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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Boom Shellalaka Whelk!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015 in Blind Pass Sanibel, Bowman's Beach, Lightning Whelk, Sanibel, Sunsets, Whelk | 15 comments

Super Sheller Clark Rambo finds 11 inch whelk shell Sanibel

Shellzam! Super Sheller Clark found an incredishell 11 inch LIGHTNING WHELK this weekend.

Large Whelk shell found on Sanibel at sunset

All along the Sanibel shoreline from Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach, there were strings of shells lining the beach just waiting to be picked through. Looking at this next photo, Clark found his WHELK around the furthest point in the background while in knee deep water… half buried in the sand. He said he only saw 1/4 of it. Oh yaya!

Sanibel shell beach

Thanks to a iLoveShelling Facebook post by Carrie L  – she told us there was a pile of shells that built up around the old wood jetty at Blind Pass Sanibel – we had to see it.

Shells pile up on wood jetty Sanibel

I could tell there had already been lots of people that had picked through this pile (but they missed so many!).

cybershelling for whelk shells

These were just some of the shells from this pile and along the shoreline…

shells and bracelets
I wasn’t the only one happy to be finding shells again at Blind Pass- Michael, Lindsay, Emma, Taylor from Vero Beach, FL found some gems too.

Michael, Lindsay, Emma, Taylor find shells on Sanibel

These are a few of their faves… CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, OLIVES, MUREXES and SCALLOP shells.

Hands finding shells at Blind Pass Sanibel

Kathy and Angie visiting from PA were just as happy too..

Kathy and Angie visit from PA find shells on Sanibel Florida
Nice pickins with a sweet WORMIE to boot!

Sanibel beach shell finds

These are my favorite kind of evenings… beach combing at sunset.

Beach find shells at sunset

Espeshelly when when we get to bring home one of these big bad trophies- way to go Clark! Boom Shellalaka!

Shellzam! 11 inch Whelk shell found on the beach

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Full Moon Rises, Shelling Tide Lowers

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Blind Pass, Blind Pass Sanibel, Fighting Conch, low tide, Sea Hare Egg String, Sea Liver | 17 comments

shells found at Blind Pass Captiva June

During the low tide evenings this past week, we didn’t find gobs of shells on Sanibel or Captiva but we found the best empty beauties in the Blind Pass channel in between Sanibel and Captiva. With the full moon causing extreme tides, the water rushes through the pass so quickly at the lowest tide (ankle deep) I like to just wait for the shells to roll by my feet by near the jetty rocks. If you want to see a video from last year that shows how they roll by CLICK HERE

sea shells found in the channel at Blind Pass Captiva Island

We also hit the low tide at the Lighthouse Beach…

low tide shelling sanibel

This was my favorite night last week because I met Michayla from Pensacola with lots of beautiful shells in her shell bag…

Michayla from Pensacola finds sea shells on Sanibel Island Florida

I also met Paige and her mom Nikkie from Kentucky. It’s always so much fun to meet new friends that love shelling as much as I do!

Paige and Nikkie from Kentucky visit Sanibel collecting seashells

And lookie who else was shelling at Lighthouse Beach… our good friends Susan and Lee from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They definitely love shelling as much as Clark and I do.

Susan and Lee from GTMO visit Sanibel Island Florida

It’s always so much fun to see the live creatures at ow tide like FIGHTING CONCHS…

Live fighting conch seashell on Sanibel Island Florida

I’m not absolutely positive, but I believe that this is a SEA HARE EGG STRING. Seriously, it was this color… almost turquoise!

sea hare Eudisoma hepaticum egg string

We are very used to seeing SEA PORK at low tide but this SEA LIVER looks a little different because it’s flatter and a little slimier. They are dark purple when still alive then turn whitish when they die so I’m assuming part of this colony on the right has already died off and the left side is still hanging on. Of course after I took this photo, I returned this colonial tunicate to the tidal pool where I found it.

sea liver Eudisoma hepaticum

So while we were shelling Lighthouse and Blind Pass… Gary, Jane, Anna, Claire and Ella from Arkansas were shelling near Tarpon Beach when they hit  a VERY sweet honey hole. Gary said ” Just at the shelf line we found a PEN SHELL bed. After about 2 hours of digging we had 8 large horse conchs – our best shell hunt ever!”  I’m sure this will be a day in their lives they will never ever forget. Shellzam!

Gary Jane Anna Claire and Ella from Arkansas find 8 horse conchs

I love summer evenings walking the beach when the sun doesn’t set until way after 8pm then the full moon rises to brighten the sky and pull at the sea.

