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

Sorting and Shelling For Seashell Art Project

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Cone, Coquina, Florida Cone, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, Seashells, Whelk | 9 comments

sorting florida cone shells

To start a seashell art project, the first thing on the “to do list” is find shells. Check.

Finding seashells on Sanibel Island Florida on Tarpon Beach

Then the shells have to be cleaned and dried. Check.

sorting lightning whelk shells sanibel

Then the shells should be sorted by species and color. Check.

sorting florida scallops

Depending on the project, the shells may need to be sorted in sizes. Check.

sorting turban shells

Now that we’ve got most of the finding, cleaning, sorting and sizing done… there is even more fun to be had in the creating process.

sorting scallop seashells sanibel

Shelling is beach therapy but creating shell art is just another form of therapy all over again… seashell therapy. To look at the beauty of these treasures is an art in itself. I can’t get enough of it!

coquina seashells on white

 

Now that we’ve got lots checked off on the list for our seashell art project, we’ve still got lots to do to put them all together to make the design and finished product. I can’t wait until it’s done and to unveil it for the 1st Annual National Seashell Day June 20, 2016 on Sanibel and of course I’ll be showing lots of photos right here.  It’s gonna be spectacsheller… Stay tuned!

sorting kings crown seashells sanibel

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Sanibel Shellnanigans

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Junonia, Millipede Starfish, Starfish | 23 comments

sanibel starfish sea star by causeway bridge

After high winds for a few days last week, Sanibel Island had some interesting live creatures wash up on all of our shores like the MILLIPEDE STARFISH (aka- SEA STAR ;)) at the Sanibel Causeway and….

There were empty shells washing up too. Tom from Indiana found an JUNONIA off West Gulf!

Junonia found by Tom Indiana

Shellzam! It’s so beautiful.

Sanibel Junonia

Lots of shell EGG CASINGS were washing in at Gulfside City Park along with PEN SHELLS and SPONGES.

fresh Sanibel shells

When the waters calmed down a bit, The Fabshellous Shell Squad was there to pick out some of the spectasheller treasures from the surf.  It was fun to hang out discussing shellnanigans with Michelle, Julianna, Veronica, Laura and Rebecca because they like to talk in shelludricous shellanguage like I do. ;)

Michelle, Julianna, Veronica, Laura, Rebecca VCB press

Veronica texas seashell

Clark scooped up a few ALPHABET CONES and a FLORIDA CONE. He even snapped a photo of them and sent it to me since I wasn’t near him on the beach to take the picture of them. He wanted me to put “Staff photo by Clark Rambo” haha

Florida alphabet cone shells

Cathy was finding lots of great shells too and even witnessed Clark taking more photos. (Staff photo by Clark Rambo heehee)

Cathy clermont FL shells

These were my three favorite shells I found last night at dusk at Gulfside- an ALPHABET CONE, DOSINIA and a gorgeous color BANDED TULIP.

Sanibel seashells at dusk

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

 

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Seashells At The Sanibel Lighthouse

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Dusky Cone, Wentletrap | 15 comments

Sanibel Lighthouse seashells

The Sanibel Lighthouse beach has been a long time favorite place of ours to search for the mini shells. The evening was cool and breezy so to take a nice walk from the gulf side to the fishing pier over the weekend was delightful. Our beloved little WENTLETRAPS were scattered along the mid tide line along with a a few adorable little DUSKY CONES. Of the 5 we found, the last one we picked up I believe (the one on the far left by the cutie little pink COQUINA half) is an ALBINO DUSKY. It doesn’t look beach worn and there’s not a speck of color in it. Hmmmmm. Score!

Dusky shells Sanibel island Florida

Clark and I are now on the mend from fighting that awful cold/flu/”crud” that zapped us both from every ounce of energy and zombified our brains for a number of days- yuk! Taking a short walk on the beach was just what the doctor ordered- ahhhh we both feel much better. For us, getting outside in the sunshine is always the best medicine and searching for shells on the beach is the perfect follow up therapy.

miniature seashells on Sanibel

 

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My Inner South Carolina Seashell Artist Is Channeling Whelks

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Cape Romain, Channeled Whelk, Eastern Oyster, Knobbed Whelk, Knobbed Whelk Egg Case, Oyster, South Carolina, Wentletrap, Whelk, World shelling | 14 comments

channeled whelk shells

I am channeling my inner artist looking at these CHANNELED WHELKS as I look back on our shelling trip to the Carolinas earlier this month (Beach Combing Trip To Portsmouth Island). I could have taken hundreds of photos of these incredishelly beautiful works of art as I saw them laying in the sand half buried in the islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

channeled whelk

Seeing KNOBBED WHELKS and OYSTER SHELLS rolling up in the surf was a masterful sight to behold.

