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

Shelling Is Beach Therapy

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Bowman's Beach, Pam Rambo, Shelling Island Findings Video | 20 comments

Sanibel Seashells on Bowmans Beach

Shelling is beach therapy. I love a long walk along the water’s edge searching for wildlife and picking up a few beautiful shells.

Seashell collecting Sanibel Island Florida

Yesterday at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach, the crowds disappeared as we walked passed the families set up for their beach day with umbrellas, coolers and beach chairs. The further we walked, the quieter my mind became. Everything else on the planet slipped away other than seeing a big wide open beach with shells, sand, water and sky.

Sanibel seashells Bowmans Beach

Then the trance began. It’s like I’m being hypnotized each time I’m at the beach when I hear the waves wash up on the sand with jingle of shells rolling back and forth.

Bowmans Beach seashells waves

When I walk along the shell line from a recent higher tide I’m searching for shapes, textures and colors of the shells I know so well. Aha! A SHARK’S EYE hidden among the ARKS, KITTENS PAWS and VENUS CLAMS.

collecting shells on Sanibel Island

There are days when the shells are piled high or washing up at your feet in droves but long walks like Clark and I took yesterday are my absolute favorite. It’s what keeps me going back time and time again. It’s my beach therapy.

Seashell Wish Tree Sanibel

Amazingly enough when we got back, I got a little surprise in my email inbox. I’m in a short little film about shelling! I was asked in an interview back in February about what I love about shelling. Well…. everything actually! But then it all boiled down to how it makes me feel- I’m just so dang happy when I’m on the beach and shelling takes my mind to another galaxy. It makes me appreciate how beautiful this life is. It’s just that simple. The Beaches Of Fort Myers and Sanibel did an A-MAZING job on this film and I am over the moon shell, humbled and honored that I was asked to participate in it.

I hope you enjoy!

PS- Oh and yes- That’s Elliot Sudal (Shelliot- heehee ) in the film too. See? I told you he isn’t just a fisherman, he’s a sheller! CLICK HERE to read my post about him.

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Pearls Of The Sea

Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Bowman's Beach, Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Lighthouse, Sand Dollar, Sanibel, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 18 comments

Sea Pearls and Babys Ears

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.

beach bucks

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!

Beach Combing with the Merrills

We not only found those SEA BEAN treasures at Lighthouse Beach, we combed the beach at Gulfside beach…

The boys beach combing low tide Sanibel

…Where we saw some nice SAND DOLLARS, OLIVES and a few other nice finds.

Shells and bling at Bowmans Beach Sanibel

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…

bowmans beach shells and water

Lee caught a few SHARKS EYES rolling in the surf.

Shells at beachcombing Bowmans Beach

Oooooo… and look at that FLAT SCALLOP and ALPHABET CONE Clark found…  perfect!

Beachcombing shells at Bowmans Beach
This was my fave find of the week… a brilliant, bright orange RIBED CANTHARUS. Omigosh… Eye candy.

Ribbed Cantharus Bowman Beach beachcombing

But even if I didn’t find the RIBBED CANTHARUS, I found happiness…

Beach combing with friends

With some of my fave peeps …

Rambo and Merrills at Lighthouse beach

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Different Cone Shells From Sanibel Florida

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Alphabet Cone, Bowman's Beach, Dusky Cone, Florida Cone, Sanibel, Seashells | 15 comments

Finding shells on Bowmans Beach Sanibel

We’ve been enjoying walking along the shore at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach this summer since we’ve had our best luck finding shells no matter which direction we comb the beach. Clark had an eye for the cutie mini shells this time. As soon as he found that little DUSKY CONE (on the tips of the horsies/candy/candy corn/mac n cheese…. errrr… those juvie HORSE CONCHS) I remembered that on one of my latest shelling adventure cruises I tried to show how one can tell the difference between those and the ALPHABETS and FLORIDA CONES.

small shells from Bowmans Beach Sanibel

So let me try to show the difference of the shells to you too. Here is a handful of the DUSKY CONES to show you how big they are and the different colors and patterns. Also, check out that each one of them has spiral ribs along the body of the shell. If you run your thumb over the shell, it won’t be smooth, you will feel all of the the little ridges.

Dusky shells from Sanibel Florida

Here’s the difference between a random ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and the DUSKY that I pulled from our collection of Sanibel shells to see the different patterns and the normal adult size of each.

