The best time to find lots of shells on the beaches of southwest Florida is after a storm coming from the Gulf Of Mexico – which is exactly what happened last weekend when Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine came through.
We never know exactly when or where the shells will start washing in after the storm leaves town but theres nothing more fun than hunting for them high and low. This is also the time to meet lots of other fun-loving shellers on the hunt for those amazing treasures that roll up on our beaches.
… And in the water when it calms.
… And anywhere in between.
Errrrr but wait. There may be something more fun than searching for them… Finding them.
This type of excitment is exactly what happened at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach by the fishing pier last weekend. It’s what we shellers wait for and dream about!
Earlier this week the seas calmed from the storm and the shells weren’t as easy to find so Clark and I headed south towards Marco to explore the outer islands by boat.
OMG Super Sheller Clark hit the shellmongus jackpot!
On your WHELK. Get CERITH. GO Shelling!
For the past 3 days, Southwest Florida has been peppered with high winds, rough and choppy seas in Gulf Of Mexico, rain showers and extreme tides. Thank goodness we didn’t get a direct hit from Tropical Depression #9 (now named Hurricane Hermine) on Wednesday, so it was safe to go scouring the island to find a huge shell pile that formed in the morning on the west end of Sanibel at Blind Pass that brought a few awesome treasures (top photo).
After picking through those treasures for a while, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening on the east end of Sanibel at Lighthouse Beach.
The gulf side was still too choppy but by the late afternoon the shells started piling up at the waters edge on the pier side of the lighthouse.
Then more rain and more high winds… then…. fast forward to this morning at Lighthouse beach near the fishing pier again…. Shellzam!
It was Shellmania! Shells started washing up on the beach but before they could even get on shore, we had a line of shellers sitting on the sand bar in the water having a spectacsheller time.
It was total shelltopia! We all became fast friends after all 5 of these HORSE CONCHS were found in less than an hour. We would hear screams of joy when someone pulled another empty one up out of the shallow water then we splashed over to see the next trophy- give a big hug then oooh and ahhh. Such a blast!
I found a HORSE CONCH too! It was very cool although it had lots of old barnacles and shell “crust” but since we have a few already at our house, I decided to gave it away in a “guess a number between 1 and 100” game with 9 other shellers. Congrats Andrea! haha So. Much. Fun.
Feeling the anticipation of what a Tropical Depression in the Gulf Of Mexico like Hermine (aka “#9”) will do to our beaches if there’s no threat of danger, makes all shellers feel giddy with excitement. If you’re an extreme sheller, this is what we wait for. It’s happiness.
While running the beaches the last 2 days, I met so many amazing people finding such awesome treasures. This is what makes the beach here so much fun- sharing the shelling love.
We also saw Captain John shelling with his family Katherine and Jack at Blind Pass. He was the new captain with Captiva Cruises who captained our last iLoveShelling Adventure . They just moved to Sanibel 2 months ago and looks like they’re already getting the hang of finding shells. Nice TULIP!
I haven’t even gotten a chance to hit all the beaches because we still have storm bands driving thunderstorms though our area. Please remember…. any time you hear thunder PLEASE be safe and get off the beach. It’s so easy these days to find a good radar weather app to be aware of storm bands coming through so you can be prepared. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, the sound of thunder is Mother Nature’s warning signal to be safe and take cover. The shells can wait… Mother Nature knows best.
More shell stories to come so stayed safe and stay tuned ;)
Until then, have a shell of a day!
PS- Hi Joey, I hope you got that little WHELK from your Gramma Sandy. ;)
Isn’t it crazy how beautiful these shells are? This is about the biggest empty PEAR WHELK I’ve ever seen!
The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.
These beautiful shells were found by these beautiful shellers on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises. Did you see that gorgeous orange ROUGH SCALLOP (ORANGE PECTIN). Shellzam, Super Shellers!
There were other cool shells found like this FLAT ZIG ZAG SCALLOP.
And BABYS EARS! She got to check that one off her list.
We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!
Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.
With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.
Talking about beautiful shellers? This gal has made me smile for years. Sherri Bode (Sherri from MN) has commented on my blog for years by giving me positive feedback and helpful ideas …. and I finally got to meet her in person for the first time on this Shelling Adventure. She’s just as sweet and adorable in person and I’m so grateful for you Sherri- you warm my heart! The internet is a crazy and powerful way to meet like-minded folks but it’s even more fun when I can put a face with a name after meeting in person.
And then this happened…. Four years ago, Clark and I met Katie and her dad on a cold January day on the beach at Blind Pass (read post HERE). She was bursting with happiness just to be on the beach shelling that day, so neither Clark nor I ever forgot her. Omigosh, she was on the cruise too!
She still emits so much happiness when she’s on the beach finding shells. This time she was finding COQUINAS and other minis so she can make shell flowers and hearts like the ones on Shell Love Bug.
When she told me who she was, my mouth dropped seeing how she’s blossomed into such a beautiful woman since I remember that day like it was yesterday. Then she showed me on her phone the 2 photos she took that day four years ago. The first photo was of her and me. Love that! Soooo darn cute.
The second photo was Katie and Clark. I was sooooo tickled to see this photo because in a conversation to a friend just 5 days ago, Clark told the story of Katie asking him to be in a photo with her. You made his day then Katie, and you made my day this week showing me this photo! I will seriously cherish this forever.
It was truly a magical day. We even had DOLPHINS swimming up to our boat. Seriously …. can’t you see they are smiling?
I’ve never met a SAND DOLLAR I didn’t like. For that matter, I’ve never met a PAUL NEWMANS SHARK EYE that I didnt like either. You know, the SHARKS EYE that has the swirl of blue in the center instead of having a brown swirl.
We had an amazing time on our Captiva Cruises shelling adventure to Cayo Costa last week. We found a beautiful sunny day and the beach filled with plenty of shells… especially LETTERED OLIVES.
And spectacsheller SPINY JEWELBOXES…
Even double JEWLEBOXES and a fab BABY EAR…
SHELLZAM! Check out this MACULATED BABY’S EAR… a pretty rare find in SW Florida
Hannah from Kansas asked me about her find on the boat ride back to Captiva. OMG That’s such a great find!
Everybody found some great shells…
It was so much fun to hang out with so many awesome shellers…
To make it even better, of course everybody received $25 gift certificates for Congress Jewelers.
We have a few new dates for more iLoveShelling tours! To join us CLICK HERE
To start a seashell art project, the first thing on the “to do list” is find shells. Check.
Then the shells have to be cleaned and dried. Check.
Then the shells should be sorted by species and color. Check.
Depending on the project, the shells may need to be sorted in sizes. Check.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Shellzam! It’s so beautiful.
Lots of shell EGG CASINGS were washing in at Gulfside City Park along with PEN SHELLS and SPONGES.
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. ;)
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
Cathy was finding lots of great shells too and even witnessed Clark taking more photos. (Staff photo by Clark Rambo heehee)
These were my three favorite shells I found last night at dusk at Gulfside- an ALPHABET CONE, DOSINIA and a gorgeous color BANDED TULIP.