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Feb
25

Peaceful Retreat To The Beach

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tiny shells collected on Sanibel Island Florida

I have been enjoying the warm sunshine we’ve been having on Sanibel the last few days… not just on the beach but outside in my back yard. I’ve been sorting…and sorting… and sorting shells. Why haven’t I been more organized in the last few days… errrrr… months…. okay, truthfully? Years! I guess thats just how I roll- I would rather spend my time doing something else other than “cleaning” (Oh how I hate that word!) but I guess enough is enough. I told y’all I wanted to do a post about the differences between some of the mini shells like the DRILLS, MUREXES and CANTHARUS like I did in my post Similar Sanibel Shells since I wanted to add more to that list. So I started looking through my Shellaboratory for each of the shells I wanted to photograph. Ack! I wanted the best of each species but I realized how dang unorganized I’ve been. Buckets, boxes and bins of uncategorized shells. Some were washed… some filled with sand. OMG

assortment of collected small Sanibel Florida shells

 So while I sort my shells to find the best GULF OYSTER DRILL, SHARP RIB DRILL, juvie APPLE and LACE MUREXES, I had to escape to the beach for a peaceful retreat at Gulfside City Park to find an absolutely gorgeous calm day.

peaceful retreat and shells on the beach of Sanibel Island

Oh… and more mini shells. I tried to just admire the shells on the beach without picking them up because…. seriously, we have enough. These days I try to only collect the shells I learn from, the ones that I give to others (like the post – Good Feeling About Seashells), the ones I decorate with or use in projects.  So these are the only ones I brought home today… Three BUTTON SHELLS, a shiny OLIVE, one sweet BABYS EAR, a wonderful WENTLETRAP and a little cutie juvie SHARKS EYE. We don’t often see oodles of black JINGLES so I couldn’t resist picking some up … and there were lots of them! I’m trying to fill up a tall vase for my home so I might go back and try to find more tomorrow. When my vase is done, I promise I’ll post it.

some seashells collected from Sanibel

So while I sort, sort, sort our minis I’ll sneak to the beach for peace, shells and sunshine.

calm collecting shells

May
10

Seashells Open Your Eyes

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Marginella Aperture

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.

Marginella

Marginella

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 dove

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 dove aperture

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

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

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.

Wentletrap staircase

Wentletrap staircases

We were on the mini shell hunt so we ran across lots of the BUBBLE shells…. appropriately named as well….

Bubble shells

Bubble shells

We found lots of AUGERS which again, look like their name…

Augers

Augers

So how about SHARP-RIB DRILL? That flat rib or blade off the sides is pretty sharp, huh?

Sharp-rib Drills on aqua

Sharp-rib Drills

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…..

keyhole limpet shell

Keyhole Limpet

….and the BUTTON shell….

Button shell

Button shell

This CONE shell certainly looks like an ice cream cone….

Dusky Cone

Dusky Cone

But I’m not sure that this RICE OLIVE shell looks like an olive but it sure looks like rice…

rice olive shell

Rice Olive

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.

Turban shell

Chestnut Turban

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.

Sanibel lighthouse shells

Our Sanibel lighthouse shells last night

 

snowy egret

Snowy Egret

Sanibel pier sunset

Sanibel pier sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr
18

My Family Visits The Island

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finding seashells

It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend. The sun was shining, temps in the 80s, low humidity, shells in the surf….. and the very best part….. my family came to visit!!!

my family shelling

Greg and Tee!

My brother and I grew up spending our summers on the beach at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach and vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The beach is in our blood so it’s a good thing we both found spouses that have that sand running through their blood too. My sister-in-law (the best a sister could ask for!) is all about the beach too so the first thing after the whole gang got here …..  we hit the beach.

Sanibel squat

Becky finding minis

Our friend Becky (and part of the family) was the first one to find out how glorious the miniature shell finds can be.

seashells handful

She found oodles of WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS and BUBBLES scattered all along the Lighthouse beach on Saturday.

My Men shelling

Clark and Greg in the shelling zone scooping up the mini shells.

miniature seashell pile virtual shelling

This was exactly how one pile from their scooper looked after Clark or Greg dumped it on the beach for us to sift through. Go ahead, click on the photo above for some virtual shelling! How many WENTLETRAPS did you find?

