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
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.
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.
So while I sort, sort, sort our minis I’ll sneak to the beach for peace, shells and sunshine.
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
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!!!
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.
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.
She found oodles of WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS and BUBBLES scattered all along the Lighthouse beach on Saturday.
Clark and Greg in the shelling zone scooping up the mini shells.
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?
My cutie niece Kelly spying some seashells too. I miss her already.
This was a mixed bag of minis after getting rinsed at home . Click on that photo too- you’ll love this virtual shelling too!
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.
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…..
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.
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….
A SCOTCH BONNET! The man is a Super Sheller!
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? ;)
He also found this ALTERNATE TELLIN and …
This beautiful SUNRAY VENUS.
Greg tried two scoops of seashells to better his chances. LOL
Tee’s in the shelling zone too.
Becky and her daughter (and Kelly’s best friend) Maddy. Do they still say “BFF”…or was so last year?
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!
It was a beautiful beach stroll on the east end of Sanibel near the lighthouse.
Apple Murex Sanibel Sunset
An APPLE MUREX was our biggest find.
Sea Bean with waves
We found two SEA BEANS .
…..and a BUTTON SHELL. We didn’t see big shell piles but it was simply a beautiful afternoon.
Romantic Sanibel Sunset
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!
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?