After high winds for a few days last week, Sanibel Island had some interesting live creatures wash up on all of our shores like the MILLIPEDE STARFISH (aka- SEA STAR ;)) at the Sanibel Causeway and….
There were empty shells washing up too. Tom from Indiana found an JUNONIA off West Gulf!
Shellzam! It’s so beautiful.
Lots of shell EGG CASINGS were washing in at Gulfside City Park along with PEN SHELLS and SPONGES.
When the waters calmed down a bit, The Fabshellous Shell Squad was there to pick out some of the spectasheller treasures from the surf. It was fun to hang out discussing shellnanigans with Michelle, Julianna, Veronica, Laura and Rebecca because they like to talk in shelludricous shellanguage like I do. ;)
Clark scooped up a few ALPHABET CONES and a FLORIDA CONE. He even snapped a photo of them and sent it to me since I wasn’t near him on the beach to take the picture of them. He wanted me to put “Staff photo by Clark Rambo” haha
Cathy was finding lots of great shells too and even witnessed Clark taking more photos. (Staff photo by Clark Rambo heehee)
These were my three favorite shells I found last night at dusk at Gulfside- an ALPHABET CONE, DOSINIA and a gorgeous color BANDED TULIP.
Oh CONE all ye faithful. With the hustle and bustle of holidays upon us, I managed to take a few breaks to breathe in the calmness of Sanibel and get the beach. My best find this week was this ALPHABET CONE. Joyful and Triumphant!
I found one spot this week that shells were piled a mile high… under the Blind Pass bridge on the Sanibel side. I didn’t find many WHELKS, OLIVES or the other Sanibel Six shells but there were ARKS, KITTENS PAWS, SCALLOPS and SLIPPERS galore.
Clark and I even got up at the crack of dawn over the weekend to see the glorious sunrise.
We only found a few tiny WHELKS…
But the SAND DOLLARS … on my! They were every where at Gulfside City Park. There were so many this past summer on the beach and they are still there. Wow!
Soooooo many beautiful SAND DOLLARS.
Walking in the water ankle deep, we could see glimpses of these beautiful treasures. Holiday gifts from the sea!
Join me on a Beachcombing Adventure! CLICK HERE for dates and info…
We’ve been enjoying walking along the shore at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach this summer since we’ve had our best luck finding shells no matter which direction we comb the beach. Clark had an eye for the cutie mini shells this time. As soon as he found that little DUSKY CONE (on the tips of the horsies/candy/candy corn/mac n cheese…. errrr… those juvie HORSE CONCHS) I remembered that on one of my latest shelling adventure cruises I tried to show how one can tell the difference between those and the ALPHABETS and FLORIDA CONES.
So let me try to show the difference of the shells to you too. Here is a handful of the DUSKY CONES to show you how big they are and the different colors and patterns. Also, check out that each one of them has spiral ribs along the body of the shell. If you run your thumb over the shell, it won’t be smooth, you will feel all of the the little ridges.
Here’s the difference between a random ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and the DUSKY that I pulled from our collection of Sanibel shells to see the different patterns and the normal adult size of each.
In this view, you can really see those ribs on the DUSKY compared to the other two that are mostly smooth. Cool, huh?
So next time you find a small little cone shell, look a little closer to see which one you’ve found. Maybe it will be a DUSKY CONE like Deseray found years ago that I showed in my post Rainbow Of Miniature Shells that we compared to her sweet little ALPHIE.
UPDATE: Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0
It was an especially good day on the Sanibel today. On the beach at Island Inn, the weather was perfect (high 70s), the water was calm, there were piles of good shells… and I had Clark with me. That’s why I love this next photo… it’s everything I love all in one shot. Clark, the beach, the water and a ton of shells to pick through to collect in an aqua shell bucket.
My day was made.
I wasn’t the only one loving the day either, if there’s a good shell pile it seems I always find Connie K. right smack in the middle of it. Ha! She can sniff ’em out!
I also met another happy gal… Faith from Ohio. She is a ball of fun!
These are just a few of the beautiful shells she found. She found a LIONS PAW too but I didn’t get a chance to see it since she had already packed it up in her room. Happy.
