Archive for Moon Snail
I am still in awe of how many different seashells we found on our vacation to North Caicos and Middle Caicos of the Turks and Caicos Islands. I’m also in awe (okay, let me tell the truth…. ”overwhelmed” would be the right word) because I took over 1100 photographs. Yikes! So this is what I’m going to do since I can’t smoosh all of these amazing shells, photos and info in just this one post. I’m going to show you our best finds now and then in my next post I’ll show you where we found them and a few maps just in case you ever want to go there on one of your shelling vacations too. After that, I’ll show you where we stayed on North Caicos and a few restaurants and other things we loved about the islands. But for now, lets get on with the seashell show! I showed you Clark’s KING HELMET, my ANGULAR TRITON and some QUEEN CONCHS on my last post but these PARTRIDGE TUNS for sure made it on our “besties” list. They look like really fragile scotch bonnets without the thick lip.
Here’s a close up the bottom of our LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL I showed on my vacation “teaser” (heehee) post. I say “our” shell because Clark and I were snorkeling side by side when we both spotted this beauty as the same time. Gorgeous, right?
Here are the different colors of the GAUDY ASAPHIS I talked about…
We could have gathered hundreds of doubles! Clark collected so many different colors then picked through them to get the best to bring back…
The double SPECKLED TELLINS were such a treat too! We are always tickled to find beautiful bivalves when both valves are still attached…
Believe it or not, this is my first BLEEDING TOOTH NERITE. I saw oodles of NERITES, but since I was trying to be very selective in what we brought home, I chose this one I’ve never found before to bring home and it’s one of my faves!
And of course the SUNRISE TELLINS. Oh my. They really look like they have been colorfully painted then sprayed with a high gloss coating. It was astonishing to find a perfect double SUNRISE TELLIN laying in the shallow water half covered by sand. A true gift of the sea.
Oops! I forgot to put my MILK CONCH in my bestie photo but this has to be part of my favorites list too!
I found this MILK CONCH and a juvie QUEEN CONCH the first night we arrived… which was my birthday night. YAY! We didn’t want to waste a minute so we walked the beach as soon as we arrived and these washed up at my feet. YAY Again!
I love the minis!!!! Just like here in Sanibel, if we are visiting a beach and we aren’t finding the larger shells in the wrack line, at the shoreline or in the water, we start looking for miniature shells. We found them! They are just so stinkin sweet, arent they?
But wait! There’s more! I want to share Jane and John’s besties too!
You saw John Johnny Rescue’s QUEEN CONCH and Jane’s ANGULAR TRITON yesterday and they found the SUNRISE TELLINS and PARTRIDGE TUNS as well…. But… John found this very cool CONE!
It really doesn’t match exactly with that thin lip, high spire and a few other details and I havent had time to research further, but our best guess is that it’s a CROWN CONE.
UPDATE! Deenie just commented to tell us that this is not a CONE at all! It’s a juvenile HAWKWING CONCH! How cool is that. Now that I know what it is, I can completely recognize the shape and now I know why the lip is so thin unlike a CONE and the spire is so tall. Thank you so much Deenie!
Well how about that… John found an adult HAWKWING CONCH as well so you can see what that juvie will look like when it grows up.
And look at the color and lines of this RETICULATED COWRIE-HELMET!
It is a spectacular shell! Good find John!
What? Why haven’t we ever found these on Sanibel??? We have gobs of COLORFUL MOONS (GAUDY NATICAS) so why don’t we find their OPERCULUMS more often? Weird. Plain Weird. Thanks Susan for the heads up on this beaut. So now we have something new to look for in SouthWest Florida too so look at the exterior of this SHIVA SHELL to put this in your shelling brain. Anyway, John found this one in the high tide wrack line mixed in with some other Beach Bling and a few days later I found one too but it wasn’t perfect like this…
So how cool are these shells from The Caicos, huh? Let me show you the whole kit and caboodle of shells Clark and I brought back. Keep in mind, after rinsing and inspecting the shells we collected each day, we didn’t bring home the majority of our shells to Sanibel. We inspected for cracks, critters, crud or replaced them for better specimens. We want to respect the islands, sand and beaches so we have to be conservative with the shells we take. We only kept the ones we knew we would either display in our home or research for the blog. Look how beautiful they are! I could just sit and stare at all of these treasures for hours at a time!
