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…
But there were some SAND DOLLARS, BABY’S EARS, LACE MUREXES and SHARKS EYES found…
By folks like the Bunkin family…Keith, Karley, Melissa, Sue, Kaitly, Matthew and Joeylynn.
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.
Jan and Tara from Indianapolis were the lucky shellers to find them.
Sweet Elna from North Carolina was so excited to find two WENTLETRAPS.
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.
William from Atlanta found one of my fave pieces of BEACH BLING… a big ol hunk of 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.
“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!
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.
Vanessa from San Fransicsco found a teeny tiny WING too..
This is very unusual… I found the lip of a broken DEER COWRIE right as we got off the boat. Weird.
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.
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
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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!
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.
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…
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!
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…
Did you notice in the last picture that little tiny SCALLOP SHELL? Love it!
Others were finding FIGHTING CONCHS and SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Aaron from Kansas City was finding the mini shells for his mom…
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.
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.
Here is Shanna and her mom Patricia (both from Georgia) with her fave find.. a WORM SHELL :)
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.
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
Speaking of ears…There were quite a few people that found BABY’S EARS for the first time ever…
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…
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!
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!
Thank you Captiva Cruises‘ Captains Keith and Kelly for a perfectly safe and smooth boating morning.
And thanks so much to these fabulous folks for joining us for this spectasheller day!
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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!
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…
Christy (TN) found some beautiful WHELKS and started to fill her bag with other goodies too…
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…
I always love to see people sharing their treasures. I caught Carolyn and Les (Fort Myers) admiring the shells together they just found.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Anybody know what kind of fish skull this is? It sort of has that CRUCIFIX SHELL look about it but definitely not the same.
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…
Last night we brought home this ATLANTIC DEER COWRIE from the Florida Keys after a long weekend road trip shelling adventure.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
She found oodles of WENTLETRAPS, BUTTONS and BUBBLES scattered all along the Lighthouse beach on Saturday.
Clark and Greg in the shelling zone scooping up the mini shells.
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?
My cutie niece Kelly spying some seashells too. I miss her already.
This was a mixed bag of minis after getting rinsed at home . Click on that photo too- you’ll love this virtual shelling too!
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.
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…..
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.
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….
A SCOTCH BONNET! The man is a Super Sheller!
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? ;)
He also found this ALTERNATE TELLIN and …
This beautiful SUNRAY VENUS.
Greg tried two scoops of seashells to better his chances. LOL
Tee’s in the shelling zone too.
Becky and her daughter (and Kelly’s best friend) Maddy. Do they still say “BFF”…or was so last year?
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!
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.
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!
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?
Yep! Looks like it to me too! Even a piece is a great find.
The shells above were finds within the last three months. Love those FLAT SCALLOPS and oh, by the way, nice HORSIES!
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!
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.
PS- Clark looked through our ALPHABET CONES too after I did that video and he found one for all you New York Yankees fans……