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

Another Day Another Sand Dollar on Fort Myers Beach

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Fort Myers Beach, Pointed Venus, Sand Dollar | 16 comments

find sand dollars on fort myers beach florida

Every time I’ve visited my friends on Fort Myers Beach, I’ve found SAND DOLLARS (and so many other beautiful shells). It’s crazy!

sand dollars conchs sunray venus spiny jewlbox

I met Laura, Bruce, Rhonda and Darrell (Michigan) who were happy as clams they found so many SAND DOLLARS …

laura bruce rhonda darrell michigan shelling ft myers beach florida

They filled up 2 bags! They asked me how they could get them home without breaking them so I suggested finding plastic containers. When we travel, we buy groceries based on what type of containers they come in… like chicken salad, lunch meat, peanut butter, etc. So what if we don’t finish the peanut butter, we get several lunches out of it and then clean out the jar and use it for shells. CLICK HERE to see one of my posts on my containers.

bags of sand dollars fort myers beach florida

Susan and Vince from Canada said they could have picked up hundreds of them but chose to only take a few as souvenirs.

susan vince waterloo canada visit fort myers beach florida shelling

They picked the most perfect ones!

hand full of sand dollars ft myers beach

Other than SAND DOLLARS, I found some really pretty SPINY JEWELBOXES…

spiny jewel boxes fort myers beach

And POINTED VENUS shells too. I don’t find many of these on Sanibel but every time I go to this beautiful beach,  I’ve found them.

pointed venus clams fort myers beach florida

I betcha a SAND DOLLAR the next time I take a stroll on this beach, I will find a POINTED VENUS and be just as tickled as if I found a dollar bill on the beach.

birds on piling fort myers beach florida

Dont Forget to check out our new dates for Shellabaloo 5!

shellabaloo 5

pam rambo art gallery iloveshelling

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Low Tide Shelling On Fort Myers Beach

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Angel Wing, Florida Cone, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Fort Myers Beach, Rose Tellin, Sand Dollar, Sunray Venus | 30 comments

sand dollars in the surf ft myers beach

Yep. I did it again. I got up at the crack of dawn to catch low tide… but this time I went to my fave beach on Fort Myers Beach. I found SAND DOLLARS galore!

sand dollars and shells in a blue bucket

And I wasn’t the only one finding them. I saw Ft Myers Beach local sheller Debbie (from our April iLoveShelling Cruise) with her hands full of SAND DOLLARS too.

shades colors of sand dollars

But hold on… I’ve got to tell you the coolest story. Being obsessed with shelling reunited these friends after 20 years!

Back in February, Heidi (who follows iLoveShelling!) had signed up for our May Shellabaloo 2  and commented on the iLoveShelling Facebook page … “We did it!! We signed up for Shellabaloo 2! These two Kansas girls will be there with “shells” on!! Obsessed!!!”. Debbie saw her post and recognized her name and wrote her a message. Yes! It was the same Heidi she knew years ago when their kids grew up as best friends. Ha! Moms reunited!  But unfortunately it turned out that Heidi had to cancel her Shellabaloo trip due to a health problem in the family. That’s when Debbie stepped in and told her when the health issues were resolved, Heidi had to come visit her in Fort Myers Beach to shell to her hearts content. She did.. And they found shells! They are two kindred spirits brought together again by the love of shelling. Here are Shelling Sistahs Heidi and Debbie…

heidi debbie shell sand dollars fort myers beach

Don’t ya just love that story? So it gets better… When Heidi showed up, Debbie told her that the only shell that she really wanted to find while she was there- was an ANGEL WING. It was their last shelling day together when I saw them and low and behold… que the Angelic choir in the background…. Debbie found the biggest ANGEL WING she could have ever imagined. LOL

angel wing sea shells

We all found lots of other fun goodies too… like double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS.

sunray venus clam shell ft myers beach florida


spiny jewel box sea shell

Woop! There is it. A FLORIDA CONE.

florida cone fort myers beach

These were all within 4 feet of each other just laying on the beach.

sea shells fort myers beach florida

To make the morning even better, I saw Loree and Roy too! I met them for the first time on the June iLoveShelling cruise so it felt like it was old home week on Ft Myers Beach. So much fun to see you both!

loree fort myers beach florida shells

Loree showed me that she found a pair of FALSE ANGEL WINGS and also a pair of SUNRAY VENUS too. It was interesting to me that she pulled them both out to show me so I asked her to take a look at their shapes of both the shells… don’t they look similar in shape other than their size? That’s because they are in the same family- Veneridae. The FALSE ANGEL WING is in the VENUS family instead of the “true” ANGEL WING family. Cool, huh?

