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

Whelkome To Paradise

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Lighthouse, Lightning Whelk, Sand Dollar, Sanibel, Whelk | 8 comments

Whelkome lightning whelk

Life on a tropical island is magical. Our skies change from blue to pink to orange to grey any given moment bringing rain showers to cool off from the heat of the day which produce rainbows and picturesque reflections.

Reflecting on the power of the dollar-  a sand dollar
On my beach walk at low tide just before yet another stunning sunset, I found a few treasures on the gulf side near Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach.

Beachcomber small shells and sand dollars

Milt and Jenna from New York found about the same sweet little minis I found walking toward the lighthouse.

Shellers Milt Jenna from New York visit Sanibel Floridav
After making a turn around the tip of the island heading towards the fishing pier, we saw lots and lots of people.

Sanibel Lighthouse beach with shellers

If you were lucky like Bryce from Kansas, you could find TULIPS and WHELKS half buried around those old concrete slabs. (For the history of those slabs CLICK HERE)

Collecting shells around rocks

Hmmm…. I don’t think Bryce was the only lucky one. I’m sure everybody who sees beauty like this feels very lucky.

Sanibel catamaran at sunset with a shell

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For me information and dates CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

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From Sanibel Calm to Major Crimes

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Bubble shell, Lighthouse, Wentletrap | 20 comments

shells by Sanibel lighthouse

I’ve been so amazed with Gulfside City Park beach in the last months, I’ve shunned my long time fave beach… Sanibel Lighthouse. Please forgive me, Lighthouse Beach? I think she knew it wasn’t an intentional cold shoulder so she forgave me by scattering a few WENTLETRAPS along a BUBBLE SHELL filled shoreline.

wentletrap with bubble shells

She really made me put my nose to the grind-sand but knew I wouldn’t give up quickly. Aha… another one.

wentletrap among shells

 

After satisfying my shellove of the hunt, I put a few treasures in my pocket…

Sanibel small shells

I walked on the Sanibel pier so I could breathe in more of the view of my old dear friend. Peace.

view from Sanibel pier

My company felt the same.

birds on Sanibel Pier

Cue the soft sweet music….. then…. the record scratch…. rrrrriiiiip! Yes, the beach walk this morning was very quiet and calm but last night was another story. Cue the dance music!

It was a parrrtaaay. Y’all know my husband Clark is a do-gooder, right? He’s always doing good deeds for his Rotary Club events but this is another group he’s involved in… Sunshine Kids. Last night we went to a fundraising party for this awesome organization raising money to help children with cancer so I donated a few of my fine art photographs on canvases to help raise a few bucks. At the end of the night, Clark saw actor Tony Denison from TNT’s  hit show “Major Crimes” carrying my art. Wow! He out-bidded everybody else on my piece and is taking it home to L.A. with him. We love Major Crimes show so it was fun to meet him in person to see how generous and passionate he is about helping Sunshine Kids.  Thanks Tony, we are thrilled!

pam rambo art with tony denison

If you are in SW Florida this week, join me Wednesday November 26, 2014 on our next iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure… a cruise at low tide to shell the secluded island of Big Hickory. CLICK HERE for more info.

pams-shelling-trips1

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High Tide Beach Combing

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014 in Lighthouse, Sea Bean, Sea Pearl | 20 comments

seashells among shell shards

Low tide isn’t the only game in town when it comes to beach combing. For us, the best time to shell is whenever we have an hour or more of free time. This weekend that free time ended up to be early evening (my fave time of the day) at high tide.

Sea oats frame a Sanibel beach

Long walks on the beach are always lovely, but to find sweet little shell treasures along the way… that’s priceless.

mini shells surrounded by seashell shards

I loooove to sort through the high weak line among the SEA WEEDS and SEED PODS… ooooohhh… a SEA PEARL!

sea bean beach combing

And more little beach treasures near the Sanibel Lighthouse…

yellow prickly cockle and seed pod

The beach was Bubblicious! There were thousands of BUBBLE SHELLS lining the beach.

bubble shells in the sand cybershelling

There are always little surprises on the beach whenever you take the time to look … whatever the tide may be.

sea pearl bean in a clam

Mini shells on a Sanibel beach

Coming soon… (just a few more details) and then new Shellabaloo dates!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Shelling In The Rain

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Lace Murex, Lighthouse, True tulip, Tulip | 11 comments

Alicia's one hour September Sanibel shell collection

We found darling little treasures rolling in the surf near Lighthouse Beach this week. In just an hour or so, our friends Gail and Alicia (Sanibel locals) had a nice walk along the water’s edge to find all these sweet minis including Alicia’s first perfect juvie red TRUE TULIP. It’s a beauty! Well, and the two HORSIES, OLIVES and that awesome SHARKS EYE.

Gail and Alicia with Sanibel shells

My fave find was an itty bitty LACIE MUREX with a bright pink “nose”…

Sanibel shells and sand

I’m always tickled when I find “firsts” too like Alicia finding her first TRUE TULIP. This one may not be as lovely as her bright red treasure but this is the first time I’ve found a double CUT-RIBBED ARK with the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it. Yes, I’ve found hundreds of single CUT-RIBBED ARC valves but to find both sides like this on the beach is cool to me. It’s what we call a “FRESHIE”. This one hasn’t been empty long. ( I know, I’m touch a shell geek! haha)

Cut Ribbed Ark Anadara floridana with periostracum

Clark found about the same mix as Alicia and Gail (minus the TRUE TULIP) but I love it because he has acquired a taste (not literally) for bivalves… EGG COCKLES, DUCK CLAMS, BUTTERCUPS and DOSINIAS. Did you see the BABY’S EAR as well?

September evening Sanibel seashell collection

As we were shelling, it began to rain so we picked up the pace and headed for the beach access ramp… that’s when Clark found the BABY’S EAR. Right before he found it, he mentioned how unusual it was to not be finding BABY’S EARS lately. By the time he finished his sentience, he looked down and there it was… pretty as a picture. Ha!

Clark finding Sanibel shells

Because we spend so much time on the beach, we are constantly checking radar for storms and lightning. If we get caught in the rain, it’s because there are no signs of lightning strikes in the area or no sounds of thunder so its just a light misting of rain. As I always say… Mother Nature might punish you with a lightning bolt for shelling during a storm after her warning system has been sounded…. her cracks of thunder and her scary dark skies. She has given us time and time again HER rules and regs. We should respect them. Safety first!

Sanibel beach with shells

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Sanibel Shelling Report Before the Rain

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Lighthouse, Ragged Sea Hare, Sea hare, Sea Hare Egg String | 17 comments

Shells with railroad vine purple flowers on Sanibel

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.

Sanibel Island beach with shells and birds

The water was like glass at Gulfside City Park on Saturday and clear enough to find these treasure while walking in the water.

sea shelling Sanibel Island Florida

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…

candy corn shells on Sanibel 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.

wrack and shell lines on Sanibel Island Florida

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).

sweet shells on Sanibel Island

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…

Sanibel water scene with clouds

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.

Robin sifting through shells

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 :(.

turquoise ragged sea hare

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

turquoise blue green sea hare egg string

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!

Sanibel water scene with clouds

 

 

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It’s Raining Seashells

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Lighthouse, Live Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar, Sunsets, Wentletrap | 15 comments

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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