Archive for Moon Snail

Feb
25

Peaceful Retreat To The Beach

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tiny shells collected on Sanibel Island Florida

I have been enjoying the warm sunshine we’ve been having on Sanibel the last few days… not just on the beach but outside in my back yard. I’ve been sorting…and sorting… and sorting shells. Why haven’t I been more organized in the last few days… errrrr… months…. okay, truthfully? Years! I guess thats just how I roll- I would rather spend my time doing something else other than “cleaning” (Oh how I hate that word!) but I guess enough is enough. I told y’all I wanted to do a post about the differences between some of the mini shells like the DRILLS, MUREXES and CANTHARUS like I did in my post Similar Sanibel Shells since I wanted to add more to that list. So I started looking through my Shellaboratory for each of the shells I wanted to photograph. Ack! I wanted the best of each species but I realized how dang unorganized I’ve been. Buckets, boxes and bins of uncategorized shells. Some were washed… some filled with sand. OMG

assortment of collected small Sanibel Florida shells

 So while I sort my shells to find the best GULF OYSTER DRILL, SHARP RIB DRILL, juvie APPLE and LACE MUREXES, I had to escape to the beach for a peaceful retreat at Gulfside City Park to find an absolutely gorgeous calm day.

peaceful retreat and shells on the beach of Sanibel Island

Oh… and more mini shells. I tried to just admire the shells on the beach without picking them up because…. seriously, we have enough. These days I try to only collect the shells I learn from, the ones that I give to others (like the post – Good Feeling About Seashells), the ones I decorate with or use in projects.  So these are the only ones I brought home today… Three BUTTON SHELLS, a shiny OLIVE, one sweet BABYS EAR, a wonderful WENTLETRAP and a little cutie juvie SHARKS EYE. We don’t often see oodles of black JINGLES so I couldn’t resist picking some up … and there were lots of them! I’m trying to fill up a tall vase for my home so I might go back and try to find more tomorrow. When my vase is done, I promise I’ll post it.

some seashells collected from Sanibel

So while I sort, sort, sort our minis I’ll sneak to the beach for peace, shells and sunshine.

calm collecting shells

Dec
16

Holiday Treasures At Low Tide Sanibel

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showing sanibel shells

With a full moon and very low tide at sunrise this morning, I couldn’t resist strapping on my head lamp to search for shells on the sand bars at Blind Pass Sanibel at 6:30 am this morning. I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t resist.

shelling with head lamp

Chikee and Maria from New Jersey were happy to they got out there early to find some of their favorite shells. That beautiful SHARKS EYE, WORMIE and the WHELKS in the first photo were Maria’s favorites.

chikee maria new jersey shelling sanibel

Look at all of the shells Sue found! The Sanibel Six with an ALPHABET CONE, KINGS CROWN CONCH, LACE MUREXES, TRUE TULIP, OLIVES and LIGHTNING WHELKS… and so many more.

shells found at dawn blind pass sanibel

 Sue (on the right) was with her friends Mary and Alissa who came all the way from California to Sanibel to shellebrate Sue’s birthday. Best birthday ever.

mary alissa sue calif shelling sanibel

Don and Vickie came down to Sanibel from Siesta Key, Florida to do some shelling to shellebrate too. You guessed it! It was Don’s birthday too. It was a birthday party on the sand bar!

don vicki siesta shelling visit sanibel

Phil and Kathy had some to shellebrate as well. Phil’s perfect ALPHABET CONE!

phil kathy mass cone shelling sanibel

Ruth knew she had a treasure when she found a plump and perfect PAPER FIG…

paper fig olive whelk murex sanibel

Even though it was in the low 60s this morning, Nancy, Ruth and Jim were still very happy to be in shorts instead of parkas in Maryland.

nancy ruth jim maryland visits sanibel florida

It was such a lovely morning!

UPDATE 12-17-13- disregard this next statement (starting with “FYI”). We just got news that the Sanibel side of blind pass will remain open.
But…. FYI- I just got word this afternoon that Blind Pass Sanibel parking lot might be closing soon for a few weeks. The beach renourishment project will be moving to the Sanibel side of Blind Pass soon to fill in some of the beach that has been eroded since Hurricane Sandy. “Both parking lots adjacent to Blind Pass will now likely be used by construction to finish beach project. So, expect no parking lot for next two weeks.” Ugh… This is the bad news I heard today from Mike of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District. Thanks for the update, Mike! For any other updates, go to http://mycepd.com

shelling at dawn

I’ve been asked countless times if I think shelling is best at day break. I always respond saying “the best time to shell is… any chance you can get to the beach”. But when the tide is really low like every day predicted this week (Tide Chart CLICK HERE), it’s a blast to get out in the morning with all of the other hard core shellers…. on any beach in Southwest Florida. It was so worth it to find these favorites of mine

pams favorite shells december 16

Join me on a Shelling Adventure!

