Pages Navigation Menu

Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

For Peat’s Sake, We found Angel Wings!

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Angel Wing, Cowrie, Deer Cowrie, False Angel Wing | 18 comments

corly paul shells from cayo costa florida

Not only did shellers find WHELKS, SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS, OLIVES and CONCHS like Corly and Paul from Iowa found on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa Island…

corly paul iowa shelling cayo costa


shells from cayo costa

By folks like the Bunkin family…Keith, Karley, Melissa, Sue, Kaitly, Matthew and Joeylynn.

sue bunking family with shells cayo costa

I may have turned a little green with envy after seeing this shellmazing WORM SHELL and shelltastic HORSE CONCH. We are always so happy to see mid sized HORSE CONCHS – they don’t seem as common to find this size.

worm shell olive mid size horse conch

Jan and Tara from Indianapolis were the lucky shellers to find them.

tara indianapolis jan worm shell horse conch

Sweet Elna from North Carolina was so excited to find two WENTLETRAPS.

elna with wentletrap cayo costa iloveshelling cruise

After looking at her shells, I think she only found one WENTLETRAP (then picked up the beautiful COCQUINA) and the other white shell was very unusual looking. Hmmmm. Now that I can see it in the photo a bit better, I think it’s a worn FLY SPECK CERITH.

MINIATURE shells cayo costaMINIATURE shells cayo costaMINIATURE shells cayo costaMINIATURE shells cayo costaMINIATURE shells cayo costa

William from Atlanta found one of my fave pieces of BEACH BLING… a big ol hunk of WORM ROCK.

william atlanta worm rock

As you can see everybody in coats and hats, our weather in southwest Florida got pretty chilly (low 60s) with some good high north winds. But the best part of the morning at Cayo Costa was  seeing parts of the beach that normally aren’t exposed because of the very low tide. You can see Savannah searching around sandy “peaty” areas which are rarely exposed.

low tide shelling cayo costa

“Oh Look, y’all! It’s an ANGEL WING!” Burrowed in that peaty decomposed tree stump area, I saw just a little tiny part of a FALSE ANGEL WING peeking out. So sweet!

false angel wing sticking out of peat

I filmed us spotting these precious little ANGELS tucked away and sharing in the joy of a true treasure hunt … enjoy!

They are perfect! It was truly so much fun to share this experience with our group.

false angel wing pair cayo costa pam trip

Vanessa from San Fransicsco found a teeny tiny WING too..

vanessa san fransicsco false angel wing

This is very unusual… I found the lip of a broken DEER COWRIE right as we got off the boat. Weird.

cowrie lip cayo costa

The day was such an adventure as we started off with the cold weather and whipping wind but with a Captiva Cruises boat load of awesome shellers and my A #ONE by my side, it was a shelltabulous time.

pam clark rambo captiva cayo costa shelling cruise

PS- Im sure you noticed my hand completely scratched up in the video as I pulled out those FALSE ANGEL WINGS… our new little kitty is crraaaazy! LOL

shell tree cayo costa

Come on a Shelling Adventure with us! CLICK HERE for more dates and info

shelling adventures trips by pam

photo art gallery pam rambo i love shelling

Read More

Cayo Costa Shelling Cruise Finding Seashells By The Seashore

Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 in Albino Shells, Angel Wing, Baby's Ear, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Cowrie, Deer Cowrie, Egg Casing, False Angel Wing, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Parchment Worms, ShellingAdventures, Speckled Tellin, Whelk | 28 comments

hermit crab  conch watermark

It was a gorgeous sunny day on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa yesterday! This beautiful HERMIT CRAB found a nice home inside this CONCH shell for lots of us to ooooh and ahhhh over it then see it go safely back into the water. But Debbie was soooo fortunate to have found this gigantic LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty!

Debbie found large whelk cayo costa

Yowza Debbie! So happy for you! She also found a GAUDY NATICA (aka COLORFUL MOON SHELL) EGG COLLAR and a SHAGGY PARCHMENT WORM TUBE. But that gorgeous WHELK stole the show.

large lightning whelk cayo

Holy mackeral! Super Sheller Clark found an empty LIGHTNING WHELK too. When we got back to the boat, Clark and Debbie showed their big finds of the day…

find whelks cayo florida clark

 It was a day for finding big shells because Erin found another big LIGHTNING WHELK. After letting everybody see this beautiful creature alive and well with the original mollusk still inside, she walked it back into the water to live out its healthy life to breed more WHELKS. Way to go, Erin!

