I’ve combed the beaches from Blind Pass Captiva to the east of Sanibel at the lighthouse. Mid island at Gulf Side City Park is still the best shelling I’ve found in the last few days. The shells in the photo above were only a few that Carol from PA pulled out of her shell bag to show me. Pretty nice finds, huh? The OLIVES have been gorgeous. Well… there’s the ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE, BANDED TULIPS, MUREXES, WHELKS and she had a few more of those sweet PAPER FIGS in her bag too.
There were still plenty of FIGHTING CONCHS (dead and alive) like I showed you the other day but what caught my eye was this beautiful BROAD PAPER COCKLE.
We have a few in our collection but some of them have chips in them so I’m always happy to find a pretty valve like this one!
While I was at the lighthouse beach finding WENTLETRAPS (I’ll show you those on my next post), I found a KEYHOLE LIMPET.
For me, finding shells is the cherry on top… but I also love to see all of the different kinds of BEACH BLING! And I’m not the only one… Dee pointed out this deep purple BRYOZOAN COLONY growing on the wire of a crab trap. Isn’t that so cool?
Most people walk right on by a mess of SEAWEED laying on the beach. Not me! I love to pick through it to see what is hiding in there.
I found SEA WHIPS and ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS in all this BEACH BLING. Here’s a little movie to show you how I found them… (click on the next image if the movie thingie doesnt show up)
So there are so many different things to check out on the beaches right now… BUT… unfortunately we have RED TIDE coming in as well. I didn’t feel any respiratory problems today (which I have in the past when it was bad) but I did see dead fish. Yuck! Since they just washed in, I didnt really smell any bad odors so I didn’t mind walking right past them- there’s too many other cool things to inspect! Lee County issued a beach advisory yesterday so if you think you might have problems… read HERE.
Merry Christmas, SS Marcia! In my last post, Marcia asked me if I had seen beach art yet. I had to laugh when the first thing I saw when I walked on the beach was this Christmas tree made with PEN SHELLS. Then right beside it was this beautiful menorah! This is the first that I’ve seen this season so thank you to the beach art artist who made these!
There was so much Beach Bling in between Donax Rd and Fulgur Rd on Sanibel.
This was one of several TULIP EGG CASES I saw…
I didn’t even see the second KEYHOLE LIMPET on the left when I took this photo. I was so amazed at the dark stripes on the big LIMPET and the colors on the tiny APPLE MUREX and BANDED TULIP.
In one little area, the high tide was bringing in shells to build up this nice pile. See that gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK?
Maybe the golden rays of this Sanibel sunset shining on the amber edges of the ROUGH PENS will inspire the richly talented artists who create their beach art masterpieces for we mere beachcombers to fill our hearts with joy for the holidays. Ahem…. did I ask that nicely enough for more fun holiday beach art stuff? ;)
The other day, shelling sistah Tricia G asked me if I’ve ever found a MARGINELLA on Sanibel since I don’t have one listed on the SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. I’ve found them before but, come to think about it, I sure haven’t found one in a long time. So last night, we headed for the lighthouse because I was on the hunt for that sneaky MARGINELLA. To double my chances, I reminded Super Sheller Clark that I wanted to find one to add to the I.D. page so I told him to be on the lookout too.
Yippee! I found one!….. er…..well…. Clark found it. He was scooping at the surf line when all the sudden I hear him laugh. “Look what I found”.
Marginellas and a broken dove
Then he found another one! And then yes, I found that little one on the right. Whew- I wasn’t completely out-shelled. Keep in mind, the biggest one is just shy of 1/2 inch and they sort of look like a BUBBLE if the aperture side is down so they aren’t easy to find. I found the broken one on the left too so I added it to the photo since I thought it was the same shell.
Marginella and Dove? aperture
Dang it! That shell on the left really doesn’t even look like a MARGINELLA at all since it has those teeth on the lip. I couldn’t even see those teeth until I took the picture and looked at it on the computer. In the last few years I can’t even look at my phone or a menu without holding them as far as my arms will extend. You know what I mean? Ha! Geez. Oh well, I’ve been fortunate so far with my eyes so I shouldn’t complain….. it’s just weird…. I’m just sayin. ;) Alright, back to the shell…. I think the broken shell on the far left is a DOVE shell just by what’s left of it but I could be wrong (I gotta get back to trusting my own eyes again- yikes!). It’s not like I can where “readers” on the beach…. maybe? ….. nahhhh.
Brown banded wentletrap
I didn’t need glasses to spot this BROWN-BAND WENTLETRAP though. Love that color running through it!
Brown banded wentletrap aperture
Nancy from Seashell Wreaths by Nancy reminded me that the name WENTLETRAP is derived from a Dutch word meaning spiral staircase.
We were on the mini shell hunt so we ran across lots of the BUBBLE shells…. appropriately named as well….
We found lots of AUGERS which again, look like their name…
So how about SHARP-RIB DRILL? That flat rib or blade off the sides is pretty sharp, huh?
Now this is getting funny! I didn’t plan on dissecting common names of shells tonight but it’s kind of fun, right? So let’s look at the KEYHOLE LIMPET…..
….and the BUTTON shell….
This CONE shell certainly looks like an ice cream cone….
But I’m not sure that this RICE OLIVE shell looks like an olive but it sure looks like rice…
Picture this next shell on top of Barbie’s doll head… yep, it’s a TURBAN. Again, I just thought this shell was pretty and knobby. I didn’t realize it had a hole in it and the barnacles attached…the eyes are going! Oh well, it’s still pretty.