false angel wing sunray venus Veneridae

I’m so happy I made it out for the Sunday morning low tide to catch the full moon over the horizon.  If you want to catch a low tide any where near Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva I would suggest shelling at least one hour before through at least one hour after the lowest tide of the day. Wanna check for the next low tides?  Check out the Tide Charts HERE

sunrise fort myers beach florida full moon

Meet other obsessed shellers or hang out with us to learn more tips to finding shells. Join us for a Shelling Adventure!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Sensational Seashells, Sunshine and Sunsets

Posted by on Apr 26, 2013 in Bittersweet Clam, Blind Pass Video, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Giant Bittersweet, Jewel Box, Lightning Whelk, Nutmeg, Sunsets, Turban, Whelk, White Crested Tellin | 34 comments

therese lightning whelk captiva florida

If there is a better souvenir than finding an awesome LIGHTNING WHELK like this to remember a wonderful vacation… I dont know about it.

Therese told me she only saw a tiny bit of the top of this shell and thought it looked interesting enough to start digging around it. Then she realized it was this perfectly empty WHELK! Congratshellations Therese! She and her husband Dan (visiting from Minnesota) had an exshellent afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva under the bridge at low tide filling up their shell bags with WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES and one nice piece of a JUNONIA.

therese dan find shells captiva florida

She even found one of the biggest CHESTNUT TURBANS I’ve seen in a while too…

therese turban olive seashells

Wendy (a local Sanibelian) found a few goodies to take home to make into jewelry…

Wendy shells sanibel florida

She also found a SHIVA SHELL (which I didnt even get a picture of – darn!- so CLICK HERE if you want to see one) and this incredible DOUBLE JEWELBOX. It has pieces of CORAL growing on it!

Wendy double jewel box2

Clark found a few nice shells too but the one I got most excited about was the WHITE CRESTED TELLIN in the top left corner. We have found them more on Cayo Costa but to find one at Blind Pass is pretty rare. The shell in between the two OLIVES is a huge and thick weird shaped JINGLE I thought was interesting too. I love that weird stuff!

CLARK SHELLS jetty rocks

You really couldn’t see how big the NUTMEG was in the last photo so I thought I’d show you how big it is in Clark’s hand. It’s shellacious! It measures in at a whopping 48mm… which isn’t like a world record size (Susan H?) but it’s the biggest one we’ve seen in a long time!

48mm nutmeg captiva clark

I found a regular sized NUTMEG that I thought I’d keep along with a BITTERSWEET, a CALICO CLAM with a cool pattern, and my new faves- the CALICO SCALLOP.

shells jetty rock captiva

We ended the evening watching another gorgeous sunset over a big pile of Sit ‘N Sift shells on the other side of the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva.

sea shells sunset florida

The sky turns a lucious orange right at the horizon when the sun sets over the Gulf Of Mexico.

sunset horizon captiva island florida seashells

Then it melts into the water to end another sensational day on the island.

melting sun captiva island florida

Oh Wait! I did take a short little video right when we first got to Blind Pass at 6pm yesterday. It’s just a little something to show you exactly where we were. This was right before Therese showed me her WHELK! Have a wonderful weekend!

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Collecting Colorful Seashells In The Gulf

Posted by on Apr 29, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Florida Cone, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Jewel Box, Shark's Eye, Uncategorized | 33 comments

seashells in a hat

Mother Nature has been providing lots of gifts from her sea this week! Not only did she give us all the Beach Bling on the east end, we were finding some excellent shells off West Gulf Drive west of Tarpon Bay Road this weekend.

Super Sheller Clark Rambo

 In the water at the shoreline, Clark found a few ALPHABET CONES, colorful juvie HORSE CONCHS, SHARK’S EYES, dark colorful LETTERED OLIVES and BANDED TULIPS, a double CALICO CLAM and a double ALTERNATE TELLIN.

seashells sanibel seashore

 I was shelling the nice piles on the beach…

gulf coast seashells

 I found this sweet little pinkish FLORIDA SPINY JEWELBOX…

Florida spiny jewelbox

 And 6 sets of pink and yellow ALTERNATE TELLINS. Here are two of them…

alternate tellin butterfies


horse conch candy shell

 Just in case you didn’t catch it in the first photo, take a look at how pretty and dark orange this FLORIDA CONE is. Clark found this just as we were about to leave the beach. It’s my fave shell of the weekend!

florida cone in hat

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Ever Changing Blind Pass Sanibel

