Archive for Ark

drilled heart in seashell

i heart seashells. Shells have a way of talking to us, don’t they?  They make us feel deeply connected to the vast sea and pull us towards it. This PONDEROUS ARK shell washed up at my feet with a heart carved in it. Awwwwe, so sweet! I love you too! But hmmmm… other than being an oh-so-sweet message from King Neptune, how did this happen?

i heart this seashell

We see natural holes drilled in all sorts of shells, so it’s time to find out how they are made. The hole in this SHARKS EYE tells me a little secret of what happened to its life. The clue? It has a perfect countersunk borehole with a beveled edge twice the diameter as the inner diameter. Because of the shape of that hole, you can bet that he was eaten by another SHARKS EYE!  OMG They are cannibals!

sharks eye shell is cannibalistic

We have to guess what happened to this next guy because it looks like a fellow predator SHARKS EYE started carving up his next meal but stopped before he tasted victory.

sharks eye drilled hole by other mollusk

By looking at the hole in this DISK DOSINIA, I’m going to assume that a SHARKS EYE made a meal out of this guy too.

sharks eye drilled hole in dosinia shell

Geez, SHARKS EYES have a smorgasbord of choices for their buffet. Looks as though they like BUTTERCUP LUCINES too.

sharks eye mollusk drilled hole in buttercup shell

A straight hole with only a slight beveled edge like this LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS CLAM …

lady-in-waiting venus clam with drill hole

…was most likely drilled by some sort of MUREX… like GULF OYSTER DRILLS. Aha! That’s why they are called “DRILLS”!

gulf oyster drills sanibel florida

The grooves in these CROSS BARRED VENUS CLAMS and TRANSVERSE ARK aren’t the handiwork of the SHARKS EYE or DRILLS. These grooves were most likely made by a BRISTLE WORM. It uses a rasping technique with its bristled body while secreting acid to etch a groove in the shell to make a nice cozy place to rest.

bivalves with bristle worm grooves

If you have never seen a BRISTLE WORM, click on the video to watch the first time Clark and I came across a BRISTLE WORM…. and then come back to see what cute tokens they make. YouTube Preview Image

Last May, Lisa from Shellabaloo 2 was having a great time sifting through shells at Blind Pass Captiva and found a few messages on shells she shared…

lisa shells bp

After Shellabaloo, she sent me this sweet CROSS-BARRED VENUS shell with a smiley face on it (made by a BRISTLE WORM). I keep it by my desk!

smiley face seashell

She also found a “K” on a CROSS BARRED VENUS…

seashell k for kendra

Lisa was so thoughtful, she gave it to another Shellabaloo-er… Kendra. K for Kendra!

seashell k for kendra

So let’s get back to that heart I received from King Neptune … these bigger holes most likely were drilled by a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM. Oh, What? You’ve never heard of a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM before? LOL Well, neither had I before I got so curious about what made that heart shape and found out that two separate drilled incidences by these clams are the most likely culprit. When I find a STIMPSON CHIMNEY CLAM, you will be the first one to know about it and I will post a photo. I already have an appreciation for them since they are quite the artists!

holes drilled in shells by other mollusks

I just assumed that a shell with lots of little holes in like this was just from regular wear and rear by the salt and wave action… like when you wash and wear your favorite shirt too many times. One day, you’ll start to see holes in it! But some times shells that look like this tend to be “holey” because BORING SPONGES have invaded it as a living space.

holes in a shell made by boring sponge

I’ve always been drawn to shells that have holes for stringing them for crafts….

seashell mobile close shells

For gift tags…

sea shell gift tag

And I always love to see someone string them for jewelry…

patricia strings seashell with natural hole

I would have never known where to start finding information on these cool holes in shells if Lisa from Shellabaloo 5 (OMG I just realized… both Lisas from different Shellabaloos are fascinated with holes in shells too! Ha! They need to know each other, wouldn’t you say?) anyway… I wouldn’t have known there was such a term as “Shell Bioerosion” and such if she hadn’t shown me where it was in this book Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas .

There’s all kinds of fun to be had in exploring the common shells if you just give them a chance. They may even tell you a secret!

sea shells with holes drilled by mollusks and sponges

Feb
11

I Spied An Ark On Sanibel

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common shell sanibel florida

I spied thousands of ARKS at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island this morning. Most days you can find TRANSVERSE ARKS scattered along the beach since they are one of the most common shells on Sanibel.

ark shells sanibel

There are a few different species of ARKS so let me show you the difference. Top row left to right-  a MOSSY ARK and a TURKEY WING. Bottom row left to right- CUT-RIBBED ARK, TRANSVERSE ARK and a PONDEROUS ARK.

common sanibel ark shells difference

It’s a little easier to identify bivalves and see the difference (and the likeness) between them by looking at the interior of the shell. 

interior ark shells

I only had a few minutes to walk the beach today so I just wanted to look for minis in some of the wrack lines I pointed out the other day in my Shelling 101 video. I found TUSK SHELLS (there were thousands of those too), a KEYHOLE LIMPET, WENTLETRAPS, CERITHS, AUGERS, a TURRID, juvie CONCHS, juvie OLIVE, and a piece of CORAL.

miniature shells sanibel gulf side city park

I also found a somewhat beat up LINEATE DOVE SNAIL.

Lineate dove snail sanibel

If you need any help identifying any of these shells, check out my Seashells Identification Page

common shell sanibel florida

As I walked this morning, I couldn’t help but notice this amazing village sand sculpture on the beach- with its own arena and swimming pool. I was inspired to write about ARK SHELLS because so many artists like to use these sweet little white shells as embellishments for their pieces of art- just like this beach artist did. ARKS are perfect decorations for so many projects. Inspiring!

sand castle village sanibel

If you have a second, stop by and check out my online Art Gallery…

pam rambo art gallery

Dec
04

Shelling For The Holidays

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i Love Shelling 2012 calendar cover

 The holiday season is in full swing on Sanibel and Captiva islands so I have been a busy little elf! First of all,  I’d like to introduce the brand new i Love Shelling 2012 Calendar chock full of beautiful Sanibel photos and of course our beloved seashells. Now you can enjoy shelling 12 months of the year!

Here’s a sneak peak of January’s sunset photo and  CLICK HERE to see all 12 months and get one for yourself or as a gift for your shelling buddy.

Jan page calendar 2012

 We also hit the beaches this week to find a few shells and lots of Beach Bling. We found big old WHELK and CONCH pieces I love for yard shells along with a few SEA WHIPS, LONG SPINED SEA URCHINS, PURPLE SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRAB SHELLS and this little BRITTLE STAR too.

Beach bling shells sea whip urchin

There were lots of DOSINIAS mixed in with hundreds of SAILORS EARS and TRANSVERSE ARKS

ark shells, dosinia, sailors ears

I even saw a few bones scattered along the beach. These are from bait in the crab traps in the gulf that get tossed around in rough surf.

Sanibel beach bone from crab trap

STONE CRABS are what lots of those traps are made to catch. When fishermen bring in the traps, they only take one claw from a STONE CRAB since the claws have the best meat. They throw the crab back without killing it because they know the crab can eat and defend  itself with only one claw until another claw grows back. Here is a STONE CRAB  claw lying on the beach that could have been a good appetizer if it had been freshly caught. Darn!

stone crab claw on beach

There were HORSESHOE CRABS too …

horseshoe crab beached

And a BLUE CRAB…

Blue Crab Sanibel

I also saw this MOON SHELL (SHARK’S EYE) EGG COLLAR…

shark eye moon shell egg collar

 I met a wonderful local man Frank, who moved here in 1964 and still loves to walk the beaches and pick up shells especially with his daughter Connie. He told me he was 87 but he looks like he is no older than 72! Thank you Frank for your service for our country in WW2.

Connie, Frank Sanibel locals

Here are some of the mini shells Frank and Connie collected when I saw them along Middle Gulf Drive.

Connie Frank mini shells

 I also have photos of the yesterday’s oh-so-fun Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade. Here’s one picture of our Junonia Jalopy but I’ll have to show you the rest tomorrow. It was a blast!  All of the other cart were so darn cute!

junonia jalopy i love shelling

Check out my new tee shirt! I wore my new “Oh CONE All Ye Faithful” Christmas design v-neck tee. I got so many compliments- so much fun ! And don’t forget to check out the 2012 i Love Shelling Calendar too….. and the new online i Love Shelling Shop….. Or the fun faves at Shelling Shop. You see? I’ve been a little Santa’s helper for the good seashell loving girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Xmas beach art

 Captiva Holiday Village Logo

Nov
29

Cockles, Conchs and Quahogs

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sanibel seashells on pen shell

After several weeks of east winds, the west winds have finally arrived to drive some shells on to our beaches. Today was only the first day of the westies but since it was a really low tide this morning, I figured I’d find some goodies. It’s always a good day when you find an ALPHABET CONE and you’ve got to see just how darn cute this little juvie HORSE CONCH is…

juvenile horse conch

I couldn’t believe I found this ANGEL WING sitting in the high wrack line…

angel wing bivalve sanibel shell

I love when I find shells like this BANDED TULIP lying on the beach like this.

