Archive for Seashells
For 5 days now, the shelling in SouthWest Florida as been has been outrageous! It doesn’t get more outrageous that finding your very first JUNONIA after 20 years of searching… then 2 days later, finding JUNONIA #2! Jill from Miami was livin’ the good life this weekend finding those trophies plus two ALPHABET CONES to boot. Shellzam! Congratshellations, Jill- so happy for you!
But wait.. the outrageousness continued! Wouldn’t you love to find a huge empty HORSE CONCH like this with a bright orange interior?
Gail and Alicia not only found that one gorgeous shell, they found 3 more! … Plus a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK too. Over the long weekend, they were out every morning before sunrise and said there were hundreds of live HORSE CONCHS rolling in the surf on the beach near Island Inn but kept on looking to find ones that were empty.
So I’m sure you can image how happy they were to find those amazing large shells already…. then to find a SEAHORSE too? They found this guy in the afternoon just getting back out on the beach in the high tide wrack line. REally, after all of those trophy shells then a SEAHORSE….Outrageous! Congrats Gail and Alicia!
I found quite a variety on Island Inn beach as well but nothing compared to what they found of course…
I met Lea and her daughter Kristi from Omaha picking up the dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH in the high tide wrack line.
They asked me how to preserve these awesome SEASTARS so they can put them in shadowboxes when they get home. Honestly, I have never had luck with keeping them in tact because I guess I keep them outside or in my garage too long and the humidity gets to them so they break apart and start stinking -Ack! I’m doing something wrong so I never pick them up anymore- I don’t care how bone dry and perfect they are. But… My friend Moira makes beautiful shadowboxes with them as well as Kim who both live in Chicago- they have no problems so I hope they see this so they can explain in a comment how they get them home without breaking them and keeping them intact for a frame.
Fort Myers Beach at Point Estero was rocking with shells too! My friend Debbie’s dad Dennis from Kansas was in town for the holiday and they found lots of treasures…
Repeat… they found LOTS of treasures… LOL
Throughout the holiday weekend, I saw lots of shells at Lighthouse Beach, South Seas, Blind Pass, Island Inn, Point Estero…. and my last stop for the weekend shelling was Gulfside City Park this morning for low tide. I found such a variety of shells again including a perfect ALPHABET CONE along with the best SHARK’S EYE I’ve found in a while. But my real favorites where violet colored FIGHTING CONCHS which I don’t think I’ve ever found colors in FIGHTING CONCHS like these before. Weird, because I even found another purple one at Island Inn beach the other day. So unusual.
This morning Karen from Orlando area was happy with her finds too…
She found a perfect ANGEL WING and a few SAND DOLLARS…
And these are just a few that were in her bag. Awesome.
There where so many live creatures as well. It’s always fascinating to see these beautiful living animals in their natural habitat like this beautiful live LIGHTNING WHELK. Since this shell was occupied, I dug a hole for him to wait it out until the higher tide came back in so he could scoot along wherever it wished.
One more thing…. I have a new online Art Gallery!
Over the years, I have shared many, many photos of my shelling adventures and have learned that… just as I love to collect a beautiful shell, I love to capture a beautiful moment or my beautiful surrounds with my lens just as much. I never could find the means to offer them as quality, affordable art on canvas, prints, cards and more…. until now! So I started an online Art Gallery for my photographs. It’s just the beginning so I haven’t added all of the photos that you’ve asked for in the past but at least this is a start. I’m heartfelt that you’ve asked for them and I’m proud that now I can offer them. Please stop by, take a browse, say “hi” and if you like one enough to buy it, I would be incredibly honored.
This Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been such a Shellaganza in Southwest Florida, it’s been hard to choose which beach to shell first! But as you know by my last post, we chose to shell Blind Pass Captiva on Thursday and hit the mother load. I’m so happy we found soooo many good shells, but it’s not only that we found shells… I’m thrilled that everybody found amazing shells like this…
And I got to meet so many awesome shellers like Skip and Tina. Tina found the spectacsheller SCOTCH BONNET and Skip found the amazing ALPHABET CONE, FLAT SCALLOP and gorgeous TRUE TULIP. And those were just a few shells they found. Their bag (in the first photo) was filled to the brim with incredible shells. It was a pleasure to meet you both!
