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).
Her sister Lisa (TX) had some awesome displays too for which they both won awards.
Lisa EXHIBITED this gorgeous SMOOTH TELLIN…
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).
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
Check out this PALLID CARRIER SHELL with an attached GLASS SPONGE (from the Philippines) by exhibitor Robert Linn. Wildly beautiful.
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.
Hope to see you next year at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival!
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.
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.
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?
I headed for the high dry wrack line, and saw a few mini shells like this…
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.
I didn’t want to miss the changing sky!
Plus, I knew Clark was collecting some of our faves.
It was such a beautiful evening.
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
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!
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!
There are so many different COCKLE SHELLS that live here in SouthWest Florida! Clark even found this wonderful ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLE this weekend…
I’m sure that it’s an ALBINO since the shell looks so fresh with the ribs perfectly in tact without that dull matte finish that you get with beach worn shells.
Since I received a comment from Pat Bradley on a post last week who suggested that I add the PAINTED COCKLE on my Seashell Identification page (Thank you Pat for the great suggestion!) I couldnt stop thinking about how many different COCKLES there are. So when Clark found the ALBINO COCKLE I remembered I needed to photograph the PAINTED EGG COCKLE…
Then I realized I didn’t have the very common FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLE on my Shell Identification page either… Geez, so many COCKLES. I’m getting frazzled!
So I might as well show the whole gaggle of COCKLES we have in our collection of shells. This includes of course the ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE…
And probably my favorite… the YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLE.
Well wait, I take that back. I think the BROAD PAPER COCKLE is my favorite COCKLE but I just don’t find them often. Take a close look… have you found lots of these?
We can’t forget about the tiny MORTON’S EGG COCKLE either! They are so stinkin cute!
And finally, we have the VELVET EGG COCKLE (which I normally just call it a plain ol EGG COCKLE)
There is a STRAWBERRY COCKLE as well, but I didn’t find one this weekend when I looked for COCKLES and I can’t remember ever picking one up. So when we find one, (and we will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled!) I’ll let you know.
But before I sign off for tonight, I met a really nice local gal Mary Beth from Fort Myers on the beach by the Sanibel fishing pier. (yes, the water is that ice tea color again… too much rain so overflow of the lake and river – ugh. It will clear up soon)
While I was looking for COCKLES, she was on the hunt for minis. She showed me this sweet little MARGINELLA along with some other excellent specimens.