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 Tam and 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
Could you imagine finding these 2 huge empty HORSE CONCHS wading through the Sanibel gulf waters? Well Diane Foley and her sister-in-law not only found 2 off Middle Gulf Drive... they found 5 of these gorgeous treasured shells. Shellzam! Then used my cleaning tips to get those first 2 to look amazing.
Remember Abigail from our iLoveShelling Adventure with Sight Sea-R Cruises this week? After our cruise, her dad Ken posted this photo on my Facebook page. Abigail found a big beautiful empty HORSE CONCH on Sanibel too. Yahoo!
Lainey found an awesome empty LIGHTNING WHELK at Blind Pass Sanibel. The big shells might not be rolling up on the beach but they are sure in the water. Way to go!
I was so honored to meet the Santiago family from Georgia this week staying at the Island Inn Beachfront Resort. They were the big winners of our iLoveShelling 5 Year Shellaversary GiveAway for 5 nights stay at Island Inn. It was so much fun hanging out with Sierra, Pete, Keaton, Cynthia, Claire and MaKalie who were enjoying every second of their stay in their beautiful room with a view of this awesome beach.
They showed me a few of their favorite finds including TRUE TULIPS, LETTERED OLIVES, FIGHTING CONCHS, SUNRAY VENUS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, all sorts and colors of SCALLOPS and an array of minis.
Claire couldn’t keep her eye of the cutie KITTENS PAWS. I love them too, Claire!
Big or small, strolling the beach in sunshine along aqua water is a dream come true. Live it, Love it.
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more information CLICK HERE…
Shellzam! This HORSE CONCH rolled up on the beach right in front of me!
As the evening tide was coming in at Gulfside City Park Beach, it was bringing oodles of PENS SHELLS, SEA URCHINS and STARFISH…
So many other cool things wash up too like yellow SEA WHIPS, DONINIAS and BONES from CRAB TRAPS. When we have high west winds, the water gets so rough that CRAB TRAPS get tossed around so hard the BONES that are left over from the bait (mostly PIGS FEET) end up falling out then wash ashore.
The Gulf Of Mexico is so powerful, even when the wind dies down the currents still have enough power to wash large live HORSE CONCHS on the beach. Clark and I saw about 6 live HORSE CONCHS wash up on to the beach. We tried to walk them out in the water far enough to not wash up again but all we can do is keep our fingers crossed they stayed there.
And then… there are magical times when one of these big, beautiful shells rolls up on the beach completely empty like this one found by Lynn from Missouri. Spectacsheller!
And then…. another big, beautiful empty HORSE CONCH rolls up for me too! We got to shellebrate together!
You want to know the most amazing thing? I filmed my find on video so you get to see it too…. hopefully soon. I was filming all of the cool BEACH BLING on my iPhone but didn’t realize that I had been videoing for 6 minutes and 40 seconds. I’ve had the hardest time downloading a video thats so long- Ack! So… as Im writing, it still has 329 minutes remaining to download. OMG Ive already been trying for a day now! So I will show you this awesome unedited video in my next post just so you can see everything single thing I saw on my beach walk and see how I found my HORSE CONCH. Its so cool!
If you want to see it as soon as it’s published on Youtube…. you can subscribe to my iLoveShelling Youtube channel to always be the first to be notified when I publish a new shelling video. After CLICKING HERE- Just click the red button on the right that says “Subscribe”
So until then… enjoy the gorgeous sunset we saw as we walked back to the car carrying my exshellent treasure.
UPDATE: The video is done and I have another post with more photos … CLICK HERE to see it!
There were lots of shells on the beach and “Bling” at Gulfside City Park to comb through this morning… Yay! Since we had some nice winds from the Gulf Of Mexico this past week, the beach is littered with lots of white clam shells and there are some nice colorful treasures in there too like these WHELKS, CONCHS, MUREXES and purple SEA WHIPS.
Along with finding some beautiful shells today, you might just see mounds of SEA SQUIRTS too. The winds pushed these TUNICATES (to learn more CLICK HERE) up on the beaches along with plenty of seashells. The birds were loving it! They had a feast at this SEA SQUIRT salad bar…
Even if you combed through the SEA SQUIRTS, there are hidden gems like this double SUNRAY VENUS…
Look how this double SPINY JEWELBOX is camouflaged in the SEA SQUIRTS…
I placed a few of the beauties I found on top of a cool SEA SPONGE but unfortunately I covered most of it with shells… oops!
Gwen from Texas was thrilled to find a few goodies on the beach to fill her shell bag.
As always, its such a pleasure to run into Smitty on the beach to hear about his latest finds. He told me he found a huge empty HORSE CONCH, a SCOTCH BONNET and so many other great finds yesterday. Yep… yesterday. We missed it! Thats ok, I am so content with my finds this morning and it tickled me so much to see him and all of his shelling paraphernalia- he’s Smitty The Shelling Machine.