I also met Jessica, Lyle and Matthew from Virginia who now know how addicting shelling can be after finding so many shells like this in only a couple of hours. They didn’t know the names of many of the shells, so I peeked in their bags to tell them the names of most of the shells in their bags… LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, APPLE MUREXES, LETTERED OLIVES, BANDED TULIPS… But OMG, Wait!
Jessica found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka! It was mixed in with all of the other shells and had a small hole in it but I told her that was a pretty rare shell to find in our area. Very nice find!
James and his brother Jacob (from Chicago) are experienced shellers who named all of the shells they found – which BTW, was very impressive. It tickled me so much though when James snatched a perfect bright orange HORSE CONCH out of the water and shouted “Score!”. Yes you did, Jacob!
It was so much fun to see everybody finding such beautiful treasure. Local sheller Roma (who never lets me photograph her- silly girl ) never even got wet by the waves as she sat in the shell pile digging away. She found all of these shells in one small area…
As you saw in the video on Thanksgiving Day, Clark didn’t want to get wet since we had plans later in the day for our big meal but after finding these 2 ALPHABET CONES right next to each other coming in with surf… it was all over.
Super Sheller Clark was soaked by the time we got to our car.
Uuuuuhhhhh… and so was I.
A few minutes after Clark took that picture, I found a JUNONIA! Yes, it is a little beat up and cracked but I was very thrilled! I showed it on my last post but I love that photo so much, here it is again. These were the best of our finds on Thursday…
After shelling for countless hours Thanksgiving morning, we decided it was time to pack it up. While loading up the car with all of our loot, we met this sweetheart family Linda, Eliana and Nik from Pennsylvania ready to adventure out to find their own treasures. Prepared with shelling scoops, bags and a fantastic attitude I’m sure they found all of the shells they could hope for. So nice to meet y’all!
But that’s not all folks! I know this is a long post but I have so much to catch you up on since … really…. its been a Shellaganza. I have met so many nice folks while shelling and that was just on Thursday. I want you to meet more folks that I was shelling with yesterday (Friday) at Blind Pass (Turner Beach) it was a Sit N Sift kind of day…
The shells weren’t crashing up on the beach any more but they were buried in a mound of shells. These were all found sittin’ ‘n siftin’ by Jeff and Donna from Palm Beach Gardens….
Isn’t that amazing? Jeff and Donna were sitting right here to find a CARRIER SHELL, GAUDY NATICA, SHARKS EYES, ALPHABET CONES, FLORIDA CONES, FLATS, TULIPS… and on and on. Love it!
Shelling Sistah Connie Knight was deep into the shelling zone with her cute hat and tee on
It was so much fun to meet her shelling family on this big pile of gems… meet Zach, Lori and Nate with Connie all visiting from Iowa
I always love to see that rich chocolate color in the LACE MUREX Nate found along with his other favorite shells…
Local shellers Bob and Sue couldn’t resist sifting through the pile looking for a few unusual shells but I think were having more fun giving OLIVES to the other shellers. There were so many OLIVES!
I met sweet Patti Goodwin on last month’s iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa (“Woop!” heehee) but this time I got to meet her husband Curt too. They arrived when I was about to leave so I hope y’all found some good treasures.
I saw Becky and Wade again too. They had been at the Lighthouse Beach on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and told me it was a great day shelling there too.
Wade found this Mega True Tulip at Lighthouse Beach! Woohoo! It was a fabulous day on all of the beaches of Southwest Florida!
Since returning from Cat Island, things have been a whirl wind… literally… with the wind whipping from the north bringing such exciting shelling days for us here at home. Then preparing for the big holiday, I haven’t been able to find one extra second to clean our Caribbean shells from our vacation or much less finish telling you all about it. I’m so sorry but when local shells arrive, I want you to know about it ASAP! So if you are anywhere near SW Florida and want to do a little shelling, most of the beaches have some great shells and some really interesting BEACH BLING to explore. Once I slow down and finish up local exploring (Island Inn beach has great shells too!) , I’ll share the rest of our adventure to the Bahamas so you will have more info on other shells from around the world.
Want to shell together? Join me on the next iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am!
Shellzam! I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone find a double SPECKLED TELLIN shell in SouthWest Florida. We found lots of double SPECKLED TELLINS on our trip to Turks And Caicos but only a handful of single valves here in SW Florida … none with both valves still attached. So I was tickled to see that Stephanie (Fort Myers) showed me her find. Spectacsheller!
Along with her double TELLIN, she also found a single valve of a SPECKLED TELLIN, an awesome BROAD PAPER COCKLE, and a PURPLISH TAGELUS. Very nice.
