Archive for Lighthouse
For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.
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.
For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!).
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!
These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!
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!
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.
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?
Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
That one shell was well worth an evening’s walk on the beach to witness more wild wonders of life on Sanibel.
Join us on tomorrow for an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises! Call 239-472-5300
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.
Combing the beach as the sun sets over the Sanibel fishing pier reminds us why we love our home.
After getting back from Grand Bahama Island, we couldn’t wait to breathe in our own beach. We were greeted by a beautiful view of our lighthouse with an OSPREY keeping close to watch over it.
This majestic creature posed for me long enough to let me snap this photo…
Mr HERMIT CRAB came out of his LIGHTNING WHELK home to say “Hi!”.
We saw many beautiful and empty shells on our own beach of Sanibel but didn’t collect any since we had already collected so many CARIBBEAN SHELLS from the Bahamas which still needed to be cleaned. Now I’m done! These are the shells we found within 2 days shelling the east end of the island and going on our boating adventure with Joel (I’ve now learned he spells his name Joel but pronounced Joe-L like I wrote in my last post). We always love to find so many different species like this.
Here’s a close up of some of shells and BEACH BLING. Gorgeous, right? One day, oh… one day, I will identify all of these on one post but until then, I have other posts with identification of most of them on our other shelling trips in the Caribbean -CLICK HERE.
And BTW… Happy Mothers Day to my sweet mom and all of you wonderful mothers out there! My kitties have been as sweet as pie to me today so thank you for a wonderful day my beautiful Dustie…
And thank you to my baby boy RustBucket (his newest name is PuppyCat- he fetches!)… even though I busted you eating my plants today.
Finally! Shells! I haven’t found piles of shells on Sanibel the last several days but they were sure rolling in last night at Lighthouse Beach. Benjamin and Anja from Germany can attest to that…
These were just some of the gorgeous shells they found…
Clark found most of the shells in the top photo but I think he was most excited about a double BUTTERCUP…
The low tide was at sunset so I didn’t have much light to take a photo but it really is the prettiest BUTTERCUP we’ve ever seen…
This next photo will show you exactly where we were to find these beauties. Oh, and notice my new OLIVE bracelet? I made one for all of us for Shellabaloo last week – I missed my last one. If you want to make one, I made a video a while back on how to do it- CLICK HERE
A few nights ago, we went to Captiva and met avid shellers Brian and Candi from Newport News, Virginia as they were looking for KITTENS PAWS and CALICO CLAMS. We talked about our old stomping grounds in Virginia and shared fun stories about some of the other places in the world we both have been shelling… like Turks and Caicos.
Also this past week, we saw Russ and Jill from Wisconsin again on a Captiva Cruise to Cayo Costa.
Russ found such a cool piece of WORM ROCK which is a colony of VARIABLE WORM SNAIL. Love this!
Sophia, Vincent and Andrew from New Jersey took advantage of the crystal clear water of Cayo Costa to snorkel for some amazing shells.
I’m sure tonight will be about the same shelling at the Lighthouse for low tide so if you are any where close to Sanibel, check it out and find some goodies!
I had a few extra minutes today (how did my life get so busy?) so I snagged those few minutes to take a beach break. I’m so glad I did! With a beautiful 75 degrees and a slight breeze, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was the perfect hunting ground for the minis. I found a BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP along with a cutie DUSKY CONE, TUSKS, SPARSE DOVE SHELLS and many other sweet shells.
After I found a few of these beauties, I saw something else weird wash up in the surf that look sort of like giant orange pulp (with a strange alien creature in each pulp)….
Dr. Eric Milbrandt from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation identified it for me as a Clavelina picta COLONIAL TUNICATE. It’s in the same family as the SEA PORK we see often on our beaches. Weird and very cool. Thanks Eric! (BTW, I put it back in the water since it still had fluid in each of those sacs)
Before I found the TUNICATE and the BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP, I filmed a little video because I was so shocked that I walked right out from the parking lot to find so many goodies. I normally have to search high and low to find a honey hole of minis! I’ll show you exactly where I found all of my minis and my orange glob of coolness.