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Blind Pass, Blind Pass Video, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Rough scallop | 29 comments

baby alphabet cone sanibel bp

It sure feels good to find an ALPHABET CONE again! I’ve been stumped finding the SANIBEL SIX lately so I was excited to find this baby within a half hour of arriving at Blind Pass Sanibel yesterday evening for a somewhat low tide at a .4. I still didn’t find the SANIBEL SIX though since I couldn’t find a TULIP that was in good enough shape but I’m subbing that bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN on the right as a good find to be very happy.

collecting seashells bp

See how that sand bar has moved right to the beach now? You never know what to expect the beach to look like until you walk out and see if for yourself. Always a surprise.

tidal pool sanibel blind pass

The tidal pool was loaded with live FIGHTING CONCHS …

live fighting conchs shells tidal pool

On the other side of the tidal pool, shellers were lined up along the shoreline to catch the seashell loot washing up to the beach.

sanibel shellers row

I met so many cool shellers like Joe and Kerry from Sebastian, FL…

Joe Kerry sebastian Fl shells

..and Karen and Steve from Michigan…

karen steve michigan shelling

Karen found two gorgeous bright orange CHESTNUT TURBANS.

orange chestnut turban sanibel

Here are Tim and Mary Ann (NY) showing off Mary Ann’s cool shell sifter.

Tim mary Ann NY spiny jewelbox

I think the prize of the evening was Tim’s incredibly large FLORIDA SPINY JEWELBOX with attached valves. It’s terrific!

spiny jewelbox

Anna (West Virginia) was tickled pink as she filled up her strainer with shells.

Anna West Va shell basket


shell bucket strainer

Bob and Johnnie (TN) were on one of the shell piles searching for minis.

Johnnie bob TN shell pile

And they found them! I loooove this tiny little lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP…

lemon pectin scallop

They found some other colorful cuties too including a sweet FLAT SCALLOP…

colorful mini shells

It was a fabulous night meeting so many nice people and seeing the shell piles on the Sanibel side again.

egg cases seashells

 I needed a break from that stupid camera any way. No, I didn’t take any of theses photos with the J1 and by the word “stupid”, I think you can tell I’m still frustrated with it ;( . Anyway, I took a quick little video with my trusted little Panasonic DMC-ZS6 to pan the beach to show you exactly what it looked like and how the beach has changed…. yet again. Oh, and sorry about the sound. The wind noise is horrible but oh well, I just wanted y’all to see it any way.

UPDATE! Set your DVRs and Tivos for Sunday morning!!!

I forgot to mention the Sanibel/seashell story I spoke in my about March 1 post should be airing this Sunday, April 22nd on CBS Sunday Morning.We don’t know exactly when the segment will air, but the show is on 9 – 10:30am (EST) and Bill’s pieces usually run towards the last half hour of the show (10-10:30 Eastern). The disclaimer is that this is TV, and anything can happen – so it is confirmed best to all of our abilities.

seashell collecting florida

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Lovely Labor Day Weekend Looking For Shells

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Florida Spiny Jewelbox, Horse Conch, Jewel Box | 19 comments

3 inch cone shell

We didn’t see huge shell piles on the beaches of Sanibel this Labor Day weekend but the few shells we found off West Gulf Drive beach access #6  were pretty spectacular… like this gigantaur ALPHABET CONE! It’s a whopping 3 inches long and completely in tact without lots of pitting (we usually find the cones “pitted” if they are this big). It’s the biggest CONE we’ve ever found.

3 inch cone aperture

A bright orange HORSE CONCH looked like he was burying his head in the shells…

horse conch in shell pile

Nobody was home! So he’s a keeper…

horse conch w gulf

I  spotted Miss Aqua way down the beach and knew I had to talk to her. Love her choice of color!

aqua from west Palm beach

As I got closer she picked up something on the beach and got very excited. It was a beautiful double JEWELBOX…

double jewelbox West Gulf

We wanted to check out Blind Pass again so we checked the Sanibel side first. I thought this was the cutest couple holding hands while shelling…

holding hands shelling

I got a little closer and saw she had on an iLoveShelling lighted cap! She introduced herself as Barbara, the one that won the cap in the iLoveShelling GiveAway in June. So nice to meet you Barbara and Ted. So cool to meet a winner!

Barbara with shelling hat

we walked the bridge to the Captiva side. As we looked in the water at our bird’s eye view from the bridge, we saw what looked like some good shells mixed in with PEN SHELLS. We called down to the two shellers in the water.

shellers under bp bridge

We directed William to a shell… “Go straight. Now look about one o’clock. Okay bend down. Right there!” LOL It was a nice size WHELK but there was somebody home so he had to go back but it was so much fun- I felt like we were playing “Mother May I” or “You’re Geting Warmer” haha

willim with whelk

 …a lovely weekend

Small shell pile


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