I’ll try to give you as much information as possible about our stay in a short time so I’m already working on a map to show you where most of our shells were found on our exshellent adventure!
We have been so fortunate to have had absolutely gorgeous, unseasonably warm weather for weeks on end now. Yes, it’s usually “shorts” weather in SouthWest Florida in January most years but we’ve had “shorts-n-bathing suit” weather here lately. So a walk on the beach ends up turning into a dip in the water to cool off. It’s soooo nice! What could make that sound even better? Shells! There are still shells rolling up at Blind Pass… but it seems like they are on the Sanibel side now. Both Clark and I found the shells in the top photo but I have to admit Clark found the “ALPHIE” and the awesome brown LACE MUREX…
It looked perfectly clean when I got home so I quickly snapped these photos without giving it another thought. Hmmmm. Now I wish I had spent some time to clean it up since the sand shows up so much…. but just look beyond that. It’s beauuuteeeful! We don’t find the brown “LACIES” very often.
We met Lido from Orlando (he’s an actor!) having a great time filling his pockets with some excellent shells…
He found an ALPHABET CONE aaaand a FLORIDA CONE! Not so bad, right? He found that unusual color of CALICO SCALLOP as well…. so I have to admit… I spied it with all of his other shells (FIGHTING CONCHS, WHELKS etc) and liked it so much I’m the one who chose it to put in his picture with his 2 favorites. I get so tickled when I see someone else get so intrigued by the different color variations of those SCALLOPS!
Soul Sister Susan found a COLORFUL MOON shell!
Her favorites of the day were of course the spectacular MOON but she also found a double ROSE PETAL TELLIN too (top right on her hand).
Take a look at this PURPLISH SEMELE that Rosalie from Michigan found.
Not so “purplish”, right?
We find more of these shells up at Cayo Costa but she found this orangish PURPLISH right in front of the Island Inn.
The inside of that shell reminds me of something but I can’t think of what it is…. hmmmmm…… maybe it will come to me soon.
Don’t forget to reserve your spot on a shelling cruise with me! If you missed it on my last post, here’s the info…
These are the dates for the iLoveShelling ShellingAdventure!
- February 17- morning cruise from 9am-12 (Sunday)
- March 16- morning cruise from 9am-12 (Saturday)
- April 13 – Morning cruise from 9am-12 (Saturday)
- May 19- afternoon cruise from 1pm-4 (Sunday)
Call Captiva Cruises for reservations at 239-472-5300 and tell them you want to join the iLoveShelling group on one of these dates!
For more information about reservations CLICK HERE
Yippee! Can you believe it? Tickets are only $50 for this shellacious get together so book soon to save your spot on one of the iLoveShelling ShellingAdventures to Cayo Costa! Come join me!
Now that you’ve met the members of the “Maiden Voyage” (cute name, Patty!) for the Shellebaloo on my last post, it’s time for a little seashell show and tell. I have 2 personal favorite shells found during our 3 days together (other than the LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL of course). The first shell is Carolyn’s absolutely perfect ALPHABET CONE…
And the other one is Sara’s COLORFUL MOON shell. There was questions about it being called a GAUDY NATICA so I explained that I used to call it that too but since the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum calls it the COLORFUL MOON, I figured I should start trying to call it that. Any way, here’s Sara and her beautiful shell…
Isn’t it beautiful? She told me this was her favorite find of the week. Good one!
I asked everybody else to get out their favorite shells to see which shells made them happiest so we gathered at the gazebo at our home base of the beautiful Island Inn to have a show and tell. Carolyn and Mike added a few to their faves along with her ALPHIE…
Amy showed me her teeny tiny juvie TURKEY WING…
Karen, Helen and Jackie chose an ALPHABET CONE, TOP SHELL, LACE MUREX (notice that sweet little pink nose) and a KING’S CROWN…
Sally and Jim collected a beautiful assortment of different shells to name a few like the green cap filled with TUSK SHELLS, a BRUISED NASA, TINTED CANTHARUS, WHITE MELAMPUS, COFFEE MELAMPUS, a SEA PEARL, a CLOUDY PERIWINKLE (inside the BUTTERCUP LUCINE), and a WENTLETRAP. Nice, huh?
