Archive for Dosinia
SEA URCHINS! I haven’t seen SEA URCHINS washed up on our shores in quite a while… much less cutie itty bitty ones like this.
I found dried tiny ones with spines as well…
Normally if SEA URCHINS still have their spines in tact I would assume they were still alive and put them back in the water. But I found these in the highest wrack line at Lighthouse Beach. They had been cast on shore by those rough waves from the high winds last week with the high tide and got caught in the “sea weeds” then left for days to dry out. They look like the gumballs that the Sweetgum trees drop in the winter up north, dont they? LOL
I normally don’t get so excited to collect PEN SHELLS (since we see them so often on our beaches) but I rarely see perfectly intact baby STIFF PEN SHELLS (on the left of my hand) and SAW TOOTH PENS SHELLS especially with no BARNACLES or SLIPPER SHELLS attached to them. They are so cute!
See how thick this wrack line was? Some people in other parts of the world might think this was an ugly site on a beach… but not me and most beach combers. This is a haven for shells and BEACH BLING for beach combers and for wildlife as well. Thick wrack lines like this packed with all sort of vegetation and other sealife are so important for our beach ecosystem. They provide food for birds and other wildlife as well as providing a layer to trap sand for less erosion. They become incubators for dunes!
But… Just to make sure this seaweed was a natural occurrence without being harmful, I asked my friend and director of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Dr. Eric Milbrandt if he knew what types of matter had washed ashore. Of course he did! He said “There were 8 species from collections at Moonshadows beach and the Lighthouse beach. Many of the specimens had intact holdfasts and given the recent > 1 m wave heights, were likely attached and cast on shore. Many of these species are found at nearshore hardbottom areas (the same areas that produce many of the mollusc shells) whose abundance peaks in Nov.” He also reported that most of these species of seaweed (macroalgae) were common on all coasts. Thank you Dr. Milbrandt!
Along with the PEN SHELLS and SEA URCHINS tucked away in all that seaweed, Clark and I found hundreds of double DOSINIAS…
And a very cool completely intact dried (and non-stinky!) SPIDER CRAB…
Clark found a double SAILORS EAR (CHANNELED DUCK CLAM) without any cracks. It’s funny, we rarely find them on the beach with both sides intact because they are just so dang delicate…
I haven’t gotten a good dose of combing through cool BEACH BLING in a while so I was in haaaawg heaven. There were oodles of little micro shells, SEA WHIPS and other goodies so I could (and did) walk for miles and miles getting lost in discovering the fascinating gifts that Mother Nature leaves us on our beaches.
If you want to learn the types of seashells, sea life, vegetation and what the different kinds of mollusk egg cases look like and live in the Gulf Of Mexico, you’ve got your chance this week. It all washed up on the beach on the East end of Sanibel.
You can see it for miles. So many mollusk egg casings and PEN SHELLS galore!
MERMAID PURSES! Well, they are really SKATE EGG CASES…
HORSE CONCH EGG CASINGS (I shot this with the Nikon J1)…
WHELK EGG CHAINS…
Lots of CRABS too. This one is a STONE CRAB…
My friend Jane called me and said she found a dead crab shell on the beach that had a NAUTILUS shell pattern. She has found a NAUTILUS before so she would know! Wanna see? CLICK HERE . So I went to see this crab…and it does have that pattern! It’s a FLAME BOX CRAB…
I also saw lots of SEA WHIPS. This was the first time I’ve ever found a WHITE SEA WHIP…
We normally just find the purple SEA WHIPS but when I went to see Jane’s FLAME BOX CRAB she showed me this bright yellow WHIP she picked up as well.
There were oodles of PURPLE SEA URCHINS also ( J1)…
I always get questions about the bones on the beach. They are from the bait in the crab traps… not random dead carcasses. LOL
I also get a lot of questions about this guy on the left. It’s a SEA CUCUMBER…
Don’t worry, I saw lots of shells too. Mainly, the double DOSINIAS.
Cyber Sheller Alert! This next photo is really big so you can do a little shelling and blinging…
Looking through all this BEACH BLING, there are little treasures that look like this so you have to look closely…
Some goodies were still washing in at the shoreline as well…
See? BEACH BLING is a wonderful thing… (J1)
PS- Some of you know I’ve been testing a new Nikon J1 camera. It isn’t very spontaneous but when I do catch a nicer shot than with my spontaneous, trusty, easy, clear Panasonic DMC…. I’ve noted it.
The holiday season is in full swing on Sanibel and Captiva islands so I have been a busy little elf! First of all, I’d like to introduce the brand new i Love Shelling 2012 Calendar chock full of beautiful Sanibel photos and of course our beloved seashells. Now you can enjoy shelling 12 months of the year!
Here’s a sneak peak of January’s sunset photo and CLICK HERE to see all 12 months and get one for yourself or as a gift for your shelling buddy.
We also hit the beaches this week to find a few shells and lots of Beach Bling. We found big old WHELK and CONCH pieces I love for yard shells along with a few SEA WHIPS, LONG SPINED SEA URCHINS, PURPLE SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRAB SHELLS and this little BRITTLE STAR too.
