The sunsets this week have been abshellutely breathtaking!
The shelling hasn’t been so bad either.
I ran into my friend Liddy at Blind Pass on the beach shelling the other night.
Omigosh- She picked up the prettiest little orange RIBBED CANTHARUS.
Clark’s faves were an ALPHABET CONE and a FLORIDA CONE.
Riley from Cape Coral was happy watching a live LIGHTNING WHELK. I love to see beach curiosity.
Night after night over the past week, we’ve seen the sun setting over beautiful shells on the beach.
You bet your bottom DOLLAR, I’ll be out there again this week to see another exshellent sunset.
It’s True! It really is the small things in life that are most precious. This is such a sweet little LIONS PAW! But I actually think this one might be called “The Trekkie Paw”… or “The Vulcan Paw”. He’s got a Vulcan Salute for all of you Spock Star Trek fans out there. LOL
My friend Lizbeth found this awesome gem while taking a long walk off West Gulf Drive. I know it looks similar to the KITTENS PAW, but this is clearly defined by that shoulder piece (Spock’s thumb). Good eye, Lizbeth!
Last evening by the Sanibel pier, I saw Ron from Atlanta snorkeling for quite a while…
When he finally came out of the water, he showed me this gorgeous live LIGHTNING WHELK he found then he placed back in the water. He also had that big yellow shell bag filled with FIGHTING CONCHS, COCKLES and a few emPty WHELKS.
Lori and Katelyn from Alabama were going for the minis.
Most of these were found just at the water’s edge. I havent seen one of the TINTED CANTHARUS shells in a while so it was fun to see that. It’s the one in her hand that almost has a purplish tint to it. And I wish I had gotten a better shot of the huge WENTLETRAP they found. It’s hiding behind that cute pink-nosed LACE MUREX. The one just above the juvie LIGHTNING WHELK is a nice TOP SHELL.
I always get the CORMORANT and the ANHINGA birds mixed up. They look so much alike! My friend Susan told me this one was the CORMORANT because he has the hook on the end of his beak. The ANHINGAS have the long straight beak. Okay, and I said “he” but I have no idea if this is a male or female but I’m sure there is a way to tell by the plumage. I’m much better at shell ID than bird ID…. but I’m going to try to remember… this one is the CORMORANT!
Yes, I am a fanatic sheller and beachcomber… but some days I want to visit the sea to find calmness and peace.
The beach reminds me that life’s treasures aren’t always obvious. At times I have to stop for a minute or two and focus on everything that is surrounding me. Then take another minute or two to refocus from the large obvious objects, to the smaller items that I may not have noticed.
There is so much there and so much more to enjoy. That’s when I am happiest.
By the look on Kelly’s face, she found a little happiness too.
Kelly (Colorado) picked up a TINTED CANTHARUS, WENTLETRAP and golden CHESTNUT TURBAN near Gulfside City Park.
I don’t see the TINTED CANTHARUS often so here is a look at the aperture side of the shell…
It also makes me so happy to find someone else that only collects one little shell to make them all warm and fuzzy (although we didnt need much help with getting warm… it was in the mid 80s. Nice!). I was happy to meet Susan from Naples…
She was thrilled to find this beautiful little COQUINA. She told me she loves butterflies and showed me her butterfly notebook which matched her sweet little COQUINA. That’s all she needed to make her day of shelling complete. One COQUINA. Every day should be that simple.
With all of the beautiful shells strung along the beach, Caryn from Michigan was quite amazed by the SPONGES, EGG CASINGS, and even the BONES (leftover bait from the crab traps that fell out) that were scattered on the beach. Ah! Somebody else that loves that BEACH BLING like I do!
And I met other beachcombers that found a few treasures but just as happy to be on the beach with the fresh air and sunshine. Here is Bernadette from Quebec City, Gertie from Arizona and Angela from Melbourne, FL (with the iLS shell ID card!)…
Ahhhh. Yes. I found my not-so-obvious treasures in seeing the happy faces of others enjoying what Mother Nature does best… reminding us that every day is a gift.
Can you tell that these are four different shells? The difference between these seashells is very slight.
