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

Focusing On A Few Beautiful Beach Treasures

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Calico, Fighting Conch, Scallop, Sea Life, Sunsets | 12 comments

fighting conch shells lining Sanibel beach

It’s crazy the masses of stranded FIGHTING CONCHS and HORSE CONCHS I showed you over 2 weeks ago (CLICK HERE) are still on the beach at Gulfside City Park.

hundreds of Fighting conchs

Blind Pass Captiva has come and gone with shells a few times in the last weeks so each day is a surprise to what we find. The best thing I’ve found there recently is 10 year old Ryan from New Jersey. This kid has learned so much about shells, he could name every shell on the beach. It was so much fun to see that he was just as obsessed with all shells and bling… hmmmmm… I think I see a future Malacologist in the making. ;)

10 year old ryan with shells

He’s pretty darn good at finding awesome shells too.

ryans shells

It was a special trip to Sanibel for Ryan and his grandma Hilarie – he was teaching her about shells. There’s something else interesting about this next photo too… this beach is on the inside of jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva- that beach is back! Over the years the sand shifts back and forth- opening and closing the pass. It’s amazing to watch the power Mother Nature has to build a beach or take away a beach within a matter of days. (CLICK HERE and HERE to see other Blind Pass changes)

Hilarie and Ryan 10 year old sheller

I took a quick little video of the shells at Gulfside again to share with you… Honestly, it kind of makes my head spin to see all of them so its hard to focus on looking at anything else.

I just have to focus on a few other sweet treasures… and remember at times less is more.

Purple Sanibel calico scallop

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

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Not Waiting For the Calm After The Storm

Posted by on Oct 4, 2015 in Beach Hearts, Calico, Sand Dollar, Scallop | 10 comments

Conch if you love sunset

Even though Hurricane Joaquin has been churning in the Caribbean hundreds of miles from Sanibel and Captiva the last few days, those north and west winds have effected our beaches and churned our gulf coast as well.

Rough SW gulf coast water with shells

This weekend Clark and I combed the beaches (through intermittent rain without lightning) finding some cool broken brick/concrete chunks with turquoise paint (maybe an old floor?), lots of incredible “sun beam” SCALLOPS and other assorted shells and bling getting tossed up by the rough surf on the beaches closer to Captiva.

beautiful sunrise scallops

Clark found lots of dreamy creamsicle shelliciousness at Bowman’s Beach.

orange shellicious shells

The gulf was much calmer near Gulfside Beach which made for a beautiful sunset to show off Ray’s perfect little juvie SAND DOLLAR.

Ray's sand dollar in the sky

Although Ray (from Nantucket) is visiting Sanibel for a fishing trip, he found his first SAND DOLLAR (he called it a sand nickel – heehee) along with some other shells. He noticed it was still a little dark so he knew to search for any signs of life by looking for any “fur” or cilia anywhere on the body. He asked me to check it out to make sure as well…. yep, he was right- no fur. It’s a keeper!

juvie sand dollar by Ray while fishing

At Lighthouse Beach, the wind was kicking up and the shells were starting to roll in…. but you had to fast to snag them or the waves would take them right back out as fast as they came in. Dale and Wayne (Jacksonville, FL) were lucky enough to catch a few good ones but Dale said this ALPHABET CONE was the best of their collection. Awesome!

Dale Wayne Jacksonville with cone shell Sanibel

Just like this weekend, each SW Florida beach this week will probably be changing by the hour. That’s why we love to be out there and it keeps us coming back, right?

i heart shells beach art

I can’t wait to see what we find on our iLoveShelling Adventure to Cayo Costa tomorrow with Captiva Cruises- So excited! If you won’t be joining us tomorrow, check out more dates by CLICKING HERE

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

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Happy Beach Heart

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Birds, Calico, Ibis, Scallop | 12 comments

Scalloped edges of a Sanibel beach path

Finding one beautifully detailed SCALLOP on the beach can set me off on a whole evening of combing the beach for just a few more special SCALLOPS with different patterns and designs.

Sanibel orange scallop on shell covered beach

Dont get me wrong, I still like to see and find OLIVES, CONCHS and such.

Olive shell in the wet sand on Sanibel Island Florida

I found most of my treasures on Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park beach while stopping to giggle at the flocks of IBIS birds wading in the surf bobbing their heads while strutting along the water’s edge.

Sanibel Ibis bird on the beach

At the end of the day, collecting a few spectacsheller SCALLOP shells makes me smile and fills my happy beach heart every single time.

Colorful Sanibel scallop shells with beach daisies

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Spectacsheller Shell Mountain

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Blind Pass, Calico, Captiva, Helmet, Queen Helmet, Scallop, Scotch Bonnet | 23 comments

Where to find mounds of shells

After five days, the mound of shells that built up at Blind Pass Captiva last week is still producing exshellent finds.

where sea shells pile up on the beach

There was a QUEEN HELMET found this morning!

Find a queen helmet shell Sanibel Captiva

Donna and Ray from North Carolina were sifting through this shelltastic pile this morning…

Donna Ray NC find sea shells on Sanibel Captiva Florida

when Donna found that cutie little QUEEN HELMET, a SCOTCH BONNET, 2 ALPHABET CONES (a perfect one minutes after I snapped this photo), LETTERED OLIVES, APPLE MUREXES, CERITHS, AUGERS, CHESTNUT TURBANS, FIGHTING CONCHS and gorgeous CALICO SCALLOPS.