South Carolina shells on the beach

Mother Nature artfully placed a SAND DOLLAR as though she staged this still-life for me to photograph.

South Carolina sand dollar

I didn’t find all of her still-lifes in obvious places. These 2 KNOBBED WHELK shells, an ANGEL WING and oodles of OYSTER SHELLS were behind a large wrack line of driftwood, seaweeds and various sticks from sea oats and sea grasses.

shells in beach wrack

The EASTERN OYSTER SHELLS are so beautiful as well, especially the juveniles as they form stunning sculptures.

eastern oyster sculpture

After searching for miles, we found an area filled with the sweet adorable miniature shells. There were even WENTLETRAPS!

miniature shells south carolina

And then, Whelp… another WHELK.

empty knobbed whelk

How can they be this gorgeous?

knobbed whelk with oyster shells

We found dried KNOBBED WHELK EGG CASES too. They are so similar to our LIGHTNING WHELK egg cases we find in Sanibel but the KNOBBED WHELK EGG SACK disks are little more oval in shape.

knobbed whelk egg case-1

But this just may have been the find of trip….  a GIANT EASTERN MUREX. Boom Shellalaka! It may not have been he prettiest shell on the beach but it really is giant and it just seemed impossible that we would find one.  I can’t claim finding it- our friend (our hostess with mostest) Karen found it then gave it to me. Omigosh really? We don’t normally bring home shells that we don’t find ourselves (we are fortunate to already have enough) but it is an amazing memory from that day and an awesome shell. Very cool- thank you!

Giant Eastern Murex

Clark and I (in red colors) are still smiling from our shelling trip with Nanette, Helen, Jackie, Karen and Captain Dan. We met all of them in McClellinville, South Carolina where Karen’s buddy Captain Dan Scarborough took us out on his boat to the out islands. I can’t even explain how much fun it was island hopping out on the boat all day with this crew.

shell trip guides to South Carolina

We brought back a few brilliant shells with different color patterns that look like Mother Nature had a field day with her architectural designs and paint brush.

shell basket filled with South Carolina seashells

Clark and I are so grateful to these Three Crazy Carolina Girls- Jackie, Helen and Karen for inviting us on this unforgettable shelling trip. Love these girls!

Shell guide friends Jackie, Helen and Karen

To join me on a shelling trip adventure in SW Florida…
Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

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Learning about Seashells at the 2016 Sanibel Shell Festival

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in 79th Sanibel Shell Festival 2016, Cockle, Eleuthera Shells, False Shark Eye, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Florida Prickly Cockle, Freak Shells, Glass Sponge, Moon Snail, Sanibel, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Scallop, Shark's Eye, Shell Shows, Sponge, Triton, ZigZag Scallop Right Valve | 3 comments

Eleuthra seashells October 2015 -1

The shell world is a fascinating adventure to learn about the lives of MOLLUSKS and the people who collect their shells on the beaches across the planet. Because I am one of those people obsessed with living my life in the world of shells, I love to hang out with people who love to share their knowledge about them too. The Sanibel Shell Festival is a great place to do that.

I’m thrilled Sunnye (TX) shared her colorful shell collection she found beachcombing in Eleuthera, Bahamas (top photo).

Sunnye Dinger Eleuthra seashell display Sanibel Shell festival-1

Her sister Lisa (TX) had some awesome displays too for which they both won awards.

lisa fitzgerald sanibel shell festival exhibitor 2016-1

Lisa EXHIBITED this gorgeous SMOOTH TELLIN…

Smooth Tellin shell Laciolina laevigata Eleuthera BahamsSmooth Tellin shell Laciolina laevigata Eleuthera Bahams

But I looooved this cool display Lisa did showing the difference between the SHARKS EYE and the FALSE SHARKS EYE. It explains and shows the difference in detail (for more info check out my post Sanibel Shark Week… Featuring The Shark Eye Shell).

difference between shark eye shell false sanibel shell festival exhibit-1

And then there’s Stef! I’m so happy for her- she won a blue ribbon for her double FLAT SCALLOP she found by Sanibel’s Island Inn.

