Navigation Menu

Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Learning about Seashells at the 2016 Sanibel Shell Festival

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in 79th Sanibel Shell Festival 2016, Cockle, Eleuthera Shells, False Shark Eye, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Florida Prickly Cockle, Freak Shells, Glass Sponge, Moon Snail, Sanibel, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Scallop, Shark's Eye, Shell Shows, Sponge, Triton, ZigZag Scallop Right Valve | 4 comments

Eleuthra seashells October 2015 -1

The shell world is a fascinating adventure to learn about the lives of MOLLUSKS and the people who collect their shells on the beaches across the planet. Because I am one of those people obsessed with living my life in the world of shells, I love to hang out with people who love to share their knowledge about them too. The Sanibel Shell Festival is a great place to do that.

I’m thrilled Sunnye (TX) shared her colorful shell collection she found beachcombing in Eleuthera, Bahamas (top photo).

Sunnye Dinger Eleuthra seashell display Sanibel Shell festival-1

Her sister Lisa (TX) had some awesome displays too for which they both won awards.

lisa fitzgerald sanibel shell festival exhibitor 2016-1

Lisa EXHIBITED this gorgeous SMOOTH TELLIN…

Smooth Tellin shell Laciolina laevigata Eleuthera BahamsSmooth Tellin shell Laciolina laevigata Eleuthera Bahams

But I looooved this cool display Lisa did showing the difference between the SHARKS EYE and the FALSE SHARKS EYE. It explains and shows the difference in detail (for more info check out my post Sanibel Shark Week… Featuring The Shark Eye Shell).

difference between shark eye shell false sanibel shell festival exhibit-1

And then there’s Stef! I’m so happy for her- she won a blue ribbon for her double FLAT SCALLOP she found by Sanibel’s Island Inn.

Stefanie Wolf Sanibel Shell Museum marine biologist.jpg

Wait… did you miss what I said? Okay, lemme slow down… she found both sides of her FLAT ZIGZAG SCALLOP still hinged together. Exactly like she displayed it… on Sanibel… and with amazing color. Wow! Years ago, I was thrilled when Clark found just the other half of a FLAT (the right valve) since it’s rare to find them here (CLICK HERE to see what the other side looks like) … and she found both perfect valves still together. Shellzam! Congrats Stefanie!

Ziczac Zig zag scallop both valves shell festival blue ribbon-1

There were lots of displays showing ALBINO shells this year but this one by Ken and Joyce Matthys was really very cool. Here they shows tons of ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES they’ve found through the years…

Albino shells prickle cockle

In the next case they show FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES which are ALBINISTIC. They explain… “Some shells lack their normal color, but they are not pure white. Instead they may be pale yellow, cream-colored, or have other hints of color. These are referred to as being albinistic”. Hmmm Haven’t you seen some like this? I have and now we’ve learned a name for this color form… ALBINISTIC.

Albinistic shells lack normal color

Anne Joffe’s seashell emergency room display was hilarious and voted best for People’s Choice award. Freak and damaged shells that repaired themselves to form in odd shapes were propped in mini doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and surgery rooms with bandages, crutches and doctors notes.

ann joffe freak shell exhibit sanibel festival-1

Check out this PALLID CARRIER SHELL with an attached GLASS SPONGE (from the Philippines) by exhibitor Robert Linn. Wildly beautiful.

Pallid carrier shell with glass sponge Sanibel festival

Last week I posted about the artistic side of the show with SAILORS VALENTINES, shell frames and all sorts of shell art and craft but when you look at some of these shells like these ATLANTIC TRITONS exhibited by Holly Nordyke, you realize you are looking at the most perfect work of art ever made. Stunning.
atlantic triton shell festival Holly Nordyke exhibit

Hope to see you next year at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival!

Pam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

Read More

Case Of The Cracked Cockles – Video

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Atlantic Giant, Cockle, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Smart Bird Cracking Cockles, Video | 11 comments

lesser black-backed gull with cockle

Have you ever found one of these shells on Sanibel Island that you couldn’t identify? I’ve been asked to identify this shell with a thick “lip” and one long “wing” hundreds of times.

cracked cockles by birds

It happens to be a broken ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE (most likely they are juvenile shells that are cracked).

Atlantic Giant Cockles

… and most likely it was cracked by a bird like this LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL.

Lesser black-backed gull on Sanibel Florida beach

Wanna see how this bird can crack the case of the COCKLE shell? It’s fascinating! This is a VERY. SMART. BIRD.

