Archive for Carrier Shell
Twenty five die hard shellers bundled up for 25 mph winds and 44 degree weather for a boat ride with Captiva Cruises to Cayo Costa for an awesome shelling adventure. Oh Yaya! Gail Carr showed up in the same fave hoodie and tote bag stuffed with shelling gear just like me … ready for whatever the day would bring. We looked like twins! LOL And before we took off, I met another sheller ready for the day. Mariah from Seattle told me she found a JUNONIA at Lover’s Key (in Bonita Springs) just a few days ago.
It’s a beauty! After she showed it to me, she tucked it safely away in the car before she boarded the boat for our trip. Congratshellations, Mariah!
We had no problems in the rough water at all thanks to our fearless Captain Skip and his Co-Captain Elliott. Our boat trip was smooth as silk.
Our shelling adventure began… only 15 minutes into our boat trip we witnessed an unfortunate site. We saw billowing black smoke on the tip of North Captiva Island that had just started. Captain Skip immediately called 911 but thank goodness fire and rescue were already on the way. A house went up in flames from what firefighters think was from a bad generator. There was nothing we could do to help so we continued to Cayo Costa.
I think we all had a sick feeling in our stomaches by the site of it but we were reassured there was nothing we could do and there was no reports of anybody inside the house. We got quick insiders information from our friends, retired volunteer Captiva Fire Fighter Ron and retired Captiva Fire Commissioner Phyllis (Ron’s wife and a shelling buddy of mine). They both happen to be on our shelling cruise with their granddaughter Isabelle.
As soon as we got on the beach, it warmed up a bit and the worries of the day started to melt away. Within 5 minutes, I scanned the high tide wrack line and saw an AMERICAN CARRIER SHELL!
Wow! I have shown these several times and I always say the same thing… “I know it’s not pretty…BUT really! This is a cool shell!” This shell is a collector of shells too, just like we collect shells. When the MOLLUSK that made this shell was alive, it came out of the opening and picked up that ARK shell and cemented it to its own shell. I’ve heard it may do this to be camouflaged but it could be for balance or to move more easily. I think they do it for the same reasons shellers collect shells… it’s just in their blood- they can’t help it. I have a video HERE on another post about CARRIER SHELLS if you want to see it. Anyway, if it had been laying on the beach this way in the next photo, I would never had seen it. It looks like a clump of shell bits.
We made it around to the south tip of the island to find two OSPREYS building a nest.
It was such a show with these two huge birds bringing sticks and fish into their nest, it was hard to leave the entertainment. Donna and I stood watching for a few minutes and when I took this photo, I caught one of the birds in flight and one in the nest. I hope you can you see it.
Then we pulled ourselves away to keep shelling…
Merna from Nova Scotia (this weather was warm to her- ha!) told me a little something she heard about JINGLE SHELLS…
She showed me that when you look at the inside of good JINGLES, you should see a baby’s foot print. I’ve never heard that! So she showed me and sure enough.. there it was. The MOLLUSK’s muscle scar looks just like a baby foot print left behind in the sand. Cute! You can see it best in the shell all the way to the right.
Layla and Ron from New Jersey were collecting ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES. Can you believe she was in shorts?! ha
I was thrilled that Tonya Clayton was on our shelling trip as well. She just published a book about how to “read” beaches called “How To Read A Florida Gulf Coast Beach”.
I love to “read beaches” by looking at wrack lines, tidal pools and shifting sand but I didn’t know how to read little holes in the sand. I have read many sand trails like my AUGER ART and OLIVE SHELLING but I assumed these little holes in the sand were from the COQUINAS we saw today but they aren’t! They are just little air pockets that rise from below the sand. She can tell by the shape of them. Cool!
We all had a fabulous day collecting, learning and enjoying the beauty of the islands (even though it was a little chilly) but I was very impressed by Evan’s ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK.
He found lots of OLIVES, WHELKS, TULIPS a NUTMEG as well but his ALBINO was awesome. BTW, he was the second one to hit the beach before anyone else so he almost had first dibs since we were the only ones on the entire beach.
The first guy down the beach was DAVE. Yep! He hit the mother load. Take a look at the monster LIGHTNING WHELK! The other side has lots of BARNACLES but they are going to clean up really nicely with some bleach diluted in water like I showed how to do on another post HERE. Great find Dave!
Not only that, he found ANGEL WINGS (okay, I have to snicker… it’s not an “angle” wing- heehee), a PAPER FIG and some other goodies too.
On our boat ride back we saw the fire was contained and put out… but the house burned to the ground in that short time we were on the beach. Again, nobody was hurt but lives will be changed. We all feel for the home owners and the neighbors in this small tight knit community only accessible by boat or small plane.
I’m so thankful the cold, windy weather didn’t scare off my new shelling friends to go on our island outing so our small community of shellers could get to know each other a little better too. Thanks you guys! And thanks to Super Sheller Clark for going too to show everybody how he uses that shelling backhoe of his in the water. He had a group so far ahead of me on the beach, I didn’t even get to take a picture of them. Shucks! Any way, here are a few more photos from our iLoveShelling Exshellent Adventure!
For more Shelling Adventures, click on the this next image…
I found that CARRIER SHELL I showed you on my last post Carried Away By A Carrier Shell but since I was so excited, I didn’t get to show you the rest of the shells I found. Aren’t the beautiful? It was an amazing day.
But wait, I’ve got a shell pile for you cyber shellers out there! I promise, I did not touch one thing in this pile before I took the next picture. But be careful! If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you might have a little sensory overload. Use caution, please.
OMG I just looked at that photo again! I missed another CONE!!! Did you spot it? TWO cones…. and I just looked again- maybe THREE. I worked this pile a while so I could have gotten it on another swipe but I definitely didn’t get it on the first run. I guess I was gathering every ounce of patience not to pluck this WORMIE, CANDIE and ALPHIE (notice the ultra cuteness clue of the “ie”endings) off the beach so I could take the picture.
So just a few minutes after finding this little seashell honey hole, I found the CARRIER SHELL and had to do a video. I hope you can see some of the other shells in that “troth” (I don’t think I’ve ever called it that before, but it sure did seem like one- LOL).
Oh yeah, something else cool…there was a live four legged BRITTLE STAR in one of the tidal pools.
Woohoo! I found a huge CARRIER SHELL! I am so tickled to find a whole one and to find one this big is such a bonus. I know, it doesn’t look like a pretty shell but this is the original shell collector. When the mollusk that made this shell was alive, it collected different shells and glued them to its own shell. The original shell crafter!
This one has a few bits and parts of shells, coral and maybe even a rock or two still stuck to it but the fascinating thing is to see the shape of the shell itself. It reminds me of a Christmas tree with only a few ornaments on it so far.
It seems to reason that if this shell did have a few whole shells attached to it at some point, they may have been broken off while tumbling in the surf since I found it high on the beach. Who knows. I love it with its bits and pieces.
I found this yesterday early evening at West Gulf Drive beach access #7. Clark and I went to Gulf Side City Park first and didn’t see many keepers so he wanted to go back to West Gulf. I’m so glad we went!
I may be carried away with all the photos of this CARRIER SHELL but as you can see, this was an exciting find for me. I’m even going to list the “real” scientific name… XENOPHORIDAE. Ha! Don’t ask me how to pronounce that… maybe “zee-no-FOR-id” ?
This next photo is the exact way I found it on the beach. It’s not so easy to spot, right? But maybe this will help you spot one if you even come across one trying to hide.
I was also so happy I found the video I shot from the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show this past March of blue ribbon winner Pat Linn telling us how the CARRIER SHELL attaches other shells to itself while showing her exhibit. Thanks Pat! I can’t wait to see what you have in 2012.
I was thrilled to see a CARRIER SHELL (click for more info) found by blog friend Lee and her husband Bill yesterday at South Seas Island Resort. I just haven’t developed the eye for them since they aren’t really the prettiest of seashells. I take that back, I’ve seen pictures of them in books with wentletraps attached and they are stunning! Their other best finds (pictured) were FLATS, NUTMEGS, TURBANS, WORM SHELLS (wormies), JUVENILE HORSE CONCH (candy!), the CARRIER SHELL (right smack in the middle of all of the other shells), an ALPHABET CONE, a FLORIDA CONE and a SHARK’S EYE.
Lee and Bill found this Carrier Shell around the jetty by Redfish Pass on Captiva.
I just had to show you every angle because I think it is so unusual… and it collects other shells just like we do! I had a wonderful time hanging out with Lee and Bill doing a little shelling and sharing our best shelling adventures with each other. They have been coming to the islands to shell for over 30 years so I was tickled to hear their stories. It was such a pleasure!
Doesn’t this piece of CORAL below look like a dog… or horse… or maybe a lion. Funny!