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.
Our friends John and Jane strapped a Zodiac dinghy to the top of their car on Saturday and invited us to join them for a boating adventure down to Marco Island. Yes! We are always ready for a shelling expedition.
The whole day was golden…
Literally! Both John and Clark found GOLDEN OLIVES!
When we all got back to the boat, everybody was showing off their best finds and both guys held out their hands holding the GOLDEN OLIVES…
Look at this huuujah ANGEL WING Clark found. It fills my whole hand…
This was an ALPHABET CONE John found for the day.
These are Jane’s FLORIDA CONES. These are pretty golden too!
Here are the rest of her best finds.
A nice 10 inch old crusty HORSE CONCH I found on the low tide sand bar…
I heard Clark yell and start waving his arms. Oh no, he di-ant! Another one? He couldn’t have found another you-know-what. I looked to see how far away he was since I was way out on the sand bar. See that little speck? That’s how far he was from me.
Okay,..you might want to avert your eyes if you’ve had a bad day or just can’t stand the thought of Clark finding yet another J….. uh…. I can’t even say it. To show me where he found it, he had it sitting right where it was when he walked up. Here… see for yourself.
Really? How come I didn’t look there first? The man is a shell magnet. Here is a close up of his nearly perfect JUNONIA (just the tip is missing). I want to find one! Not that I’m jealous…. oh, geez. Of course I’m jealous! Oh I’m happy for Jane and “him” too…. I guess. 😉 It even has a golden color to it too!
You know I’m just kidding about being upset I didn’t find the big J. How could I when I found so many beautiful shells on such an awesome day? Here are some of our other golden treasures…like candy!
FALSE ANGEL WINGS…
and even a cool BRYOZOAN COLONY…
PS- I popped off some of those crusty barnacles to uncover the shell of that HORSE CONCH I found out the sand bar. It’s beautiful! I found a home for it on my outside steps as a happy welcome to our Shell Shack.
Caroline (St Augustine) was positively a winner with a bucket full of seashells at Sanibel’s Blind Pass. With a negative low tide, you can walk out so far on the sand bar right now to find lots of FIGHTING CONCH, WHELKS, OLIVES….. basically, all of the SANIBEL SIX. Her mom, Jill, knew she found unusual shell so asked me to identify it. It’s a tiny little STRIATE NASSA!
Mike from L.A. (Lehigh Acres, FL ;)) was so happy to fill a whole bag on his first day ever shelling.
He even found three SAND DOLLARS!
I take that back, I didn’t see the complete Sanibel Six because I didn’t see anybody with a CONE (that’s okay- the little orange”candy” takes up for it) but here a few of my finds.
Here’s a short video of what the sand bar looked like at low tide on Sunday afternoon. This evening is another negative low tide of -0.5 at 6:24 pm. Should be good!
We have some WINNERS of the NIght Shelling Lighted Cap GiveAway !!!
First, I want to thank you all for so many wonderful comments and stories that gave me a look into your lives. I love getting to know yall a little bit better by hearing about you and your thoughts. Thank you so much for your support!!
I put all 283 (!!!) names from the comments together and Clark drew 3 random winners..
Winner #1 is Barbara Teitelzweig! You won the iLoveShelling.com 2-Beam Lighted Cap.
Winner #2 is Deb Merkel! You won an i Love Shelling Tank Top.
Winner #3 is Angela Moore! You won the i Love Shelling Cabana Tote.
Congratulations! Time to SHELLEBRATE!
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the new 2-Beam Lighted Cap (it’s a hands-free flashlight and a cap all in one!) or other fun i Love Shelling gear, just click on this…..
Nassa (Bruised Nassa)
I’ve been so obsessed with the Sanibel’s Middle Gulf Rd beaches and Captiva lately, that I’ve neglected my old time fave beach… the Lighthouse. Thats’s where I found this mini half inch beauty the BRUISED NASSA. I updated this a few hours after I wrote this original post in which I misidentified this shell as a WHITE NASSA. Thank you to Bird and MurexKen for your keen eyes!
Bruised Nassa aperture
I also found shelling sistah and blogger Kaybe from The Essential Beachcomber (click on that link to see her “You might be a shell addict if you…”) finding WENTLETRAPS and BABY’S EARS.
Beachcomber Kaybe (Englewood, FL)
And I found more beach art. Another mermaid! This is for you Anna N…
I did take a couple of photos of Captiva’s Blind Pass on Monday and the beach and sand bar, of course, have changed. Not many shells on the left side of the jetty but the right side of the jetty had a little pile building.
Sand bar beach left side of jetty
This next picture shows a little pile of shells that was building up and look who was there working the pile …. Teresa from my January 2 post. She had found a couple of FLATS and a CONE. Look at that fog!
Right side of jetty on Captiva
The picture of the day that made me smile from ear to ear for probably an hour after I saw it on the iLoveShelling FaceBook page….Thank you Mary Ann!!! You made me speechless.
Smaller shells at the Lighthouse
Clark went out this morning at 7am to see if low tide brought anything unusual to the Lighthouse beach. There weren’t any bigger shells so he refocused his eyes to look for the little shells. He found (pictured) a LACE MUREX, 5 PEAR WHELKS, a KEYHOLE LIMPET, 2 PAPER FIGS, 28 WENTLETRAPS, and 2 NASSA.
We’ve got a full moon tonight and there will be a pretty low tide tomorrow morning around 7:30. We hope to see you out there!