shelling adventures trips by pam

gallery-check-out-iloveshelling

Nov
30

Captiva Holiday Weekend Shellaganza

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shells of captiva sanibel florida

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been such a Shellaganza in Southwest Florida, it’s been hard to choose which beach to shell first! But as you know by my last post, we chose to shell Blind Pass Captiva on Thursday and hit the mother load. I’m so happy we found soooo many good shells, but it’s not only that we found shells… I’m thrilled that everybody found amazing shells like this…

tulip flat scallop alphie scotch bonnet captiva florida skip

And I got to meet so many awesome shellers like Skip and Tina. Tina found the spectacsheller SCOTCH BONNET and Skip found the amazing ALPHABET CONE, FLAT SCALLOP and gorgeous TRUE TULIP. And those were just a few shells they found. Their bag (in the first photo) was filled to the brim with incredible shells. It was a pleasure to meet you both!

skip tina find alphabet cones scotch bonnet

I also met Jessica, Lyle and Matthew from Virginia who now know how addicting shelling can be after finding so many shells like this in only a couple of hours. They didn’t know the names of many of the shells, so I peeked in their bags to tell them the names of most of the shells in their bags… LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, APPLE MUREXES, LETTERED OLIVES, BANDED TULIPS… But OMG, Wait!

jessica kyle matthew VA find seashells captiva florida

Jessica found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka! It was mixed in with all of the other shells and had a small hole in it but I told her that was a pretty rare shell to find in our area. Very nice find!

cabrits murex captiva florida

James and his brother Jacob (from Chicago) are experienced shellers who named all of the shells they found – which BTW, was very impressive. It tickled me so much though when James snatched a perfect bright orange HORSE CONCH out of the water and shouted “Score!”. Yes you did, Jacob!

james jacob chicago visits sanibel captiva for seashells

It was so much fun to see everybody finding such beautiful treasure. Local sheller Roma (who never lets me photograph her- silly girl ;)) never even got wet by the waves as she sat in the shell pile digging away. She found all of these shells in one small area…

roma variety of shells captiva florida

As you saw in the video on Thanksgiving Day, Clark didn’t want to get wet since we had plans later in the day for our big meal but after finding these 2 ALPHABET CONES right next to each other coming in with surf… it was all over.

clark found 2 cones in one scoop captiva

Super Sheller Clark was soaked by the time we got to our car.

super sheller clark in the surf

Uuuuuhhhhh… and so was I.

pam shelling captiva in the cold

A few minutes after Clark took that picture, I found a JUNONIA! Yes, it is a little beat up and cracked but I was very thrilled! I showed it on my last post but I love that photo so much, here it is again. These were the best of our finds on Thursday…

Thankful for shelling in Southwest Florida

After shelling for countless hours Thanksgiving morning, we decided it was time to pack it up. While loading up the car with all of our loot, we met this sweetheart family Linda, Eliana and Nik from Pennsylvania ready to adventure out to find their own treasures. Prepared with shelling scoops, bags and a fantastic attitude I’m sure they found all of the shells they could hope for. So nice to meet y’all!

linda eliana nik PA ready for shelling sanibel captiva

But that’s not all folks! I know this is a long post but I have so much to catch you up on since … really…. its been a Shellaganza.  I have met so many nice folks while shelling and that was just on Thursday. I want you to meet more folks that I was shelling with yesterday (Friday) at Blind Pass (Turner Beach) it was a Sit N Sift kind of day…

sit n sift shell pile turner beach captiva florida

The shells weren’t crashing up on the beach any more but they were buried in a mound of shells. These were all found sittin’ ‘n siftin’ by Jeff and Donna from Palm Beach Gardens….

donnas shells captiva sanibel shelling

Isn’t that amazing? Jeff and Donna were sitting right here to find a CARRIER SHELL, GAUDY NATICA, SHARKS EYES, ALPHABET CONES, FLORIDA CONES, FLATS, TULIPS… and on and on. Love it!

