Archive for Horse Conch
Just a few steps from the Sanibel Lighthouse, oodles of seashells were being washed up near the shoreline yesterday.
I overheard Kathy and Karen (Wisconsin) getting very excited about the shells they were finding in the water…
Yes there were! In ankle deep water along the surf line, I saw one shell after another so I quickly got out my video and started filming. This video is uncut and I was continuously filming so you can see how I had to keep working the same area to find all of these shells. Each wave uncovered more shells so I had to be patient. More CYBERSHELLING to the rescue!
As you can see, the shells weren’t obvious since they were buried and filled with sand so I had to keep stooping for better scoops. Sisters Diane (Illinois) and Nancy (Missouri) couldn’t believe how many they found in that one area.
In the video, you briefly see Penny (Wisconsin) stooping in the water a little further out. I think I mumbled something like I hoped she was finding shells out there too. Any way, I ended up meeting Penny and her husband Brian a few minutes afterwards.
We figured out that just around the same time I was filming her out in the water, she found this FLORIDA CONE.
I also drove up to Blind Pass Captiva but that new sand bar in the pass is mostly just sand now but there are still some sweet minis. The Sanibel side of Blind Pass is still producing shells but the tides have been fickle so its been a hit or miss. It’s almost like if you don’t see shells there, just wait 4 more hours and they should be rolling in. I was just so happy to find such goodies at my old fave stomping ground- The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.
For 5 days now, the shelling in SouthWest Florida as been has been outrageous! It doesn’t get more outrageous that finding your very first JUNONIA after 20 years of searching… then 2 days later, finding JUNONIA #2! Jill from Miami was livin’ the good life this weekend finding those trophies plus two ALPHABET CONES to boot. Shellzam! Congratshellations, Jill- so happy for you!
But wait.. the outrageousness continued! Wouldn’t you love to find a huge empty HORSE CONCH like this with a bright orange interior?
Gail and Alicia not only found that one gorgeous shell, they found 3 more! … Plus a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK too. Over the long weekend, they were out every morning before sunrise and said there were hundreds of live HORSE CONCHS rolling in the surf on the beach near Island Inn but kept on looking to find ones that were empty.
So I’m sure you can image how happy they were to find those amazing large shells already…. then to find a SEAHORSE too? They found this guy in the afternoon just getting back out on the beach in the high tide wrack line. REally, after all of those trophy shells then a SEAHORSE….Outrageous! Congrats Gail and Alicia!
I found quite a variety on Island Inn beach as well but nothing compared to what they found of course…
I met Lea and her daughter Kristi from Omaha picking up the dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH in the high tide wrack line.
They asked me how to preserve these awesome SEASTARS so they can put them in shadowboxes when they get home. Honestly, I have never had luck with keeping them in tact because I guess I keep them outside or in my garage too long and the humidity gets to them so they break apart and start stinking -Ack! I’m doing something wrong so I never pick them up anymore- I don’t care how bone dry and perfect they are. But… My friend Moira makes beautiful shadowboxes with them as well as Kim who both live in Chicago- they have no problems so I hope they see this so they can explain in a comment how they get them home without breaking them and keeping them intact for a frame.
Fort Myers Beach at Point Estero was rocking with shells too! My friend Debbie’s dad Dennis from Kansas was in town for the holiday and they found lots of treasures…
Repeat… they found LOTS of treasures… LOL
Throughout the holiday weekend, I saw lots of shells at Lighthouse Beach, South Seas, Blind Pass, Island Inn, Point Estero…. and my last stop for the weekend shelling was Gulfside City Park this morning for low tide. I found such a variety of shells again including a perfect ALPHABET CONE along with the best SHARK’S EYE I’ve found in a while. But my real favorites where violet colored FIGHTING CONCHS which I don’t think I’ve ever found colors in FIGHTING CONCHS like these before. Weird, because I even found another purple one at Island Inn beach the other day. So unusual.
This morning Karen from Orlando area was happy with her finds too…
She found a perfect ANGEL WING and a few SAND DOLLARS…
And these are just a few that were in her bag. Awesome.