Traci and Rob found the SANIBEL SIX…
But when I asked Traci what her one favorite shell was, she told me it was definitely the double OYSTER…
JoAnn and Sid’s favorites were the RIBBED CANTHARUS, COFFEE COFFEE BEAN TRIVIA and ANGEL WING…
Isn’t this fun seeing which shells make people happy? Well, this next one made me very happy and made me laugh out loud! Maureen laughed then told us that her favorite shells were speaking to her… maybe by aliens or through hieroglyphics on CROSS BARRED VENUS shells. LOL Now that’s a gal that has a great sense of humor!
This is quite a seashell collection by Kathy and Bill for their favorites. Love, Love that WORMIE (WORM SHELL) and ALPHIE for sure! And I saw that piece of CORAL in her shell bag and “may” have influenced her to put that in her faves too. (oops! but I was so drawn to it! So pretty!). Of course I love the others too… NUTMEG, LACE MUREX, BANDED TULIP, BUBBLE, FIG, SEA PEARL and angel wing.
Arabelle chose a BABY’S EAR, WHITE MELAMPUS and a SEA PEARL as her favorites. I am so tickled she found that BABY’S EAR!
Last but not least was the awesome LONG-SPINED STAR SHELL Joe and Patty found along with some of their other faves… a PURPLISH TAGELUS, TUSK and a KING’S CROWN to name a few.
I love how easy it was for everybody to pick through all of their shells to narrow it down to the ones that meant the most to them. Each person sees something different in each shell whether it is color, pattern, markings, size, shape or just the location of where they found it. They were all so happy with what they found!
PS- Stay tuned because I have a surprise for you on my next post! We might have another get together soon!
Magnificent seashell treasures can be found on Sanibel when so much of the beach is exposed during very low tides like this morning at Gulfside City Park.
Shelling at a really low tide gives you several beach combing options as well. The high tide wrack line can produce new shells to sift through but I always feel like I can look through those shells on my walk back since it will take some time for the tide to come back in to cover those up.
So I search the tidal pools and areas of the beach that are newly exposed at the shore line which will be covered up quickly when the tide starts to come in. That’s where I found an ANGEL WING and DOUBLE ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE..
Oodles of juvie FIGHTING CONCHS…
During these low tides, shells (MOLLUSKS) may still be alive or have live HERMIT CRABS in them so you have to look very carefully not to take any shells with live creatures in them. So when I saw this upside down SHARK’S EYE , I still had to check to make sure there was no live animal inside. Nope! Nobody was home! A keeper!
Along with the SHARK’S EYE, I kept this gorgeous multicolored CALICO SCALLOP, double JEWELBOX and a pretty orange-ish TRUE TULIP…
Speaking of SHARK’S EYES, Jeanne from South Carolina found this aaawesooome one…
She and her daughter Rachel were finding their shell loot by combing the tide pool.
These were Rachel’s faves she found…
Did you spot that orange JINGLE near the tip of her finger? It has both valves! Yes, it’s a double JINGLE! She said it was just laying in the very shallow water in the tidal pool not attached to anything. I rarely see both sides together without having to pry it off a PEN SHELL. Cool! Here’s a better view…
I also met Shannon from new Hampshire who collected a whole bag of goodies…
Her favorites included a PAPER FIG…
Further down the beach, I met Mary from Charlottesville, VA …
I was super excited to see she picked up part of a FULGURATOR OLIVE. She had no idea what it was but knew it was special enough to keep it. The same goes for the THORNY OYSTER (the bivalve with the orange around the edge). I rarely see those shells.
If you want to see exactly what it looked like on my shelling walk this morning, clicking the next video image!
Hurricane Sandy is still wreaking havoc all along the east coast of the United States so I feel so bad getting excited about some of the shells that we are finding along our shores of Sanibel because of Sandy’s northwest winds. But… we all need a little good news too in times like this… right? So if you still have power in your home, I hope we can spread a little Florida sunshine and share our treasures with you to hopefully make you smile at least once today.
As I picked up this SHARK’S EYE in the next photo, I realized I snagged it up so quickly because it was in such great condition then realized it would be a good idea to let you know what it looked like when I spotted it so you would know what to look for if it was upside down like it was when I found it.
See? It is so different looking if it is laying in the sand with the aperture side up.
There are still oodles of PEN SHELLS lining the beach but I only found a few other shells hiding among them. Down by the water at low tide, there were FIGHTING CONCHS were everywhere!
