We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday. Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.
We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.
But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!
We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…
We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.
i Love Florida! Whoever made this wonderful seashell sign made out of ARKS, must love it too because after a couple of days of rain (to water the plants) and continued wind this week, it has turned into spectacular weather on the beach with shells starting to roll in on the east end of Sanibel near Lighthouse Beach.
You know I love peeking in shell buckets so I figure you do too, right? Marybeth (from RI… but too shy for the camera) had such a beautiful collection of mini shells in her pink bucket separated by her larger shells in her bigger blue bucket. I think my faves would be the DUSKY CONE and WENTLETRAP in the pink bucket and the NUTMEG in the blue bucket.
Ronetta from Indiana forgot to bring her shell bucket along on her beach walk so she cradled all of her faves in the palm of her hand…
Since she didn’t have much room, she collected some mighty fine primo shells. I know you spotted that candy but I hope you can see how gorgeous that SHARKS EYE is with the bright blue center. We call that a “Paul Newman’s Eye”!
I also met Julie with her mom Pat from St Louis.
They had only been on the beach 5 minutes when Julie found this perfect PAPER FIG with such fabulous color…
I found a few goodies too but I stopped in my tracks to see this BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER…
I’m still trying to learn the different breeding plumage since most bird species change colors with their breeding seasons.
This BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER is dressed in its “Adult Breeding” plumage with the black belly. I’m not even sure I would recognize this bird in “Adult Non-Breeding” plumage since it doesnt even have the black belly. Really… if you can believe it… there is a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER without a black belly. Hmmm…. shell identification is so much easier!
You can see where we found most of the best shells and the birds by this next photo. You can see the lighthouse way in the background at the furthest point which is about a 15 minute walk.
Remember I showed a picture of the erosion at Tarpon Rd Beach Access on my last post ? Well it is already built back up as of yesterday evening… and there are shells on the beach! Yep, it can happen that fast, folks. AND…. There should be even more shells showing up soon because right now as I write this Sunday morning, we have experiencing 20mph north west winds. That should push more shells on our shores any day now!
Having a hard time finding ALPHABET CONES? Refocus your eyes on the miniature shells where the DUSKY CONES hang out. If you are reaaallly lucky, then you’ll find a juvie ALPHABET CONE mixed in with the DUSKYS. In the photo above, you’ll see five cute little DUSKYS on the left then the tiny juvie APHIE on the right end all nestled rainbow style in the palm of Deseray’s hand. She found all of the CONES! I met Deseray’s grandad Fred, her mom Mary Ann and her just west of Lighthouse Beach this weekend. Three generations of shellers…
I could have talked to them for hours about their exquisite mini finds. Deseray has an exceptional eye in finding tiny gems since she has been shelling all of her life and she knew most of their names right away. The only one that stumped us was the TURRID. I thought it was a TURRID but it looks a little different than most we find so I looked back. Yep… most of ours are Pyrgospira tampaensis and I think Deseray’s is the Zonulispira crocata. So let’s just go with the basic iLoveShelling style and just call the really cool shell in between the KING’S CROWN and the LETTERED OLIVE …. a TURRID!
And yes, she also has a little teeny tiny WENTLETRAP on the bottom too. This is just one of many that she found! Here’s are Mary Ann’s mini finds. She had to put an AUGER in her “fave shells” photo since Deseray has always called them “Unicorn Horns”. That is so cute! It DOES look like a Unicorn’s horn!
Did you see those two fabulous little CRAB shells? I love all of the cool stuff they collect! I hope yall can name all of the other minis they collected but if not, look them up on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. CLICK HERE!
How does Donnie keep finding such incredible shells? On August 20 post, I showed yall all of the incredible shells he found right after Hurricane Isaac passed us by…but now this huge HORSE CONCH too? Wow! Debbie Yuhr said it best… “he should be named The Shellinator!” Bahahaha Perfect!
As you can see, The Shellinator had some competition.
