Archive for Coquina

Jul
14

Coquina Butterfly Kisses

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coquina seashells on wood bulkhead pier sanibel

Tropical Storm Chantal may have fizzled out in the Caribbean thank goodness, but she sure has left Southwest Florida with rain, rain, rain. That’s made it difficult for our regular beach combing but we did sneak out to Blind Pass Sanibel in between rain storms this weekend where we found hundreds of double COQUINAS in every color of the rainbow. I love these little Butterflies!

coquinas pairs blind pass sanibel

It made me think of some cool COQUINAS I saw last month on Fort Myers Beach but never got a chance to show you. I saw a colony of live COQUINAS in a tidal pool totally hanging out of their shells. It was such a wild site! I’m not sure if they were feeding or breeding or what…

Live coquinas donax viariable Myers Florida

But I did get a video so you can see for yourself. It is such a unusual site … Butterfly Kisses!

YouTube Preview Image

We walked back down to the pass under the bridge to find Denise from Georgia holding an ANGEL WING she found in one of the shell piles there.

denise angel wing shell sanibel

I was thrilled for her that she said it washed up right at her feet and it was still in one piece. She said she didn’t find bags of shells but finding this one made for a perfect day. So nice to meet you Denise!

angel wing denise ga sanibel

coquina shells wood dock sanibel green

Join Us For SHELLABALOO 3 !!!!

Island Inn Shellabaloo 3

Categories : Angel Wing, Coquina
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Apr
19

Every Day Is A Gift

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beach combing southwest florida

Yes, I am a fanatic sheller and beachcomber… but some days I want to visit the sea to find calmness and peace.

Sanibel stoop shelling april

The beach reminds me that life’s treasures aren’t always obvious. At times I have to stop for a minute or two and focus on everything that is surrounding me. Then take another minute or two to refocus from the large obvious objects, to the smaller items that I may not have noticed.

looking for seashells florida

There is so much there and so much more to enjoy. That’s when I am happiest.

seashells on sanibel beach april

 By the look on Kelly’s face, she found a little happiness too.

kelly beach comber sanibel

Kelly (Colorado) picked up a TINTED CANTHARUS, WENTLETRAP and golden CHESTNUT TURBAN near Gulfside City Park.

tinted cantharus wentletrap turban

I don’t see the TINTED CANTHARUS often so here is a look at the aperture side of the shell…

tinted cantharus aperture

It also makes me so happy to find someone else that only collects one little shell to make them all warm and fuzzy (although we didnt need much help with getting warm… it was in the mid 80s. Nice!). I was happy to meet Susan from Naples…

susan sun bather sanibel

She was thrilled to find this beautiful little COQUINA. She told me she loves butterflies and showed me her butterfly notebook which matched her sweet little COQUINA. That’s all she needed to make her day of shelling complete. One COQUINA. Every day should be that simple.

coquina butterfly notebook

With all of the beautiful shells strung along the beach, Caryn from Michigan was quite amazed by the SPONGES, EGG CASINGS,  and even the BONES (leftover bait from the crab traps that fell out) that were scattered on the beach. Ah! Somebody else that loves that BEACH BLING like I do!

caryn mi beach bling sanibel

And I met other beachcombers that found a few treasures but just as happy to be on the beach with the fresh air and sunshine. Here is Bernadette from Quebec City, Gertie from Arizona and Angela from Melbourne, FL (with the iLS shell ID card!)…

bernadette ca gertie az angela

Ahhhh. Yes. I found my not-so-obvious treasures in seeing the happy faces of others enjoying what Mother Nature does best… reminding us that every day is a gift.

sanibel stoop girls seashells

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Apr
07

The Wonder Of Sanibel Beach Life

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bijou horse conch sanibel

After the rain stopped and the warm sunshine filled our weekend, the Sanibel Lighthouse beach was very popular for watching wonderful wildlife like this huge live HORSE CONCH Bijou is showing us in the first photo (with fresh sunscreen protecting that sweet little face!). Bill from Michigan found a different one moments later…

bill mi live horse conch florida

Three young girls look like mermaids calling the dolphins to tell them secrets…mermaid dolphins iLS

