Archive for Cockle
After you enjoy feeling the excitement of finding shells on the beach, you get to enjoy the excitement all over again when you show them to someone else that “gets” what you found and knows how you feel. That’s why our Shellabaloo 2 “Shell ‘N Tell” was one of my favorite days of the whole week during Shellabaloo. Do you see what Michele (Ohio) is holding in her hand in the first photo with her husband Bill? She found a JUNONIA! But that’s not it… she found what she calls “The Trifecta!”… A large HORSE CONCH and a large WHELK along with her JUNONIA. Do you think she was a happy girl or what! So happy for you Michele!
Here are some of her other finds (minus the JUNONIA since she was showing it to the others when I took this) …
For the week of Shellabaloo 2, I made up another Shellinger Hunt. The hunt is really meant to just have fun learning about different shells and not to overlook some of the common shells like JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS because…. well… because I think they are beautiful too! So you will see some of the displays with a dozen JINGLES in a COCKLE SHELL because that was point for the Shellinger Hunt. It wasn’t about who could find and take the most shells off the beach- it was all about enjoying the shells that were found… and some bigger points for finding things like The Sanibel Six or finding the rarer shells. It was so much fun to see these shellers find shells they’ve never found before and to rediscover the ones that can easily be overlooked.
On our last day, I asked everybody to bring their fave finds and/or their entries for the Shellinger Hunt at our home base at Island Inn so we could all see what everybody else was collecting. We set up tables for each person to display their shells and it turned out to be a mini Sanibel Shell Show!
Terri (NY) made a beee-uuuteeeful display of her favorite finds.
Lee and Susan (Cuba) narrowed down their favorite finds on a cooler tray for the Shellinger Hunt…
Of course I added a BEACH BLING category on the hunt ( i Love the BLING!) so it’s so funny they added a dried up fish tail that looks just like a MERMAID and a washed up fishing bobber as the faves in that category. LOL
Rick (Texas) brought a plate of his fave shells… the miniature shells. I just love how everybody organized their shells so creatively!
Rick’s wife Murfy showed her faves along with her favorite vintage shell book…
There is one shell in the middle of the others that is a little different. It looks like some sort of a TURITELLA… which I dont think is native to this area. I think it is either a FOSSIL shell that found it’s way to the gulf on a high tide from sidewalk fill or it was left over from a party or wedding after someone bought shells to decorate with. Hmmmm.
If there was a prize for being creative… Sharene and Tom (Ontario) would have won for creativity!
Rusty and Donna (Apopka, FL) narrowed down the favorites and of course it included an ALPHABET CONE and the SEA WHIP that had the ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS I showed you in the first Shellabaloo 2 post.
Roger (MO) told me that his favorite shells were the minis he found at Lighthouse Beach. It was his first time finding WENTLETRAPS, RICE OLIVES and TUSKS so it was really fun to find something new.
Margie (AL) is so adorable! Her favorite shell was the PONDEROUS ARK because she loved the black PERIOSTICUM (the shell’s “skin”) on the white shell so that’s all she collected. She is going to make a black and white frame for a mirror when she gets home so I hope we get to see it!
Cutie Pie Becka needed her own table to make room for all of her newly found treasures.
Kendra (IN) had a sweet organized display of her favorites but also for the Shellinger Hunt.
She was so afraid she was going to lose her first TUSK SHELL so she wrapped half of a bandaid around it so she would know where it was (on the blue plate). LOL
Pat (Boca Raton, FL) had an amazing display of shells and BLING for the Shellinger Hunt.
While I was oooohing and aaaahing at all of her finds, she pointed out a piece of BEACH BLING that she wanted to know what it was. Whoa! Pat! You found the OPERCULUM to the SHARKS EYE! Clark just found our first ones just last month so I was absolutely thrilled for her that… A) she saw it and picked it up… and B) that she knew it was something special to show at the Shell And Tell. See why I love these shellers? Who else would think this thing on the beach was cool…
Speaking of awesome shellers, unfortunately, Gina couldn’t come to the Shell ‘N Tell but I still have to show you one of her exshellent finds… Gina found a yellow SEA WHIP. We find the purple ones a little more often but not the perfect yellow ones like hers. And no, I couldnt get her photo either because she was a little camera shy but Ha! I took a “long-arm shot” with me in it so we could get her picture and the SEA WHIP. LOL And yep, you guessed it! There were two ONE-TOOTH SIMNIAS on it!
I have found yellow SEA WHIPS before but never one with the yellow ONE-TOOTH SIMINAS on it. Yahoo! Gina did! Such a treasure!
Okay back to the Shell ‘N Tell with the rest of the awesomeness…. Here’s Cindy with her huge HORSE CONCH I showed you in my last post! Now you can see all of the other fabulous shells she found as well.
She also found a big ALPHABET CONE …which is part of 2 sets of The Sanibel Six for her Shellinger Hunt finds. She found a FLORIDA CONE to make her other set. And look at all of the SHARKS TEETH!
