Archive for King’s Crown
Cool breezes and dramatic skies of summer evenings on the islands are fantastic. Oh… and did I forget to mention there are shells too? I felt a little giddy being at Blind Pass Sanibel last night since I haven’t been there in 2 weeks. It was lovely! Especially lovely after seeing the shells Deborah, Brian and Courtney from Jacksonville (FL) were finding. Courtney found that gorgeous knobless FIGHTING CONCH and NUTMEG.
… While her mom Deborah found her own NUTMEG and BANDED TULIP.
Brian had a pocketful of LIGHTNING WHELKS and CONCHS.
Alexis (NJ) and Todd (NY) just flew in for a weeks vacation. First stop? Blind Pass to look for shells!
They were on their way to making day #1 a great success. Did you notice Alexis’s shell bangles? She said she got them in Hawaii… but hmmmmm… maybe my OLIVE STRING bracelet could use a fancy version too.
Clark was busy finding a few goodies too…
Oh yaya, candy! The SCALLOP, OLIVE, WHELK and HORSE CONCH Clark found are oh so nice… but that KING’S CROWN! Come to Momma!
I can’t get over the skies of summertime! We got to the beach last night an hour before sunset (at low tide) and I snapped this photo of the pretty sky.
Then I shelled and gabbed a while meeting new friends. I gave most of my shells away other than a sweet little CHESTNUT TURBAN the color of a pumpkin (oops! I didnt take a photo- sorry!) But… meanwhile … the sky was changing crazy colors by the second. Each direction I turned the sky looked different. At a point it was purple! It gave everything on the beach a purple tint as well so I saw a “grape” SCALLOP and snapped another photo.
I turned towards Captiva and this is what I saw!
When we were leaving the beach about 15 minutes after sunset, I snapped another shot about the same place I took it before sunset. Oh, the summer skies of Sanibel.
Hold On! Get ready to dial your Shellaphones! We have Exciting News! Not only can we shell together during the iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa on Thursday August 15th at 1pm, but you can also join us for the FULL DAY CRUISE (10am to 4pm) to the north side of Cayo Costa on Wednesday August 28th… during Shellabaloo 3! We’ve had lots of requests to join Shellabaloo 3 for a day so now you can participate! Meet and mingle for a shell of a good time. Call 239-472-5300 to reserve your space for the iLoveShelling cruise on either half day August 15th or full day August 28th!
For more Information CLICK HERE or on the next image…
Everything seemed to be coming up pink roses while I took a walk on the south stretch of Fort Myers Beach Friday afternoon. ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, AUGERS, SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS and BANDED TULIPS all had a beautiful pink tint. The beach was blushing with beauty!
The last time I was on this beach I found oodles of shells but I thought it may have been because of Tropical Storm Andrea. Obviously not! I went to see my friend Stefanie on south Fort Myers Beach again but this time, she went shelling with me. She was thrilled to find a SAND DOLLAR!
Well, let me rephrase… she was ecstatic when she found 7 SAND DOLLARS (one broke- waaaa)! Along with the ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, we found a GAUDY NATICA, a NUMEG, OLIVES, FIGHTING CONCHS, 2 SHARKS EYS and 4 KINGS CROWNS. Wow!
You had to pick up each FIGHTING CONCH and KING’S CROWN to look inside to make sure nobody was home. It was fun to see lots of live shells but it was way more fun to find an empty one to shout about. “It’s empty! Look how pretty!”
We met Alysa and Justin visiting from Colorado…
They were finding great shells too!
I knew we were going to have good luck anyway though. As soon as we stepped on the beach by Pointe Estero Resort we were surrounded by DRAGONFLIES. I’m not sure you can see them all in the next photo but click on the pic to enlarge it to see thousands of them. They bring good luck!
I tried to rescue one of them that got stuck in a tidal pool but not sure if she made it. She was sooooo beautiful!
Stefanie and I had a wonderful time collecting not only shells but very cool BEACH BLING. It’s a hidden gem!
