This is a “Throw Back Thursday” since I never posted this trip my good friend Diane and I took from Sanibel over to the east coast of Florida in January to visit some other girlfriends- Girls Getaway! We couldn’t stay for very long so we packed in everything we could… including an hour on the beach for shelling. Of course.
We hit the mother load of SPECTRAL BITTERSWEETS at Blowing Rocks Preserve which has beautiful rock formations exposed from ocean currents depositing drifting sea shells and sand to form an underwater bar of COQUINA LIMESTONE about 125,000 years ago. This is the largest rock formation of the Anastasia Formation from St Augustine to southern Palm Beach County.
We mostly found the SPECTRAL BITTERSWEETS around the rocks but I did find a big ol’ LIONS PAW frag too (which I kept- heehee).
Along with the gorgeous view, the excellent company and a beautiful day, I found so many treasures on the beach to remember this quick girls getaway trip forever.
PS- Just so you can see the difference between the SPECTRAL BITTERSWEET (left- we’ve only found 2 on Sanibel that I can recall), the COMB BITTERSWEET (we find lots of them on Cayo Costa and Big Hickory) and the GIANT BITTERSWEET (on the right and one of my faves in SW Florida)… here’s the 3 BITTERSWEETS lined up together.
Join us for an iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure! For more info CLICK HERE
PS- And we visited a SEA TURTLE rehabilitation center too- so cool…
It doesn’t get any better than seeing a huge pile of shells wash up on the beach within one day. I was shellucky enough to see it happen at Blind Pass Captiva and to get the video of it I showed you on my last post. It was Shellectric!
Talk about “shellucky” – local sheller Susan from Pine Island found a CABRITS MUREX!
These are just a few other fab shells she found as well…
Lolly was there with her homemade shell belt collecting all sorts of goodies.
She found all sorts of shells like HORSE CONCHS, WHELKS, MUREXES and FLAT ZIG ZAGS and GIANT BITTERSWEETS…
After seeing my “CANDY” (my little HORSIES in the first photo) and Lolly’s as well, an orange HORSE CONCH is all Patti from MN was wishing to find. Moments later… voila! Patti whooped it up when she found her own sweet “CANDY”. Yay!
Babs from St Augustine was there to see all the shellnanagans and to find her own treasures.
Its always fun to see what makes different people happy when they find something unusual. I was thrilled when Babs showed me this awesome ROUGH SCALLOP that had obviously been damaged in its lifetime but survived the predatory incident (IMHO- I’m thinking that’s prob what happened).
See? At one time, this mollusk knew it had more life to live and repaired its damage to see more days. I love those type shells! This even looks like it tried to manage the shape of a heart.
This shell pile event doesn’t happen every day so when I’m there to witness it, I try to breathe it all in and enjoy every single moment.
I didn’t make it back yesterday so I have no idea if it’s all still there. Let me know if you found any treasures at Blind Pass over the weekend.
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! CLICK HERE for more info.
PS- I was at Gulfside City Park Beach over the weekend and its still loaded with shells and bling too. :)
Oh and I hope to see y’all at the 2015 78th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival at the Sanibel Community House this weekend March 5,6, and 7!
UPDATE 3-3-15: I stopped by Blind Pass Captiva …. the shell pile is completely picked over and filled with sand. Amazing. The top picture had new shells in this post washing in and the lower picture was 3 days later. The power of Mother Nature…
Of my first find of shelling, my seashore gave to me…. a CONE on the beach of Sanibel
Of my second find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my third find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my fourth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my fifth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
On the sixth day of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my seventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my eighth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my ninth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my tenth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my eleventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 11 CONCHS a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my twelfth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 12 COCKLES clicking, 11 CONCHS a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
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.
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.
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 HEREif 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!