I also saw Kathy and Pat again! They were on the March iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa so we got to laugh and reminisce about them being in the “Gleaners” photo. Lots of fun.
They found such a wide variety of shells but they both said that they were happiest to find lots of CERITHS.
Speaking of Cayo Costa, Dawn and Lori from Nebraska weren’t find many keeper shells on Captiva but they were still so happy they had gone to Cayo Costa to find lots of great treasures.
Lori is holding up a wonderful LACE MUREX while Dawn had questions about these SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS. Why are they so brown? On our last iLoveshelling cruise, lots of folks were picking them up because they were milk chocolate…. and it’s not the Periostracum that is covering it to make it that color but maybe some sort of food source. Hmmmmm. I don’t remember finding them this brown in the past but I love milk chocolate! I wish I had collected a few of these milk chocolate SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS too.
So believe it or not the little shell line at the top of the high tide line is where Stephanie found that spectasheller SPECKLED TELLIN and her other bivalves. That’s what it looked like when I found my CARRIER SHELLS too. Again, ya just never know!
Since I didn’t find any “spectacsheller” shells in that wrack line, I was just as happy picking up broken shells like these FIGHTING CONCHS because I’m going to use them in a shell craft project. Seriously, look at the colors… and they already have perfect holes drill in them so they are easy to work with. When it’s done (and IF I’m happy with it- heehee) , I’ll show you what I did!
PS- Blind Pass Captiva beach looks like it’s going to be roped off in the next week or so due to a renourishment project. I’m so sorry but I don’t have any more information than that but if I get any updated info, I will let you know.
As I walked onto the sand of Blind Pass Captiva towards the Gulf Of Mexico yesterday, I didn’t see much of a shell pile forming on the beach. But I did see Rena (Fort Myers) in the water about knee deep with her shelling backhoe filling up her bag. It was so much fun to see such much beautiful CORAL in her bag then she showed me her two FLORIDA CONES, GIANT BITTERSWEET and that sweet little orange candy.
There was one small string of shells that had come in at the high tide, that most of the shellers were picking through to find a treasure or two. Since this was on Captiva, you could say they were doing the Captiva Crouch instead of The Sanibel Stoop…. Oh yes… that would be a crouch!
After lots of people had already picked through this wrack line, Jay still found an amazing treasure. A perfect SCOTCH BONNET! Shellzam!
Brenda and Jay from St Louis were already happy with all of the other shells that they had found so the SCOTCH BONNET was just icing on the cake.
He was so surprised that it was in perfect condition with such great color just sitting in that shell line. You just never know!
Jamie from Ft Lauderdale was doing double time. After he threw out a fishing rod to catch a few fish, he couldn’t help but catch a few shells as well.
Beautiful OLIVES and CONCHS but I couldn’t take my eye off that gorgeous ROUGH SCALLOP right below the bucket.
Around 11am I felt so lucky to find a CARRIER SHELL! This is how I saw it….
I had to leave the beach around noon but came back to Blind Pass Captiva around 3:30pm just to see what the low tide had exposed. The beach hadn’t changed that much (actually, it looked pretty picked over by then) and didn’t see lots of shells in the water like the high tide had shown… BUT …. I saw another CARRIER SHELL! I may have missed it earlier since I don’t think the tide had brought in more shells after I left but this is exactly what it looked like sitting with the other shell. Click on this next photo. Would you have noticed it?
This is what it looks like from the side view. See how it collects other shell fragments and CORAL to cement them to its shell?
Here is another view of the one I found in the morning. I love that this shell is a shell collector too like us!
I love to find unusual shells so I was thrilled with my treasures. Other than the CARRIER SHELLS, I didn’t find many whole UNIVALVES like WHELKS or TULIPS in that line of shells but I did find a piece of a LIONS PAW and a piece of JUNONIA and some awesome CALICO SCALLOPS and CORAL.
The other shell above the piece of CORAL in my last photo is a FROND OYSTER. I wouldn’t say it was a rare shell, but I don’t find many of them in good condition like this one. I know, it’s not so pretty (like the CARRIER SHELL) but I gotta tell ya, these things make me so happy when I find them. It’s all about the little things in life.
Have a great weekend!