 Bruce from Eugene, Oregon was crouching in the sand filling up his University of Oregon cup with hundreds of shells…

bruce collects coquinas

Look at his collection of COQUINAS!

butterfly coquinas florida

Allison from NC found everything from WENTLETRAPS to LEOPARD CRAB shells but wanted to find a pair of ANGEL WINGS to give to friend but couldn’t find them.  So instead, she was collecting COQUINAS since they were like colorful wings.

allison nc seashells sanibel

Not one minute after she told me about the ANGEL WINGS, I looked down to find a pair of tiny ANGEL WINGS practically at our feet. What are the chances! We placed the wings inside one of her double DOSINIAS to keep them in her bag for safe traveling until she got back to her room. Best Wishes Allison!

safe angel wings

Shelling worlds tend to come together and when they do, Sue and Ken tend to be there. Ken was busy collecting the miniature shells as well…

ken collects shells sanibel

He found lots of other shells but he showed me these WENTLETRAPS, a SHARP RIBBED DRILL and a GULF OYSTER DRILL. I realized I don’t have the GULF OYSTER DRILL on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page! This week, I’m going to work on getting that up to date, my friends.

gulf oyster drill wentltrap

You may not think the beach looks pretty in the next photo because it looks a little “dirty” at the surf line… but to me, that looks like a gold mine! That’s where all of the mini shells are hiding.

beach combers sanibel march

 This is just a small assortment of what Clark found the beginning of the weekend. I haven’t had time to sort out our finds yet so I’ll try to get those posted soon too.

clark mini shells lh sanibel

 Just in case you were worried about what happened to those large live HORSE CONCHS…. after I took a photo of Bijou’s HORSE CONCH, she immediately walked it out in the water as far as she could and gently placed it back in the GULF OF MEXICO (without her mom Deanna having to tell her).

bijou returns live shell sanibel

And Bill did the same thing. From all of us, Thank you for being good stewards of the sea.

bill returns live horse conch

Oh, and…. Join us for our iLoveShelling shelling adventure to Cayo Costa Island next Saturday! Click on the next image for more info…

shelling-adventures-pam

Mar
24

Seashells Painted With Stripes

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striped Sanibel Florida Coquina shells

My earliest childhood memory of shelling is when I would get so excited to find COQUINAS. They look just like butterflies! Maybe that’s why I still love them so much now… but then, another thought would be…  maybe because they are just so darn cute! The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was loaded with COQUINAS yesterday evening. Just like being a kid again, I got really excited to find so many variations that look like they have had stripes painted on them. For me, it’s unusual to find this many striped ones all together. While I was picking up these cuties, I also found a few other minis like this KEYHOLE LIMPET…

striped coquinas sanibel

These Wisconsin visitors were having a great time finding the minis and COQUINAS too…

wisconson shellers

Sweet collection…

striped coquina seashells

While we were busy admiring the COQUINAS, these brand-new Fort Myers residents (Ron and Kelli!) found this huge awesome LIGHTNING WHELK…

Ft Myers whelk sanibel

Look at the color of the spire on this beautiful shell and this one looks like it has painted stripes too. Nature’s miracle and a spectacsheller find!

lightning whelk spiral spire

This mom and daughter shelling team from Orlando were loving the minis and the baby LIGHTNING WHELKS they found in the EGG CHAINS

orlando visit Sanibel mom daughter

Right before the sun went down, I met Kim, Olivia and Zach….

Kim Olivia Zach periwinkle b ear

Kim said she saw my post about the brown MACULATED BABY’S EARS last week from Cayo Costa, then found two of them! She said she would have had no idea what it was unless she hadn’t just read about it and saw the pics here. I love that! Here is the one she found last night near the fishing pier. This would have been so easy to mistake it for a SLIPPER SHELL while laying in the sand or mixed in with other shells, right? Wow! Great find!

