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

Super Shellers

Posted by on Jan 18, 2011 in Junonia, Sanibel, West Gulf Drive | 26 comments

Junonias by Charlie and Peggy

Junonias found by Charlie and Peggy

How lucky can you get??? Charlie and Peggy both found JUNONIAS last week off West Gulf Drive! Sue from last week’s Virtual Sheller Alert sent me these pictures to catch us up on the latest shelling news.

Shells with Charlie and Peggy

Charlie and Peggy (Jupiter, FL)

They are avid shellers and found both of them scooping in the water using shelling backhoes. Congrats to you both!

Peggy with junonias

Peggy with junonias

FYI- Low Tide Alert! Check out the really low tides this week. Just click on TIDES chart.

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Exploring New Seashells

Posted by on Jan 7, 2011 in Ark, Blind Pass, Cockle, Ponderous Ark, Sanibel, West Gulf Drive, Yellow Prickly Cockle | 36 comments

Yellow Prickly Cockle

Yellow Prickly Cockle

There were lots of YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLES still together scattered around the beach off West Gulf Drive access #6 yesterday. I always seem to overlook these because the ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES catch my eye first. I’m looking closer at the bivalves (a shell with 2 halves) now since I’ve always favored univalves (snail shells like CONCHS and CONES).
Ponderous Ark

Ponderous Ark

See? I even gave this PONDEROUS ARK a second look when I normally would have passed right by it. Since the names are somewhat new to me (I would have normally named it an “ARK” shell but now I’m trying to learn the different categories too), we can learn these things together. So that means if I misidentify a shell, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Shell Collector Alan

Alan (Maine)

I think Alan favors the univalves (or gastropods) too since he is showing off a FLORIDA CONE and some OLIVES. Check out his home made shelling rake!

Sanibel Anne shelling

Sanibel Anne (Sanibel... of course!)

I found Sanibel Anne working that same pile and watched her pull out that beautiful HORSE CONCH that she’s holding in her left hand. She makes shell mirrors and candlesticks from the shells she finds. Fun!

Crab trap beach

Over 20 mph north west winds washed up this pile of STONE CRAB pots on the beach two weeks ago. No wonder there are so many PIG’S FEET on the beach. These were the same winds that blew in the excellent shelling last month. We are expecting some good north west winds today “they” say about 16 mph (I’m not seeing anything yet) but maybe that’s enough for my JUNONIA to wash up. (?)
Shell beach to sand bar

We had a little NW wind yesterday so I ran up to Blind Pass to see the shells were washing up on the Sanibel side. You can see in this picture how close that point of the sand bar on the Captiva side is to Sanibel now. Maybe we should do a pool on who gets to the closest date that when the Captiva exposed sand touches Sanibel exposed sand.

Sanibel's Blind Pass beach

Yesterday there were more shells on the Sanibel side than on the Captiva side. Like I always say ….the beach changes by the day. You never know where the shells will show up.

Snowy Egret shelling

Snowy Egret shelling

I took this next picture as I walked the entrance to the beach where there are sea grape trees lining the walkway. I had to stop to take in the beautiful palette of colors the leaves painted on the path.

Sea Grape Leaves

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Sand Dollar Days

Posted by on Sep 12, 2010 in low tide, Sand Dollar, West Gulf Drive | 15 comments

3 sand dollars in the surf

This weekend was SAND DOLLAR heaven around West Gulf Drive beach access #7. There is a nice sand bar where they are washing up and peeking out from beneath the sand.

Deb and Merritt (Ohio)

Deb and Merritt had a whole shell bag filled with SAND DOLLARS.

Sand dollar shell bag

Deb and Merritt don’t even mess around with packing fragile shells in their suitcase to take home any more … they ship them!

Judith and Alex (Boca Raton)

Judith and Alex found lots of sand dollars too and since they drove to Sanibel, they won’t have a bit of problem getting them home without breaking.

Sand dollar sand bar straight ahead!

In this picture, you can see what that sand dollar sand bar looks like. Low tide was in the morning around 9:30 this weekend. The perfect weekend ….. sleep in late…..then go shelling for sand dollars!

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Sea Turtle Hatchlings!

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 in Sea turtle, West Gulf Drive | 10 comments

Sea Turtle hatchling photo by Susie Holly

My friend Susie who owns MacIntosh Books saw baby SEA TURTLES hatching! She got to share the experience with her best friend Gail who was visiting from Maryland. Lucky girls! You can see that little guy sliding on his back trying to get his balance- awwww, so cute! Thanks for sharing this Sooz!

She sent me a note with the pictures…

The absolutely coolest thing ever happened on the beach. Gail and I were taking a walk near access # 7 on Wednesday about 6 p.m. (on her last night here) and we came upon a loggerhead nest in the midst of hatching! We saw five little turtles break out of their shells and run to the water–and off they went. I hope you can see from the pictures what’s happening. It was awesome.”

Sea turtle running to the water photo by Susie Holly

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Time To Shell

Posted by on Jul 31, 2010 in Conch, Cone, Fighting Conch, Florida Cone, Olive, True tulip, Tulip, West Gulf Drive | 3 comments

Florida cone and a watch

If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. We headed down to beach access #7 on West Gulf Drive again this morning and in just a couple of minutes I plucked this FLORIDA CONE out of the surf….. and Clark found me a watch! haha He scooped it up out of the surf only a minute after I found the cone. It’s still working! Long story but my nice “waterproof” watch just died (rusted in the inside-ugh)so now I have a watch for the beach. FYI- It’s not an expensive watch…but if it’s yours, let me know.

Extreme Kayakers

These 2 extreme kayakers Laurens and David were taking a rest on the beach as part of their journey along the west coast. They left Port Charlotte for a 10 day kayak-a-thon to Key West for Lobsterfest. Everything they need is on their kayaks. They have hammocks with mosquito netting to sleep on/in, water, food, GPS, and cell phones tucked securely away in the bow of the boat. That’s crazy, right? We just met them and I’m already so worried about them so I asked them to let us know when they get to Key West. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.

True Tulip and Olives

This is just a sampling of some of the other shells we found but that TRUE TULIP Clark found is adorable. We found plenty of those OLIVES and again the FIGHTING CONCHS are plentiful. Some of the shells we found on the beach but most of them were right on the edge of the surf. As you can see in the kayak picture, there is a nice shell line with seaweed intertwined. To me, that’s a great sign of even better shelling to come.  Clark said he would step it up a bit and try to find me a Rolex in the surf next time. ;)

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The Crab and The Sunset

Posted by on Jul 31, 2010 in Conch, Crabs, Fighting Conch, Ghost Crab, Lightning Whelk, Sanibel, West Gulf Drive, Whelk | 9 comments

The Crab and The Sunset

The larger shells are coming back in around West Gulf Drive…finally! We found plenty of FIGHTING CONCHS, a few LIGHTNING WHELKS and BANDED TULIPS….but how about that crazy CRAB! He was running back and forth in the surf and then stopped to check me out.

All of these were found on the beach off West Gulf Drive around beach access #7.

Lightning Whelk in Gulf surf

Kalex (Tennessee)

Kalex has been coming to Sanibel to shell with his family for the past 3 years. He had a shell bag with lots of OLIVES but was on a mission looking for the mini shells.

Kalex's mini shells

Sunset Fishing

I didn’t see it, but Clark and another guy on the beach said they saw the green flash on this sunset. They said I turned away too quickly…darn! I was messing with my camera, I’m sure. Of all the sunsets I’ve seen, I’ve only seen the green flash about 3 times. When it happens…celebrate!

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