Archive for Duck Clam

Apr
07

Shelling at Sanibel Farmers Market

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seashells at Sanibel farmers market

I can find seashells everywhere on Sanibel… even at the Sanibel Farmers Market! Seriously, all of these veggies were made by Barbara Walling using different seashells. Dont you remember Barb? I filmed her making other shell art creations a few years back and she is still creating such fun shell crafts. Aren’t these the cutest veggies you’ve ever seen?

Sanibel farmers market vegetables made from seashells

If you want to see this in person, you only have a few more weeks since this market is open seasonally from November through April where Betsy, Jean and Sherrill proudly display it at their booth.

Sanibel Farmers Market with owners Betsy Jean Sherrill

You can even find seashell soaps at the market…

sanibel soap in the shape of seashells

seashell shaped soap

Honestly, I’m not much of a cook but when I have guests over, its fun to buy local fresh food and mingle with the island peeps like shellers Mary and Jim that I met on one of the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa.

shellers mary and jim from wisconsin sanibel farmers market

But anyhoooo…back to the shelling on the beach. Here is a sampling of shell treasures I found at Gulfside City Park one morning this weekend.

shells from Sanibel's gulf side city park

Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.

nora mac dan molly illinois find sand dollars on sanibel

Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.

sand dollar under seaweed at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel

Then Molly asked me what this unusual bivalve was. It’s a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. They are so fragile, it’s hard to find one that is not broken- so good finds!

Sanibel smooth duck clam and sand dollars

I always say that there are enough shells on the beach for everyone because different people like to collect different shells. Sydney and Lori tom Indiana were trying to find broken shells and shells with holes in them.

sydney, lori from Indiana finding seashells for making shell crafts

They like to find the shells that already have holes in them so they can make jewelry. I love that they were getting so creative! I had to chime in too and told them that I like to collect the OLIVE shells without tips to make bracelets (for my tutorial CLICK HERE) and also explained how to make a seashell mobile too with broken shells. There are so many fun ways to decorate with shells!

seashells with holes for crafts

PS- I got all my fresh ingredients at the Sanibel Farmers Market to make dinner because it was my turn to host for my book club (we’ve been together for 12 years!). I used some ideas from Pinterest and it was a fun, successful night with my girlfriends. If you like to read, this is my favorite book I’ve ever chosen that every sheller or treasure hunter would enjoy…

smaller sea urchin sanibel beach bling

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.

small size sea urchin sanibel island florida

I found dried tiny ones with spines as well…

tiny dried sea urchin sanibel beach

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

sea urchin gum balls sanibel florida

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!

stiff pen shell saw tooth pen shell

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!

macro algae cast on shore Sanibel Island Florida

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!

macro algae wrack line on Sanibel island Florida beach

Along with the PEN SHELLS and SEA URCHINS tucked away in all that seaweed, Clark and I found hundreds of double DOSINIAS…

disk dosinias sanibel lighthouse beach florida

And a very cool completely intact dried (and non-stinky!) SPIDER CRAB…

spider crab on sea whip sanibel florida october

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…

double sailors ear shell sanibel beach

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.

shells urchins sea whips crabs sanibel florida

dosina shell with tiny sea urchin sanibel florida

Aug
16

Turkey Wings and Rice, a Cone and Candy

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Tampa Turrid Turkey Wing shells

 Don’t get your taste buds all worked up about TURKEY, RICE or CANDY because I’m talking seashells, of course! We found lots of mini “morsels” at the lighthouse over the weekend including these two TURKEY WINGS  (the biggest one is only about an inch long) and two TAMPA TURRIDS in the photo above and RICE OLIVES and BABY’S EARS in this next photo.

rice olives babys ears seashells

Along with the usual ANGULATE WENTLETRAPS, I found a BROWN BANDED WENTLETRAP too….

brown banded wentletrap epitonia

…. And some AUGERS and little FIGHTING CONCHS.

Auger shells conch gastropods

 And to top it all off with some sweet candy, we found two HORSE CONCHS and baby ALPHABET CONE.

miniature horse conch cone

 I met William and Melissa (Jacksonville, FL) filling their shells bags with SCALLOP shells, CONCHS and some MUREXES.

William and Melissa Sanibel beach

I found out this was their first trip to Sanibel so I showed them how to find WENTLETRAPS too..

Melissas's Sanibel seashells

 I met another Shelling Sister Sanibel Stooper on the beach too…. this little cutie Lucy! She was having a ball with this COCKLE shell on the beach with her parents Jeff and Tammy.

Sanibel puppy stooper

 And look what I found again…. a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. Maybe it isn’t that unusual (?)

Smooth duck clam on beach

Unfortunately, it’s so thin and fragile, it broke when I got it back to the house……oops!

broken smooth duck clam

There were so many SAILOR’S EARS, I bunched a few together and that’s when I saw the SMOOTH DUCK CLAM too.

Sailors ears

Sailors ears

Just a reminder- If you haven’t entered the  Susick Sea Shell Sifter Giveaway yet, CLICK HERE to win!

susick seashell sifter shelling scoop