Brown babys ear maculated

But hold on, she also found this pretty little shell. I didn’t know what it was until my friend H.L. Schroeder  (Lori -heehee- who knows a lot about land snails) identified is as a LINED TREE SNAIL.

drymaeus multilineatus lined tree snail

It looks like an artist took a brush to a white snail shell and painted the lines on this one too. Just gorgeous. I know it’s rare to find one on the beach since this may be the first one I’ve seen in person but since it’s a land snail, I dont know if its rare on the whole island. Here’s the aperture side of it.

lined tree snail

Okay… I’ve got to confess. Maybe you noticed, I didnt give names to some of the folks I met on the beach last night. I have so much happening in this little brain of mine so I have to take notes on my phone since I’m really bad on remembering names. Well, my phone was on overload and couldnt take any more data. I lost the names of these wonderful folks. Ack! I could tell you all about where they live, what they do, and all about our conversations but … names? Lost. Please,  Cute Couple- “Well, not St Paul, MN but it’s so close, that’s where we normally tell people we are from”, and Exuberant Couple “We just moved to Ft Myers! Pam, is this a pretty normal find here? No? Waahhhoooooo!” and Mom “I’m mad at you when you don’t post every day- hahaha” and Daughter “We jump in the Avis car any chance we get to drive to Sanibel”…. y’all forgive me! Here is a CYBERSHELLING picture to make up for it. Click on the next image to blow it up to find all of you own shells!

Cyber Shelling coquinas

Dec
07

Sanibel Christmas Bling

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sanibel lighthouse beach low tide

Be careful of what you wish for!  I’ve been secretly hoping for some “bling” for Christmas. Meaning like… shiny, pretty, glitzy wearable “bling”. But instead I got raggedy, stringy, gooey “bling”… BEACH BLING!

fighting conch egg case

If you know me, you know that I get more excited about discovering something new washing in on the beach than getting any new fancy, shiny jewelry. Errrrr.. well most of the time. LOL But really, I found this dried clump of  some sort of stringy mass at Lighthouse Beach today.

conch egg string case

Cool! So I looked a little closer to inspect its identity…. and realized that it’s a FIGHTING CONCH EGG STRING!

fighting conch egg string close

The little eggs inside these strings will turn into this one day…

Florida fighting conch sanibel

Doesn’t that just blow your mind? And remember? Back in July, I saw a live FIGHTING CONCH laying her eggs (to see the post CLICK HERE)…

florida fighting conch egg case

Unfortunately the string I found today was too dried up for any of the eggs to make it but that’s why the females lay so many eggs. Some will make it! Any maybe that’s why at different time of the year we see thousands at time on the beach… maybe they are mating!

find lots of sea shells

See? This is why I love my BEACH BLING so much! There are endless possibilities of treasures Mother Nature will give us to ponder over. Like the other Bling I found  today. A RAGGED SEA HARE! Poor guy was washed up on the beach but I could see “he” was still alive and moving so I took hime to the water. I took a very quick video today but if you missed my last video on the RAGGED SEA HARE, it is waaaaayyyy better with a few added funnies CLICK HERE.

Here is today’s version of me trying to save this SEA HARE and all of his “raggedness”. YouTube Preview Image

I didn’t find many keeper shells today at the Lighthouse Beach since I was too obsessed with the Bling. When I got home I still felt like I needed my shell fix so I finally rinsed (plain water, don’t use bleach!) off my COCQUINAS from earlier this week. Oh, and yes, I left in that cute little TURKEY WING too.

rinsed coquinas

Hope to see you at the parade tomorrow!

iLS-2013-calendar-icon

Dec
02

Collecting Coquinas

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orange coquinas

The double COQUINAS are back! We do see single COQUINAS all year long on our beaches of Sanibel and Captiva but I don’t see these beautiful butterfly shaped shells all year long like we’ve seen lately.

Coquina shells sanibel beach

It was so much fun picking them up one right after the other, it reminded me of  the WENTLING vid I did a while ago. Since you’ve given great feedback on my videos of my beach walks, I thought you’d enjoy collecting COQUINAS with me too. It’s a little long but I didn’t know where to cut it shorter…. sooooo, I  still hope you like it.YouTube Preview Image

They are so cute, right?

coquina handful

Don’t Forget the SALE on iLoveShelling merchandise for Christmas!

cp sale 2012

Categories : Coquina, Coquina video
Comments (27)