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

Seashells At The Sanibel Lighthouse

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Dusky Cone, Wentletrap | 12 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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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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Beach Bucks To Big Whelks – Our Shelling Adventure

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish Swim Bladder, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sea Life, Whelk | 12 comments

Sand dollars in the sand and shells

A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…

cayo costa florida boardwalk

We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.

Cayo Costa beach

Lots of shells lined the shore.

beach filled with shells

It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.

find sand dollars in Florida

Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!

beach combing finds
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.

happy shelling family on Cayo Costa

I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”…  Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.

finding sand dollars

Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!

finding big shells on the beach

Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.

finding whelks on the beach

Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha

Find big shells on Florida beach

The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…

Mother daughter shell vacation

Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.

beach finds on Cayo Costa beach

Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.

finding angel wings
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?

finding beach treasures on Cayo costa

Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.

find sand dollars on shell trip

Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …

find arrowhead sand dollar

and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.

arrowhead sand dollar and angel wings

Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…

find cool shells on beach combing trip

Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.

beach finds from shell trip

Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!

whelk and moon shell art

Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.

find beach bling

Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER . After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)

fish swim bladder beach bling find identification

And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…

happy couple finding shells

The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.

finding shells and sand dollars

On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!

SLBC iLSPromo

And one more for you…  here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.

Cyber shelling sand dollars

Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HEREPam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!

MMGY Global with Pam Rambo

 

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