Erin live lightning whelk cayo

Like I always say… Every day the beaches change. One day the shells are piled on the beach and some days you have to work at finding them. I have to admit, we never found a huge pile of shells but this was an awesome group of shellers because they not only found those huge shells, but they found other beautiful shells they were happy with as well…

seashells found cayo costa april

Did you notice in the last picture that little tiny SCALLOP SHELL? Love it!

scallop fingertip iLS


net shells conchs

Aaron from Kansas City was finding the mini shells for his mom…

aaron ks city cayo costa shells

He found BABY’S EARS, FALSE ANGE WINGS and an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK. I think that other shell is either and OYSTER or a big KITTENS PAW but I didn’t even look at since I was inspecting the fab ALBINO WHELK.

albino whelk cayo wings ears

I know this is a broken shell, but as soon as I peeked inside Shanna’s shell bucket on the way back to the dock and saw this piece, I woooped it up! She found the lip of a DEER COWRY! DEER COWRIES are very rare in Southwest Florida since they don’t live here. They live further south in the keys so for it to travel this far north… I always think any piece found here is a fun find. Especially the lip.

part of deer cowrie cayo costa

Here is Shanna and her mom Patricia (both from Georgia) with her fave find.. a WORM SHELL :)

shanna GA deer cowrie patricia

I was thrilled to find a SPECKLED TELLIN! This is another shell I don’t normally find on our beaches. Between Clark and I, we only have about 4 that we’ve found around here (SW Florida) so to me, it’s a pretty rare find.

speckled tellin cayo costa florida

This is how I found it so if you see it with the interior side up, you will know to pick it up too. Errrr… Now that I look at it this way, doesn’t it look like Spock lost his ear? Weird. haha

speckled tellin cayo costa

Speaking of ears…There were quite a few people that found BABY’S EARS for the first time ever…

baby ear southwest florida shell

So let me show you a few of these beautiful souls that Clark and I got to spend some time with to exchange stories and treasures…

chrismesa newbie sheller

cayo costa finding seashells

bags of seashells captiva

smitty marcia ga shell cruise

nancy shells cayo costa

george patti erin pam john captiva cruise

I had to get my picture taken with Jeanine and Della from PA. They came geared up with their iLoveShelling tee shirts just like me. Thanks you guys!

jeannine della pam rambo cruise

There are 3 shellers in the next photo too. Jody and Melissa will be having a baby next month so their newest addition will already have shelling experience. Doesn’t she look great? Lucky baby!

jody melissa due may shelling

Thank you Captiva Cruises‘ Captains Keith and Kelly for a perfectly safe and smooth boating morning.

captiva boat captains keith kelly

And thanks so much to these fabulous folks for joining us for this spectasheller day!

iLoveShelling adventure cruise april 2013

Don’t miss this experience! Join us on our next cruise May 19 from 1pm to 4pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


giving seashells

angel wing cayo 4.13

cayo costa shelling

captiva marina dock


Read More

Pretty Perfect Lion’s Paw

Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in Bones, Cowrie, Deer Cowrie, Lightning Whelk, Lion's Paw, Paper Fig, Sanibel | 43 comments

Lions paw donnie

Donnie wasn’t kidding when he commented “Bring it!” for the wanna-be shelling competition in my January 1st post. He went right out to Blind Pass Captiva and scooped up his first perfect little LION’S PAW this morning! Score! You win today Donnie- Congrats!

Blind Pass shells rough water

He must have snagged all the ALPHIES too because when I got there, I didn’t see a single piece of one in the whole big shell pile. He did miss this very cool piece of a DEER COWRIE though…

deer cowrie piece bp jan

Christy (TN) found some beautiful WHELKS and started to fill her bag with other goodies too…

christy memphis shells captiva

 I saw lots of the Sanibel Six (minus the CONE) but mostly I loved this delicate FIG laying right on top of the pile untouched…

fig shell BP captiva jan

 I always love to see people sharing their treasures. I caught Carolyn and Les (Fort Myers) admiring the shells together they just found.

showing shell collection

I walked over to the Sanibel side to find hundreds of dead MULLET fish laying on the beach. Ugh. A casualty of Red Tide. Yuck.