Okay… It’s time to announce the winner of the Shell And Tell and you won’t believe this prize! The winning sheller went home with a silver JINGLE SHELL necklace made by Sealife By Congress. It is beautiful! This new Sanibel jewelry store in Periwinkle Place Shopping Center is filled with seashells, SEAHORSES, DOLPHINS, STARFISH, SAND DOLLARS and every other sea life in gold, silver and with tasteful gemstones as well. I was thrilled they wanted to give our winner this perfect shell necklace.
After much laughter and ado, we narrowed the winners down to Michele (with her JUNONIA and HORSE CONCH) and Cindy with her HORSE CONCH based on their points score…
Before we announce the winner, Cindy and Michele clicked their CONCHS as if it was a toast. Cute and so much fun!
Drum Roll Please! …. wait for it…… The winner is Michele! Her JINGLE necklace is perfect for her! Congratshellations, my friend!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun both Shellabaloo 1 (in January) and this Shellabaloo 2 have been since it really brings amazing people together with not just shelling in common but we all seem to be like-minded in so many other ways. It’s quite a bonding experience, I must say. Thank you Island Inn for hosting such a great Shellapalooza. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know when the next one will be- no dates of been set yet for this 4 day Shellathon but as soon as we’ve come up with a plan, you will be the first to know.
But wait! I’m gathering a group of shellers for an afternoon of shelling at Cayo Costa next Sunday May 19 from 1-4pm on a Captiva Cruise. Join us! CLICK HERE for more info or call 239-472-5300 and ask to come along for the next iLoveShelling cruise!
Most of the FIGHTING CONCHS are alive but there are lots of other empty shells to be found as well.
These shells were found by Anna, Grave and Sarah visiting Sanibel from Ohio…
I saw Matt, Landon, Loulie and Berkeley (I met them last month on the iLoveShelling cruise!) collecting all kinds of goodies…
Here are their awesome best finds…
Wanna see what else they had in their shell bags? Here ya go…
My fave find was this orange BROAD PAPER COCKLE. This photo really doesn’t do it justice but it’s not often I find them without a chip on the edge. I love it!
That’s what has been happening on Tarpon Bay Beach (Parking is plentiful at Trost Parking lot) this week, and this is what I saw at Blind Pass Captiva today. The wind has calmed so the water is back to beautiful aqua…AND… the Sit ‘N Sift shell pile back. I didn’t stay long but I did see TURBANS, OLIVES and small WHELKS just to name a few.
It looks like the shells are showing up on most of the beaches (Lighthouse Beach is still great for minis!)…. so I CAN NOT wait until this Saturday April 13 for our iLoveShelling morning cruise to Cayo Costa from 9 to noon! Join Clark and me on this shelling adventure so we can share the anticipation together for our treasure hunt! CLICK HERE for more info.
Let’s do the Sanibel Stoop!
Now who in their right shelling mind could not think that this little baby LACE MUREX shell is not THE cutest thing that ever washed up at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach? heehee What a cutie petutie!
I even found smaller baby shells in some of the LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CASES that have been washing up this week…
Most of the disks were empty but some of them still had tiny dried shells in them…
One was torn open so we could see the teeny tiny babies. They only look like grains of sand at this point… or honestly they remind of those little bits when eat corn on the cob. Errrr, Okay, I cant really explain that well so let’s move on and get back to the point… they are tiny LIGHTNING WHELKS!
I got to share these little WHELK EGG CHAINS with a couple of gals that came to visit us from Virginia Beach. Kathleen was a good friend of Clark’s over 40 years ago and they haven’t seen each other since. What a hoot to meet Kathleen and her friend Jan and to hear about “the old days” and to catch up on all of our mutual friends while walking the beach…. and to find out they both love shelling!!!
Today, I ran into Roma with a shell bag full of BLING!
I peeked at her “Bling Bag” and saw all of this…
Holy Crab! She loves BEACH BLING as much as I do! She was collecting all of these different CRAB claws and shells for her daughter who makes jewelry out of them. There is a HERMIT CRAB CLAW, STONE CRAB CLAWS, BLUE CRAB CLAWS and some LEOPARD BOX CRAB shells. Ha! Love it!
I found one more piece of cool BEACH BLING.. a MERMAID PURSE! Okay, it’s a SKATE EGG CASE but it sure is more fun to think of it as a MERMAID PURSE, right?
Oh, and I almost forgot to show you my fave shell today… A BROAD PAPER COCKLE. The colors on this sweetie are awwwwwesoooome…
PS- Shellers Unite! There are still a few spots left on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa this Sunday the 17th from 9am to noon. Come join me and lots of other spectacsheller folks that love shelling! Call Captiva Cruises to book your shelling spot at 239-472-5300.
For more iLoveShelling Cruise dates and info on the Shellabaloo click on the next image…
Magnificent seashell treasures can be found on Sanibel when so much of the beach is exposed during very low tides like this morning at Gulfside City Park.
Shelling at a really low tide gives you several beach combing options as well. The high tide wrack line can produce new shells to sift through but I always feel like I can look through those shells on my walk back since it will take some time for the tide to come back in to cover those up.