AHA! I’m tickled that I just found another type of WENTLETRAP! I found three BLADED WENTLETRAPS (Epitonium albidum) at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach yesterday afternoon. This will make my 6th different variation of the Wentletrap family I’ve found in SouthWest Florida. I can now add this one to the other five wentles I talked about last year (in November) in the post How To Find Wentletrap Shells On Sanibel…
These are clearly different from the other WENTLETRAPS I have found. So after finding these three unusual tiny shells, I raced home to see which ones they were. It’s the BLADED WENTLETRAP! You see how the ribs form a straight line? Most of the others don’t form that straight line from top to bottom.
I love to find a shell that is new to me!
Finding WENTLETRAPS at Lighthouse Beach hasn’t been as easy as it was last year when those big areas of what looked like the coffee grounds showed up most weeks. The winds and currents just haven’t been right for the last several months to wash them in so I’ve just had to look a little harder and stoop a little lower. Hmmmm…. not a bad thing to have to do to find treasure. Especially when these are your surroundings!
Before I found my wentles I started seeing quite a few minis lining the shore at the water’s edge. I found all of these in about 10 minutes all in the same wrack line. I do have one ANGULATE WENTLETRAP in my palm under the CONE but its sort of hidden.
But then I found all three of the BLADED WENTLETRAPS in the same line pretty close together in the same line. Now you can see how small they are…
I met cutie pies Richard and Dendy from Mississippi enjoying their seashell treasure hunt on this beautiful afternoon. They had found a few MUREXES, CONCHS and also some minis too like a few WENTLETRAPS.
But I couldn’t get over this sweet juvie GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON SHELL) Dendy found. Look how tiny! It’s a Shellipution! LOL
There’s always something fun to find in those little shell lines at the Lighthouse Beach at low tide. You just have to take your time, enjoy the hunt and get down low in stoop position.
Join me on a Shelling Adventure!
If you only like to shell at the lowest tide of the day, then you might be missing some great opportunities to see a shell pile from on the incoming tide. These Sanibel Stoop-ers caught the perfect incoming tide to snag some great shells being tossed up on the beach.
Actually, we met one of the Stoop-ers a couple of weeks ago. It’s Heidi from Kansas I blogged about while at Fort Myers Beach a couple of weeks ago! This time her family joined her in the shelling fun…. Jim, (Heidi), Pat and Heidi’s dad and newbie sheller Harold (Washington state) …. who, I must say, looks like he was tremendously enjoying his first time shelling.
He absolutely loves the SURF CLAMS! The plastic bag on the right is filled to the brim with them. They all kept saying “We don’t get shells like this where we live!”
Heidi definitely doesn’t get ALPHABET CONES where she lives so she let out a yelp when she plucked this beauty out of the water.
I took a photo of their hands with all of their favorite shells and for some reason… the photo didn’t take. Grrrrrrr. I hate when that happens! I’m so sorry- I wanted to show off all of your great finds! But this next photo basically shows the treasures that were filling their hands too- these are some of my finds. They had a few chips of JUNONIA as well…
Where did we find these you ask? This was about half a mile down from Blind Pass on the Sanibel side. See that palm tree in the background of this next photo? That’s right where that exposed old wooden sea wall is so we were about 75 yards further down the beach.
Along with the exposed sea wall, there are now lots of exposed tree roots too from erosion. I’ve never seen these exposed that much! These are perfect areas for shells to caught so I always like to search around any debris but this morning they were bare. I took this photo more towards the lowest tide when the shells had not even began to wash up on the beach. I didn’t have time to check them again after the big wash up… hmmm that might be my spot tomorrow.
I was thrilled to see Wendy again too! I met her last year after she found a gorgeous LIONS PAW and a huge HORSE CONCH … and she’s having just a good luck this year.
She found the SANIBEL SIX! Along with her SANIBEL SIX (with 2 ALPHABET CONES), she found SAND DOLLARS and a huge WHELK this time. The WHELK looks a little beat up now but it’s going to clean up nicely.
I hope these shells stay here for a few more days. Please Mother Nature? I’d like to find the rest of that JUNONIA!
I’m so excited for our boat ride and shelling adventure to Cayo Costa on Thursday morning! Come with us! You can still join us by calling Captiva Cruises 239-472-5300 to reserve your spot on the iLoveShelling cruise November 2, 2013 at 9 a.m. Or CLICK HERE for more info and future Shelling Adventures…
PS- I know I promised the video of my low tide shelling the other morning but I still can’t get it to work. More technical difficulties… but no worries. I’ll give it another try tomorrow.