Sitting on the big pile of shells (after walking to the right from Island Inn), I saw OLIVES, CONCHS, WHELKS, SCALLOPS and TULIPS but I had to snap a picture of this adorably tiny horsie candy (juvie HORSE CONCH). Omigosh- so stinkin cute.
Clark’s fave find of the day was of course that awesome ALPHABET CONE (first pic) but mine was this teeny tiny ROCK SNAIL SHELL.
I haven’t found a ROCK SHELL in a while and I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen one this small before. I love it!
Wishing on this shell tree that everybody gets to experience a day like this on the beach to feel this calm and happy about simple pleasures.
PS- Thank you Heather for the heads up about the shell pile!
We had a shellucky boat trip shelling adventure yesterday! On each iLoveShelling cruise, every person gets to choose a shell and a bumper sticker out of my very large bucket-o-shells (collected by either Clark or me) to get the day started with at least one shell in your pocket for good luck. It’s the Shellucky Shell… and it works! The forecast for our shelling adventure on Sight Sea-R Cruises out of Fort Myers Beach yesterday was stormy skies and rain so I thought we were going to get rained out… but then…
The rain stopped,
The skies turned blue,
The sun started shining
On our iLoveShelling cruise.
Yay! Not only did we have clear skies… we found lots of shells!
And not only did we have a sunny day finding seashells… we got to hang out with other fabshellous shellers like Ralph, Sharlotte, Beryle, Mitchell and Susie from Texas.
And the shellastic California girls!
Did I mention we had a great day finding shells?
As I said, our day started a little iffy with the weather but then everything turned out shelltastic. Barry (from the east coast of Florida) had a pretty iffy morning even after the skies cleared up. When we got to the island he headed straight to the water, did a few stoops to pick up a few treasures then realized… his iPhone had fallen out of his top pocket. Ack! I saw he had a sick look on his face so he told me what happened… he couldn’t find his phone. My first thought was…. call in the troops! We’ve got a boat load of shellers who looooove to find “things”! So I shouted an announcement down the beach “Everybody look for a lost iPhone!” I don’t normally shout on the beach but we were the only ones on this beach and I felt like I was with family already… so I figured, why not? Two minutes later, snorkelers Jen and Dwayne found Barry’s phone in the water and held it up like they had just found a JUNONIA. Weeehooo! I love hanging out with shellers- such kind people. Seriously.
I took this photo of Dwayne snorkeling just moments before I talked to Barry. Its weird how things work… if either Barry or I had waited one more minute to tell other people to look for the phone, Dwayne wouldn’t have been in that exact spot where he found his biggest find of the day. Good eye, Dwayne, good eye!
What else did Dwayne and Jen find snorkeling? This is just a small sampling of all of their loot. They had two bags full of awesome stuff.
Guess who else was on the cruise… Conne from Shellabaloo 4. Not only was I happy to see her, I was so happy for her that she found an ALPHABET CONE. Such a cutie.
Barry’s wife Alex found an ALPHABET CONE too. She didn’t let anything stop her from having a great time!
Canadians Marilyn and Ted were having luck finding WORM SHELLS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS, SAND DOLLARS and a few SEA PEARLS too.
I think everybody came home with some lovely treasures.
Speaking of lovely treasures, everybody on this iLoveShelling cruise received one more lucky gift… a $25 gift certificate to Sealife By Congress jewelry store on Sanibel. On each iLoveShelling cruise through February, each sheller will receive one too- Wow!
I thank you Sealife By Congress and these folks thank you too… like Jude and Chris from NY
Karen from Maine…
And Mariann and Bruce from Ohio…
We all shared a wonderful day with so many gifts….
Finding treasures by the sea.
Join us on one of our next iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R shelling cruises! Sight Sea-R Adventures– $50 for 4 hour shelling cruise with iLoveShelling cruise with Pam. Call 239-765-7272 or CLICK HERE . Dont forget, the Sight Sea-R has shelling cruises every Wednesday so even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, they have other fantabshellous shelling adventures too.
Or join us for more iLoveShelling beachcombing adventures- CLICK HERE for more information.