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

 

Read More

Breathing The Beach

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Florida Prickly Cockle, Gulf Side City Beach (Algier's), Sand Dollar | 25 comments

sand dollar in the palm of a hand

There are many treasures to be found each and every time you take a walk on the beach. I feel that way about any beach… even when they don’t have gobs of shells like we do in Southwest Florida.

seashells on a beach at dusk

I couldn’t help but find beautiful treasures among the many shells that lined the shore last night at Gulfside City Park but my mission last night was to enjoy the scenery and breath in the salty air to help me collect my thoughts.  Every beach in the world tends to have that effect on me.

slice of beach peaceslice of beach peace

After taking in the sights and feeling that curtain of calmness take over, I’m always surprised that the simplest of things can make me giddy. It gave me so much pleasure to see this sweet COCKLE SHELL with a heart etched in its side… or is it a butterfly?

butterfly heart on a seashell

I headed for the high dry wrack line, and saw a few mini shells like this…

some sweet mini seashells and broken bits

If I had spent more time sifting through this one area, I could have raked in oodles of TUSK SHELLS and who know what other minis. That itty bitty KEYHOLE LIMPET, teenie weenei WENTLETRAP, sweet TULIP and awesome little GULF OYSTER DRILL were enough for me for the moment.

little tiny seashells found on the beach

I didn’t want to miss the changing sky!

Blue sky, Clouds and seashells at dusk

Plus, I knew Clark was collecting some of our faves.

some shells in the scoop

It was such a beautiful evening.

shell filled beach at low tide dusk

Honestly, I’m so excited for our iLoveShelling Adventure to Big Hickory Island with Sight Sea-R Cruises on Wednesday! That’s the day I know will be a blast and shelltastic shelling day to scour the island for treasures. If you are in the area, you should join us for an awesome day on this new shelling adventure- CLICK HERE to see some of the fun we’ve had so far! CLICK HERE to reserve your spot

sight sea-r shelling adventures 2014 2015

 

Dont forget! With each scheduled cruise through February, each passenger on an iLoveShelling cruise will receive at $25 Gift Certificate to Sealife By Congress jewelry store on Sanibel. Yay!

SLBC iLSPromo

 

And…. We had a cool surprise visitor too! A SHARK took a stroll along the shoreline while we watched in silence. No worries, he didn’t want anything to do with us and moved around anybody in the water… not that I wanted to get in his way though- LOL

PS- I took all of these photos and the video on my new iPhone 6. I’m loving it so far!

 

Read More

Smell The Salt In The Sanibel Captiva Air

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Blind Pass, Captiva, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Lion's Paw, Sand Dollar, Strawberry cockle | 19 comments

The beach will color your world

Sunny blue skies, aqua water and warm breezes have filled our beach days in Southwest Florida this week- it’s been absolutely gorgeous!

seashells on the beach- Captiva Island Florida

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!

susan from wisconson found an american star shell sanibel

Check out my post from our Road Trip To The Florida Keys to see our AMERICAN STAR-SHELLS we found there to compare this…

American star-shell found on sanibel island

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!

susan found an american star shell on Sanibel island

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!

shellucky luckett ladies shelling sanibel

Martha (far right in the Shellucky Luckett Ladies photo) found this amazing LIONS PAW! Shellzam! See? Thats why they are called “Shellucky”!

martha's lions paw

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.

beachcombing Captiva Florida

On my journey, I saw this…

zig zag flat scallop cybershelling

Such a gift. Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP!

beautiful flat scallop Captiva Florida

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.

strawberry cockle found on Captiva Island Florida

This is exactly how I found this sweet SAND DOLLAR.

sand dollar cybershelling

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.

collecting seashells on Captiva Island florida

shelling adventures trips by pam

Read More

Not Just Another Silly White Shell

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Blind Pass, CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE, Painted Egg Cockle, Shiva Shells, Texas Longhorn Bryozoa, Turban, Turban Operculum Shiva Shell | 21 comments

painted egg cockles captiva sand bar

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…

other side of boxed seashells from sanibel

That nice little organized box had another side too she filled with sweet treasures…

box of miniature shells from sanibel florida

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.

gail carr shelling captiva lucine

She found a TEXAS LONGHORN too!

texas longhorn bryozoa

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.

orange chestmut turban shiva shell operculum

Looking in the same area where I found my SCOTCH BONNET last week, I found 6 more CROSS-HATCHED LUCINES.

cross hatched lucine seashells sanibel

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

divalinga quadrisulcata cross hatched lucine captiva

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.

blind pass sanibel looking at jetty rocks at captiva

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!

blind pass sand bar changes

shelling adventures trips by pam

Read More

The 12 Shells Of Sanibel My Seashore Gave To Me…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Apple, Atlantic Giant, Banded tulip, Beach Holiday, Bittersweet Clam, buttercup, Calico, Christmas, Cockle, Conch, Cone, Fighting Conch, Giant Bittersweet, Lettered Olive, Lightning Whelk, Murex, Olive, Sailor's Ear Channeled Duck Clam, Scallop, Tulip, Whelk | 59 comments

12 cockles clicking

Of my first find of shelling, my seashore gave to me…. a CONE on the beach of Sanibel

1 cone from sanibel

Of my second find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

2 bittersweets

Of my third find of shelling, my seashore gave to me… 3 NUTMEGS, 2 BITTERSWEETS and a CONE on the beach of Sanibel.

3 nutmegs

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.

4 sunbeam scallops

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.

5 golden buttercups

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.

6 marvelous murexes

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.

7 sailors ears singing

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.

8 awesome olives

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.

9 whelks a welcoming

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.

10 tulips twirling

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.

11 conchs a clacking

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.

12 cockles clicking

 

Happy Shellidays, y’all!

Shellebrate!

shelling adventures trips by pam

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest