Archive for Cockle
Shellzam! I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone find a double SPECKLED TELLIN shell in SouthWest Florida. We found lots of double SPECKLED TELLINS on our trip to Turks And Caicos but only a handful of single valves here in SW Florida … none with both valves still attached. So I was tickled to see that Stephanie (Fort Myers) showed me her find. Spectacsheller!
Along with her double TELLIN, she also found a single valve of a SPECKLED TELLIN, an awesome BROAD PAPER COCKLE, and a PURPLISH TAGELUS. Very nice.
I also saw Kathy and Pat again! They were on the March iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa so we got to laugh and reminisce about them being in the “Gleaners” photo. Lots of fun.
They found such a wide variety of shells but they both said that they were happiest to find lots of CERITHS.
Speaking of Cayo Costa, Dawn and Lori from Nebraska weren’t find many keeper shells on Captiva but they were still so happy they had gone to Cayo Costa to find lots of great treasures.
Lori is holding up a wonderful LACE MUREX while Dawn had questions about these SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS. Why are they so brown? On our last iLoveshelling cruise, lots of folks were picking them up because they were milk chocolate…. and it’s not the Periostracum that is covering it to make it that color but maybe some sort of food source. Hmmmmm. I don’t remember finding them this brown in the past but I love milk chocolate! I wish I had collected a few of these milk chocolate SOUTHERN SURF CLAMS too.
So believe it or not the little shell line at the top of the high tide line is where Stephanie found that spectasheller SPECKLED TELLIN and her other bivalves. That’s what it looked like when I found my CARRIER SHELLS too. Again, ya just never know!
Since I didn’t find any “spectacsheller” shells in that wrack line, I was just as happy picking up broken shells like these FIGHTING CONCHS because I’m going to use them in a shell craft project. Seriously, look at the colors… and they already have perfect holes drill in them so they are easy to work with. When it’s done (and IF I’m happy with it- heehee) , I’ll show you what I did!
PS- Blind Pass Captiva beach looks like it’s going to be roped off in the next week or so due to a renourishment project. I’m so sorry but I don’t have any more information than that but if I get any updated info, I will let you know.
As October is coming to an end, so is SEA TURTLE nesting season. This means that most or all of the nests have hatched already so we don’t have to worry about those little babies making their way from the nest to the water …. sooooo ….bring on the beach art!
Seasons come and go and so do the shells and BEACH BLING. Over the weekend I found some sweet juvie SAND DOLLARS but I went back to Gulfside City Park today and didn’t find any at all. Not one! But that’s what shelling is all about… enjoy the treasures that Mother Nature has put before you at the moment because they may not be there any other day.
I had a few extra minutes today so I ran to the Lighthouse Beach since I haven’t been hanging out there as much lately. So happy I did. It’s always a good day when I find a BROAD PAPER COCKLE!
In just a few minutes I could have picked up oodles of CERITHS and in the same spot…. one LIGHTNING WHELK, one TULIP, a TARPON SCALE and what I think is the smallest double PONDEROUS ARK I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I haven’t had time to inspect it so it could be a double TRANSVERSE ARK but it had that beautiful black periostracom. They look so much alike! If I figure it out, I’ll take better photos then do another post.
Okay, I HAVE to share the funniest comment on my last post that made me literally laugh out loud today. Really, I was hanging with some friends this afternoon and I snuck a peak at my iPhone to see a new blog comment from Andrea. I didn’t want to be rude, but I read the first line and got completely engrossed then let out a huge belly laugh. I know, so rude to my friends but after I read the comment to them, we all laughed out loud together. So this is the photo of ROYAL TERNS (and SANDWICH TERNS) I posted that Andrea commented on…
“I guess they wanted to take terns shelling.
I hope it doesn’t take a tern for the worst!
They say one good tern deserves another.
I hope they re-tern to Sanibel when I’m there!
OK, I’m done with the tern jokes.
Just hope everyone doesn’t tern on me!”
LOL Thank you Andrea, it terned out so great I just had to share it again.
Our next Shelling Adventure is November 7… Join Us!
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)
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!
It’s another Super Moon weekend! This large full moon made for a super low tide to let us peek at more of the beach and expose sand bars that are usually covered with water. The photo above shows a few of Super Sheller Clark’s faves which includes 2 teeny tiny KINGS CROWNS and the cutest little ROUGH SCALLOP I’ve ever seen. He loves the ALPHIES of course but he also is so intrigued by the different color patterns of the FIGHTING CONCHS. This one is pure white (with some PERIOSTRACUM still on it) with a bright orange mouth.
But… even with all of that coolness, I think Jennifer from Maryland played a better hand. She found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka!
Jennifer and her son Chris were at Blind Pass Captiva at low tide when Jennifer found her awesome MUREX and some other goodies like those two perfect PAPER FIGS. She “Whooped” it up even more when I told her that I consider her CABRITS a pretty rare find- more rare than a JUNONIA. Whoop!
Vera from St James City was happy to find COCKLES, WHELKS, CONCHS and lots of OLIVES to put the finishing touches on a shell frame she’s been making…
Lorie from Pittsburg found a gorgeous GAUDY NATICA (I always feel like I need to also add…”also called a COLORFUL MOON”…one day I’ll decide which one I want to call it- haha). I loved her coral piece, the dark LETTERED OLIVE and the SHARKS EYE too but she was too shy to have her photo taken with them. That’s okay, Lorie! Glad you shared your shells!
We also went to the Sanibel Lighthouse to see what treasures that beach would offer us. I saw Marin and Ava finding dried up SAND DOLLARS on the highest wrack line…
Instead of searching in the low tide line, they were clever to look in the dried SEAWEED along the vegetation by the beach accesses to find dozens of them.
