIGHTING CONCH because of the fabulous rich color and Clark kept a “larger” one too- a GAUDY NATICA. I guess so! Is there anybody who can pass up a GAUDY NATICA if you see one? I think not.
We both found lots of sweet, itty bitty LETTERED OLIVE shells but most of the large adult LETTERED OLIVES were alive and scooting over all the other empty CLAM shells…
We both saw several large live LIGTHNING WHELKS as well. That’s what is so fascinating about shelling during low tide… you get to experience seeing beautiful living creatures in their natural habitat. I actually walked this guy into the Gulf Of Mexico just a bit just to get him covered with water again.
Clark said he was also busy saving several SEA HARES that washed up on the shore. Me too! This one looked like a gooey mess lying in some SEA WEED on the beach. I gently picked “him” up then submerged him into the calm water then let him go when he started coming to life. This is the same way Bryce and I saved a SEA HARE on the Sight Sea-R cruise last month but I didn’t get a photo, remember?
There is something mesmerizing about watching them swim.
Talk about calm, relaxing and mesmerizing…
Throughout the weekend we will have nice low tides in the evenings so if you want a retreat to the beach, I would suggest heading out to the closest SW Florida beach in the early evening (hopefully we can dodge the summer rain storms!) to talk a slow walk to experience this natural paradise at its best.
Join me on our next iLoveShelling adventure on Sight Sea-R Cruises Wednesday- July 16, 2014 to our newest shelling destination! Call 239-765-7272 or CLICK HERE and tell them you want to join the iLoveShelling cruise! UPDATE: July 16th is now SOLD OUT! Wow!