There where so many live creatures as well. It’s always fascinating to see these beautiful living animals in their natural habitat like this beautiful live LIGHTNING WHELK. Since this shell was occupied, I dug a hole for him to wait it out until the higher tide came back in so he could scoot along wherever it wished.
One more thing…. I have a new online Art Gallery!
Over the years, I have shared many, many photos of my shelling adventures and have learned that… just as I love to collect a beautiful shell, I love to capture a beautiful moment or my beautiful surrounds with my lens just as much. I never could find the means to offer them as quality, affordable art on canvas, prints, cards and more…. until now! So I started an online Art Gallery for my photographs. It’s just the beginning so I haven’t added all of the photos that you’ve asked for in the past but at least this is a start. I’m heartfelt that you’ve asked for them and I’m proud that now I can offer them. Please stop by, take a browse, say “hi” and if you like one enough to buy it, I would be incredibly honored.
I hope your shell ‘o lantern is filled with goodies like this….
And of course a little candy corn…
I may not be a champion but I like my weekend breakfast to be garnished with TULIPS while I fill up on PEARS….
Quite a few PEAR WHELKS …
With a little NUTMEG…
This weekend’s low tides were in the early morning so it was such a treat to see the sunrise… and to collect the shells from the shallow tidal pools.
But I started the weekend running into an awesome family at Blind Pass Captiva around sunset as they were just packing up all the shells they found after snorkeling. Paul, Darren, Gabe, Kyle, Emily, Ellie from Naples are all like shelling encyclopedias. They knew the names of all of their shells and little tid bits about them too. Hmmmm… “Enshellopedias”! Ha! They were so much fun to talk to…
They found lots of CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, COCKLES, OLIVES and all sorts of treasures. You know I love to peek at other people’s shells so I was thrilled to take a look into Paul’s green shell bag. Wanna see too? Ha! I knew it! Here you go… Fun!
The next morning at the Lighthouse Beach, I met Charity holding a double ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE she was holding like a treasure box. It was a treasure box! She had filled the COCKLE with all of her other tiny treasures she found at low tide.
I met the rest of her family… Janssen, Lynn Ann and Joann visiting Sanibel from the Tampa area…
Lynn Ann told me that they found all of these shell like the fab SHARKS EYE, HORSE CONCH and APPLE MUREXES (and the SEA BEAN) at the tip of the island in front of the lighthouse.
At low tide, it’s always glorious to see and touch live MOLLUSKS… especially this live 14 inch HORSE CONCH. No worries- this creature was very happy to be put back into the water where it could keep healthy and hopefully have lots of babies.
I’ve never been much of a morning person (I know. Sounds crazy for an obsessed sheller like me to say that but it’s just the truth)… so I hope this next season I learn to enjoy mornings like I did this weekend. I meet people like Angela from the Outer Banks of North Carolina who was too shy for me to take her picture but made a big impression on me. It was a pleasure to talk with you Angela!
But now that I think about it, I doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I always find shells and I always meet awesome people shellers. I meet them finding shells at breakfast time , lunch time , afternoon snack time, dinner and evening snack time. It really doesnt matter! Errrr. I might sleep in tomorrow morning. heehee
I felt like a kid in a candy store yesterday! Steady west winds pushed a beautiful pile of shells rich with colors of yellow and orange. Look at that yummy GAUDY NATICA, sweet LIGHTNING WHELK, delicious BANDED TULIP and scrumptious HORSE CONCH!
Patricia is going to have some really nice souvenirs for her memories of this amazing day… to take back all the way to Germany.
Ericksen, Isabella, Anastasia and their parents Brian and Cheryl were making great memories too…
Anastisia showed me her faves… an ALPHABET CONE and a HORSE CONCH. Candy!
Cheryl was tickled pink to find a GAUDY NATICA too along with some other exshellent treasures…
Becky and her daughter Pam were having a ball looking through that big shell pile while Rich searched the water. Awwwwwe! I loved meeting you Becky!