I met Eric from Ft Lauderdale scoping out the best spot on the beach scooping up handfuls of shells. Happy birthday Eric! You got plenty of gifts from the sea!
I found other fabulous treasures besides seashells at Gulf Side City Park as well… like Shelling Sister Judy from PA!
She immediately showed me some of the goodies she had found around the same spot…
Then Cheryl showed me this big honkin LIGHTHING WHELK she had found!
After I talked with Cheryl about her LIGHTNING WHELK, she told me that I had taken a photo of the backs of her with her sister at Blind Pass watching sunset in June 2011. I remembered that photo! They looked so cute sitting on the beach because all I could see was their backs and matching straw hats while they watched the sun setting right in front of them. It’s the 15th photo down on my post “Sunset, Seashells and Shelling Sisters”… CLICK HERE to see it. Then you will know why I took their photo this way (since they didn’t want me to take their faces… silly girls!) Here is Cheryl and her sister Brenda holding their WHELKS…
Joyce and her daughter Kristin had just gotten started filling their shell bags but were so happy to already find some goodies.
There are some good shells to be found at Gulf Side City Park… BUT, it doesn’t even compare to the shells we found after Hurricane Isaac, Tropical Storm Debby or any of the other storms that brought high northwest winds like this. Blind Pass still is empty of shells- weird. I didn’t find too many good shells on any other beach other than this one… Mother Nature is definitely fickle. She likes to change the rules to stay in control so we don’t ever think we are smarter than she is. You’ve got my respect , Mother Nature!
PS- I did take a few minutes of video so I’ll try to get that downloaded ASAP for you to see on my next post.
It was a shellebration today at Blind Pass! Around 9 am this morning, the seashells started crashing onto the beach at Blind Pass Captiva quickly building up into a shellacious treasure trove. OMG
I’m kinda jumping ahead since I haven’t even shown you everything that happened yesterday… but… I can’t wait to show you this shelling frenzy that happened today. And because… two (that’s 2) JUNONIAS were found!!! Alisha from Tennessee found an absolutely perfect JUNONIA and not but an hour later her boyfriend Ron found the other one! Really! Can you believe it? Waaahoooo!
With the shell filled waves breaking right on our ankles, you had to react very quickly to snatch the goods ones out of the water while balancing on the pointy shells under our feet. I overheard Ron tell Alisha “No pain, no gain!”. Then she snagged this sweet little JUNONIA out of the water without a net. LOL Way to go Alisha!
Not one chip on the lip!
Everybody that was there was finding treasures of their own. Jill from Virginia Beach found this awesome bright orange HORSE CONCH!
Her friend Kimmy (long story short… we found out she and Jill live in the same neighborhood Clark and I used to live in. Small world!) found this ALPHABET CONE…
Lisa from West Palm Beach, Florida found an ALPHABET CONE too!
Lisa’s nephew Tyler kinda showed his aunt up (heehee) because he came up with this outrageously huge ALPHABET CONE! The Mac Daddy Alphie!
Sue from St Pete, Florida plucked this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK out of the waves! And don’t miss all those goodies in her bucket too! wow!
Speaking of buckets… this next bucket belongs to Amy from New York. She was about to empty it into a larger bag to fill it back up again but I had to get a photo. Be still my heart. This is like a sheller’s dream bucket. Filled with sweet success of a well rounded shelling day… a FLAT, CONE, OLIVE, CONCH, MOON, NUTMEG, WHELK and TULIP. I know she had a MUREX in there so, yes, The SANIBEL SIX!
This is the lucky gal Amy. Thank you so much for letting me drool over your bucket!
Jim from Nebraska was getting close to finding a JUNONIA when he spied this big colorful piece washing up to the shore…
His mom Louise (Illinois) was just as happy finding this awesome ALPHABET CONE. Happy Dance!!
There were a lot of happy dances at Blind Pass today in the sun, sand, and shells since waiting several days after the tropical storm force winds of Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf Of Mexico passed us by. Congratshellations to you all for all of you fabulous finds!
If you are coming in for the holiday weekend… Don’t worry. There are still LOTS of shells rolling around here in Southwest Florida!
PS- Our thoughts are with the cities on the east coast of Florida and the northern cities of the Gulf Of Mexico who are dealing with flooding and havoc from Hurricane Isaac. Mother Nature can show as much bitter as she shows with the sweet at times.