Who wants to do some CYBERSHELLING??!! I’ve got it for you! There are days on Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach when there are so many great shells washing up to your toes on the beach you feel like you hit the lottery. And there are other days when you just might have to look in the unlikely shell lines high up on the beach to find your hidden treasures. This, my friends, is why I fell in love with shelling….being surprised at finding a beautiful seashell gift of the sea that everybody else passed right on by without a glance. Click on this next photo for some CYBERSHELLING of your own. See if you can find my newest treasure… a BORING TURRET (Turritella acropora)!
Did you find it? Ha! Of course you did because you are on to me now, aren’t you. I put it right in the middle of the photograph- LOL. I found 2 BORING TURRITS in the same area I found my CROSS-HATCHED LUCINES on the new beach/sand bar Blind Pass Captiva.
It looks very similar to the AUGERS…
Gail Carr (from my last post) found 3 of them!
Susan H showed me a beautiful specimen of a BORING TURRITELLA when she was here in December.
Also back in December, brother and sister Greg and Debbie were finding all sorts of great shells…
But with all the hoopla about folks finding CABRITS MUREXES, JUNONIAS and LIONS PAWS, I never got to show you Debbie’s precious find. The one I liked the most was Debbie’s BORING TURRET.
There are many shells from Southwest Florida that may look similar to the BORING TURRET so I’d like to show you a side by side comparison so you will be able to distinguish your shells too. Now you can see how different they are! From left to right- BORING TURRET, AUGER, CERITH and WORM SHELL.
Can you guess which other shell in this group is in the same family TURRITELLIDAE as the “BORING” one? The WORM SHELL!
Looking at this top picture you will see most of the shells I found last evening at Fort Myers’ Bunche Beach. Can you identify most of them? While you try to figure out each of the shells… Wanna go on a little CYBER SHELLING hunt for shells with me? All righty then let’s play a little “I Spy”! Don’t mind the “dirty” bling (a mix of peat and other good stuff that gives food to so many living organisms)… just look for some of those sweet little minis that we all love by clicking on the next image to enlarge…
This will give you an idea of how “big” those little gems are by looking at my handful of sweet somethings…
As much fun as it was collecting minis, I was tickled pink when Clark showed me his fave find… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER.
We didn’t see any ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds but we did see immature WHITE IBIS birds. Ibis juveniles are mostly brown but these guys have started molting out of their plumage becoming adults.
Here are four immature WHITE IBISES hanging out with a SNOWY EGRET and a BLUE HERON.
It was a bird lovers paradise last night. I even saw the dance of the REDDISH EGRET…
Before it got dark, we stopped at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach just in time to catch a beautiful RAINBOW…
Samuel, Sheila, Gene, Freida (Cape Coral, FL) and their family in the photo above must have hit the pot of gold under the rainbow. They found all of these in the water…
I found another pot of gold under the rainbow when I met Bill, Jody, Brooke, Brandon, Laura Beth and Gramma Kaye. A golden family of shellers from Alabama.
Okay, did y’all identify most of the shells in the top picture? Errrr….I have to confess, once I got going on my own I.D.s (and put my reader glasses on), I realized that some of these shells weren’t as obvious as I thought. There were a few that I had to look up… like the PAPER BUBBLE and TURRET. I failed my own test! hahaha I hope you do better than I did! I know the photo doesn’t show both sides of the shell, but if you know what #8 is by looking at this photo or you have a better idea if I misidentified anything, please let me know. Whoops! How embarrassing! LOL (blush, blush)
8. Ummm. Why did I put that in there? I have no idea what it is. LOL Best guess?
10. Pitted Murex
12. Oh geez- I’m just going with baby whelk so cute!
16. Fish Vertebra
Do you love shelling? Would you like to meet other shellers who love the beach and its treasures just as much as you do? Do you want to learn more about shelling in Sanibel and the out island islands? Join us for Shellabaloo 3!
Blind Pass Captiva still had plenty of seashells piled up along the shore line yesterday. I peeked in one of the shell buckets perched on top of the shell mound and gasped…
I asked Judy from Indiana if she realized the shell she had in her bucket and she said “I’m not sure what it is but it’s a piece from a big shell so that’s why I kept it”. Well it looks to me like she found a very large lip piece of a QUEEN HELMET shell that is not commonly found here. Good eye, Judy!
Judy was shelling with her family… and I mean to tell you, she has lots of family members that love to shell! A shelling family is a happy family. Here is Judy, Larry, Cary, Joe, Shaun, Jenny, Evy, Fiona and Sam. Beautiful, right?
I didn’t see many of the SANIBEL SIX, but I was amazed to see so many CERITHS washed in like this. Everybody was collecting them.