I found a few cutie little shells at the lighthouse that looked very similar but when I turned them over to look at the apertures to correctly identify them, I found little HERMIT CRABS in each one.
After I took the pictures, I put the shells back in the water where I found them then got inspired to head home to sift through my collection of unsorted shells. I had so many of these smaller shells lumped together so it was time to make sure I had the right identity on each one. Okay, so let’s go back and look at the shells I found in my collection at home that were so similar (but not exactly the same kind I found on the beach)…
From left to right… MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL, RIBBED CANTHARUS, GULF OYSTER DRILL and a PITTED MUREX. Here are the apertures…
I showed the MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL (and it’s eggs) in my January 24 post …
but now you can see how similar it is to the RIBBED CANTHARUS…
and the GULF OYSTER DRILL…
I’ve only showed a GULF OYSTER DRILL once before, which is strange because they are somewhat common to find on Sanibel. So here’s a closeup…
The PITTED MUREX is bit smaller (and not as common… for me any way) than the others but it’s still a bear to identify without “cheaters” on. And it is so similar too!
So now we can sift through our collections and finally identify the differences between these four shells now that we can see them side by side. Uhhhh….. I hate to tell you this…. but…. unfortunately, there a few more that look similar to these as well. For instance, …like that photo of my palm with the HERMIT CRAB shells? That top shell more to the left of the photo…. that’s a juvie APPLE MUREX! Doesn’t it look like the rest of the shells? And the shell on the far right side of my palm has a broken base so it’s harder to identify (and I didn’t get a great photo of it) but I’m sure it was a RIBBED CANTHARUS too. And y’all thought Seashell Identification was easy, didn’t you? heehee
RIBBED CANTHARUS, APPLE MUREX, MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL, broken RIBBED CANTHARUS (I’m sure).
I always love to see what other people do with the shells they find combing the beaches. Sharlene found these DOVE SHELLS on a beach near her home in Puerto Rico and she decided to make them into earrings. They look great…but then I think she could make SEA PORK look good too, right? She also made a simple but very cool necklace out of an AUGER. I might have to borrow your idea, Sharlene.
But then I’ve said that before, haven’t I? After seeing Kathy’s Junonia Necklace (my post last year) and other inspirations like Sharlene’s necklace, I’m reminded that I was going to make a great necklace too out of my shells but this is as far as I got. I bought waxed linen to thread some shells to hang from my fabulous necklace to be. It’s still sitting….. waiting…..
That’s okay. One day. But until then, I want to show you a few other finds from my weekend. There were a lot of live shells in the water around Middle Gulf Drive but there were a few good empty smaller shells like the ones Mark and Rene from Miami found…
This is a beautiful RIBBED CANTHARUS Mark found along with a BANDED TULIP, OLIVES, a NUTMEG and a CONCH.
Right after I ooooed at that orange CANTHARUS (I consider that “candy” too), I found a TINTED CANTHARUS…..
Since it was a full moon on Friday with negative low tides, I thought we’d have a little better shelling this weekend along the middle beaches of Sanibel. Maybe I should have gone to Blind Pass but we had rain and thunder on and off all weekend so the minute I hear thunder…. I know there’s lightning somewhere. Yikes! That’s when I stay off the beach!
These are just a few little minis that we found along the beach in the tidal pools at low tide on Sanibel. Obviously they are empty without their original inhabitants. Sometimes after the mollusk dies and leaves the shell empty, another creature takes up residency…. HERMIT CRABS! Check out this short video of these little mini shells inhabited by tiny crazy hermit crabs zipping here and there.
They are so cute, aren’t they? I just love seeing that little WENTLETRAP running around! heehee Here are a few more we found that didn’t have any live creatures inside them that we were able to bring home. Please remember, do not take any shell with a live animal inside it. It’s not fair to kill them and it’s against the law here in Lee County.
Orange Ribbed Cantharus
Single tusk shell
Baby horse conch shells....Candies!
While Clark and I were walking along the surf line looking for minis, we had a fella that swam along us for quite some time…
Cownose ray in surf