If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.
This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!
The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…
The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…
This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…
The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…
There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.
We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…
We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…
Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee
The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…
A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.
Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.
Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!
The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.
Who wants to do some CYBERSHELLING??!! I’ve got it for you! There are days on Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach when there are so many great shells washing up to your toes on the beach you feel like you hit the lottery. And there are other days when you just might have to look in the unlikely shell lines high up on the beach to find your hidden treasures. This, my friends, is why I fell in love with shelling….being surprised at finding a beautiful seashell gift of the sea that everybody else passed right on by without a glance. Click on this next photo for some CYBERSHELLING of your own. See if you can find my newest treasure… a BORING TURRET (Turritella acropora)!
Did you find it? Ha! Of course you did because you are on to me now, aren’t you. I put it right in the middle of the photograph- LOL. I found 2 BORING TURRITS in the same area I found my CROSS-HATCHED LUCINES on the new beach/sand bar Blind Pass Captiva.
It looks very similar to the AUGERS…
Gail Carr (from my last post) found 3 of them!
Susan H showed me a beautiful specimen of a BORING TURRITELLA when she was here in December.
Also back in December, brother and sister Greg and Debbie were finding all sorts of great shells…
But with all the hoopla about folks finding CABRITS MUREXES, JUNONIAS and LIONS PAWS, I never got to show you Debbie’s precious find. The one I liked the most was Debbie’s BORING TURRET.
There are many shells from Southwest Florida that may look similar to the BORING TURRET so I’d like to show you a side by side comparison so you will be able to distinguish your shells too. Now you can see how different they are! From left to right- BORING TURRET, AUGER, CERITH and WORM SHELL.
Can you guess which other shell in this group is in the same family TURRITELLIDAE as the “BORING” one? The WORM SHELL!
Blind Pass Captiva still had plenty of seashells piled up along the shore line yesterday. I peeked in one of the shell buckets perched on top of the shell mound and gasped…
I asked Judy from Indiana if she realized the shell she had in her bucket and she said “I’m not sure what it is but it’s a piece from a big shell so that’s why I kept it”. Well it looks to me like she found a very large lip piece of a QUEEN HELMET shell that is not commonly found here. Good eye, Judy!
Judy was shelling with her family… and I mean to tell you, she has lots of family members that love to shell! A shelling family is a happy family. Here is Judy, Larry, Cary, Joe, Shaun, Jenny, Evy, Fiona and Sam. Beautiful, right?
I didn’t see many of the SANIBEL SIX, but I was amazed to see so many CERITHS washed in like this. Everybody was collecting them.
I also met Shelling Sister Wanda’s grandson Cody (PA) who kept racing up to her on the beach after his snorkeling expeditions to deposit his seashell loot into his shell bag. Treasure!
On a side line, I have to make a note that last year June 27, 2011 there was a juvenile FLORIDA BLACK BEAR sighted on Sanibel that was thought to have come over from Pine Island on a negative low tide. BLACK BEARS are native to Florida but not compatible with highly populated areas (with humans!). Now as an adult at 3 years old weighing 250 pounds he has “become a nuisance” by showing up in neighborhoods and getting into a trash can or two. I was so hoping we could catch a glimpse of him but as of 1 p.m. today, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trapped him and relocated him off island. Relocated where? I have no clue. “They” won’t say. It’s bitter sweet. He was a very exciting visitor but I know he needs to find a mate and have a bigger place to roam before he gets in trouble on the island. I hope his new home offers him a long, happy and healthy life. Good bye, Mr. Black Bear.
Sanibel Black Bear photo by William Epranian on Facebook
Gabriel found this live STARFISH (BROWN SPINY SEA STAR) on a PEN SHELL at low tide late this morning at the Sanibel Lighthouse beach. His whole family came over to look at it and to ohhh and ahhh so I had to find out what the fuss was about. It’s just beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, I mean the STARFISH is beautiful but also to hear the excitement and amazement of finding life and treasures that come from the sea. That’s beautiful too.
Gabriel, Danielle, Peggy, Paul and Mark
It was such a pleasure to meet this family! They were trying to learn the names of all the shells they were finding so I was thrilled to help them. This was our best find…. an ALPHABET CONE that was semi buried in the sand.
I don’t have photos of all the shells we were finding but here are some of the shell they found that I help identify…
Oh how I’ve missed my walks at the lighthouse beach on Sanibel. Ever since the day light savings time change, I’ve been discombobulated. I like my walks with Clark in the evening but now it gets dark too early for me to wait until he gets home from his office. But now after meeting such an amazing family on the beach today, it got me right in my beach combing time zone again. Here are a couple of my finds….
