Archive for Bittersweet Clam
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!
Seashells + Sunshine + Rainbows = Happiness. It’s the perfect equation to make for a great weekend. Seeing those beautiful shells on a rainbow beach towel sums it up and makes me smile from ear to ear after being out in the sunshine. Karen and Mike from Fort myers found a FLORIDA CONE, TINTED CANTHARUS, OLIVES, AUGERS, CONCHS, WORMIE, CORAL and lots of other goodies to total an exshellent shelling day at Blind Pass Captiva.
Donna from Clermont, FL looked as beautiful as her shells (on the water blue beach blanket) while she was being shaded by her darling beach hat and umbrella. She was thrilled to find 2 BANDED TULIPS!
You know I love to peek in shell buckets! Oooooo. I spy an ALPHABET CONE!
Laura from Ft Lauderdale is the proud sheller filling up that shell bucket.
Wow! These are some of her faves … the perfect ALPHABET CONE, BITTERSWEET, TULIP, NUTMEG and a cool piece of CORAL. Happiness.
I started out the weekend at the Lighthouse Beach where I met Gary from Illinois with his shelling backhoe. He wasn’t having much luck finding keeper shells that evening but he said he didn’t mind since he had already collected great shells all throughout the week. He knows the beach changes every day so you have to take advantage of what you find each day… and that evening was a double rainbow! You can still see the faint rainbow on the horizon behind him.
Bella and Mackenzie had to stop and take in the beautiful site before it faded away. Sweet!
I posted this same rainbow with the CONCH SHELL on Saturday because I couldn’t wait to show you. They never last long so it’s always so exciting to see them, much less snap a photo in time to catch it. As I was snapping photos of the shells under the rainbow (CLICK HERE to see it), twins Brady and Katie were strolling by collecting shells when Brady reached down and grabbed “my” FIGHTING CONCH. His mom saw that it was the shell I was photographing, so she told him to put it back down. I said “No, no, no…. it’s ok! I’m not going to keep it any way”. LOL By that time, the rainbow was in full color so while Brady and Katie still had the shell, I snapped another photo of them. OMG it this adorable or what? You can’t make this stuff up!
If there is a better souvenir than finding an awesome LIGHTNING WHELK like this to remember a wonderful vacation… I dont know about it.
Therese told me she only saw a tiny bit of the top of this shell and thought it looked interesting enough to start digging around it. Then she realized it was this perfectly empty WHELK! Congratshellations Therese! She and her husband Dan (visiting from Minnesota) had an exshellent afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva under the bridge at low tide filling up their shell bags with WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES and one nice piece of a JUNONIA.
She even found one of the biggest CHESTNUT TURBANS I’ve seen in a while too…
Wendy (a local Sanibelian) found a few goodies to take home to make into jewelry…
She also found a SHIVA SHELL (which I didnt even get a picture of – darn!- so CLICK HERE if you want to see one) and this incredible DOUBLE JEWELBOX. It has pieces of CORAL growing on it!
Clark found a few nice shells too but the one I got most excited about was the WHITE CRESTED TELLIN in the top left corner. We have found them more on Cayo Costa but to find one at Blind Pass is pretty rare. The shell in between the two OLIVES is a huge and thick weird shaped JINGLE I thought was interesting too. I love that weird stuff!
You really couldn’t see how big the NUTMEG was in the last photo so I thought I’d show you how big it is in Clark’s hand. It’s shellacious! It measures in at a whopping 48mm… which isn’t like a world record size (Susan H?) but it’s the biggest one we’ve seen in a long time!
I found a regular sized NUTMEG that I thought I’d keep along with a BITTERSWEET, a CALICO CLAM with a cool pattern, and my new faves- the CALICO SCALLOP.
We ended the evening watching another gorgeous sunset over a big pile of Sit ‘N Sift shells on the other side of the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva.
The sky turns a lucious orange right at the horizon when the sun sets over the Gulf Of Mexico.
Then it melts into the water to end another sensational day on the island.
Oh Wait! I did take a short little video right when we first got to Blind Pass at 6pm yesterday. It’s just a little something to show you exactly where we were. This was right before Therese showed me her WHELK! Have a wonderful weekend!
We were shellebrating the season on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva today! We must have been on Santa’s “Good” list this year because he gave us the best gifts of all… gifts from the sea. Seashells!
Lots of seashells!
