I surround myself with seashells. I have shells and beach bling in every room of my house, my yard, my car, my pockets and even my dreams. So now I wear one around my neck as well. For my birthday this year, Clark bought me the sweetest little ALPHABET CONE necklace from our talented friend Wendy Miller.
It truly feels like a simple walk on the beach with the juvie cone shell, a small piece of driftwood wrapped with my fave color turquoise (amazonite) and a leather cord.
Since I’ve had sooooo many compliments and questions about my necklace, I thought I’d introduce you to the artist… Meet local jewelry artist Wendy Miller!
Clark and I had such a great time shelling with her last week at Blind Pass because she gets excited about finding the same types of shells we like. For most shellers, finding a FLAT SCALLOP is an amazing find but she also loves to find the cutie little KITTENS PAWS, colorful CARDITAS (she uses as clasps), orange SCALLOPS and she is especially crazy about finding the perfect piece of driftwood.
Each piece she makes reflects her love for beach combing. Like you and me, she not only receives shells as gifts from the sea, she told me she receives inspiration from the sea every time she walks the beach. Isn’t that why we all love shelling so much?
Like each beach day and every shell, each piece of jewelry has such a unique look and organic feel. Love that!
If you want to check out some of her other beautiful beach art pieces, her website is called Heart Of A Dolphin you can see by CLICKING HERE
This is why I surround myself with what I love.
Shellzam! Super Sheller Clark found an incredishell 11 inch LIGHTNING WHELK this weekend.
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!
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.
I could tell there had already been lots of people that had picked through this pile (but they missed so many!).
These were just some of the shells from this pile and along the shoreline…
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.
These are a few of their faves… CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, OLIVES, MUREXES and SCALLOP shells.
Kathy and Angie visiting from PA were just as happy too..
Nice pickins with a sweet WORMIE to boot!
These are my favorite kind of evenings… beach combing at sunset.
Espeshelly when when we get to bring home one of these big bad trophies- way to go Clark! Boom Shellalaka!
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
We also hit the low tide at the Lighthouse Beach…
This was my favorite night last week because I met Michayla from Pensacola with lots of beautiful shells in her shell bag…
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!
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.
It’s always so much fun to see the live creatures at ow tide like FIGHTING CONCHS…
I’m not absolutely positive, but I believe that this is a SEA HARE EGG STRING. Seriously, it was this color… almost turquoise!
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.
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!
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.
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.
There’s always something to get excited about collecting the minis.
Bruce showed me this macdaddy WENTLETRAP he found on the gulf side at Lighthouse Beach at low tide in the evening. Wow!
Near the pier at the lighthouse beach some people were finding a few shells in the erosion ledge .
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It feels so good to find the minis again.
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!
A few days ago I walked Blind Pass beach on the Sanibel side and met Deb from Minnesota…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Bling. Dont forget, you can always go to my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page… CLICK HERE.
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 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!
I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!
Oh but hold on there’s more… Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!
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!
Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.
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 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.
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 ;) )