Since I posted photos yesterday of the huge WHELKS Clairissa found (CLICK HERE TO SEE), I’ve had lots of people ask me if she was snorkeling or if she was working the deep water to find those trophies. She wasn’t snorkeling and she didn’t have a net- she was zig zagging the water with her feet and hands. You can see for yourself because I just realized she was in the background of Becky’s picture above. That’s Clairissa on the far back left … and here she is when I snapped a random photo before I met her….
It’s been raining on and off (for days on end) so yesterday I went home in between rain showers to dry off and get changed. But my curiosity got the best of me so I had to go back around 5-ish. Talk about candy! I found 4 “candy corns” (I havent called them that in a long time!) right away.
I didn’t even dress for the occasion of going back to the beach so my jeans were completely soaked. I couldnt help but get in. LOL
Could you pass this up either?
Ready for the video of the shelling yesterday? Be prepared to have quick vision because as you will see, I’m a little excited … to say the least… so the camera moves a little fast but you’ll see me pick up shell after shell. At the end of the vid, you’ll even see Clairissa still working that water for a split second. Funny, huh? She’s probably horrified I keep talking about her – heehee- but geeez, we all want to know every little secret of finding shells like that. And we are all just jealous!
But…. here’s the sad news. I went back to Blind Pass Captiva early this morning (in the rain) to see if there was even a bigger pile. No! The west winds picked up even more but took the shells out again. When this rough water calms down again, we’ll see the shells again- I’m sure of it so of course I’ll keep you posted. UPDATE: Shells are back!
Low tide Sunday morning shelling at Blind Pass ….ahhhhhhh. Hawg heaven!
Even if there wasn’t a shell in site, I would have been a happy girl just to walk on the beach, breath the salty air, feel the waves touch my toes and hear birds singing their sea songs. But I did have a bonus… Shells!
While I was finding my mermaid loot, I met Lisa and Stan (Tampa) with their 2 kids Josh and Allison finding their own treasures from the sea.
Stan was snorkeling about chest high to find some CONCHS, OLIVES and an ALPHABET CONE that he pulled out of his pockets to show me…
But that wasn’t it! They had a big bucket filled with CORAL, PEN SHELLS, a few BANDED TULIPS, an APPLE MUREX and a nice SUNRAY VENUS.
I walked over to the Sanibel side of the pass and met Holly from Sanford, Florida who found an awesome orange HORSE CONCH.
I love this mid size HORSE CONCH! There are some BARNACLES around the lip and spire but I suggested waiting to get home before trying to get them off. When those barnacles are anywhere near that fragile lip, I suggest being very delicate picking around that lip by inserting a dental tool in the middle of the barnacle to work inside out first…being very easy. I’m sure it will clean up beautifully if you take your time… its worth it- that’s a fantastic find!
I even stopped by Gulfside City Park (mid island Sanibel) for a few minutes today too just long enough to find another tiny SAND DOLLAR. Sweet!
Okay, I can’t wait to show you a closer view of my other finds today. I was very happy to find a double ATLANTIC WING OYSTER . I know it’s not so pretty on the outside…
But goodness… look at that special inside. It’s pearlescent!
My fave find of the day is an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH!
It looks a little yellow because it has the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it but if I cleaned it completely off, it would be stark white…. ALBINO! Okay- this is funny…. When I told Clark I found an ALBINO, he first congratulated me then looked at my photo of it since I left the shells in the sink in the garage. He said “That’s not an ALBINO, Pam!” (Ha! He thinks he’s the ALBINO expert since… well, I’ll have to give it to him… he does have a knack for finding them). So I sashayed to my shell stash and brought him my shell. “Hmmmm….Oh, okay.” He said. HAHAHA
I haven’t decided yet if I want all of the PERIOSTRACUM off yet so I’m going to be like Scarlett Ohara so… “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
PS- Did you see “land” snail in my bucket too? I found a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (bottom left about 7 o’clock) on the path back to my car. It’s still “rosy”.
**** Calling all shellers! We are having a SHELLATHON in January CLICK HERE for details! ****