Stefanie Wolf Sanibel Shell Museum marine biologist.jpg

Wait… did you miss what I said? Okay, lemme slow down… she found both sides of her FLAT ZIGZAG SCALLOP still hinged together. Exactly like she displayed it… on Sanibel… and with amazing color. Wow! Years ago, I was thrilled when Clark found just the other half of a FLAT (the right valve) since it’s rare to find them here (CLICK HERE to see what the other side looks like) … and she found both perfect valves still together. Shellzam! Congrats Stefanie!

Ziczac Zig zag scallop both valves shell festival blue ribbon-1

There were lots of displays showing ALBINO shells this year but this one by Ken and Joyce Matthys was really very cool. Here they shows tons of ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES they’ve found through the years…

Albino shells prickle cockle

In the next case they show FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES which are ALBINISTIC. They explain… “Some shells lack their normal color, but they are not pure white. Instead they may be pale yellow, cream-colored, or have other hints of color. These are referred to as being albinistic”. Hmmm Haven’t you seen some like this? I have and now we’ve learned a name for this color form… ALBINISTIC.

Albinistic shells lack normal color

Anne Joffe’s seashell emergency room display was hilarious and voted best for People’s Choice award. Freak and damaged shells that repaired themselves to form in odd shapes were propped in mini doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and surgery rooms with bandages, crutches and doctors notes.

ann joffe freak shell exhibit sanibel festival-1

Check out this PALLID CARRIER SHELL with an attached GLASS SPONGE (from the Philippines) by exhibitor Robert Linn. Wildly beautiful.

Pallid carrier shell with glass sponge Sanibel festival

Last week I posted about the artistic side of the show with SAILORS VALENTINES, shell frames and all sorts of shell art and craft but when you look at some of these shells like these ATLANTIC TRITONS exhibited by Holly Nordyke, you realize you are looking at the most perfect work of art ever made. Stunning.
atlantic triton shell festival Holly Nordyke exhibit

Hope to see you next year at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival!

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

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Magical Moments On the Beach

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Lion's Paw | 19 comments

shells

How quickly the beach changes with each wave.

shells with blanket of sea foam

Right before my eyes, a WHELK appears…

seashell on shell beach

I was very lucky this week to have a TRUE TULIP wash up on one of my beach walks last week at Gulfside City Park beach as well.

true tulip

And an ANGEL WING… always magical.Magical

angel wing in the sand

A colorful FLAME BOX CRAB shell…

flame box crab shell

This little cutie too… a CALICO CRAB shell.

calico box crab

Over the weekend as I walked across from Sanibel to Captiva on the Blind Pass bridge, I saw Mike (VA) walking with a huge shell in his hand… A huge empty HORSE CONCH! He found it on the new sand bar in the pass on the Captiva side (you can see a little of it in the photo to the right). So awesome.

find a big shell

Yep, the sand has been gathering here for about a month to make the sand bar again. It catches some really good stuff whenever it appears.

mike murphy with big horse conch

When I got to the other side of those jetty rocks, there’s still a huge shell pile. It’s been coming and going here for about a month too. The shells get washed into a big pile then taken back out… then washed in again.

shells stacked on captiva island florida

If you just dig through, it seems there’s always something to uncover…

shell pile with junonia

I found a nice JUNONIA but it had already been cracked open and had made a nice meal for some BOX CRAB… but I think it’s a fun piece anyway.

captiva shells feb 2016

My fave find though was this sweet little perfect ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP- such a beautiful color.

orange zig zag flat scallop

Although I love my little FLAT, I am so happy for Jeanne who found this absolutely drop dead gorgeous teeny tiny little LIONS PAW. It’s so dang cute I can’t stand it!

lions paw jeanne

I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting as much these days – where does the time go? As soon as I get home from the beach, there’s never enough time any more to get my photos arranged. But rest assured, I still have so many stories to tell you as well as I will soon be showing you some fun exhibits from the 79th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival coming up this Thursday through Saturday March 3, 4 and 5, 2016. I hope to see you there!

79 annual Sanibel Shell Fair Festival 2016

Join me on one of our next iLoveShelling Adventures…

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

 

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