Sanibel full moon over Gulf of Mexico

full moon over palm trees

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Seashells and Beach Erosion Update

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Blind Pass, Blind Pass Sanibel, Captiva, Lighthouse | 27 comments

mini shells at the beach

When east winds seem to carry our WHELKS and CONCHS and such out to sea in Southwest Florida, the CLAM SHELLS and miniatures still can be found.

beach and surf with shells

There’s always something to get excited about collecting the minis.

large wentletrap

Bruce showed me this macdaddy WENTLETRAP he found on the gulf side at Lighthouse Beach at low tide in the evening. Wow!

bruce with large wentletrap

Near the pier at the lighthouse beach some people were finding a few shells in the erosion ledge .

shelling the erosion ledges

Mother Nature has been doing a number on all of our beaches in Sanibel and Captiva lately. The waters of the Gulf Of Mexico have been absolutely gorgeous but look at the erosion at Blind Pass Captiva.

blind pass captiva erosion may 2014

Do you remember what this looked like last month at Blind Pass Captiva? This next photo was taken at this very same spot on May 10, 2014- just one month ago. Do you see the guy fishing on the jetty rocks in the photo above? He is standing in front of the highest rock. Take a look at that same rock in the next photo to relate how much the sand has shifted.

Captiva island mound of sea shells

That’s what happens with wind and currents- the beach changes constantly and drastically here but that’s what makes shelling such a treasure hunt. The shells may not be on the beach, but persistent shellers look for shells in the water too. Not a bad way to spend the day!

finding shells in the water on captiva

The erosion has continued on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass too but as you can see, there are shells just under the ledge and some in the water. They may be mostly bivalves but there are still shells and there are always interesting hidden treasures to find.

beach erosion sand ledge sanibel

The old wooden sea wall is showing again as well. We’ve seen it come and go since the winds will bring the sand and shells back in but it’s fascinating to see how quickly Mother Nature can change our environment. CLICK HERE to see my first post on this sea wall.

wooden sea wall blind pass sanibel may 2014 (1)

The shells always build up around this old sea wall when it’s exposed but now you have to be very responsible for yourself since being uncovered so many time now, the wood can be sharp and there are jagged edges.

shells around sea wall sanibel blind pass May 2014

This was a similar view of this same area the beginning of January 2014. In the next photo the beach renourishment project had just been completed so can see the heavy equipment was still on the beach. There was so much sand less than 5 months ago and has been taken back out over such a short time. Mother Nature is very powerful. She must be respected. But no worries, she always brings the sand and shells back to us here in Southwest Florida, we just have to be patient.

blind pass sanibel january 1 2014

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Sunny Day Seashells On Sanibel

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Blind Pass Sanibel, Drill, Lighthouse, Sanibel, Sparse Dove, Tarpon Beach Sanibel | 37 comments

sanibel seashells and sun flowers

I have been looooving my long walks on the Sanibel beaches this week with warm, sunny days. Yesterday at the Lighthouse Beach, I enjoyed finding WENTLETRAPS and other sweet minis on the Gulf Of Mexico side instead of on the pier side where they used to be. 

miniature shells on seagrape leaf

 It feels so good to find the minis again. 

seashells at lighthouse beach sanibel

Jim from Buffalo, NY found four times the WENTLETRAPS I found but I was most jealous of this crazy big WENTLE. Wow! Thats a whopping wentle to wet your whistle!

large wentletrap sanibel jim

A few days ago I walked Blind Pass beach on the Sanibel side and met Deb from Minnesota…

deb minnesota visits sanibel shells

She had such a beautiful variety of shells she mostly found at the water’s edge. Very nice BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCHS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, SCALLOPS and of course that sweet candy in the middle- a juvie HORSE CONCH.

sanibel sea shells on blue

Lokks like I’ve got some catching you up to do because I got lost in time looking through all of those PEN SHELLS, BEACH BLING and researching those DOSINIAS earlier this week. I also went to Tarpon Beach a couple of days ago and found this big shell pile.

tarpon beach sanibel shells

Just a short walk from that big shell pile there are still nice low tide pools with fun stuff to explore too. This one is only about 50 yards in front of the entrance (on the left) to the public beach access.

tarpon beach tide pools

To show you how many shell and wrack lines there are at Tarpon Beach, I tried (its a little blurry- sorry!) to take a photo of me holding a WENTLETRAP in one of the high tide lines so you could see how far I was from that shell pile and the water. There are so many fun areas to search.

wrack and shells lines on sanibel

Every beach I’ve been to in the past few days, has been so much fun to explore. If I didn’t find the bigger shells like Deb, I started to search for my fave minis. But then… finding shells is just icing on the cake sometimes. Sometimes I just want to feel the sunshine on my skin and breath in the sea. So I hope you can CyberSink your toes on this sandy, shelly beach and enjoy the blue skies, sunshine and warm weather to enjoy it with me. Sending sunshine and cybershells.

captiva calm beach with sea shells

PS- I’m thrilled I’ve gotten some feedback and some of y’all are enjoying my “the differences between shells” posts. I have lots of different little minis in the top photos of my Lighthouse finds so until I can get to photographing the DRILLS and such, check out these posts … Similar Small Sanibel Seashells and… Seashells Open Your Eyes. That will help you identify most of these shells along with the SPARSE DOVE that’s in this post… I Spy Seashells And Beach BlingDont forget, you can always go to my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page… CLICK HERE.

shelling adventures trips by pam

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So Many Rare Shells Found On Sanibel This Week