But wait… let me back up because the shells weren’t there all day so let me show you how quickly Mother Nature (maybe Santa too?) can do her/his magic.I arrived at Blind Pass this morning at 8 a.m. bundled in layers of clothes to ward of the 46 degree cold northwest winds. BRRRRR! That’s cold for us! I found a few scattered COCKLES, FLIGHTING CONCHS and PEN SHELLS along the high tide line and pocketed three beautiful shells… a KNOBLESS FIGHTING CONCH, GIANT BITTERSWEET and a funky orange CALICO SCALLOP…
There was nothing to speak of along the jetty rocks so I thought I’d amuse myself by waving to say hello to the camera since my shadow was the only thing in the picture (I know, I’m a dweeb). See? No real shells to write home about…
So I left around 9 a.m. (played tennis) and came back around 12:45 to find all of these shells piled up! In that short time span, thousands of shells rolled up along side those jetty rocks!
Probably only an hour after I left, Lucky lady Glenda from England plucked the king of shells, a JUNONIA, right out of all those shells! And you won’t believe it… her husband Richard found a rare QUEEN HELMET!
So you know what that means… the “KING” and “QUEEN” will find their way back to England soon. LOL Congratshellations, to the royal couple!
As soon as I walked onto that shell pile, Dawn snagged an ALPHABET CONE out of an incoming wave…
Then she showed me 3 HORSE CONCHS she just collected as well. Candy!!!
Michelle and Eric were on Santa’s Good list too!
I took this photo when I first saw them and I know they bucketed a few more ALPHIES, HORSIES and BITTERSWEETS but take a look at her JUNONIA (“cob”), part of a LION’S PAW and that gorgeous FLAT SCALLOP (lots of those found today!)…
I don’t think there is anything more fun than witnessing a pile of seashells being formed on the beach. It is mind boggling that within 4 hours, thousands of treasures can be washed up by the waves of the Gulf Of Mexico. More photos coming soon!
If you happen to stop by the Sanibel Captiva Chamber Of Commerce on your way on the island, say “Congratshellations!” to Anne at the welcome counter. She found her first JUNONIA this week!!!
Wow! It’s so pretty! Like Mimi, this is an early Christmas gift of the sea too.
She told me she found it rolling in the surf at Blind Pass Sanibel half way from the pass to the newly exposed seawall so I of course I high tailed it down there to see the beach. Remember the erosion I photographed last month? Well, the seawall is still exposed but not as much. It’s filling back in slowly but surely.
By the time I got there, I only saw a few shell lines but I could see there were shells still rolling in the surf. After I took this next photo, I got to thinking that in probably six months, this whole wall will be buried again and we might not see for years to come. The power of Mother Nature.
The other side of the pass (Blind Pass Captiva) is starting to show signs of smaller shells rolling in. I doubt that little sand cliff will be there very long since we have some good west winds predicted to for this weekend. Yippee! I’m hoping the bigger shells will be coming in soon!
I sifted through some of these shells in this new pile…
And I found a COMB BITTERSWEET!
I don’t think I’ve ever taken a photo of this shell before. Hmmm. I’m really not sure I’ve found one before either but I don’t think that it is a rare find here. So I looked through my collection but didn’t find one. Okay, honestly, I’m really not that organized but still… I didn’t see a COMB BITTERSWEET in all the shells I pawed through in my garage buckets.
It’s a little “nibbled” on the one side but now I have it in my “collection”. Ha!
Okay let’s get back to the real important things…. Anne’s JUNONIA! Since Santa gave her an early Christmas gift like the SEAHORSE (I painted with a Santa hat) Mimi received, I had to give Anne’s JUNONIA the same special treatment! A JUNO-HO-HO-HO-NIA!
We usually see beautiful seashells rolling on to the beach next to the jetty rocks on Captiva at Blind Pass but the best shelling spot has now moved down the beach. I walked the shoreline from the jetty to find Eldon wading through the water with a hand full of seashells. He said he was only snorkeling for 5 minutes to find all of the empty gorgeous FIGHTING CONCHS pictured above. Here is Eldon with Ronda and his darling son Micah…
As I walked further down the beach into Captiva, I overheard Stacey telling her daughter Gracie that she just missed a good shell in one of the waves that washed in. She said ” This is just like shopping at HomeGoods! If you see something you want, you better snag it up right away because it won’t be there in another second.” LOL It’s so true! Here’s Gracie and Stacey showing off some of their shells that didn’t get away.
Jennifer and Cindy were thrilled to wade in the clear shallow water to find LIGHTNING WHELKS and lots of CONCHS.
The CONCHS are so beautiful!
I was thrilled to find candy! A HORSE CONCH and a BITTERSWEET were my fave finds.
I took a short video to show you where this new spot is and how far it is from the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva on this beautiful beach.