Archive for Cockle
Sunny blue skies, aqua water and warm breezes have filled our beach days in Southwest Florida this week- it’s been absolutely gorgeous!
But last week, we had some dark skies, rain and a cool (60s) weather front from the west move through to bring some unusual shells. Susan from Wisconsin found what looked to be an AMERICAN STAR-SHELL at Lighthouse Beach. That is a common shell in Caribbean waters but not often on Sanibel or Captiva. UPDATE: MurexKen notified me that this is most likely a MACULATED TOP SHELL which is from IndoPacific region…. NOT an AMERICAN STAR-SHELL. Oops!
Check out my post from our Road Trip To The Florida Keys to see our AMERICAN STAR-SHELLS we found there to compare this…
Then compare it to the MACULATED TOP SHELL at http://www.gastropods.com/4/Shell_244.shtml . Yes, he’s absolutely right- it’s not a shell that is found in our area… it’s what I call a “Wedding Shell”. Folks who decorate for weddings and parties on our beaches buy bags of shells (which originate in the Philippines or other IndoPacific areas) then spread them on the beach for decoration. Then they get washed out by the tide or thrown in and the shell gets washed up again to have a collector like Susan pick it up. I will do a post on these “Wedding Shells” very soon- I promise since this happens way too often. Thank you MurexKen for pointing it out to me!
Okay- lets get back to the beach….
I saw the Shellucky Luckett Ladies again at the beach last week too when that cold front came through. Cuties!
Martha (far right in the Shellucky Luckett Ladies photo) found this amazing LIONS PAW! Shellzam! See? Thats why they are called “Shellucky”!
When the sun came out and the weather warmed up, I headed to Captiva to do my favorite type of beach combing and experience the art of shelling…. SMELL the salt in the air, FEEL the sand between your toes, LISTEN to Beach Sounds by Mother Nature, LOOK at the seascapes and seashells, and RELAX.
On my journey, I saw this…
Such a gift. Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP!
But even better, I found a STRAWBERRY COCKLE! I know it doesn’t look like much and these are more common in the Caribbean as well, but they just aren’t common here so it’s always a happy day to find one (I think this makes only 4 in our collection from Sanibel or Captiva.
This is exactly how I found this sweet SAND DOLLAR.
I love calm days after a “storm” of busy days to slow stroll along the beach to see it lined with shellions of treasures like KITTENS PAWS, DARK CERITHS, CHESTNUT TURBANS, PAINTED EGG COCKLES and LADY-IN-WAITING CLAMS like these.
I’ve never seen so many glossy PAINTED EGG COCKLES wash up together as much as I have on the new sand bar at Blind Pass Captiva. Gail Carr (Maryland) collected of these beauties and much more sweet gems she sorted in this fab tackle box…
That nice little organized box had another side too she filled with sweet treasures…
I love to talk to people who get so much enjoyment at collecting so many different varieties of shells… as I do. Gail said “Each shell has it’s own unique beauty.” I agree! That’s why I got so thrilled when she showed me she found a couple of my new fave shell… the CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE.
She found a TEXAS LONGHORN too!
She even found a few SHIVA SHELLS … which are the OPERCULUM to the CHESTNUT TURBAN. Gail happen to find a few bright orange CHESTNUT TURBANS as well so I wanted you to see what they looked like together.
Looking in the same area where I found my SCOTCH BONNET last week, I found 6 more CROSS-HATCHED LUCINES.
I was thrilled to have shared the excitement with Gail since she had found a few and didn’t think I wasn’t crazy for feeling so excited about finding “just another silly plain white clam shell”. LOL
In less than a month, this whole sandy beach on the pass side of the jetty rocks has formed and if you look closely, here are some hidden gems in there. Seriously… twenty days ago, I took this next photo of the shelling on the Sanibel side and it shows in the background the Captiva jetty rocks…no sand bar.
Over the weekend (on my way to find my precious LUCINES) I took this photo of my view as I stood on the bridge that connects Sanibel to Captiva looking over to the Captiva side. Wild, huh? This is what keeps me shelling day after day… the beaches change every single day and you never know what you will find until you get there!
Of my first find of shelling, my seashore gave to me…. a CONE on the beach of Sanibel
Of my second find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my third find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my fourth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my fifth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
On the sixth day of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my seventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my eighth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my ninth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my tenth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my eleventh find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 11 CONCHS a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Of my twelfth find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 12 COCKLES clicking, 11 CONCHS a clacking, 10 TULIPS twirling, 9 WHELKS a welcoming, 8 awesome OLIVES, 7 SAILORS EARS singing, 6 marvelous MUREXES, 5 golllldennnnn BUTTERCUPS, 4 sunbeam SCALLOPS, 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.
Happy Shellidays, y’all!
heehee… I hope you had fun singing along with me about some of the 12 different shells I found the last few days at Blind Pass Sanibel and Gulfside City Park. Shellebrate!
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!