Posted by on Jan 19, 2014 in Blind Pass Sanibel, Cabrit's Murex, Cone, Florida Cone, Junonia, Lion's Paw, Long-Spined Urchin, Pitted Murex, Sanibel, Sunsets, Thorny Oyster | 23 comments

rare seashells on sanibel island florida

I have said countless times that the beaches of Southwest Florida change every day and by the hour so finding shells becomes a fascinating treasure hunt. So I would say Tam Tam from Michigan has had quite a treasure hunt this week! She found so many shells that aren’t found on our beaches all that often like that sweet baby LIONS PAW (top left), a CABRITS MUREX (middle), a LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN (okay, thats not a shell but its just so beautiful and big for that type of URCHIN) and a THORNY OYSTER (bottom). The ALPHABET CONE isn’t rare at all but it is just dang gorgeous…. and same for that BABY’S EAR. And of course you see she found a JUNONIA too!

tammy junonia found on sanibel florida

Tammy found her LIONS PAW along West Gulf Drive and found her JUNONIA and CABRITS at BLIND PASS SANIBEL. Her friend Barb from Virginia found a CABRITS MUREX at Blind Pass Sanibel too!

barb with caritas murex i love shelling tee

I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!

juvenile cabrits murex barb

Oh but hold on there’s more…  Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!

sue lions paw florida cone sanibel

Her LIONS PAW is soooo pretty, right? The CONE is just as spectacshellar and both were found off West Gulf Drive. That is a very dark rich color variation of a FLORIDA CONE. Shellicious!

lions paw florida cone color variation

Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.

lisa derek kansas visit sanibel for shelling shells

They are very new to shelling but as you can see, they already have a great eye for such pretty shells. They found out about all the seashells on Sanibel from Derek’s dad Darrell who caught the shelling bug about 5 years ago on his first visit to Sanibel. Hey Darrell! Thanks for spreading the shelling love on to your kids- Derek and Lisa cracked me up!

lisa derek seashells from sanibel

Lisa could identify most of their other shells but she showed me this little mini shell and asked me what it was. Its a PITTED MUREX! I don’t find these all that often but I loved that even as new shellers, they both were so interested in this tiny shell that turned out to be not all that common in our area.

pitted murex lisa kansas found on sanibel

Every day is a new adventure on Sanibel, Captiva and all of the beaches in southwest Florida. What I find even more rare than these shells that my lucky shelling friends found, is that our islands are filled with so many friendly, smiling folks that enjoy every gift from the sea whether its rare or not. (oh…and the view aint half bad either 😉 )

sunset captiva red sky palms

shelling adventures trips by pam

photo art gallery pam rambo i love shelling

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It’s The Small Things In A Beach Life

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Blind Pass Sanibel, Bowman's Beach, Colorful Moon shell, Decorate with shells | 22 comments

baby juvie gaudy natica

It’s the small things in my beach life that I seem to get most excited about. When I found this tiny juvie GAUDY NATICA (Colorful Moon), I literally laughed out loud because it was just a perfect beautiful baby. And then I said to myself… “Self? Why don’t we find more juvie GAUDY NATICAS on our beaches?”. We find baby SHARKS EYE all the time so why wouldn’t we see more baby GAUDIES. Things that make you go Hmmmmm.

Sanibel aqua water

But my attention quickly changed when I saw Noah (Fort Myers) filling up his bucket on a nice shell pile right at the entrance to Bowman’s Beach yesterday. He walked right over to me to hand me one of his shells after seeing me collect a few too. I told him the shell he gave me was called a JINGLE shell so he repeated it once… then quickly found another and another to share them all with me. Each time he said “JINGLE!” How sweet! Thank you Noah, you are an excellent sheller.

boy with seashells noah

We only found a few of those nice shell piles on the beach but the water’s edge was holding a few more goodies. Clark emptied out his pockets and put them in his shelling backhoe to show me what he found from his walk from Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach.

shell scoop seashells

We started out at Blind Pass Sanibel and in just a few minutes I pulled these lovelies out of the the surf line…

olives rough scallops

Susan (Sanibel) showed me her favorite find of the day… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! How lucky! I rarely see them on the beach so I would call that ultimate BEACH BLING…

susan sanibel roseate spoonbill feather

Speaking of ultimate BEACH BLING, some creative soul made this cool BLING art sculpture. Yes, it’s cool, but I don’t want to encourage anybody to make tall sculptures or sand pits in the summer (May through September) because they can be disastrous for SEA TURTLES. They can get trapped or disoriented by moving around them or they can get stuck. So please be aware of nesting SEA TURTLES.

sanibel beach bling art

But if you can’t keep that inner artist trapped inside you while you’re on the beach, just make a flat design like this beautiful SEASHELL MERMAID made by artist Christy and her creative daughters Baylee and September.

mermaid beach art

It was a beautiful weekend finding beautiful treasures…

seashells bowman's beach

Come on! Come shelling with us on Wednesday June 19th!!!!

We are taking a shelling cruise to Cayo Costa June 19, 2013 at low tide at 1pm so I’d love for you to join us! Call 239-472-5300 and tell them you want to be on the iLoveShelling cruise or CLICK HERE for more information. It’s so much fun!

seashell shelling adventures pam

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