PS- We aren’t ready just yet…. But….. Be on the lookout for an exciting announcement for the next Shellabaloo! Yay!!!! Soooooon!
PSS- What is Shellabaloo? CLICK HERE to find out.
Our first iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R Cruise was even better than I could ever even imagined! This brand new Sight Sea-R boat proved to be the absolutely perfect shelling excursion with plenty of room to take our 48 amazing shellers to this new shelling destination only accessible by boat… Big Hickory Island.
Not only is the island filled with our favorite treasures (shells, of course)….
We kicked this shelling adventure off with lots of other goodies too. Giveaways! Clark and I brought a big bucket of Sanibel Six shells so everybody could pick out a lucky shell to get things started. Then we treated everybody to iLoveShelling waterproof Seashell Identification guides, bumper stickers and had raffle prizes for hats and tee shirts. So. Much. Fun.
Our biggest surprise was from Mary and Jana of Sealife By Congress– my fave jewelry store. You won’t believe it, they gave every single person on this cruise a sterling silver sealife charm. Seriously. They came on the boat with large baskets filled with beautiful pieces of jewelry and let us all pick our gift of hand made sterling silver dolphin, starfish, sand dollars, scallops and yes… even junonia charms. So sweet!
Texas cutie cousins Pat, Pam, Kay, Peggy, Debby and Linda were thrilled to all receive such a gracious gift of jewelry. Thank you Sealife By Congress!
Let me tell you… this boat turned into a parrrr-taayyy!
So to top it off, on the boat ride to the island we spotted lots of different wildlife. There were dozens of species of birds but we were most excited about seeing many ROSEATE SPOONBILLS…
We also saw a rare sighting of a SEA TURTLE popping out of the water and we also witnessed countless pods of BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN.
This was already so much fun and we hadn’t even starting shelling yet. But I was soooo ready… especially since I saw Holly had made a special shell bucket for herself with “My Shell Holl” on it- heehee. She also made one for her husband Ted that said “Collect-Ted Shells” and she made one for me with “My Pamtastic Shells”. OMG So stinkin cute.
We were all ready to hit the beach to find shells. And we did! Sandy from Fort Myers Beach’s newspaper The Island Sand Paper found some awesome shells to make her smile. Go back and take a look at the second photo from the top, those are her shells- See? Awesome.
We couldn’t believe how many WORM SHELLS we all found…
And lots of SHARK’S EYES…
During the boat ride back, I asked how many people found CONE shells (and not ones they picked from the “lucky bucket”) and 19 shellers raised their hands. Wow!
I’m always so happy to meet families that shell together. Christine, Anthony, Paula, Bryce and Dominic (from VT and MA) were such a pleasure to talk to.
I asked Bryce what his favorite thing about the cruise was and he reminded me that together we saved a SEA HARE that got washed up on the beach. We put the SEA HARE back in the water and after a minute, he revived and swam away- that was his favorite moment. I asked Anthony what his favorites were and he immediately showed me his ROSE PETAL TELLINS (with 2 COCQUINAS as well).
Brooke and Josh from Georgia had favorites too… SAND DOLLARS.
Clark and I loved hearing Keri (also from the Sand Paper) tell about shelling bringing back so many memories of her childhood while shelling with her grandmother. I think that’s why we love it so much… we explore the beach like we are kids again and remember those days.
Thank you Captain Phil and Meg for such a great adventure!
I still can’t believe how exciting every moment was with perfect weather seeing DOLPHINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILLS, OSPREY, PELICANS, a SEA TURLE, lots of seashells and the best group of people Clark and I could wish for.
To make a fairy tale ending, on our way back to the dock we watched the sun set over the Sanibel Lighthouse…
It was a very special day to remember. Oh but wait… I still have more photos and I have just a few more things I want to share with you about this day on my next post. The surprises continue!
Thank you Sight Sea-R Cruises!
You can catch a cruise too. Hop on a regularly scheduled shelling cruise on the Sight Sea-R to Big Hickory every Wednesday at 10am, Call 239-765-7272 or go to the website at http://www.sightseaflorida.com. You won’t be disappointed.
If you want to catch an iLoveShelling shelling adventure with me as your guide (once a month), CLICK HERE