Find queen helmet, scotch bonnet, alphabet cone lots of shells

Matt and Monika from Ohio found a spot on shell mountain to dig out some gold too.

monika matt Ohio visit Sanibel to go shelling

It was the first time visiting Sanibel and Captiva for Wenjin from New Jersey… she was in shell heaven!

Wenjin NJ finds shells visit Sanibel

Its the perfect paradise ending to 2014 with 80 degree sunny weather and seashells piled a mile high. Heaven on earth.

Oodles of seashells at Blind Pass Captiva Florida

I took a random CYBERSHELLING shot on the top of the pile when I first got there. I hope you find a few goodies! (Warning: If you like KITTENS PAWS, you might want to take a big breath before you click on this next photo. heehee)

Cybershelling Blind Pass Captiva December 30 2014

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Different Scallop Shells Of SouthWest Florida

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Beach Poems, Calico, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Rough scallop, Scallop, ZigZag Scallop Right Valve | 28 comments

calico rough bay zigzag flat lions paw scallops

Can you tell the difference between a CALICO SCALLOP, ROUGH SCALLOP, BAY SCALLOP (top row), ZIGZAG SCALLOP (the FLAT valve and deep valve) and a LION’S PAW (bottom row)? I searched through our collection to find similar sizes and color examples of each species so that you can see the differences in shapes with the exterior (above) and the interior (below). But Ack! I didn’t mean to but I switched the ZIGZAG valves in the next photo so that now the FLAT side is in the middle and the inflated side is on the second row left. Sorry- silly me!

sw florida scallop interiors

It’s so hard to show every angle but here is a way to see how different they are and how deep the valves are. On the top row right in the next photo, you can see how much flatter the BAY SCALLOP is from the CALICO (left) and the ROUGH SCALLOP (middle) and also how deep the ribs are in the LIONS PAW. I’ve written about both valves of the ZIGZAG SCALLOP before  (CLICK HERE) but not about how the valve looks beside the other SCALLOPS. Denise Kisko (my buddy in the New York Times article!) asked me how to identify the second side of the FLAT ZIGZAG. In the next photo look at the shell in first row on the left, see the big shadow under the “nose” of that SCALLOP? It doesn’t sit flat on the table because it is so inflated and the sides spread out so much. That’s the second half of the ZIGZAG bivalve shell that fits with the FLAT side (middle shell).

the difference between scallops

 

This is how it looks when both valves are together when it is alive…

 

zigzag scallop pair

Here is a photo of a common CALICO SCALLOP, the deep side of the ZIGZAG SCALLOP (the other side of a FLAT) and a common ROUGH SCALLOP. Can you see that the middle shell is more “fanned” and the hinge area seems a bit smaller too.

the difference between calico zigzag and rough scallops

Now you can really tell the difference by looking at the interior…

interior difference between calico zigzag rough scallops

When I was looking at all of our SCALLOPS, I noticed how similar the CALICO SCALLOPS and BAY SCALLOPS look alike too. There are a few different ways to tell them apart but for me, this is the best angle to look at them. Now they look different, right?

calico and atlantic bay scallop difference

So I hope this will help you just a little bit more to tell the different SCALLOPS of Southwest Florida apart. Top left to right…. CALICO SCALLOP, ROUGH SCALLOP, BAY SCALLOP. Bottom left to right… FLAT side of ZIGZAG SCALLOP (which I normally just call a “FLAT”, ZIGZAG SCALLOP (the deep right valve), LION’S PAW.calico rough bay zigzag flat lions paw scallops

When Denise asked me how to identify the “other side of the FLAT”, her friend Penny Lang Yelverton posted a poem on the iLoveShelling Facebook page that she and Denise wrote while together on Sanibel. She said…

Great month on Sanibel with my friend Denise Sheldon Kisko (NYT). We wrote new lyrics to the song My Favorite Things while waiting for a storm to pass at Gulf Side.

Sand dollars, starfish and conchs of all kinds.
Kitten paws, scallops are some common finds.
Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm galore,
Keep you from burning so you can shell more.

Lions paws, tulips, junonia’s so fine.
Worm shells and murex are also good finds.
Blind Pass and Bowmans and Gulf Side seashore,
These are the beaches we shellers adore!

When the rain comes,
When the waves crash,
We don’t even mind.
We’ll keep on shelling for our favorite finds.
We must be out of……
Our minds.

Happy shelling!”

I love this! Thank you Penny and Denise! You inspired me and made it fun to start sorting my SCALLOPS.

sorting florida scallops

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Eggshellent Easter Scallops

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Blind Pass Video, Calico, Rough scallop, Scallop, Scallop Video | 24 comments

Easter Eggshellent Scallop Shells

On Sanibel, the Easter Bunny doesn’t dye colorful egg shells… our Bunny brings colorful SCALLOP SHELLS that want to wish you an eggshellent Easter!

Just an FYI- I took the video during last week’s shell pile at Blind Pass Captiva.

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