We had our eyes (failing or not) focused on finding a special miniature shell by looking for the particular pattern of a MARGINELLA and we found it. We shell this beach on the east end of Sanibel regularly but we’ve probably walked right by hundreds of them just because we have been focused on other patterns of shells that we see on a regular basis. i Love Shelling. I really do because it opens my eyes to see beautiful things that I normally would never appreciate.
Our Sanibel lighthouse shells last night
Sanibel pier sunset
Top row- Pear whelk, Drill, Dwarf olive, Bubble (above), Keyhole Limpet, Tusk, Wentletrap. Bottom row- Auger, Coquina, Murex, Fighting conch
Shelling is just like life…. look beyond the obvious and you will find something beautiful and extraordinary. I always feel a calmness come over me when I search for the mini shells. When I begin to focus on all the different wash lines of the beach, I feel myself zone everything else out.
Wentletrap in tidal pool
One weedy wash line leads me to another line of sticks, broken shells and what looks like mulch. See that little WENTLETRAP among all that “mulch”? I tried to keep that bubbly foam in the photo so you could tell how it was in about 2 inches of water.
Tidal pools at sunset
I come out of the shelling zone every once in a while to soak in how beautiful this time of day is here on the beach at the lighthouse. Calming.
Tusk shell in sand
Then I go into the shelling zone again and remember to look for TUSK shells too. Can you even spot the TUSK shell?
Tusk shell on my finger
I didn’t actually mean to focus on the sand instead of my finger but I’m kinda glad you got to see how big (or I should say how “little”) the TUSK shell is AND to see what the area looked like where I found it.
Sanibel lighthouse miniature shells
These are some of the same shells as the first picture but there’s also a CANTHARUS (top left with barnacles on it), 2 KITTENS PAWS, BARNACLES, a BABY’S EAR (broken), a TURBAN and 2 CROSS BARRED VENUS clams.
“Sometimes the treasures we take from the beach are the friends we meet there~” quote by Carla Barone…
Gerry (New Hampshire) with a sea whip
Chris (IL) collecting minis
Sanibel is the perfect canvas to paint sensational sunsets, beautiful beaches, wonderful wildlife and of course, bountiful beach treasures.
Painting the Sanibel lighthouse
Clark and I walked the beach around the lighthouse late yesterday afternoon in search of some minis. I was looking for KEYHOLE LIMPETS for a picture for my Seashell Identification page. I looked in all of my bags, jars, buckets and drawers of shells and couldn’t believe I couldn’t find a good LIMPET to photograph.
Keyhole Limpet in sand
I found one! …..and another and another. Then Clark joined the hunt and found a few too.
My eye was focused on the pattern of these LIMPETS but I kept seeing the SPOTTED SLIPPERS so I picked them up too.
Spotted Slipper Shells
Since I was focused on the minis I even found TUSK SHELLS which are only 3/8 of an inch long. I was tickled to find them since I’m just learning to have the eye for them. I found three hanging out with a WENTLETRAP and two DWARF OLIVES.
Clark found this teeny tiny TURKEY WING. So to show how small it is, I put it next to the other minis.
Miniatures with turkey wing
I think I’ve been having miniatures shells on the brain because I just can’t believe how sweet this little beautifully framed piece of shell art is I received last week from Sanibel Sister Judith. You have to remember her! She is one of the sisters that uses those giant sized tweezers to pick up the minis at the lighthouse when they come to visit. This is what they make after picking up all those sweet little shells. Talk about a beautiful canvas for those mini shells. I absolutely love it! Thank you Sanibel Sister Judith!
Judith’s beautiful shell art
Judith should enter her work into the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show. It’s starts this Thursday March 3, 2011 and runs through Sunday March 5. So don’t forget and I hope to see you there!
Sanibel Sisters Linda and Judith
Eddy's shell bucket
I didn’t see shellers with buckets filled to the rim with seashells today, but I did see a few buckets that had nice quality shells that made every other sheller smile when they peeked into the bottom. This is Eddy’s bucket with that big FLAT SCALLOP and so mant color variations and sizes of the FIGHTING CONCHS and other goodies.
Eddy peeking into his shell bucket
I first met Eddy in August with his sister Rachael and they are back in full shelling mode. Look at those CONES Rachael found.
Rachael with 2 Florida cone and an Alphabet
This next bucket could make a grown shelling woman cry… I mean smile too.
A bucket of Crowns
This is very impressive to see all of the KINGS CROWNS together in the bottom of this bucket, isn’t it? Molly found a secret shelling spot digging in some mud flats where she found all of these lovelies completely empty. Jack pot!
Molly and Ella (MI)
This is KING’S CROWN queen Molly and her daughter Ella with their other best finds of the week…. SEA URCHINS, 8″ HORSE CONCH, ALPHABET CONES, SHARK’S EYES, ANGEL WINGS and a NUT MEG. Ella told me that shelling was her most favorite thing to do. Then a close second was rock climbing.
Cuties Ella and Manny
Ella and her little brother Manny are excited to show off a few more shells.. a SUNRAY VENUS CLAM and a JUVENILE FIGHTING CONCH.
Limpet, seaglass, tusk and shark's tooth
The picture above are treasures that shellers Melody and Bill found on a day trip to Venice yesterday. Clockwise from the left … a KEY HOLE LIMPET, SEA GLASS, SHARK’S TOOTH FOSSIL and a TUSK shell all placed on top of a seagrape leaf. Nice finds!
Melody and Bill (Greenville, SC)
Happy Anniversary Melody and Bill! What a nice way to “Shellebrate”!
Sanibel Blind Pass Sand bar
There are still shells on the Sanibel side but the rip tide picked up a little this afternoon in between the shore and the sand bar… so be VERY CAREFUL if you are shelling around there. I’ve finally found all you crazy shellers like us so I don’t want to lose any of you!