banded tulip off donax

Tonya, Beth and Max from Ohio had their bags filled with all sorts of treasures.

tonya, beth, max sanibel seashells

Wanna look in their shell bags? I sure wanted to too! COCKLES and CONCHS and CLAMS…

sanibel seashell bags

Max found this live LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line so he walked it down to the water and gently put it in the water. Good for you Max! You helped save this beauty.

live lightning whelk max

I found local Sanibel sheller Lynn walking her very happy standard poodle Alexander with a pocket full of seashell treasure too.

alexander standard poodle lynn beach

Look at those pretty those COLORFUL MOON shells along with those candies and a mini TURE TULIP.

lynn seashells moons conchs

There was all sorts of bivalves scattered along the beach. I found this ATLANTIC COCKLE, PONDEROUS ARK and SOUTHERN QUAHOG together on the beach just like this…

atlantic cockle, ponderuos ark, southern quahog

This is the biggest DARK CERITH I’ve ever found. It’s one and a half inches long!

1 1/2 inch cerith seashells

 I was pretty pleased with what we all were finding on the beach near Donax Street today after the first day of west winds. Tomorrow might be even better!

low tide shell collecting

Sep
29

Cyber Shelling Bivalves

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Kitten paws

How could anyone think KITTENS PAWS aren’t cute?  It was like it had rained KITTEN’S PAWS yesterday since there were so many on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva. Here’s a cyber shelling photo so you can virtually pick through the piles and find some yourself. Enjoy!

Bivalve cyber shelling

 Also mixed in were hundreds of TRANSVERSE ARKS

Transverse Ark shells

 Oodles of CROSS BARRED VENUS clams…

Cross Barred Venus

And a few LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS clams mixed in too…

Lady-in-waiting venus

I would say that the KITTEN’S PAWS, CROSS BARRED VENUS and the TRANSVERSE ARKS are the most common shells on Sanibel but I’m still not convinced what the top six commons shells are. I just loved seeing so many LADY-IN-WAITING VENUSes mixed in too, I wanted to show you those. They are so pretty and I normally never pay attention to them. When I don’t have a lot of time, I need to stay out of the sun for a bit or we are having lots of scattered showers, I just like to stop by the beach for a short time and enjoy all of the shells that I seem to neglect the rest of the year. Most of the shells in this next photo are all bivalves…. they did not let me neglect them this time.

Blind Pass with shells board

PS- I have no idea how that board got there. I guess it washed up?

 

Aug
16

Turkey Wings and Rice, a Cone and Candy

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Tampa Turrid Turkey Wing shells

 Don’t get your taste buds all worked up about TURKEY, RICE or CANDY because I’m talking seashells, of course! We found lots of mini “morsels” at the lighthouse over the weekend including these two TURKEY WINGS  (the biggest one is only about an inch long) and two TAMPA TURRIDS in the photo above and RICE OLIVES and BABY’S EARS in this next photo.

rice olives babys ears seashells

Along with the usual ANGULATE WENTLETRAPS, I found a BROWN BANDED WENTLETRAP too….

brown banded wentletrap epitonia

…. And some AUGERS and little FIGHTING CONCHS.

Auger shells conch gastropods

 And to top it all off with some sweet candy, we found two HORSE CONCHS and baby ALPHABET CONE.

miniature horse conch cone

 I met William and Melissa (Jacksonville, FL) filling their shells bags with SCALLOP shells, CONCHS and some MUREXES.

William and Melissa Sanibel beach

I found out this was their first trip to Sanibel so I showed them how to find WENTLETRAPS too..

Melissas's Sanibel seashells

 I met another Shelling Sister Sanibel Stooper on the beach too…. this little cutie Lucy! She was having a ball with this COCKLE shell on the beach with her parents Jeff and Tammy.

Sanibel puppy stooper

 And look what I found again…. a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. Maybe it isn’t that unusual (?)

Smooth duck clam on beach

Unfortunately, it’s so thin and fragile, it broke when I got it back to the house……oops!

broken smooth duck clam

There were so many SAILOR’S EARS, I bunched a few together and that’s when I saw the SMOOTH DUCK CLAM too.

Sailors ears

Sailors ears

Just a reminder- If you haven’t entered the  Susick Sea Shell Sifter Giveaway yet, CLICK HERE to win!

susick seashell sifter shelling scoop