Okay, Beeep Beep (the sound of a truck backing up) before I go any further I have to tell y’all what else happened this past week. My iPhone died. Long story short… I lost all of my voice memo notes. You see, when I meet someone on the beach for the first time, I have to take notes on my iPhone because I am terrible at remembering names. I also have a hard time spelling names so it’s become a crutch to just talk into my phone recorder. So all of my notes were lost when I iPhone died and the guys at the Apple store couldn’t recover them all. Aawk-Waaard! So I’m going to show you some photos of people with only nick names. You have no idea how embarrassed I am so… please, please, please comment on this post if you are one of these people to tell me your real name so I can recover from this mess. Okay, now on with the story of the awesome shelling this week.
The Shellinator had some competition… I saw our friend Mary walking down the beach with a huge HORSE CONCH too! She told me that a German guy gave it to her after she commented on how pretty it was. Yes you read that correctly. The German guy just gave it to her because he said it was too stinky to take it on the plane tomorrow back to Germany. Wow! Here is “The German Guy” (heehee) and Mary with his gift to her…
UPDATE: “The German Guy” has a name now! Glad you had a great time in Florida, Andrew (from Bavaria)! And yes, Mary loves that shell!
“Fort Myers Shelling Mom” and her daughter “I Live In Texas But I Want To Be Back In Florida” were finding shells on the beach, in the water and every where they looked.
Deana and her daughter Valerie (whew, I recovered a few!) found an ALPHABET CONE and their first ANGEL WING.
I saw cutie Shelling Sister Leanne pull this gorgeous dark orange FLORIDA CONE out of the water just a few feet from me.
Shelling Sister Kathy (Oh please tell me I got your name right!) used this strainer to scoop up her goodies.
I love the shell bags! They have a strap for cross shoulder handsfree shelling. These “Strappy Happy Shellers” had plenty of room for all of their treasures.
I saw Shellcrafter Jean collecting minis for her art.
She’s holding two nice DUSKY CONES in her hand but her bucket looks empty….oh no it isn’t. Lots of WENTLEPTRAPS are hiding in that round container inside her cute pink bucket.
Then I visited Blind Pass Captiva again to find our friend Sue (Illinois) with a really cool HORSE CONCH. It’s white with a yellow top!
Then I saw Shelling Sistah Lauren with bags of shells… with her iLoveShelling bag and tee! Adorable!
But Wait! What? One of those bags was filled to the brim with SAND DOLLARS! Yowza! See how grayish they are? They arent completely white but you could tell they all had been dead for a day or so since their “fur” (it’s really their feet which is how they breath) was gone. Score! And she found dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH and everything in between not even to mention a huge chunk of JUNONIA. She said she found them all walking from Bowman’s Beach to Blind Pass. That is quite a hike! She deserves all of these treasures!
As I was about to leave Blind Pass, my friend Diane and her visiting girlfriends (they call themselves “Chicks On The Go”!) Juli, Denise, Marsha, Vicki, Diane and Jackie from St Louis swarmed the beach to instantly find great shells. Let me tell you, these chicks know how to have a good time!
And like most shellers at Blind Pass this week, they found their SANIBEL SIX.
PS- Happy Labor Day… gone shelling.
Our friends John and Jane strapped a Zodiac dinghy to the top of their car on Saturday and invited us to join them for a boating adventure down to Marco Island. Yes! We are always ready for a shelling expedition.
The whole day was golden…
Literally! Both John and Clark found GOLDEN OLIVES!
When we all got back to the boat, everybody was showing off their best finds and both guys held out their hands holding the GOLDEN OLIVES…
Look at this huuujah ANGEL WING Clark found. It fills my whole hand…
This was an ALPHABET CONE John found for the day.
These are Jane’s FLORIDA CONES. These are pretty golden too!
Here are the rest of her best finds.
A nice 10 inch old crusty HORSE CONCH I found on the low tide sand bar…
I heard Clark yell and start waving his arms. Oh no, he di-ant! Another one? He couldn’t have found another you-know-what. I looked to see how far away he was since I was way out on the sand bar. See that little speck? That’s how far he was from me.