Most of my finds today were half buried in the sand like this half buried perfect ANGEL WING.
This LIGHTNING WHELK was perfectly empty too but I almost missed it since only this much of it was showing. More buried treasure.
This morning started off my weekend with a smile so I hope I can pass it along to you too. Have a great weekend!
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.
Along with the usual ANGULATE WENTLETRAPS, I found a BROWN BANDED WENTLETRAP too….
…. And some AUGERS and little FIGHTING CONCHS.
And to top it all off with some sweet candy, we found two HORSE CONCHS and baby ALPHABET CONE.
I met William and Melissa (Jacksonville, FL) filling their shells bags with SCALLOP shells, CONCHS and some MUREXES.
I found out this was their first trip to Sanibel so I showed them how to find WENTLETRAPS too..
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.
And look what I found again…. a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. Maybe it isn’t that unusual (?)
Unfortunately, it’s so thin and fragile, it broke when I got it back to the house……oops!
There were so many SAILOR’S EARS, I bunched a few together and that’s when I saw the SMOOTH DUCK CLAM too.
Just a reminder- If you haven’t entered the Susick Sea Shell Sifter Giveaway yet, CLICK HERE to win!
The other day, shelling sistah Tricia G asked me if I’ve ever found a MARGINELLA on Sanibel since I don’t have one listed on the SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. I’ve found them before but, come to think about it, I sure haven’t found one in a long time. So last night, we headed for the lighthouse because I was on the hunt for that sneaky MARGINELLA. To double my chances, I reminded Super Sheller Clark that I wanted to find one to add to the I.D. page so I told him to be on the lookout too.
Yippee! I found one!….. er…..well…. Clark found it. He was scooping at the surf line when all the sudden I hear him laugh. “Look what I found”.
Marginellas and a broken dove
Then he found another one! And then yes, I found that little one on the right. Whew- I wasn’t completely out-shelled. Keep in mind, the biggest one is just shy of 1/2 inch and they sort of look like a BUBBLE if the aperture side is down so they aren’t easy to find. I found the broken one on the left too so I added it to the photo since I thought it was the same shell.
Marginella and Dove? aperture
Dang it! That shell on the left really doesn’t even look like a MARGINELLA at all since it has those teeth on the lip. I couldn’t even see those teeth until I took the picture and looked at it on the computer. In the last few years I can’t even look at my phone or a menu without holding them as far as my arms will extend. You know what I mean? Ha! Geez. Oh well, I’ve been fortunate so far with my eyes so I shouldn’t complain….. it’s just weird…. I’m just sayin. ;) Alright, back to the shell…. I think the broken shell on the far left is a DOVE shell just by what’s left of it but I could be wrong (I gotta get back to trusting my own eyes again- yikes!). It’s not like I can where “readers” on the beach…. maybe? ….. nahhhh.
Brown banded wentletrap
I didn’t need glasses to spot this BROWN-BAND WENTLETRAP though. Love that color running through it!
Brown banded wentletrap aperture
Nancy from Seashell Wreaths by Nancy reminded me that the name WENTLETRAP is derived from a Dutch word meaning spiral staircase.
We were on the mini shell hunt so we ran across lots of the BUBBLE shells…. appropriately named as well….
We found lots of AUGERS which again, look like their name…
So how about SHARP-RIB DRILL? That flat rib or blade off the sides is pretty sharp, huh?
Now this is getting funny! I didn’t plan on dissecting common names of shells tonight but it’s kind of fun, right? So let’s look at the KEYHOLE LIMPET…..
….and the BUTTON shell….
This CONE shell certainly looks like an ice cream cone….
But I’m not sure that this RICE OLIVE shell looks like an olive but it sure looks like rice…
Picture this next shell on top of Barbie’s doll head… yep, it’s a TURBAN. Again, I just thought this shell was pretty and knobby. I didn’t realize it had a hole in it and the barnacles attached…the eyes are going! Oh well, it’s still pretty.
We had our eyes (failing or not) focused on finding a special miniature shell by looking for the particular pattern of a MARGINELLA and we found it. We shell this beach on the east end of Sanibel regularly but we’ve probably walked right by hundreds of them just because we have been focused on other patterns of shells that we see on a regular basis. i Love Shelling. I really do because it opens my eyes to see beautiful things that I normally would never appreciate.
Our Sanibel lighthouse shells last night
Sanibel pier sunset