If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.
This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!
The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…
The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…
This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…
The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…
There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.
We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…
We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…
Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee
The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…
A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.
Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.
Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!
The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.
After late afternoon rain showers in the summer tropics of Sanibel when the setting sun peeks out from the clouds, the colors of the sky seem to magnify the brilliant colors of the water, beach, sand and shells.
I didn’t find many empty shells along the middle island beach of Sanibel but I made up for it finding the perfect SAND DOLLAR. Or maybe I was so amazed by the living SEALIFE that I couldn’t focus on picking up shells. I’m still in awe over the baby KINGS CROWNS so my focus has been on stopping at every living thing to inspect it closely just to make sure I dont miss anything. WOW! I usually walk right on by the SEA ANEMONES at low tide trying to find half buried shells but this one stopped me in my tracks. Look at the color of this one! The shallow water waved the tentacles back and forth so I could get a view of it’s magical dance.
The turquoise blue color caught my eye on this different one. I think it’s a SEA ANEMONE because of the size, shape and texture but I never saw it open (I waited for about 15 minutes) and it didn’t retract when I gently touched it. Hmmmm. Something new again. Have you ever seen one this color?
I found this BRITTLE STAR wrapped up like a ball in the water that was lapping up on the beach. “He” looked like he had seen better days but I untangled him then placed him in shallow water without the wave action. He started coming alive again! You can see he is already starting to bury himself in the sand.
I could have taken hundreds of photos of live sea creatures during the low tide evenings this week but to experience such beautiful late afternoons with the cool breeze says it all in this next photo. It takes my breath away. Happy weekend to you all.
The beach at Captiva’s Blind Pass near the jetty rocks was an absolutely gorgeous aqua blue yesterday… and that’s where SaraBeth, Todd, Pati and Kate from Texas were finding their turquoise pot with golden treasures.
Danielle from North Carolina found this bucket of golden shells in the water too along with her family in the background. See how close they were to the jetty rocks? It was calm and clear- so completely different from last week when TS Andrea came through.
All of the shelling action was in the water so Mikey, Linda and Mike from Tampa, FL were chest deep in the water too having a ball scooping up CONCHS, WHELKS and a variety of shells. They know if the shells arent on the beach… get in the water to look for them! Most likely you will find something golden and you’ll have a great time looking.
I also want to show you all of the live creatures that are around Lighthouse Beach this week. Michael R found this WEST INDIAN SEA EGG (URCHIN) in one of the tidal pools at low. It really doesn’t show up well in this photo but the spines were a beautiful pink tint. Thanks for showing it to me Michael before you put it back in the water.
Its always a treat to see such a laaaarge healthy TRUE TULIP scooting along the shallow waters. I thought he wanted to be in a little deeper water so I put him in a tidal pool that just covered his shell but he made a “U-ie” and went right back to shallow water. Okay, dude- I get it. I’ll leave you alone next time.
There were thousands of live SAND DOLLARS everywhere! I thought this one was so interesting since it was so light in color but very much still alive… And that he had repaired himself from an injury.
We normally don’t see SEA ANEMONES like this one laying on top of the sand like I found this one. Weird, huh? But it was still alive so I hope he survived after I put him back in the water.
We’ve had rain on and off this whole week so it’s been fun to see so many RAINBOWS! This one stretched along the horizon to remind us that Southwest Florida is an amazing pot of gold.
I’ve got some fun news… We reached 6000 “Likes” on our iLoveShelling Facebook Page! Wahoo! Thank you Lisa Rothman for being our 6000th shelling friend!
One more thing…Only a few days left to enter to win a shelling vacation on Sanibel! Enter now so CLICK HERE!
Earlier this week the DOSINIAS were everywhere at the lighthouse. Doesn’t it look like Mr Greenjeans just dropped all of his ping pong balls all over the beach? I know, I’m showing my age.
There has been a variety of shells washing up at the lighthouse beach this week. The MUREXES, SHARK’S EYE, TURBAN and FIGHTING CONCH that are resting inside a double DOSINIA CLAM were some of the treasures in Dennis and Terri’s (WA) shell bag.
A shelling sister!….With her tee shirt to prove it!
This is a view of the outside of a DOSINIA. You’ve probably seen one of these before if you’ve come for a visit to Sanibel or Captiva.
I placed their shells in the DOSINIA in the first photo because I saw this live APPLE MUREX looking so cute hanging upside down in this one.