Different cone shells from Sanibel Dusky Florida Alphabet

In this view, you can really see those ribs on the DUSKY compared to the other two that are mostly smooth.  Cool, huh?

Dusky cone shell ribs compared to florida and alphabet cone

 

So next time you find a small little cone shell, look a little closer to see which one you’ve found. Maybe it will be a DUSKY CONE like Deseray found years ago that I showed in my post Rainbow Of Miniature Shells that we compared to her sweet little ALPHIE.

UPDATE: Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0

Dusky alphabet cones sanibel

 

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Paul Newman’s Shark Eye at Bowman’s Beach

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Bowman's Beach, Paul Newmans Eye, Shark's Eye | 25 comments

Bowmans Beach shells on Sanibel Island-1

Well there you are ol’ blue eye! I found the prettiest PAUL NEWMAN’S EYE SHARKS EYE at Bowman’s Beach over the weekend. I just love to find these special shells with the bright blue center.

paul newmans eye shark shell

After walking a while, Clark and I found one little spot that produced lots of other gorgeous treasures.

Paul Newmans Eye sharks eye shell-1

Most of the shells we found were just at the water’s edge.

orange horse chonch shell in ocean-1

Such an amazing assortment. We haven’t found such a variety like this in a while so I felt so shellucky.

Bowmans Beach shells on Sanibel Island

I was thrilled… so I took a little video to share with you so you can see how the shells were rolling in. I didn’t pick any up while I was filming so you could try to spot them too. Have fun! 

We went back last night but didn’t find this same assortment but I did find something that made me laugh… a broken beat up JUNONIA. Just to see those spots in the sand made my heart is a beat!

Junonia cob in Sanibel sunset

 

 

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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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Sanibel Sunrise to Sunset

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Bowman's Beach, Brittle Star, Lighthouse, Sanibel Shell Festival 2014 | 31 comments

seashells and sunflowers at the beach

Sunrise on Sanibel is such a beautiful sight at Lighthouse Beach, I always tell myself I need to get out there in the morning more often.

sanibel lighthouse at dawn

As I was shelling at the waters edge, I met a family enjoying the cool morning while collecting shells along the same path. Rick, Cindy, Sarah, Harley (she’s peek-a-boo-ing between her mom and dad’s legs- heehee) and Richard from Virginia were tickled with their finds.

rick cindy sarah richard harley virginia visits sanibel florida

Cindy found a beautiful PAPER FIG and ANGEL WING while Rick was finding juvie WHELKS, CONCHS and pieces of shells with cool BARNCLES attached…

seashells collected on the beach

Cindy found this awesome BRITTLE STAR on the beach which we thought was too dry to still be alive but while we inspected him and all ooohed and aaahed, the little guy started waving one of his arms to tell us he still had some life in him. Omigosh! He needed water! Cindy hurried to get this guy back to the Gulf Of Mexico.

brittle star on gray

Sarah found her first WENTLETRAP!

finding sea shells

I should have known I would see award winning SAILORS VALENTINE artist Constance Miller shelling at the lighthouse because the Sanibel Shell Festival this week. She loves to find her own WENTLETRAPS and other mini shells to use in her gorgeous designs.

constance marshall miller shelling sanibel lighthouse

Clark and I walked just south of Bowman’s Beach to catch sunset and saw the perfect Sanibel Stooper shelling the sand bar just as the sun reached the horizon. So beautiful!

sanibel stoop bowman's beach florida sunset

Just after I snapped the photo, that Sanibel Stooper walked back towards the beach so I approached him to tell him I got a fun photo of him at sunset. Holy Cowrie! It was Rick again! LOL Yes, that was the same Rick that I had just met in the morning shelling at Lighthouse Beach. He and his son Richard (Marley’s dad) were still shelling but this time near Bowman’s too. It’s a small island, huh?

rick richard collect sea shells bowman beach sanibel

These are just a few goodies they pulled out of their shell bag. Lots of treasure!

collecting seashells on sanbel island bowman's beach

If you are near Sanibel Island this week Thursday- Saturday (March 6,7,8 2014) you shouldn’t miss the 77th Sanibel Shell Festival. It will be lots of fun AND…. I am entering into the show for the very first time. I have two pieces that will be judged in the artistic division so I will definitely show you pictures later in the week after they have been judged. Yes, judged… Ack! Pressure! Please wish me good luck! And of course I will be blogging about all of the other exhibits as well. I hope to see you there!

sanibel shell festival 2014

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