It’s crazy the masses of stranded FIGHTING CONCHS and HORSE CONCHS I showed you over 2 weeks ago (CLICK HERE) are still on the beach at Gulfside City Park.
Blind Pass Captiva has come and gone with shells a few times in the last weeks so each day is a surprise to what we find. The best thing I’ve found there recently is 10 year old Ryan from New Jersey. This kid has learned so much about shells, he could name every shell on the beach. It was so much fun to see that he was just as obsessed with all shells and bling… hmmmmm… I think I see a future Malacologist in the making. ;)
He’s pretty darn good at finding awesome shells too.
It was a special trip to Sanibel for Ryan and his grandma Hilarie – he was teaching her about shells. There’s something else interesting about this next photo too… this beach is on the inside of jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva- that beach is back! Over the years the sand shifts back and forth- opening and closing the pass. It’s amazing to watch the power Mother Nature has to build a beach or take away a beach within a matter of days. (CLICK HERE and HERE to see other Blind Pass changes)
I took a quick little video of the shells at Gulfside again to share with you… Honestly, it kind of makes my head spin to see all of them so its hard to focus on looking at anything else.
I just have to focus on a few other sweet treasures… and remember at times less is more.
A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…
We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.
Lots of shells lined the shore.
It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.
Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.
I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”… Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.
Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!
Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.
Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha
The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…
Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.
Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?
Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.
Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …
and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.
Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…
Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.
Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!
Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.
Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER. After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)
And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…
The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.
On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!
And one more for you… here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.
Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HERE
PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!
And then this happened this weekend… I found this spectacsheller empty HORSE CONCH! I was walking along with my friend Alicia and then… Boom- Shellalaka! I saw part of that bright color shell half buried in the sand.. then galloped towards it and lassoed me a Horsie – Yeehaw. I reined this big bad boy filled with sand and saw it had such a nice lip and this amazing orange yellow color… and… without too many barnacles. Yup, it was bareback! Giddy Up, Horsie!
And Alicia found so many awesome shells too. She and GAIL were especially happy to both find perfect ALPHABET CONES.
We’ve had so many storms, the beach at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island is littered with shells of all sorts. Most of the shells were still alive on the beach at low tide which exposed so many creatures we normally don’t get to see. This is a rare time when Mother Nature decides to clean house and let us see what she’s hiding on the floor and under the carpet of the Gulf Of Mexico.
These were a few of the empty shells I found wedged in-between the ARK shells and the live MOLLUSKS.
I’m not exaggerating…. there were thousands of shells. It was overwhelming to even know where to begin to identify all of them so I just enjoyed taking in the view.
After a while, I spotted a few empty shells that were laying right on top.
And still… oodles of SEA URCHINS.
Local shellers Melody and Vickie were as thrilled and curious as I was to just see the awesome sight of the exposed beach filled with live creatures.
They couldn’t get over how gorgeous and perfect the PAPER FIGS and SEA URCHINS were. They are both so delicate.
I’m telling you, it was shocking to see that bright orange creature with so many live HORSE CONCHS exposed. The wild wild west of Florida.
These unbridled HORSES were digging back in to the sand saddling up along side and feasting on other MOLLUSKS while waiting for the tide to cover them up again and take them back to the stable. Most of those BANDED TULIPS were alive and riding horseback but can you spot the sand filled WHELK in between the PEN shell and one of those BANDED TULIPS?
Many people ask if this happens every day… No it doesn’t. Yes, our area on Sanibel and other SW Florida beaches have shells every day but these huge shells just don’t wash up at your feet every day. It’s the circle of life so it’s fun to see live creatures in their natural habitat and to be overwhelmed by Mother Nature. It’s a special occurrence just like fisherman fish for “the big one” or birders trying to spot flocks of ROSEATE SPOONBILLS or looking for DOLPHIN jumping out of the water. All of this happens on special days and mine was this weekend. Shellzam, y’all!
It’s hot on Sanibel Island in August and September so its the time of year when I try to organize the Rambo Shellaboratory by sorting shells we’ve collected in the past months and try to find room to display them. For months, our shells and bling we found in Okinawa, Japan sat on our dining room table while I tried to find the time to photograph and research all of the ones we couldn’t identify. I even wanted to do another post about the beach bling we found (like Buzz Lightyear, Jeanne!) but life happens and things get away from me when we return from a big trip like that. So now that its scorching hot during the day, I feel like staying in the air conditioning so I can enjoy the shells we’ve already collected instead of collecting more. Today I added a few shelves in the Shellaboratory so we can enjoy looking at our loot and share those precious memories Clark and I had while combing the beaches on that far away land we explored for weeks. I love it!
If you were keeping up with the weather on Sanibel, we’ve been watching Tropical Storm Erika in the Caribbean since we were in her path for a few days. Since we live on an island, we pay close attention when we are in the pathway for any named storm, but fortunately Erika fell apart and is no longer threatening us. That’s not to say that we don’t have some wicked skies…
Clark and I only got a few minutes on the beach before we heard thunder in the distance but we did find one or two treasures.
This morning I went to Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach to see if anything washed up. I ran into Tam Tamand Don shelling along the pier side of the beach.
They found some awesome shells! Tammy posted this photo on iLoveShelling Facebook page of her incredible LIGHTNING WHELK and this very cool medium sized HORSE CONCH.
And best of all…. Kristen (instagram @_salt_life_ ) found a JUNONIA at Lighthouse Beach! Shellzam! She tagged this photo on iLoveShelling Instagram page. Congratshellations Kristen, it beautiful!
We should have still have some really bad weather this week so I will probably still be “seeking shellter” by sorting and being a Shellab Rat but if I have any news on shells coming in from this weather, I’ll let you know!
Just in case you missed my other post about The Shellaboratory, check it out CLICK HERE
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more information and dates CLICK HERE.
These were my fave finds from last night’s beach walk at Gulfside City Park. I’m craving mac ‘n cheese for some reason now, aren’t you? heehee
I found the orange HORSE CONCH candies and this beautiful little perfect SAND DOLLAR in the higher wrack line. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I have of the SAND DOLLAR since … it broke. Rasher frasher.
But it’s ok … I’m happy with these sweet beach finds.
Clark was happy with his too since was such a nice evening to get out and enjoy the beach… until the no-see-ums got crazy for about 30 minutes at dusk. Time to go!
In the last few weeks we’ve had so many thunderstorms to keep us off the beach and now no-see-ums? I wish I had an answer for no-see-ums but I don’t have the perfect concoction to ward them away. I used to take an allergy pill every day and I don’t remember getting bit as much… but of course now “they” say daily allergy pills aren’t good for you- jeez- now I get no-see-ums bites. I use the same theory for no-see-ums as what I do when I hear thunder… time to get off the beach. Any time I get to spend on the beach curbs those beach cravings and its especially nice when I find a few treasures.
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more info and dates (I’ll be adding more soon) CLICK HERE