FYI- Clark’s been wanting a collapsable picker upper shelling tool for traveling (in Smitty’s right hand) so if I find one, I’ll let you know how Clark likes it too. That little blue scoop is great but its just a weeee too long for a travel bag and the last one broke when we took off the basket.
Last night as I was surfing through the iLoveShelling Facebook age, I saw Arthur Lyon’s photo he posted. Wow! Those are some awesome shells. He said “Cool front pushed a ton of shells onto the beaches today…”. He said he found these near Gulfside City Park so of course thats why I was there this morning. I didn’t see Arthur but I did see his cousins and they told me how crazy the shelling was yesterday. Nice haul!
So while Arthur and Smitty were scooping up SCOTCH BONNETS, HORSE CONCHS, FIGS and TULIPS I went to Blind Pass to find thousands of SEA SQUIRTS without the huge shell lines like GULFSIDE CITY PARK had. hahaaha Thats ok- I still found some treasures.
I don’t feel like I was a day late because if I had been there yesterday, I may not have been there this morning to find those sweet baby HORSE CONCHS I showed in the photos above. I looooove those Candy Corns. They are my fave Happy Candy and remind me that we are so very fortunate to be able to comb these beautiful beaches to find so many gifts from the sea every day.
Let’s go shelling together! This is a perfect week for an iLoveShelling trip to Big Hickory Island.
Join me on Wednesday October 8, 2014 at 8:30am on a spectacsheller shelling adventure! Call 239-765-7272 or CLICK HERE.
Dont forget about booking for January 5-8 Shellabaloo- Tickets are selling fast!
The only thing cloudy about our Captiva Cruises iLoveShelling trip to Cayo Costa were the live CLOUDY PERIWINKLES hiding in clusters on the tree roots at the south tip of the island.
It’s been such a month on the islands of spotting great wildlife. Everywhere I look, I am still seeing wonderful signs of healthy life… like these STRIPED FALSE LIMPETS and BARNACLES on those same tree roots with the PERIWINKLES.
Melissa, Juliana, Becky and Garrett from Colorado walked around those tree roots to find some nice empty shells as well.
They found a bag full of double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Sisters Teresa and Elaine from Pensacola, FL found some keepers on the Gulf side of the island.
Elaine collected oodles of different color JINGLES to use for a picture frame craft project.
D.J. from Avon Park, Florida found empty LETTERED OLIVES and an ANGEL WING wading knee high in the water.
Oh but wait… How could I forget? I have to tell you about the boat ride over to the island. We had a pod of DOLPHINS come over to say “Hi” to everybody on our boat.
When they swam closer to the boat, we could see there were 3 mother DOLPHINS… each with babies! If you look closely at this next photo, you can see the baby hugging up to the mother. So cute!
And the DOLPHINS weren’t the only wildlife coming up to say “Hi” to us… meet Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB.
I have never seen a GHOST CRAB act so friendly! Seriously, “Casper” was not at all afraid of us and actually followed us on the beach. See? He got right in-between Sandy’s feet and hung out there for a few minutes.
He even ran into a shelling net like he wanted to play. hahaha What a character!
Even though the wildlife was exceptional, it was a wonderful day to meet exceptional people like Vicki and Bill from Arizona.
… And Melinda, Katelyn and Justin from Indiana. I especially loved meeting Katelyn since she knew all of the names of her shells but also loved all the wildlife she saw. Casper The Friendly GHOST CRAB didn’t want there to leave.
… And it was exceptional to see Marie’s beautiful family- Emily, Madison, Steve, Sandy and Ryan from Ohio. But… they were missing one Morgan, they all wanted me to tell you…. you’re next!
… And to see Bill, Michelle, Alyson and Anthony from Illinois.
I had met Michelle at Blind Pass Captiva last week when I stopped at the beach to see what the conditions were on the Captiva side by the jetty rocks. As I dug through the “picked over” shell pile, we got to talking and she told me she hadn’t found too many keeper shells but was just happy to be on the island enjoying everything else about the beach. That’s when I uncovered a beautiful FLAT SCALLOP with a tiny hole in the top. I handed it to Michelle and told her it was meant for her. I was soooo touched to see that she was on the cruise with her family AND that she made that FLAT SCALLOP into a gorgeous necklace with a little SEAHORSE charm. OMG I love that she made it into a special treasure to remember a special day we happened to meet. Shellers rock!
Lindsay had told me about an awesome HORSE CONCH she had found on Sanibel last week so when we got back to the dock at McCarthy’s Marina, she showed it to us. Wow! Lindsay, I’m so happy you showed it to us. That IS awesome and will clean up beautifully with a little elbow grease.
Even though the beach wasn’t piled up with mounds of shells this time, we were treated to a DOLPHIN show with babies, lots of friendly wildlife and most of all – a perfect day in paradise with a boat ride on calm waters full of happy people meeting an amazing community of likeminded shellers.
You won’t want to miss the upcoming shelling cruises! Check out the new dates CLICK HERE