This beach reminds me so much of Lover’s Key beaches with the same types of shells but with the added bonus of SAND DOLLARS. I guess it should remind me of that beach since it’s right across the bridge from Lover’s Key State Park. If you arent staying at a resort like Gullwing or Pointe Estero, it’s a little harder to get to this beach because there is limited public parking…BUT… there are about 5 metered parking spaces about 5 blocks north on Flamingo Street. I think this is another reason why it’s such a good shelling beach- not much competition! LOL
PS- Remember- Big hats and sunscreen. We only want to find pink shells and pink bling… not pink skin!
The most fascinating part about being a daily beach comber is having the opportunity to witness life stages of creatures of the sea. Over the years, we’ve been so fortunate to see KINGS CROWNS (Melongena corona) in different life phases which I will show you today to round out the latest cool stage I saw this week at low tide. The first amazement about KINGS CROWNS is looking at the empty shell. We have been lucky enough to find quite a few empty KINGS CROWN seashells washing up on our beaches in Southwest Florida. They’re so beautiful!
To find a shell occupied with the MOLLUSK responsible for making such an architecturally brilliant home is always marveling to me. Two years ago, Clark found a ginormous LIVE KINGS CROWN in the shallow water. We were both in awe to see such a magnificent site of a warrior and king of his territory to grow to that size. We were happy to return it to it’s home in the water to reign over his kingdom.
There have been other KINGS CROWNS also happy and healthy after finishing a meal of CRAB de jour.
And we’ve seen them delighting in the main course of SOUTHERN QUAHOG sashimi.
But then, we’ve also seen the other side of the battle in the food chain. This huge LIVE TRUE TULIP made an appetizer out of this little guy. Now you see why these MOLLUSKS’ shells are perfectly empty at times- they get eaten by larger MOLLUSKS. This KINGS CROWN had no chance against this very strong large TULIP. Down the hatch, little KINGS CROWN.
We’ve also seen remnants of a different part of their life… We’ve found dried KINGS CROWN EGG CASES on the beach…
Speaking of EGG CASINGS…. One of the coolest things we’ve ever seen is this momma KINGS CROWN laying her eggs on an old shell. Clark picked up this whole mass not realizing she was right in the middle of giving birth. After I snapped a quick photo, Clark gently eased her back in the water and she went right along on her merry way to spit out a few more segments. A natural wonder we’ll never forget!
Notice that I said “One of the coolest things…”. I’ve got just as cool or maybe even cooler! I witnessed another miracle a few days ago… Baby KINGS CROWNS hatching out of their EGG SACKS!
This was such an awesome site to see! This was one of those days when I so wished I had one of those mack daddy cameras with the big macro lens. These babies were so itty bitty and I could see they still had the embryonic fluid….. okay honestly, I dont know if it was actually embryonic fluid… but I do know they had cute little slime trails on each of the EGG CAPSULES. So amazing!
We’ve seen so many different cycles in a KING”S CROWN life, I wanted to reminisce about them with you before I showed you the video of these babies in action? Yes! I have video! At the end of the movie, I made a slo-mo to make sure you see the little guy on the right wiggling away. Adorable! Enjoy!
It’s another Super Moon weekend! This large full moon made for a super low tide to let us peek at more of the beach and expose sand bars that are usually covered with water. The photo above shows a few of Super Sheller Clark’s faves which includes 2 teeny tiny KINGS CROWNS and the cutest little ROUGH SCALLOP I’ve ever seen. He loves the ALPHIES of course but he also is so intrigued by the different color patterns of the FIGHTING CONCHS. This one is pure white (with some PERIOSTRACUM still on it) with a bright orange mouth.
But… even with all of that coolness, I think Jennifer from Maryland played a better hand. She found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka!
Jennifer and her son Chris were at Blind Pass Captiva at low tide when Jennifer found her awesome MUREX and some other goodies like those two perfect PAPER FIGS. She “Whooped” it up even more when I told her that I consider her CABRITS a pretty rare find- more rare than a JUNONIA. Whoop!
Vera from St James City was happy to find COCKLES, WHELKS, CONCHS and lots of OLIVES to put the finishing touches on a shell frame she’s been making…
Lorie from Pittsburg found a gorgeous GAUDY NATICA (I always feel like I need to also add…”also called a COLORFUL MOON”…one day I’ll decide which one I want to call it- haha). I loved her coral piece, the dark LETTERED OLIVE and the SHARKS EYE too but she was too shy to have her photo taken with them. That’s okay, Lorie! Glad you shared your shells!