At low tide, we searched Lighthouse Beach, West Gulf Drive near Tarpon Bay Rd and Blind Pass and found fun treasures at each beach so I think you’ll find shells and bling at most beaches in the evenings the next few days as well. Here’s my shell bag and a few of the prizes I found…
My favorite one was this BROAD PAPER COCKLE! I love this shell!
Tropical Storm Andrea blew through Southwest Florida this week without stirring up too much ruckus.. other than seashells and Beach Bling! It was a sheller’s playground at Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. Sara and Daren from Fort Myers were very happy Sanibel is practically in their back yard so they could drive over after the storm to find all of those seashells in the top photo by sifting through the shells at the water’s edge.
I think the happiest gal on the beach was Jessica who was visiting from Kentucky. The beach was buzzing with the news that she found a JUNONIA!!! Boom Shellalaka!
She said she saw lots of shells half buried in the sand so started digging around and up popped her JUNONIA! … And that gorgeous dark LIGHTNING WHELK… And an ANGEL WING! Wahoo!
Jim and his wife Linda took a different method of collecting shells. They plopped right down to sit in the shallow water because they were feeling so many shells at their feet. Jim scooped up this exshellent empty HORSE CONCH!
I couldn’t resist peaking in his shell bucket to see the rest of his finds from the water. Wanna peak too? Oh I know you DO!
Linda was holding her own on finding great shells. Oh yes she was! She found a perfect (and huge) ALPHABET CONE and two, count them… two perfect TRUE TULIPS…
I was thrilled to see Angela and her sister-in-law Candy again (I met them about this same time last year) loading up their buckets with goodies.
I love to see such happy families on the beach doing their own treasure hunt. All visiting from Alabama is Gracie, Dennis, Gloria, Sonya and Tyler…
They were doing yet another method of shell collecting… looking for minis! They found WENTLETRAPS, BABYS EARS, and all sorts of fun tiny miniature shells…
All while we were all finding shells, there were DOLPHINS swimming by, STARFISH scooting around in the tidal pools, live FIGHTING CONCHS burying themselves. Misty and Davis from Alabama were amazed by the all of this sea life.
Misty even found a live baby PYGMY OCTOPUS! Cool! This is not much bigger than the babies I filmed hatching on video I took several years ago. So see that video CLICK HERE. After showing this baby to us, she gently put it back in the water.
Earlier yesterday, I went to Blind Pass Captiva to see if the shells were coming in there too. Yes they were! The water was much rougher so it wasn’t as easy to get the rolling shells but Joe and Penny from MA were toughing it out and scooping up the goods…
They found some nice WHELKS, CONCHS, COCKLES and SCALLOPS.
Tom and his daughter Alma from Wisconsin found a few treasures but the rough water kept them away from filling up their bags. The water was still a bit too rough in the Gulf Of Mexico at Blind Pass for really good shelling.
There was such a big difference from rough waters at Blind Pass to the calm water around the tip of Lighthouse Beach by the Sanibel Pier. This is actually on the San Carlos Bay side of the Lighthouse. This area is great for kids at a time like this since they get to see and learn about live sea creatures and also get to take empty shells home to remember their vacation forever…. just like these cuties Cole, Chase and Isabelle visiting from Kentucky.
This is where Super Sheller Clark found this one of three ALPHABET CONES. Happy guy!
And this is also where I found my best find… a CARRIER SHELL! I know, it doesnt look like much but finding a shell I rarely see, aaaalways makes me happy. Thank you TS Andrea!
I think the best shelling today will be in the afternoon at low tide again either at Lighthouse beach or Blind Pass Captiva. I just checked the Web Cams around the island to see if the water has calmed down a little at Blind Pass Sanibel and it does look a little calmer so it should be good by the jetty rocks on the Captiva Side soon…if not now. OMG So I have to go! I’ve got to get out there before I miss something! I’ll post more soon but in the meanwhile, CLICK HERE to see the best shelling web cams for Sanibel Captiva and Ft Myers Beach.
Don’t forget to enter to win the Sanibel Shelling Vacation giveaway! Click on the next image!
After seeing so many empty shells at Blind Pass at the beginning of the weekend, we wanted to see what Tarpon Bay Rd Beach access looked like with the extreme low tide. This beach looked so different and we saw so many live shells like in the first photo with the live FIGHTING CONCHS every where. We also saw this LIGHTNING WHELK making a meal out of this ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE. He had his body (the black part) completely inside the COCKLE shell eating the meat for dinner. Wild.
This COCKLE SHELL was on the losing side of this fight as well since an APPLE MUREX was making COCKLE soup out of this guy…
I also saw several SEA CUCUMBERS stranded on the low tide sand bars…which I dug a little trench for this guy since he seemed still so healthy.
I was so thrilled by seeing all of the living creatures (oodles of live OLIVES as well), I pretty much came home without any shells. I say “pretty much”… because I had Super Sheller Clark with me. I may have come home empty handed but Clark found an excellent HORSE CONCH while I was tracing the trail of something I thought was a live BABY’S EAR. I wanted to get it on video so I starting shooting (I edited it so you dont have to watch the boring part where I find nothing…then nothing…then nothing) and while I was shooting I heard Clark call my name….
We havent even had time to clean it up but it is a beauty. I’m also tickled to have one this size because normally you find them when they are really tiny or see them big adults not the teenager size. Hmmmm… wonder why? Then he found another one!
It was a beautiful weekend with the evenings spent on the beach for low tide and meeting such wonderful families like Rob and Melanie from Melbourne, FL with their two daughters Allison and Lexie. What’s not to love!