Jeff Donna palm beach gardens visit captiva for seashells

Shelling Sistah Connie Knight was deep into the shelling zone with her cute hat and tee on :)

connie knight shelling capiva florida

It was so much fun to meet her shelling family on this big pile of gems… meet Zach, Lori and Nate with Connie all visiting from Iowa

connie knight iowa zach lori nate shelling captiva

I always love to see that rich chocolate color in the LACE MUREX Nate found along with his other favorite shells…

nate seashells captiva florida november

Local shellers Bob and Sue couldn’t resist sifting through the pile looking for a few unusual shells but I think were having more fun giving OLIVES to the other shellers. :) There were so many OLIVES!

bob sue periwinkle park sanibel shelling

I met sweet Patti Goodwin on last month’s iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa (“Woop!” heehee) but this time I got to meet her husband Curt too. They arrived when I was about to leave so I hope y’all found some good treasures.

pat goodwin curt nova scotia shells captiva florida

 

I saw Becky and Wade again too. They had been at the Lighthouse Beach on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and told me it was a great day shelling there too.

wade becky shell pile captiva florida

Wade found this Mega True Tulip at Lighthouse Beach! Woohoo! It was a fabulous day on all of the beaches of Southwest Florida!

large True Tulip wade found on sanibel florida

Since returning from Cat Island, things have been a whirl wind… literally… with the wind whipping from the north bringing such exciting shelling days for us here at home. Then preparing for the big holiday, I haven’t been able to find one extra second to clean our Caribbean shells from our vacation or much less finish telling you all about it. I’m so sorry but when local shells arrive, I want you to know about it ASAP! So if you are anywhere near SW Florida and want to do a little shelling, most of the beaches have some great shells and some really interesting BEACH BLING to explore. Once I slow down and finish up local exploring (Island Inn beach has great shells too!) , I’ll share the rest of our adventure to the Bahamas so you will have more info on other shells from around the world.

Want to shell together? Join me on the next iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am!

shelling adventures trips by pam

Nov
13

I’m Elated Finding A Bladed Wentletrap

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3 bladed wentletrap epitonium albidum

AHA! I’m tickled that I just found another type of WENTLETRAP! I found three BLADED WENTLETRAPS (Epitonium albidum) at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach yesterday afternoon. This will make my 6th different variation of the Wentletrap family I’ve found in SouthWest Florida. I can now add this one to the other five wentles I talked about last year (in November) in the post How To Find Wentletrap Shells On Sanibel

five different types of wentletraps

These are clearly different from the other WENTLETRAPS I have found. So after finding these three unusual tiny shells, I raced home to see which ones they were. It’s the BLADED WENTLETRAP! You see how the ribs form a straight line? Most of the others don’t form that straight line from top to bottom.

aperture side bladed wentletrap Epitonium albidum

I love to find a shell that is new to me!

sanibel bladed wentletrap Epitonium albidum

Finding WENTLETRAPS at Lighthouse Beach hasn’t been as easy as it was last year when those big areas of what looked like the coffee grounds showed up most weeks. The winds and currents just haven’t been right for the last several months to wash them in so I’ve just had to look a little harder and stoop a little lower. Hmmmm…. not a bad thing to have to do to find treasure. Especially when these are your surroundings!

sanibel lighthouse with shellers

Before I found my wentles I started seeing quite a few minis lining the shore at the water’s edge. I found all of these in about 10 minutes all in the same wrack line. I do have one ANGULATE WENTLETRAP in my palm under the CONE but its sort of hidden.

miniature button shells limpet sanibel lighthouse

Then I found a few more different shells and a piece of CORAL in the low tide pools as well. Check out my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page if you need help identifying any of the shells… just CLICK HERE

seashells and coral from sanibel lighthouse

But then I found all three of the BLADED WENTLETRAPS  in the same line pretty close together in the same line. Now you can see how small they are…

bladed wentletraps sanibel lighthouse

I met cutie pies Richard and Dendy from Mississippi enjoying their seashell treasure hunt on this beautiful afternoon. They had found a few MUREXES, CONCHS and also some minis too like a few WENTLETRAPS.

deny richard jackson mississippi visit sanibel shelling

But I couldn’t get over this sweet juvie GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON SHELL) Dendy found. Look how tiny! It’s a Shellipution! LOL

juvenile gaudy natica colorful moon shell sanibel

There’s always something fun to find in those little shell lines at the Lighthouse Beach at low tide. You just have to take your time, enjoy the hunt and get down low in stoop position.

sanibel stoop lighthouse minis

sanibel lighthouse beach shells birds

Join me on a Shelling Adventure!

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

 

 

Oct
20

Breakfast of Shelling Champions

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banded tulip sanibel sunrise october

I may not be a champion but I like my weekend breakfast to be garnished with TULIPS while I fill up on PEARS….

pear whelk at low tide sanibel florida

Quite a few PEAR WHELKS …

pear whelk with purple sun rise

With a little NUTMEG…

nutmeg in sunrise sanibel

This weekend’s low tides were in the early morning so it was such a treat to see the sunrise… and to collect the shells from the shallow tidal pools.

