Looking at this top picture you will see most of the shells I found last evening at Fort Myers’ Bunche Beach. Can you identify most of them? While you try to figure out each of the shells… Wanna go on a little CYBER SHELLING hunt for shells with me? All righty then let’s play a little “I Spy”! Don’t mind the “dirty” bling (a mix of peat and other good stuff that gives food to so many living organisms)… just look for some of those sweet little minis that we all love by clicking on the next image to enlarge…
This will give you an idea of how “big” those little gems are by looking at my handful of sweet somethings…
As much fun as it was collecting minis, I was tickled pink when Clark showed me his fave find… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER.
We didn’t see any ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds but we did see immature WHITE IBIS birds. Ibis juveniles are mostly brown but these guys have started molting out of their plumage becoming adults.
Here are four immature WHITE IBISES hanging out with a SNOWY EGRET and a BLUE HERON.
It was a bird lovers paradise last night. I even saw the dance of the REDDISH EGRET…
Before it got dark, we stopped at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach just in time to catch a beautiful RAINBOW…
Samuel, Sheila, Gene, Freida (Cape Coral, FL) and their family in the photo above must have hit the pot of gold under the rainbow. They found all of these in the water…
I found another pot of gold under the rainbow when I met Bill, Jody, Brooke, Brandon, Laura Beth and Gramma Kaye. A golden family of shellers from Alabama.
Okay, did y’all identify most of the shells in the top picture? Errrr….I have to confess, once I got going on my own I.D.s (and put my reader glasses on), I realized that some of these shells weren’t as obvious as I thought. There were a few that I had to look up… like the PAPER BUBBLE and TURRET. I failed my own test! hahaha I hope you do better than I did! I know the photo doesn’t show both sides of the shell, but if you know what #8 is by looking at this photo or you have a better idea if I misidentified anything, please let me know. Whoops! How embarrassing! LOL (blush, blush)
8. Ummm. Why did I put that in there? I have no idea what it is. LOL Best guess?
10. Pitted Murex
12. Oh geez- I’m just going with baby whelk so cute!
16. Fish Vertebra
Do you love shelling? Would you like to meet other shellers who love the beach and its treasures just as much as you do? Do you want to learn more about shelling in Sanibel and the out island islands? Join us for Shellabaloo 3!
In Fort Myers a mile or so before you get to the Sanibel causeway bridge, you’ll see a sign on your left for Bunche Beach. Clark and I were running a little early (very unusual) to meet some friends so we decided kill a few minutes and check out the beach. I think it’s only the second time we’ve ever stopped at Bunche Beach.
We knew it was low tide but had no idea it would be this cool.
It felt like we were on the moon.
The crazy FIDDLER CRABS were out in the masses here too. If you missed my video of their madness, CLICK HERE.
And lots of minis!
At first, I thought there were oodles of AUGERS but noticed the lip was a little fat… they are LADDER HORN SNAILS.
You can see it a little better in this next photo. Cute, huh?
And there were mounds of MELAMPUS.
These little NASSA shells are so bright yellow and tiny, I wasn’t sure if they are the BRUISED NASSAor not. I think they may be juveniles.
Last but not least, I found three MARGINELLAS.
We had so much fun exploring Bunche Beach, I think we’ll make this a regular stop when we go off island.
I found a few shells on the low tide flats off the Sanibel causeway but the ROSEATE SPOONBILLS in yesterday’s post Roseate Spoonbills at Sanibel Causeway Video really stole the show. I still want to show you this small POINTED VENUS bivalve I found, especially after Christine Kieffer wanted to know what kind of shells were out there.
There were quite a few with both valves still attached that were laying on top of the muck but when I picked them up to take a photo, I unintentionally broke them apart. Oops! Here’s the interior of this one but all of them didn’t have this dark purple. Some were plain white.
I didn’t find tons of shells but while I was filming the ROSEATES, my flip flops were getting sucked into the muck so I took them off to go barefoot and almost stepped on several little baby HORSESHOE CRABS. So as I had the camera pointed at the birds, I had to keep my eye on not stepping on the live critters. I even saw a few live MARGINELLAS…
I videoed the HORSESHOE CRABS since I got tickled with them scooting along trying to make me slosh around them. You’ll notice just a few empty shells here and there but the live critters were the real finds of the day.
You probably do the Stoop while you are on Sanibel…. but do you Phoon? This was my first experience with phooning so I got a real kick out of it (no pun intended ;)). Definition: To Phoon is to do a pose in a “running man” position. Phooning is accepted anywhere and wherever there is a camera.
Meet the phooners…. Laurie (IL), Kim (IL), Chablis (IL), Wendy (CO) and Katy (CO)
Kim is a phooning expert, has a blog called Snug Harbor Bay where she talks about her neck of the woods, does geocaching (she had to explain that to me too) and of course…she’s a sheller. She is an interesting busy, busy bee!
Chablis was the lucky phooner who found the nice BABY’S EAR and after looking at this TULIP SHELL EGG CASING, we decided to put it back in the water since it was still very hydrated and the sacs looked like they were about ready to pop out. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they survive.
Tulip Egg Casing
Clark and I took a walk together later on in the day further west of the lighthouse near Seaside Inn and I found a BABY’S EAR too!
I spotted another MARGINELLA! Now that now that I have them on my radar, I’ve found a few more.
Marginella on the left
Clark picked up an EGG COCKLE since we haven’t seen those in a while either.
Egg Cockle shell
This is the first SEA BEAN I’ve seen in a while too….
sea bean in the sea weed
That’s what we do when we can’t find the SANIBEL SIX, we sift through the sea debris and look for “oddities” that we don’t normally see. Wait! Hold on! I didn’t mean Phooning was an oddity! It’s not an oddity…… it’s a photo-optity.
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