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

Tuning Up The Shelling Eye

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Coquina, Disk Dosinia, Dosinia, Elegant Dosinia | 7 comments

Shells found at gulf side city park on Sanibel Island Florida

Gulfside City Park had some new beach treasures washing after a few days of heavy rain and wind across the Gulf Of Mexico. There were lots of DOSINIAS (DISK and ELEGANT) and other CLAMS lined up along the waters edge at low tide yesterday.

dosing shells wash up on Sanibel Island

While walking along the water’s edge with my good friend Mary (who has an exshellent shelling eye), I noticed the water had gotten churned up again with the wind so it was a little difficult to see the bottom even in the shallow water but that’s where all the shells were washing up. In another second, I watched Mary scoop up that marvshellous PAPER FIG (in the first photo) right before my eyes… and I didn’t even see a thing. Wow! Marvshellous Mary! I need to tune up my shelling eye- haha.

Mary with shells at Gulfside City Park beach on  Sanibel

I was happy to know my shelling eye wasn’t completely out of focus, I spotted this sweet SAND DOLLAR wash right up at my feet…

Sand dollar in seashells on Sanibel Island

Beautiful sisters Bronwyn and Brenna from California have been visiting Sanibel for 20 years and were thrilled to be here this week with complete shelling eye focus.

Beautiful Bronwyn and Brenna  with coquina shells

They were finding hundreds of double COQUINAS to make shell flowers. They try to join the shell crafters at Sanibel Community House each time they are here on Sanibel so they can learn more crafting secrets. Fun!

coquina shells found on a Sanibel Island beach

I didn’t see many new shells washing up at Blind Pass Captiva yesterday…

August sky at Blind Pass Captiva

I saw some interesting BLING tangled in some of the fresh weed lines at Blind Pass Sanibel and also some nice shells in the surf… so finding some goodies might be pretty productive on that beach today or tomorrow.

Blind Pass Beach Sanibel Island in August

As the Middle Gulf beaches on Sanibel looked to be the best for this week, a little birdie told me that Lover’s Key has been pretty productive too. ;)

Dosinia shells on a Sanibel beach

Lots of folks have been already been asking for my recommendations for places to stay this winter… Here you go!

popular places to stay on Sanibel Captiva

 

I’m still working on new dates for our iLoveShelling cruises but in the mean time, I already have some scheduled here… Join Us!

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

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The Dosinia Difference

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Disk Dosinia, Dosinia, Elegant Dosinia | 20 comments

difference disk dosinia and elegant dosinia

Did you know that there were two different DOSINIA shells that wash up from the Gulf Of Mexico on to the shores of Sanibel, Captiva and Southwest Florida? In my last postI showed you so much BEACH BLING that washed up after high west winds and teased you with two DOSINIAS as well. It’s pretty common to see DISK DOSINIA (Dosinia discus) seashells on our beaches but it’s very difficult to tell them apart from their sister and more elusive shell… the ELEGANT DOSINIA (Dosinia elegant).

differences in dosinia shells disk and elegant

To identify most bivalve shells, it’s easier to look at their interior since the biggest differences show on the inside around the hinges and also where the MOLLUSK itself connected to the shell. But… just like the outside shape, color and thickness- the interior is so similar too on these shells that it’s still so hard to tell them apart.

slight difference of interior of disk and elegant dosinia

The easiest way for me to distinguish the differences of the DISK DOSINIA from the ELEGANT DOSINIA is by looking closely at the outside grooves on the shell. The DISK is on the left and the ELEGANT is on the right of all of my photos. Now it’s a little easier to see a difference, right?

different grooves in 2 types of dosinias

Notice how fine the grooves are on the left shell (DISK) compared to the coarse grooves of the shell on the right (ELEGANT). If you rub your thumb nail along the out side of each shell you can definitely tell the difference .

commarginal grooves in disk and elegant dosinias

I know you can’t run your thumb over these shells I showed you in the photos but I hope I showed you enough detail so that you could identify each one in person. But let’s just see if you can still spot the differences in CYBERSHELLING! YAY! Okay, here goes…. How many ELEGANT DOSINIAS can you find in this next photo?

how many can you identify of disk or elegant dosinia shells

Hopefully, now you will be able to pick up a DOSINIA and impress your friends and family by telling them which type of DOSINIA you just found.  (heehee) 

Dosinias on the beach

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

 

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On the Beach With Shell Eggs And Ham, Pam-I-Am

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Banded Tulip Egg Case, Disk Dosinia, Egg Casing, Elegant Dosinia, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Long-Spined Urchin, Millipede Starfish, Paper Fig Egg Case, Pear Whelk Egg Case, Pig's Foot, Sea Pork, True Tulip Egg Case, Tulip Egg Case, whelk egg casing | 29 comments

crab trap and buoy on sanibel beach

After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.

sanibel beach after storm winds

The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.

crab traps wash up n sanibel beach

So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.

pig hog foot on sanibel beach

But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?

pen shell and yellow sea pork

I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…

lightning whelk egg chain gscp sanibel

I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?

baby lightning whelks in egg chain

This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…

paper fig egg case on pen shell

This is a BANDED TULIP…

banded tulip egg case on penn shell

This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…

true tulip egg case sanibel florida

When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.

true tulip egg case with other mollusk eggs

There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…

millipede starfish and pen shell

This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…

long spined sea urchin sanibel florida

There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.

disk dosing top elegant dosing bottom

We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.

The birds do like stone crab and clams.

gull eating crab

They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.

bird eating stone crab sanibel

They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.

bird on beach with crab

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