But I started the weekend running into an awesome family at Blind Pass Captiva around sunset as they were just packing up all the shells they found after snorkeling. Paul, Darren, Gabe, Kyle, Emily, Ellie from Naples are all like shelling encyclopedias. They knew the names of all of their shells and little tid bits about them too. Hmmmm… “Enshellopedias”! Ha! They were so much fun to talk to…

shelling family vacation sanibel captiva florida

They found lots of CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, COCKLES, OLIVES  and all sorts of treasures. You know I love to peek at other people’s shells so I was thrilled to take a look into Paul’s green shell bag. Wanna see too? Ha! I knew it! Here you go… Fun!

shell bag sanibel captiva florida blind pass

The next morning at the Lighthouse Beach, I met Charity holding a double ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE she was holding like a treasure box. It was a treasure box! She had filled the COCKLE with all of her other tiny treasures she found at low tide.

charity with sea shells sanibel

I met the rest of her family… Janssen, Lynn Ann and Joann visiting Sanibel from the Tampa area…

janssen LynnAnn charity Joanne

Lynn Ann told me that they found all of these shell like the fab SHARKS EYE, HORSE CONCH and APPLE MUREXES (and the SEA BEAN) at the tip of the island in front of the lighthouse.

sanibel shells found in october

At low tide, it’s always glorious to see and touch live MOLLUSKS… especially this live 14 inch HORSE CONCH. No worries- this creature was very happy to be put back into the water where it could keep healthy and hopefully have lots of babies.

live horse conch sanibel beach

 

I’ve never been much of a morning person (I know. Sounds crazy for an obsessed sheller like me to say that but it’s just the truth)… so I hope this next season I learn to enjoy mornings like I did this weekend. I meet people like Angela from the Outer Banks of North Carolina who was too shy for me to take her picture but made a big impression on me. It was a pleasure to talk with you Angela!

shells found on sanibel florida

But now that I think about it, I doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I always find shells and I always meet awesome people shellers. I meet them finding shells at breakfast time , lunch time , afternoon snack time, dinner and evening snack time. It really doesnt matter! Errrr. I might sleep in tomorrow morning. heehee

sanibel stoop in aqua

Sep
29

A SpectacSheller Shelling Party

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shells collect around rocks

We haven’t seen a huge shell mound form at the jetty rocks on the Captiva side of Blind Pass in months and months. So to see folks like Sue from MA sittin’ and siftin’ through a shell mound almost 2 feet deep, made me want to jump for joy then lay down in that pile and make shell angels like we did as a kid in the snow. Sitting and sifting at one spot, Sue filled up her mesh shell bag with treasures like this FLORIDA CONE, FLAT SCALLOP  and lots of APPLE MUREXES…

seashell collection on the beach

Susan from Cape Coral found her own stash of goodies too…

susan cape coral florida shell beach

These are just some of her besties … but notice the GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON) on the top of her right hand? Becky from Memphis (September 26 post) asked to see that shell when I was ooohing and ahhhing over it because she had never seen one before. Susan said “Well of course!” then showed Becky the GAUDY NATICA …. then told her to keep it because she had a few already. Every day I meet such amazing people on our beaches! That was so sweet Susan!

susan shells gaudy natica moon turban murex conch

Linda (Safety Harbor, FL)  had her own spot in shell heaven. We all were just having the best time hanging out on the big pile just digging away finding gem and gem. It was a shelling party!

linda safety harbor visit captiva seashells

Isn’t it incredible that she was sitting in this same spot too and uncovered so many shells to fill up her bag? These were a few of her besties …

shells beach bling blind pass captiva

Teresa from TN was no exception in finding great shells to fill up her bag AND joining in on the fun of looking at everybody’s favorite shells.

teresa shell collecting sanibel captiva

More LIGHTNING WHELKS, OLIVES, another GAUDY NATICA and she also found a CRUCIFIX SHELL…

teresa TN gaudi natica whelk olives

Ginger from KY found the best SHARKS EYE Ive seen in months.

Ginger sharks eye KY shell pile

Gorgeous!

sharks eye shell captiva sanibel

It was the perfect weekend to have a spectasheller shell party!

finding lots of shells to collect in south west florida

shells from Captiva sanibel florida september

But what would the party be without you? Grab a seat and start siftin’ with a little CYBERSHELLING! (click to enlarge this next photo)

cybershelling cyber photo shells