There were lots of DOSINIAS mixed in with hundreds of SAILORS EARS and TRANSVERSE ARKS…
I even saw a few bones scattered along the beach. These are from bait in the crab traps in the gulf that get tossed around in rough surf.
STONE CRABS are what lots of those traps are made to catch. When fishermen bring in the traps, they only take one claw from a STONE CRAB since the claws have the best meat. They throw the crab back without killing it because they know the crab can eat and defend itself with only one claw until another claw grows back. Here is a STONE CRAB claw lying on the beach that could have been a good appetizer if it had been freshly caught. Darn!
There were HORSESHOE CRABS too …
And a BLUE CRAB…
I also saw this MOON SHELL (SHARK’S EYE) EGG COLLAR…
I met a wonderful local man Frank, who moved here in 1964 and still loves to walk the beaches and pick up shells especially with his daughter Connie. He told me he was 87 but he looks like he is no older than 72! Thank you Frank for your service for our country in WW2.
Here are some of the mini shells Frank and Connie collected when I saw them along Middle Gulf Drive.
I also have photos of the yesterday’s oh-so-fun Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade. Here’s one picture of our Junonia Jalopy but I’ll have to show you the rest tomorrow. It was a blast! All of the other cart were so darn cute!
Check out my new tee shirt! I wore my new “Oh CONE All Ye Faithful” Christmas design v-neck tee. I got so many compliments- so much fun ! And don’t forget to check out the 2012 i Love Shelling Calendar too….. and the new online i Love Shelling Shop….. Or the fun faves at Shelling Shop. You see? I’ve been a little Santa’s helper for the good seashell loving girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho!
We have finally gotten rain…..and rain….. and rain. We were so dry for so long but in the last few days, we’ve finally gotten some good rain for our yards and to cool things down. After a rain shower when I was a kid, I would always run to the front porch with my mom after the sun would peak out to look for rainbows. She’d shout “There’s got to be a rainbow somewhere! Let’s go see it!”.
So when the sun peaked out yesterday afternoon, I ran down to the beach to see if I could catch the rainbow. Yes, there it was! Ohhhh…wait! Don’t disappear! I caught just a smidge of it but it disappeared so quickly in the clouds.
Then the rain came again….. but I caught another rainbow. The rainbow colors of COQUINAS!
Ten minutes. This is how long it took to find these little minis in the surf line by Fulger Street yesterday evening. Yes, I have an advantage, Super Sheller Clark was with me ….but still, it’s a nice little assortment. There is a beautiful sand bar visible at low tide that collects miniatures shells and lots of the big FIGHTING CONCHS, WHELKS and basically the Sanibel Six right in between the bars.
We found other goodies too yesterday …..
No, I didn’t find these three lovelies all together like this but I found all three in the shallow water half way buried within…oh, maybe 20 yards of each other. Then a walked along to find these….
A few other finds along the way…..
I call this the “sea cucumber sandwich”. Ha! I found this SEA CUCUMBER inside a double DOSINIA. A cuke in a blanket!
The CALICO SCALLOPS are so colorful!
Michelle and Aggie (MI) were collecting DOSINIAS, COCKLES and FIGHTING CONCHS.
Michelle found a few empty ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES with both sides together.
Aggie was especially happy she found this little sweet PEAR WHELK.
Shallow water wonderland.
Earlier this week the DOSINIAS were everywhere at the lighthouse. Doesn’t it look like Mr Greenjeans just dropped all of his ping pong balls all over the beach? I know, I’m showing my age.
There has been a variety of shells washing up at the lighthouse beach this week. The MUREXES, SHARK’S EYE, TURBAN and FIGHTING CONCH that are resting inside a double DOSINIA CLAM were some of the treasures in Dennis and Terri’s (WA) shell bag.
A shelling sister!….With her tee shirt to prove it!
This is a view of the outside of a DOSINIA. You’ve probably seen one of these before if you’ve come for a visit to Sanibel or Captiva.
I placed their shells in the DOSINIA in the first photo because I saw this live APPLE MUREX looking so cute hanging upside down in this one.
That’s a huge WENTLETRAP in Terri’s hand! The smaller one is the size we are used to finding.
Ha! Clark hates to be out-shelled (remember the day I found my first SCOTCH BONNET? Clark found one the same day.) So of course he found a monster WENTLETRAP too.
This was a live BRITTLE STAR that got caught in the receding tide so we picked him up (they won’t hurt you) and placed in back into the gulf.
Here are a few pictures I took this week. I just didn’t get a chance to post them yet so the beach may have changed (as it does every day).
Judy and Robin
More Sanibel Stooping.
Don’t worry, it’s a DOLPHIN not a SHARK.
A pink SEA ANEMONE.
Blind Pass update: I took the photo above and the one below Sunday at Blind Pass on the Sanibel side. The sand is filling in between the shore and the sand bar so I wonder if there is any water that separates it now. I didn’t see anybody collecting too much there but I’ll check it out tomorrow too.