Okay,..you might want to avert your eyes if you’ve had a bad day or just can’t stand the thought of Clark finding yet another J….. uh…. I can’t even say it. To show me where he found it, he had it sitting right where it was when he walked up. Here… see for yourself.
Really? How come I didn’t look there first? The man is a shell magnet. Here is a close up of his nearly perfect JUNONIA (just the tip is missing). I want to find one! Not that I’m jealous…. oh, geez. Of course I’m jealous! Oh I’m happy for Jane and “him” too…. I guess. 😉 It even has a golden color to it too!
You know I’m just kidding about being upset I didn’t find the big J. How could I when I found so many beautiful shells on such an awesome day? Here are some of our other golden treasures…like candy!
FALSE ANGEL WINGS…
and even a cool BRYOZOAN COLONY…
PS- I popped off some of those crusty barnacles to uncover the shell of that HORSE CONCH I found out the sand bar. It’s beautiful! I found a home for it on my outside steps as a happy welcome to our Shell Shack.
The other day, shelling sistah Tricia G asked me if I’ve ever found a MARGINELLA on Sanibel since I don’t have one listed on the SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. I’ve found them before but, come to think about it, I sure haven’t found one in a long time. So last night, we headed for the lighthouse because I was on the hunt for that sneaky MARGINELLA. To double my chances, I reminded Super Sheller Clark that I wanted to find one to add to the I.D. page so I told him to be on the lookout too.
Yippee! I found one!….. er…..well…. Clark found it. He was scooping at the surf line when all the sudden I hear him laugh. “Look what I found”.
Marginellas and a broken dove
Then he found another one! And then yes, I found that little one on the right. Whew- I wasn’t completely out-shelled. Keep in mind, the biggest one is just shy of 1/2 inch and they sort of look like a BUBBLE if the aperture side is down so they aren’t easy to find. I found the broken one on the left too so I added it to the photo since I thought it was the same shell.
Marginella and Dove? aperture
Dang it! That shell on the left really doesn’t even look like a MARGINELLA at all since it has those teeth on the lip. I couldn’t even see those teeth until I took the picture and looked at it on the computer. In the last few years I can’t even look at my phone or a menu without holding them as far as my arms will extend. You know what I mean? Ha! Geez. Oh well, I’ve been fortunate so far with my eyes so I shouldn’t complain….. it’s just weird…. I’m just sayin. 😉 Alright, back to the shell…. I think the broken shell on the far left is a DOVE shell just by what’s left of it but I could be wrong (I gotta get back to trusting my own eyes again- yikes!). It’s not like I can where “readers” on the beach…. maybe? ….. nahhhh.
Brown banded wentletrap
I didn’t need glasses to spot this BROWN-BAND WENTLETRAP though. Love that color running through it!
Brown banded wentletrap aperture
Nancy from Seashell Wreaths by Nancy reminded me that the name WENTLETRAP is derived from a Dutch word meaning spiral staircase.
We were on the mini shell hunt so we ran across lots of the BUBBLE shells…. appropriately named as well….
We found lots of AUGERS which again, look like their name…
So how about SHARP-RIB DRILL? That flat rib or blade off the sides is pretty sharp, huh?
Now this is getting funny! I didn’t plan on dissecting common names of shells tonight but it’s kind of fun, right? So let’s look at the KEYHOLE LIMPET…..
….and the BUTTON shell….
This CONE shell certainly looks like an ice cream cone….
But I’m not sure that this RICE OLIVE shell looks like an olive but it sure looks like rice…
Picture this next shell on top of Barbie’s doll head… yep, it’s a TURBAN. Again, I just thought this shell was pretty and knobby. I didn’t realize it had a hole in it and the barnacles attached…the eyes are going! Oh well, it’s still pretty.
We had our eyes (failing or not) focused on finding a special miniature shell by looking for the particular pattern of a MARGINELLA and we found it. We shell this beach on the east end of Sanibel regularly but we’ve probably walked right by hundreds of them just because we have been focused on other patterns of shells that we see on a regular basis. i Love Shelling. I really do because it opens my eyes to see beautiful things that I normally would never appreciate.
Our Sanibel lighthouse shells last night
Sanibel pier sunset