So I search the tidal pools and areas of the beach that are newly exposed at the shore line which will be covered up quickly when the tide starts to come in. That’s where I found an ANGEL WING and DOUBLE ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE..
Oodles of juvie FIGHTING CONCHS…
During these low tides, shells (MOLLUSKS) may still be alive or have live HERMIT CRABS in them so you have to look very carefully not to take any shells with live creatures in them. So when I saw this upside down SHARK’S EYE , I still had to check to make sure there was no live animal inside. Nope! Nobody was home! A keeper!
Along with the SHARK’S EYE, I kept this gorgeous multicolored CALICO SCALLOP, double JEWELBOX and a pretty orange-ish TRUE TULIP…
Speaking of SHARK’S EYES, Jeanne from South Carolina found this aaawesooome one…
She and her daughter Rachel were finding their shell loot by combing the tide pool.
These were Rachel’s faves she found…
Did you spot that orange JINGLE near the tip of her finger? It has both valves! Yes, it’s a double JINGLE! She said it was just laying in the very shallow water in the tidal pool not attached to anything. I rarely see both sides together without having to pry it off a PEN SHELL. Cool! Here’s a better view…
I also met Shannon from new Hampshire who collected a whole bag of goodies…
Her favorites included a PAPER FIG…
Further down the beach, I met Mary from Charlottesville, VA …
I was super excited to see she picked up part of a FULGURATOR OLIVE. She had no idea what it was but knew it was special enough to keep it. The same goes for the THORNY OYSTER (the bivalve with the orange around the edge). I rarely see those shells.
If you want to see exactly what it looked like on my shelling walk this morning, clicking the next video image!
I’ve combed the beaches from Blind Pass Captiva to the east of Sanibel at the lighthouse. Mid island at Gulf Side City Park is still the best shelling I’ve found in the last few days. The shells in the photo above were only a few that Carol from PA pulled out of her shell bag to show me. Pretty nice finds, huh? The OLIVES have been gorgeous. Well… there’s the ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE, BANDED TULIPS, MUREXES, WHELKS and she had a few more of those sweet PAPER FIGS in her bag too.
We have a few in our collection but some of them have chips in them so I’m always happy to find a pretty valve like this one!
While I was at the lighthouse beach finding WENTLETRAPS (I’ll show you those on my next post), I found a KEYHOLE LIMPET.
For me, finding shells is the cherry on top… but I also love to see all of the different kinds of BEACH BLING! And I’m not the only one… Dee pointed out this deep purple BRYOZOAN COLONY growing on the wire of a crab trap. Isn’t that so cool?
Most people walk right on by a mess of SEAWEED laying on the beach. Not me! I love to pick through it to see what is hiding in there.
I found SEA WHIPS and ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS in all this BEACH BLING. Here’s a little movie to show you how I found them… (click on the next image if the movie thingie doesnt show up)
So there are so many different things to check out on the beaches right now… BUT… unfortunately we have RED TIDE coming in as well. I didn’t feel any respiratory problems today (which I have in the past when it was bad) but I did see dead fish. Yuck! Since they just washed in, I didnt really smell any bad odors so I didn’t mind walking right past them- there’s too many other cool things to inspect! Lee County issued a beach advisory yesterday so if you think you might have problems… read HERE.
I had a craving for a STRAWBERRY at Sunday brunch time yesterday so I was unbelievably excited to feast my eyes on a shellicious treat… a DOVE STRAWBERRY COCKLE.
I just wrote that post Frazzled By A Gaggle Of Cockles last week and realized we didn’t have the STRAWBERRY COCKLE in our shell collection so I’ve been searching high and low all week. While visiting with a friend on West Gulf Drive, we walked the beach to find mostly bivalves scattered along the beach so I didn’t even bother looking for the SANIBEL SIX. Thats when I noticed just about every other variety of our COCKLES were exposed at the low tide.
My mouth started watering thinking about finding a STRAWBERRY. It looks so familiar I just couldn’t believe this shell was so elusive. So I looked beyond the PRICKLY, the PAINTED and the GIANT COCKLES… then half buried in the rich, creamy sand I picked out my very own STRAWBERRY COCKLE.
I felt like I found a JUNONIA! … errrrr… Okay, maybe not that excited, but just as excited as maybe a SCOTCH BONNET. Yea, that’s it… like a SCOTCH BONNET.
Have I seen them before and just never gave it a thought to pick it up? Hmmm. I dunno. I know, I know. It’s not like it’s the most gorgeous shell on Sanibel but don’t you ever wonder what you are missing when you have your eyes only set on finding one particular shell day after day? Who knows what else we are missing!
I think life is like a box of chocolate covered STRAWBERRIES, you just never know what you are missing until you’re happy finding something unusual instead of what everybody else is looking for.
LOL Enough of my “life” theories! We all know it’s fun to be competitive and find the biggest and best shell that everybody else is looking for. LOL It’s just fun to learn about and find yet another seashell on our beaches… especially when it looks like a strawberry.