I also met Shelling Sister Wanda’s grandson Cody (PA) who kept racing up to her on the beach after his snorkeling expeditions to deposit his seashell loot into his shell bag. Treasure!
On a side line, I have to make a note that last year June 27, 2011 there was a juvenile FLORIDA BLACK BEAR sighted on Sanibel that was thought to have come over from Pine Island on a negative low tide. BLACK BEARS are native to Florida but not compatible with highly populated areas (with humans!). Now as an adult at 3 years old weighing 250 pounds he has “become a nuisance” by showing up in neighborhoods and getting into a trash can or two. I was so hoping we could catch a glimpse of him but as of 1 p.m. today, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trapped him and relocated him off island. Relocated where? I have no clue. “They” won’t say. It’s bitter sweet. He was a very exciting visitor but I know he needs to find a mate and have a bigger place to roam before he gets in trouble on the island. I hope his new home offers him a long, happy and healthy life. Good bye, Mr. Black Bear.
Sanibel Black Bear photo by William Epranian on Facebook
After several weeks of east winds, the west winds have finally arrived to drive some shells on to our beaches. Today was only the first day of the westies but since it was a really low tide this morning, I figured I’d find some goodies. It’s always a good day when you find an ALPHABET CONE and you’ve got to see just how darn cute this little juvie HORSE CONCH is…
I couldn’t believe I found this ANGEL WING sitting in the high wrack line…
I love when I find shells like this BANDED TULIP lying on the beach like this.
Tonya, Beth and Max from Ohio had their bags filled with all sorts of treasures.
Wanna look in their shell bags? I sure wanted to too! COCKLES and CONCHS and CLAMS…
Max found this live LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line so he walked it down to the water and gently put it in the water. Good for you Max! You helped save this beauty.
I found local Sanibel sheller Lynn walking her very happy standard poodle Alexander with a pocket full of seashell treasure too.
Look at those pretty those COLORFUL MOON shells along with those candies and a mini TURE TULIP.
There was all sorts of bivalves scattered along the beach. I found this ATLANTIC COCKLE, PONDEROUS ARK and SOUTHERN QUAHOG together on the beach just like this…
This is the biggest DARK CERITH I’ve ever found. It’s one and a half inches long!
I was pretty pleased with what we all were finding on the beach near Donax Street today after the first day of west winds. Tomorrow might be even better!
Gabriel found this live STARFISH (BROWN SPINY SEA STAR) on a PEN SHELL at low tide late this morning at the Sanibel Lighthouse beach. His whole family came over to look at it and to ohhh and ahhh so I had to find out what the fuss was about. It’s just beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, I mean the STARFISH is beautiful but also to hear the excitement and amazement of finding life and treasures that come from the sea. That’s beautiful too.
Gabriel, Danielle, Peggy, Paul and Mark
It was such a pleasure to meet this family! They were trying to learn the names of all the shells they were finding so I was thrilled to help them. This was our best find…. an ALPHABET CONE that was semi buried in the sand.
I don’t have photos of all the shells we were finding but here are some of the shell they found that I help identify…
Oh how I’ve missed my walks at the lighthouse beach on Sanibel. Ever since the day light savings time change, I’ve been discombobulated. I like my walks with Clark in the evening but now it gets dark too early for me to wait until he gets home from his office. But now after meeting such an amazing family on the beach today, it got me right in my beach combing time zone again. Here are a couple of my finds….
Most of my finds today were half buried in the sand like this half buried perfect ANGEL WING.
This LIGHTNING WHELK was perfectly empty too but I almost missed it since only this much of it was showing. More buried treasure.
This morning started off my weekend with a smile so I hope I can pass it along to you too. Have a great weekend!
The weekend started with a spectacular sunset painting the sky with brilliant hues of reds, yellows, blues and even purple.
We figured this was a great sign to get out on the water in our boat to search for treasure. We found it!
And I found three MOONS! … a BABY’S EAR MOON, a SHARK’S EYE MOON, a COLORFUL MOON SHELL…
Clark found a huge empty TRUE TULIP on one of the mud flats around North Captiva…
There was a wrack line of shells on Cayo Costa…
There were hundreds… no, I think there were thousands of SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS littering the beach…
Here are a few all cleaned up…
Here’s a close up of the SOUTHERN SURF CLAM since I’ve never shown them before. This would be a great shell for shell crafting!
We found most of our keepers on the beach but other than Clark’s big TULIP, we only found these little FLY SPECK CERITHS on the mud flats…
We had heard there was red tide moving onto the Cayo Costa area but we didn’t feel that irritating tickle in the chest and had no “red tide cough”. We did see a few dead fish which was kind of creepy at first but then it seems we can always find something cool about any beach drift.
A few more treasures from our weekend in paradise…