dead fish red tide sanibel

 I’ve heard that red tide has been really bad around the Sanibel lighthouse so I’ve stayed clear of the east end beaches the last week. I get that irritating cough when I breath it so it’s not worth it to me any more (I used to tough it out since “they” say it can’t hurt you). But it looks like it’s hit Captiva now too but I didn’t feel that tickle in my chest- whew.

dead mullet red tide sanibel

 I think this may be why Clark and I have found those big shells lately too. Could be from the red tide….. but don’t quote me on that. I’m only speculating since it’s not every day you find 3 (!) huuuuge shells like that in one day. I also found this cool skull…

iLoveShelling fish but looks like a bird skull

 When I found this, I thought it looked so cool and looked like a bird skull. Like an OSPREY or something but it’s not. It is some sort of fish.

iLoveShelling bird fish skull front

Anybody know what kind of fish skull this is? It sort of has that CRUCIFIX SHELL look about it but definitely not the same.

bird fish skull bottom

 Any way, there are lots of shells still coming in from this windy cold front and hopefully the red tide will go away in the next few days so I can enjoy the beach like I did with my girlfriends Jane, Sandy and Mary…

jane sandy mary Sanibel shellers

janes olive lions paw piece alphabet


Read More

Florida Keys Atlantic Deer Cowrie

Posted by on Jun 21, 2011 in Cowrie, Deer Cowrie | 27 comments

Keys deer cowrie aperture

Last night we brought home this ATLANTIC DEER COWRIE from the Florida Keys after a long weekend road trip shelling adventure.

Deer Cowrie over water

This might be my hand showing this beautiful empty seashell but I wasn’t the one who found it. Of course, that would be Clark who spotted this gorgeous, rich chocolate shell snorkeling in areas of the Keys we had no idea existed for shells. We rarely find this shell in Sanibel (but it has been known to happen! See Atlantic Deer Cowrie Found On Sanibel) but I hear it is a fairly common to find them in the Keys. It doesn’t matter whether is is common or not to us- we were still very excited to find an empty one.

Florida Keys Deer Cowrie

Clark found this snorkeling off Big Pine Key which is an island also known for the cutest miniature deer called Key Deer who roam around in people’s yards, in parking lots …. anywhere they please.

Big Pine Key Deer

This Key Deer came right up to me and posed so I could take her picture… and maybe show me how pretty her eyes were.  Hmmmmm. I think she was telling me where they got the name DEER COWRIE.

Key Deer

I have got so many photos to go through to show you the rest of the shells we found and about our lovely hosts/friends/shelling guides all in one. I’ve even got a short video of the beautiful fish I got underwater that I hope to post tomorrow…. so stay tuned!

Map Florida Keys

Read More

My Family Visits The Island

Posted by on Apr 18, 2011 in Alternate Tellin, Blind Pass, Bubble shell, Button, Cockle, Cowrie, Deer Cowrie, Junonia, Sanibel, Scotch Bonnet, Shell Scoops, Sunray Venus, Tellin, Wentletrap | 20 comments

finding seashells

It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend. The sun was shining, temps in the 80s, low humidity, shells in the surf….. and the very best part….. my family came to visit!!!

my family shelling

Greg and Tee!

My brother and I grew up spending our summers on the beach at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach and vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The beach is in our blood so it’s a good thing we both found spouses that have that sand running through their blood too. My sister-in-law (the best a sister could ask for!) is all about the beach too so the first thing after the whole gang got here …..  we hit the beach.

Sanibel squat

Becky finding minis

Our friend Becky (and part of the family) was the first one to find out how glorious the miniature shell finds can be.

seashells handful

She found oodles of WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS and BUBBLES scattered all along the Lighthouse beach on Saturday.

My Men shelling

Clark and Greg in the shelling zone scooping up the mini shells.

miniature seashell pile virtual shelling

This was exactly how one pile from their scooper looked after Clark or Greg dumped it on the beach for us to sift through. Go ahead, click on the photo above for some virtual shelling! How many WENTLETRAPS did you find?

I see seashells

My cutie niece Kelly spying some seashells too. I miss her already.

Virtual miniature shelling

This was a mixed bag of minis after getting rinsed at home . Click on that photo too- you’ll love this virtual shelling too!

seashells sailboats

On Sunday we started the day on the Captiva side at Blind Pass and Becky was thrilled with sittin’ and siftin’ in the shell pile by the jetty.