I see seashells

My cutie niece Kelly spying some seashells too. I miss her already.

Virtual miniature shelling

This was a mixed bag of minis after getting rinsed at home . Click on that photo too- you’ll love this virtual shelling too!

seashells sailboats

On Sunday we started the day on the Captiva side at Blind Pass and Becky was thrilled with sittin’ and siftin’ in the shell pile by the jetty.

Junonia inside

Looky what I found! Dang! It’s not a whole JUNONIA but I’ll take it. This was good but it wasn’t even the best “part” of a shell found. Look what Clark found…..

Deer Cowrie piece

A piece of a DEER COWRIE! This seashell isn’t even native to our area but last week I showed another piece that Donnie found on my post last week and a whole one February 15.

Blind Pass seashells

We walked over the bridge to the Sanibel side of Blind Pass and saw lots of new shells washing up. I can’t believe what Clark plucked out of the water near the pilings of the bridge….

Scotch bonnet under bridge

A SCOTCH BONNET! The man is a Super Sheller!

cracked scotch bonnet

Okay, it was cracked on the other side ….but still! Since I found part of a JUNONIA too, all we needed to complete the Elite Three was to find a LION”S PAW. Would the DEER COWRIE count? ;)

Alternate tellin

He also found this ALTERNATE TELLIN and …

Sunray venus BP

This beautiful SUNRAY VENUS.

Two scoops of seashells

Greg tried two scoops of seashells to better his chances. LOL

Sanibel squatter

Tee’s in the shelling zone too.

mom daughter Captiva beach

Becky and her daughter (and Kelly’s best friend) Maddy.  Do they still say “BFF”…or was so last year?

Sanibel seashells

There were plenty of COCKLES, FIGHTING CONCHS, WHELKS, MUREXES and DOSINIAS along with so many other shells to take home with them. Shelling Success for the family!

Sanibel Biking

Nov
29

Simple Sanibel Beach Stroll

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Little Sheller on Sanibel

Little Sheller

It was a beautiful beach stroll on the east end of Sanibel near the lighthouse.

Apple Murex Sanibel Sunset

Apple Murex Sanibel Sunset

An APPLE MUREX was our biggest find.

Sea Bean with waves on Sanibel

Sea Bean with waves

We found two SEA BEANS .

Button Seashell

Button Seashell

…..and a BUTTON SHELL. We didn’t see big shell piles but it was simply a beautiful afternoon.

Romantic Sanibel Sunset

Romantic Sanibel Sunset

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May
08

To My Mini Friends

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Small shells at the lighthouse on Sanibel Island

After going to every beach on Captiva today and finding nothing, we headed to the east end to shell at the lighthouse. The minis never disappoint. Look how cute! There are all sorts….BABY’S EARS, WENTLETRAPS, BUBBLES, DRILLS, TULIPS, a BUTTON and more. I couldn’t really get the angle on the tiny NUTMEG (the second to the last shell on the bottom row) that Clark found but it is perfectly adorable too.

Sailboat at sunset on Sanibel Island

Cool fishing chick at the lighthouse

Oh yeah, I saw some awesome manatees in Captiva so i’ll have a video to show you tomorrow or Monday. They are so funny!

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Apr
09

Small Treasures, Big Pleasure

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Lace murex, turban, button, banded tulip, wentletrap, drill, coquina, and more

How could anybody not think that the smaller shells aren’t fun to collect too? Look at these cuties! You can look them up on the Seashell Identification Guide to find the names of each one. The only ones you won’t find probably are the LEOPARD CRAB shells (top middle) since they aren’t mullosks…they are shells of a crab…but they sure are pretty. You can always find treasures on Sanibel and Captiva if you take your time and look at how beautiful the shells are that you find….even if they are small.

Justin and Adria (Texas)

That’s why I enjoyed meeting Justin and Adria from Texas. It looks like she’s holding an empty bucket but that’s only because all of those smaller shells that she was finding slid down out of the shot.  I asked her if she was finding anything good and she said “All of these shells are fantastic! We don’t have anything like this at home.”  She and Justin were tickled with their tiny treasures and the time they get to spend on Sanibel while visiting family every year.  Some times it’s just the simple pleasures that are the best. Don’t you think?

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