That’s a huge WENTLETRAP in Terri’s hand! The smaller one is the size we are used to finding.
Ha! Clark hates to be out-shelled (remember the day I found my first SCOTCH BONNET? Clark found one the same day.) So of course he found a monster WENTLETRAP too.
This was a live BRITTLE STAR that got caught in the receding tide so we picked him up (they won’t hurt you) and placed in back into the gulf.
Here are a few pictures I took this week. I just didn’t get a chance to post them yet so the beach may have changed (as it does every day).
Judy and Robin
More Sanibel Stooping.
Don’t worry, it’s a DOLPHIN not a SHARK.
A pink SEA ANEMONE.
Blind Pass update: I took the photo above and the one below Sunday at Blind Pass on the Sanibel side. The sand is filling in between the shore and the sand bar so I wonder if there is any water that separates it now. I didn’t see anybody collecting too much there but I’ll check it out tomorrow too.
This is shelling heaven. I’m sure you understand why Clare and Robin have such great smiles on their faces as they sift through scoops of shells Clare just brought back from the water.
Those are WENTLETRAPS they are finding!
I felt so lucky all weekend to be able to sift through such a wide wrack of shells and talk to so many happy successful shellers at the lighthouse beach on Sanibel.
This is a day’s shell collection that any sheller would smile about. It’s like the top ten shells of Sanibel, isn’t it? I saw Connie again (from March 30 post) with a FIGHTING CONCH, PAPER FIG, TRUE TULIP, HORSE CONCH, FLORIDA CONE, ALPHABET CONES, LIGHTNING WHELK, a little tiny KING’S CROWN, and a PEAR WHELK on her shelling screen (oh yeah, and a PONDEROUS ARK but not sure I would call that a top ten shell- haha).
Connie with her top ten.
Rachael (Denver) found a FLORIDA CONE and two minutes later, she and her Aunt Joan scooped up all of these shells from the surf…
All of these shells in just two scoops!
Rachael and her Aunt Joan (Rachael’s mom’s twin sister!) smiling big.
This weekend you could find big shells but Hudson (St Pete, FL) had keen eyes to find beautiful minis too. This is a gorgeous COFFEE MELAMPUS.
Hudson’s little sister Ilene filled up her bucket with COCKLES and DOSINIAS. She even saved a STARFISH by putting it back in the water.
This guy is a malacologist in the making if you ask me. When I started talking to Mitchel (MI), he told me he was a scientific shell collector. I watched him scoop up a few good scoops of shells out of the water to take back to the sand to sift through them. Every time he’d dump the shells out, he’d draw a crowd of people to see what he found….. most of them were girls. Smart guy.
Nice Conus spurius (ALPHABET CONE), Dr M.
There were so many different things like this HORSE CONCH EGG CASE with a PEN SHELL washing up on the beach that I could talk about it for days….. and I think will. I’ll have to show the rest of my photos tomorrow since I’ve run out of time. I have so many more good ones …. like this
SEA ANEMONE flower…..
Following the baby ear trail
Instead of following the yellow brick road, Julie is following the track of a live yellow BABY EAR at low tide. She sees the path on the sand bar and then follows the trail, digs in the sand and gently pulls up the yellowish mollusk. Are you ready to see what they look like? This is the first time I’ve ever seen a live one in person! Ready? Here you go…..
Live baby's ear shell
Really…this isn’t a photo of a handmade ravioli or smooched ball of wet dough. It’s a baby ear mollusk that practically surrounds it’s whole shell…..and it’s very slimy!
Leigh (West Palm Beach) holding a live baby's ear
I saw Leigh and her niece and nephew, Julie and Jack (Ft lauderdale), having the best time playing out on the sand bar in front of Holiday Inn on Sanibel. They were digging around, giggling and running back and forth. I had to see what all of the fuss was about. They also found live SHARK’S EYES and SEA ANEMONES.
Live shark's eye coming out of his shell
Live baby shark's eyes with egg casing collar
On the right hand side of the PEN SHELL is the egg casing collar for more baby shark eyes. It was Mother Nature’s huge touch tank out there last night. Now meet Leigh’s nephew, Jack. He loves the sea anemones.
Jack with sea anemone on Sanibel
Leigh and her family come to Sanibel a lot – every time the tide is really low. Of course, after they are done looking and learning about the mollusks and sea life they find, they gently put them back where they found them.