Junonia inside

Looky what I found! Dang! It’s not a whole JUNONIA but I’ll take it. This was good but it wasn’t even the best “part” of a shell found. Look what Clark found…..

Deer Cowrie piece

A piece of a DEER COWRIE! This seashell isn’t even native to our area but last week I showed another piece that Donnie found on my post last week and a whole one February 15.

Blind Pass seashells

We walked over the bridge to the Sanibel side of Blind Pass and saw lots of new shells washing up. I can’t believe what Clark plucked out of the water near the pilings of the bridge….

Scotch bonnet under bridge

A SCOTCH BONNET! The man is a Super Sheller!

cracked scotch bonnet

Okay, it was cracked on the other side ….but still! Since I found part of a JUNONIA too, all we needed to complete the Elite Three was to find a LION”S PAW. Would the DEER COWRIE count? ;)

Alternate tellin

He also found this ALTERNATE TELLIN and …

Sunray venus BP

This beautiful SUNRAY VENUS.

Two scoops of seashells

Greg tried two scoops of seashells to better his chances. LOL

Sanibel squatter

Tee’s in the shelling zone too.

mom daughter Captiva beach

Becky and her daughter (and Kelly’s best friend) Maddy.  Do they still say “BFF”…or was so last year?

Sanibel seashells

There were plenty of COCKLES, FIGHTING CONCHS, WHELKS, MUREXES and DOSINIAS along with so many other shells to take home with them. Shelling Success for the family!

Sanibel Biking

Read More

The Elite Three Seashells

Posted by on Apr 10, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Conch, Cone, Cowrie, Deer Cowrie, Horse Conch, Junonia, Lion's Paw, Sanibel, Sanibel Elite Three Seashells, Sanibel Six, Scotch Bonnet | 26 comments

Elite Three Seashells

If the SANIBEL SIX seashells are the favorite achievable shell finds for shellers on Sanibel and Captiva, then the JUNONIA, SCOTCH BONNET and LION’S PAW seashells must be The Elite Three. These shells are the mac daddies of local finds….for us, anyway. Pictured above is Clark’s JUNONIA (found in 2004), my SCOTCH BONNET (January) and Clark’s LION’S PAW ((2006) found on North Captiva. I found a LION’S PAW too but Clark must have hidden it (so competitive! LOL) since I can’t find it….. but it did have a little damage.

Junonia scotch bonnet murex

That’s why my jaw dropped when I heard that 5 year old Alyssa found both a JUNONIA and a SCOTCH BONNET within the last few months. She and her dad are avid shellers who head to Blind Pass or the lighthouse from Ft Myers every other weekend to hunt for seashell treasure. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Donnie shells March 6

Okay, take a look at this photo Donnie (Alyssa’s dad) took last month. You can see they found the SANIBEL SIX, TURBANS, a SAND DOLLAR, ANGEL WINGS, a pretty SCALLOP, JEWEL BOXES , NUTMEGS, a SHARK’s EYE (and the magic marker to judge the size- clever!) and do you see that other shell above the LIGHTNING WHELK? Donnie said it’s a piece of a DEER COWRIE that he found in about the same spot as Mother Earth Marilyn’s DEER COWRIE. Remember that?

Donnie deer cowrie March 6 copy

Yep! Looks like it to me too! Even a piece is a great find.

Horse conchs olives db

The shells above were finds within the last three months. Love those FLAT SCALLOPS and oh, by the way, nice HORSIES!

abc cone sheller

Another cool thing I have to show you from their collection is an ALPHABET CONE. After seeing the video on my post ABCs Of Alphabet Cones, they checked their CONES and found a shelling “scene”. On the third row down there are three stick figures. From left to right it looks like a sheller walking along with the sun (or moon- haha) shining…. then he/she finds a treasure and does the Sanibel Stoop….. then raises the treasure up to show it off and does the happy dance! So funny!

shells found april 6

They found this batch of shells (above) last weekend at the jetty on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. I asked him how he cleans his shells and told me 50/50 bleach to water over night then he puts mineral oil on them to bring back the color and shine them up. They look so good! The next photo shows Alyssa’s JUNONIA and the rest of their loot they found the end of February.

Donnie shells March 7

PS-  Clark looked through our ALPHABET CONES too after I did that video and he found one for all you New York Yankees fans……

yankee cone

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest