It’s hot on Sanibel Island in August and September so its the time of year when I try to organize the Rambo Shellaboratory by sorting shells we’ve collected in the past months and try to find room to display them. For months, our shells and bling we found in Okinawa, Japan sat on our dining room table while I tried to find the time to photograph and research all of the ones we couldn’t identify. I even wanted to do another post about the beach bling we found (like Buzz Lightyear, Jeanne!) but life happens and things get away from me when we return from a big trip like that. So now that its scorching hot during the day, I feel like staying in the air conditioning so I can enjoy the shells we’ve already collected instead of collecting more. Today I added a few shelves in the Shellaboratory so we can enjoy looking at our loot and share those precious memories Clark and I had while combing the beaches on that far away land we explored for weeks. I love it!
If you were keeping up with the weather on Sanibel, we’ve been watching Tropical Storm Erika in the Caribbean since we were in her path for a few days. Since we live on an island, we pay close attention when we are in the pathway for any named storm, but fortunately Erika fell apart and is no longer threatening us. That’s not to say that we don’t have some wicked skies…
Clark and I only got a few minutes on the beach before we heard thunder in the distance but we did find one or two treasures.
This morning I went to Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach to see if anything washed up. I ran into Tam Tam and Don shelling along the pier side of the beach.
They found some awesome shells! Tammy posted this photo on iLoveShelling Facebook page of her incredible LIGHTNING WHELK and this very cool medium sized HORSE CONCH.
And best of all…. Kristen (instagram @_salt_life_ ) found a JUNONIA at Lighthouse Beach! Shellzam! She tagged this photo on iLoveShelling Instagram page. Congratshellations Kristen, it beautiful!
We should have still have some really bad weather this week so I will probably still be “seeking shellter” by sorting and being a Shellab Rat but if I have any news on shells coming in from this weather, I’ll let you know!
Just in case you missed my other post about The Shellaboratory, check it out CLICK HERE
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On this Memorial Day, I was thinking of the Shelling Medal Of Honor SAND DOLLAR I made for U.S. Military veteran Sean of Ormond Beach and that great memory of the day we met in 2012… which happened to be on his wedding day AND when he found a big HORSE CONCH (CLICK HERE to read the story).
Through the years, I’ve been fortunate to meet folks like Sean and his wife Danita and see the happiness the beach brings.
Remember the Tweezer Sisters? I ran into Judith from California at Blind Pass Sanibel this weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her so it was a pleasure catching up.
She was as happy as a CLAM finding the mini shell for her beautiful art work. CLICK HERE to see the frame she made me out of beautiful little gems like these.
Her friend Deb (Oregon) uses those big tweezers too for finding the minis (She calls herself the Tweezer Geezer- hahaha) but she was using that little tiny net to scoop up treasures out of the Gulf… and she scooped up a fabshellous FLAT SCALLOP with that itty bitty net. Wow!
The beach on Sanibel this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous, but I haven’t been finding that many shells…
I must have missed all of the really good shells last weekend when I didn’t get to the beach much because I heard the shelling was fantastic… and now I see how fantastic it was from another blast from the past. I met Jesse (so shellendipitous- he lived in Ormond Beach, FL too at that time) after Tropical Storm Debby in 2012 while he was running back and forth shelling AND fishing off the Sanibel pier. (CLICK HERE to read the story) But anyway, last weekend he found a JUNONIA, SCOTCH BONNET, QUEEN HELMET and lots of ALPHABET CONES! His girlfriend Kristen found ALPHIES too.
Shellzam! Now Jesse is a Sw Florida local so he gets to shell and fish a little more- so awesome. It’s so good to “see” you again. Congrats!
It’s been a wonderful weekend on the beach, spending some time on our boat and reminiscing about the amazing shellers we’ve met over the years. But most of all, its been an honor to fly our American flag and remember our heroes and to shellebrate Memorial Day.
Join me on an upcoming Shelling Adventure- for more info CLICK HERE...
If you found a perfect JUNONIA on the beach the second morning of vacation on Sanibel, would you let it out of your site for the rest of your trip? Not Tim from Ohio! He told me about his treasure find after I met him while at the Sanibel Shell Festival and was able to show it to me since he had it stashed in his pocket. He said he couldn’t bear to part with it yet. LOL
That started off my day at the Shell Festival off with a smile but after seeing beautiful works of art like these, it was hard not to keep that smile going.
I loved this miniature seashell doll house shell shop.
Of course its always breathtaking to see the Sailors Valentines.
My favorite shell exhibit of the entire show was in the “Freak” category. It’s a shell with 2 apertures. Yes, I said TWO openings … its like this shell is a Siamese Twin. I was stunned and amazed and I still am. It was so hard to get a good photo to really show both openings but you can see on the far left there is an opening with an operculum and then you can see the more obvious lip and opening. Wow! Can you imagine? So cool.
I had the best time browsing the exhibits and meeting other shellers like Cheryl and Pam (Brett Bailey’s sister) who showed me a very cool juvie MILK CONCH they found at the Sanibel Lighthouse area. But…. Pam didn’t have her shell in her pocket like Tim did (heehee), the shell was on her phone. “Ring. Ring. Ring… Hold on, I need to get my Shellaphone….. Shello?” hahaha
The festival is like dialing a shellafriend…. Shellekelle, me and Christine Florida shell girl had a great time hanging out and catching up. They are such cutie shellooties!
It was a great weekend…
But now its back to the beach tomorrow for some real shelling time and our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises. So excited because we had some good winds yesterday to hopefully have thrown some treasures up on the island for us. Hope to see you there!
Finding a JUNONIA is always a sweet success but finding a teenie tiny juvie JUNONIA is (in my humble opinion) the best ever! My heart is so happy for shelling sistah “Diane From Tucson” because she is just about the sweetest thing put on this planet. Shellzam!
She found this special JUNONIA on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass down near that wood jetty that gets uncovered every once in a while. Congratshellations, Diane. Here she is looking for another one- heehee.
After hanging out with her for a while, I got the itch to see what was happening on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. Holy Cowrie! A huge shell pile was forming right before my eyes…
I’ve got so many photos but the best way to describe it is to show you in a video. Now, hang on… put your sea legs on and get your seasick patch secured because of course I was excited, overwhelmed and trying to shell while shooting this footage so I did the best I could to carry you along. You will see lots of things I missed so you might catch yourself yelling at me to pick them up… it’s ok. I understand and you can yell at me all you want because I did the same thing when I watched for the first time. There is another great WORMIE I missed. Ack! Anyway, Enjoy your time on the shell pile and I’ll show you more photos later.
Will you be mine?
It might be pretty up north in the U.S. right now with white blankets of snow but I think you need to get your beach fix warmed up a little too. So Im sending you some sunny sunshine photos of my morning beach combing. I thought of so many of you “in the cold tundra” (as some of you call it- heehee) so as soon as I saw so many bright yellow COQUINAS covering the beach this morning, I knew I needed to send you some of this warmth.
My friend Alex and I only had to walk a few steps on to Gulfside City Park beach to find lots of treasures still scattered throughout the SEA SQUIRTS.
She was collecting lots of DOSINIAS and juvie FIGHTING CONCHS to make another shell mirror.
I met Shelly on the boardwalk to the beach and she collected COQUINAS too. She said “… in a way I’m glad the bigger shells weren’t around… otherwise I may have missed this experience of looking for the small wonders”. Be still my heart.
But hold on to your sun hats, folks! She wasn’t just collecting sunshine yellow ones, she was collecting COQUINAS of every color under the rainbow…. and “CANDY” too. Gorgeous!
There were areas that had gobs of double DOSINIAS, FIGHTING CONCHS and stinky SEA SQUIRTS but after a finding shelltastic gems in just a few minutes, amazingly enough the odor went away.
Talk about amazing… Rick from Fort Myers found the sweetest perfect JUNONIA at Bowmans Beach. Shellzam!
Even if you haven’t found your JUNONIA…. yet… there are so many shell lines to sift through right now to find so many fabshellous shells and bling to find sunshine and happiness.
Oh wait, you’re not in SW Florida to sift through these shells for yourself… and maybe the photos aren’t doing it for you? How about some CYBERSHELLING! In this next photo, notice that this area doesn’t look so pretty at first, right? This is exactly what Shelly was talking about… if there are larger shells on the beach, we never look through the shell lines that look like this because it just doesn’t look as appealing at first. But… if you take you time and look a little closer…. Oh My! There are such beautiful shells just waiting there for you to discover and appreciate one day. Click on the next photo to enlarge it… then look around for three WENTLETRAPS (I only saw the big one- I had no idea the other 2 were in there until I enlarged it- Ack!) , a BABYS EAR, TUSKS, a DRILL, JINGLES, MUSSELS and all sorts of other goodies. Have fun!
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more info, CLICK HERE