Archive for Lighthouse

Jul
14

It’s Raining Seashells

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seashells by the Sanibel pier

For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.

mini shells in a hand

Gwendolyn, Hailey, Sarah and Viet from the Orlando area found some sweet minis too. I especially loved that little black and white WEST INDIAN FALSE CERITH Viet found.

Sarah Gwendolyn Viet Hailey on Sanibel beach

For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.

Anthony Ryan Jose shelling Sanibel

Anthony was amazed by the live LIGHTNING WHELK he found so while showing his family this live creature he made sure he held the shell so the MOLLUSK still had water covering the inside until he walked it back out so return to the sea- so thoughtful! He and Ryan found lots of other loot (including that gorgeous LACE MUREX) while Jose found two SAND DOLLARS that were still grey but without any cilia/fur/hair/breathing apparatus so he knew these were dead. Jose told me he saw hundreds that were still alive so he left them alone but knew these two were ones he could keep.

live whelk and other shells of Sanibel

As the sky opened up and it began to rain (without lightning), I met these three beautiful ladies Christine, Lindsey, and Caren from Connecticut just as we were heading off the beach.

shellers on the beach before the rain

We got to talking while I looked at some of their sweet minis, and I completely lost their names! Ack! So embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me! Yes, I remember so much about y’all (first time finding wentles, watching the vids and even a first time sheller) but names? psh- sometimes they get lost. Sorry!

handful of miniature shells from Sanibel

Notice what unusual colors the changed in all of these photos before and after the rain? Every 15 minutes it seemed as if I had sepia toned glasses on then back to colorama glasses. As I was running off the beach, a rainbow appeared for a few minutes when I saw Holly from Fort Myers again.

Holly from Ft Myers in front of Sanibel Rainbow

I snapped a photo of some of her mini finds since they were waaaay cute. See that BABYS EAR on the right? We had talked about BABYS EARS earlier in the evening… saying we haven’t seen many at the Lighthouse Beach lately… then got on another subject… walked a few feet … I looked down and screamed in mid sentence. A BABYS EAR right at our feet. LOL We both laughed and I told her that happens on the iLoveShelling cruises all the time and I swear people think I plant them. Theres NO WAY! I would NEVER do that. It’s just happens .. and yes, it’s weird but it happens… a lot (but never with JUNONIAS- dang it!).

mini shell Holly found at lighthouse

I was now soaked…and happy… so I decided to just walk instead of run to the beach access ramp to the parking lot. That’s where Ingrid and Pat from Missouri and I laughed at ourselves for hanging out in the rain. Look at that big bag filled with shells! That’s why Ingrid said it was hard to be torn off the beach- Die-Hards!

Ingrid Pat from MO shellers in the rain

These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!

shells Ingrid found from lighthouse

As I was talking with Ingrid and Pat, Clark showed up drenched too but with a pocket full of minis and SAND DOLLARS.  Clark found some of those grayish bald SAND DOLLARS too… and more minis- yay!

sand dollars and seashells sanibel

Just to make sure we don’t confuse the dead SAND DOLLARS with the live ones… we always check to see if there is anything that looks like “fur” or “hair” on them when they are gray-ish like this. Nope! These are all very smooth and bald- not a “hair” in sight.

dead sand dollars without cilia

 

You can compare them to these live SAND DOLLARS to easily see the cilia/fur/hair on the edges of all four SAND DOLLARS in the next photo. See?

baby sand dollar

Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.

Sanibel pier at dusk

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Jun
05

Wild Signs Of Summer On Sanibel

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seashells in the Sanibel sunset

Signs of summer have been showing up early on the islands lately. The late afternoon billowy clouds have been rolling in on the horizon causing afternoon showers and gorgeous sunsets. I finally made it back to Bowman’s Beach the other evening to watch the sky show at sunset and to see what types of shells have been washing upon that shore.

SUNSET AT BOWMANS BEACH

I mostly found the common bivalves, but I was happy enough with collecting a WORM in a BUTTERCUP topped with an OLIVE and a pinch of NUTMEG.

nutmeg olive buttercup seashell

Summer might be right around the corner, but the animals on the island know it’s still Spring. It’s been so much fun watching the wildlife in the last few weeks now that the island isn’t as busy. My friend Diane has been watching a family of NIGHT HERONS nest in her back yard so I had to go pay them a visit. Oh My! There are three young chicks in the nest with the Mamma. So sweet!

Sanibel Night Heron with babies

Clark and I watch this ALLIGATOR cross the road right in front of us in our car last week. Yikes! It’s still mating season for them so he was moving pretty quickly from one pond to another (thank goodness). This was the best photo I could get with such short notice. LOL

alligator crossing the street

If you haven’t heard, there have been a few wild COYOTES that are now on Sanibel and Captiva. How did they get here? Dunno… but I did get to see one resting quietly under a fence on Captiva. captiva  coyote

Last night by the Sanibel Pier, I couldn’t peel myself away from watching this awesome OSPREY catch and feed on a nice size POMPANO fish. Clark and I watched him eat this fish dinner for maybe 20 minutes all while his family screeched and yelled at him to bring fish dinner back to the nest only 20 yards away.

osprey eating a pompano

As we started to walk away from the OSPREY show, a Mother DOLPHIN and her baby splashed out of the water next to the pier then a MANATEE swam by. Magical. Since the wildlife was the life of the party last night, the only shell I collected to bring home was this BABY’S EAR.

babys ear seashell at sanibel pier beach

That one shell was well worth an evening’s walk on the beach to witness more wild wonders of life on Sanibel.

sanibel beach shells in June

 

Join us on tomorrow for an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises! Call 239-472-5300

shelling adventures trips by pam

May
14

Seashells and Beach Erosion Update

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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