We also went to the Sanibel Lighthouse to see what treasures that beach would offer us. I saw Marin and Ava finding dried up SAND DOLLARS on the highest wrack line…
Instead of searching in the low tide line, they were clever to look in the dried SEAWEED along the vegetation by the beach accesses to find dozens of them.
At low tide, we searched Lighthouse Beach, West Gulf Drive near Tarpon Bay Rd and Blind Pass and found fun treasures at each beach so I think you’ll find shells and bling at most beaches in the evenings the next few days as well. Here’s my shell bag and a few of the prizes I found…
My favorite one was this BROAD PAPER COCKLE! I love this shell!
Michelle from New Hampshire got a gorgeous gift from the gulf….. a JUNONIA! She said “I still can’t believe I found one! I was just walking along in ankle deep water that had already be searched by lots of shellers. My children were having fun exploring the tidal pools and there it was!“. Wowee! It’s huge!
There were shells scattered everywhere on Gulf Side City Park beach where Michelle found her JUNONIA…
Most of the shells were live FIGHTING CONCHS but Cheryl (Ohio) was having a great time filling up her pink shell bag with empty shells…
She found all sorts of great shells!
Her favorites were these two KINGS CROWNS…
These two cutie shellers Matilda and her brother Anton came to Sanibel all the way from Sweden to fill their buckets with goodies. Matilda is holding a beautiful ALPHABET CONE and Anton is showing off a nice bright orange HORSE CONCH.
And a fabulous FLORIDA CONE along with a fantastic assortment of all types of seashells…
And they found dried out MILLIPEDE STARFISH.
The Gulf Of Mexico just keeps on giving us gifts of the sea.
Me and my blog buddy Lizbeth who writes Four Sea Stars sloshed around the sand flats at Bunche Beach yesterday looking for ANGEL WINGS. She found about 30 single valves earlier in the week so she wanted to go back to try to find a pair.
We found a few more single valves but nope… no pairs like MurexKen and MurexAlice found in November 2010. I think any day you can find one ANGEL WING is a good day but I know she will find a pair some day. She is determined! Did you notice that sweet little ROSE PETAL TELLIN in the photo too? Well, we found quite a few of those too. Here’s my stash…
We also found a few MINOR JACKKNIFE CLAMS…
We found more TELLINS too. These look like orange ROSE PETAL TELLINS (they are the same size) but they also could be CONSTRICTED MACOMA TELLINS. I’ve got a few feelers out there to see if anybody can correctly identify them. So hang on…
I know that just looks like “goo” on the inside but it’s really the color of the shell. It looks like it was stained, right? I hope to know soon what they are other than what I’ve been calling them… Dreamsicle Tellins.
UPDATE 6/16: Okay, got a positive identification from Dr Jose Leal from the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum…. it IS a ROSE PETAL TELLIN. Thanks Doc! (but I still think I might call it a Dreamsicle Rose Petal Tellin)
There were also oodles of SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
Lizbeth found this gorgeous SHARK EYE! Okay, I’ve always called any shell that looks like this a “SHARK’S EYE” but this is actually a FALSE SHARK EYE…
Look at the side view…
It’s actually a different shell that the ones we find with a rounded top. Susan H showed me this difference last year then commented on a previous post
“Hey Pam. As you probably noticed, that shark’s eye is the “other” species, the high-spired more southerly one that has a much more restricted range, Neverita delessertiana, rather than the low-spired regular shark’s eye which occurs from Massachusetts south, Neverita duplicata. Cool.”
You know I don’t like to get too technical so I took a photo with the two different species side by side so you can see the difference. The one on the right is a Neverita duplicate (SHARK EYE) and the one on the left is a Neverita delessertiana (I’ve see it called a FALSE SHARK EYE). See the difference? I think we should just call the one on the left a SHARK’S POPEYE. LOL
And how I loved seeing this next creature! It’s a live KINGS CROWN laying eggs! Go Momma! Make more babies!
Look at the brilliant orange beak on this bird. It’s an AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER…
I had a wonderful day hanging out with Lizbeth- the girl had my sides splitting ROTFL (I know, I’m not much for those acronyms but they really do explain it sometimes) while we hunted for her WINGS. Good luck in finding your pair!