Archive for Deer Cowrie
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!
Don’t miss this experience! Join us on our next cruise May 19 from 1pm to 4pm. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
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!
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……
I would have done the happy shelling dance for an hour if I was the one that found this ATLANTIC DEER COWRIE on the beach of Sanibel.
I still want to do the happy shelling dance for one of our favorite shellers who found this exceptional seashell….. Mother Earth Marilyn!!! I know you remember her because she is the one who was the star rescuer in Saving Sandy The Sanderling. We emailed each other after Sandy The Sanderling was released back to the wild to celebrate Sandy and our experience…. then she sent these photos.
She said she found this DEER COWRIE on the beach at mile marker 6.5 in front of private houses…no hotels, no condo complexes. I’m sure she had to walk a ways south east from the Sanibel side of Blind Pass to get there. That’s a beautiful stretch of beach and she probably had it all to herself. Congrats on a wonderful find, Mother Earth Marilyn!
Clark found a beautiful COWRIE like this in the keys about 12 years ago but have never seen them on the west coast and it isn’t a shell native to our area. Marilyn was concerned if it was legitimate and someone may have played a joke on her. I’m no seashell migration expert or scientist but I believe that this was a legit find and it was a gift of the sea for her good deeds in watching over nature in need. Did I tell you that she is the president of her local nature club? (I knew nothing about her before I nicknamed her Mother Earth Marilyn. Uncanny, huh?)
The DEER COWRIE is the largest COWRIE in the world.
The COWRIE’S body (mantle) partially covers the outside of the shell so when it moves around it constantly cleans and polishes the glossy outer surface of the shell. This also keeps BARNACLES and sponges from attaching themselves to damage the shell. That’s why they stay so shiny and glossy!