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

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![youtube]http://youtu.be/TZbIqtCX7Iw[/youtube]

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

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The 12 Shells Of Sanibel My Seashore Gave To Me…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Apple, Atlantic Giant, Banded tulip, Bittersweet Clam, buttercup, Calico, Christmas, Cockle, Conch, Cone, Fighting Conch, Giant Bittersweet, Holiday, Lettered Olive, Lightning Whelk, Murex, Olive, Sailor's Ear Channeled Duck Clam, Scallop, Tulip, Whelk | 59 comments

12 cockles clicking

Of my first find of shelling, my seashore gave to me…. a CONE on the beach of Sanibel

1 cone from sanibel

Of my second find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

2 bittersweets

Of my third find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

3 nutmegs

Of my fourth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

4 sunbeam scallops

Of my fifth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

5 golden buttercups

On the sixth day of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

6 marvelous murexes

Of my seventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

7 sailors ears singing

Of my eighth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

8 awesome olives

Of my ninth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

9 whelks a welcoming

Of my tenth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

10 tulips twirling

Of my eleventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 11 CONCHS  a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

11 conchs a clacking

Of my twelfth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 12 COCKLES clicking, 11 CONCHS  a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

12 cockles clicking

 

Happy Shellidays, y’all!

Shellebrate!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Shells Sweep In And Shells Sweep Out

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Calico, Horse Conch, Junonia, Scallop, Snook, Tropical Storm Andrea | 20 comments

shell mound sanibel bridge

Tropical Storm Andrea swept the seashells onto Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach on Friday but she also swept most of them out into the Gulf Of Mexico by Saturday night. I figured the shells had blown to another beach so I headed to the other side of the island… Blind Pass. I found some! There was a pretty nice shell mound under the bridge that leads to Captiva. That’s where I found Jamie and Alex from Hollywood, Florida shellebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Their wedding had a seashell theme so Alex surprised Jamie with a shelling week  Sanibel. Sweet!

jamie alex shelling sanibel

They were sifting through smaller CLAM shells to find a few nice FIGHTING CONCHS, LGITHNING WHELKS, LETTERED OLIVES, CALICO SCALLOPS and COCKLES…

jamie seashells sanibel

Kealey and Chad from Sarasota were having good luck shelling the same spot…

kealey chad seashells sanibel

Oooooh… Look at that WORM SHELL! And they found a few nice SHARKS EYES, WHELKS and that sweet candy.

seashells sanibel purple bucket

Cheri, Rylan and Amanda from New Smyrna were having a ball collecting JINGLES and SCALLOPS…

cheri rylan amanda seashells bp

I was collecting CALICO SCALLOPS too. I can’t resist picking them up when the colors are this gorgeous!

colorful scallop shells bp

I had a question here in the comments section the other day asking “Is there a good beach to find shells while my husband fishes?”. Now you can see for yourself! Danny caught this nice SNOOK (he gently released it immediately after I took the photo) in the same spot we were finding these shell…

danny snook fish sanibel

I ran back down to Lighthouse Beach happy to see there were still people finding shells…  the miniature shells. Jesse, Erick and Jonsiah from PA were thrilled to find their very first WENTLETRAPS

jesse erick jonsiah sanibel lh

The iLoveShelling FaceBook Page was rocking too so I  wanted to share a few photos of shells that were posted from the weekend… like from Steve O who found his first PAPER FIG…

steve ozment shells

Brooke L posted this next photo and said “The shells were great, the beaches empty, waves rolling in, and a perfect sunset! Thank you TS Andrea!”

brooke l seashells

Kelly M from Dunedin, FL found the big “J” on Honeymoon Island over the weekend. Wahoo! A JUNONIA!

kelly honeymoon island junonia

 I love this next photo that Greg D posted. He found three huge HORSE CONCHS! He wrote “Three horse conchs I scooped up at Bind Pass Friday night. Great ending to our vacation”. Boom Shellalaka!

greg deboer horse conchs

I never got a chance to check out Gulfside City Park but I have a feeling there might be shells showing up on that beach soon. I hope to get there tomorrow!

sanibel lighthouse yellow pier

Don’t forget! Only 5 more days to enter to win a Shelling Vacation on Sanibel! CLICK HERE!

Seashell Island Shelling Vacation

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