Archive for Nutmeg
If there is a better souvenir than finding an awesome LIGHTNING WHELK like this to remember a wonderful vacation… I dont know about it.
Therese told me she only saw a tiny bit of the top of this shell and thought it looked interesting enough to start digging around it. Then she realized it was this perfectly empty WHELK! Congratshellations Therese! She and her husband Dan (visiting from Minnesota) had an exshellent afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva under the bridge at low tide filling up their shell bags with WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES and one nice piece of a JUNONIA.
She even found one of the biggest CHESTNUT TURBANS I’ve seen in a while too…
Wendy (a local Sanibelian) found a few goodies to take home to make into jewelry…
She also found a SHIVA SHELL (which I didnt even get a picture of – darn!- so CLICK HERE if you want to see one) and this incredible DOUBLE JEWELBOX. It has pieces of CORAL growing on it!
Clark found a few nice shells too but the one I got most excited about was the WHITE CRESTED TELLIN in the top left corner. We have found them more on Cayo Costa but to find one at Blind Pass is pretty rare. The shell in between the two OLIVES is a huge and thick weird shaped JINGLE I thought was interesting too. I love that weird stuff!
You really couldn’t see how big the NUTMEG was in the last photo so I thought I’d show you how big it is in Clark’s hand. It’s shellacious! It measures in at a whopping 48mm… which isn’t like a world record size (Susan H?) but it’s the biggest one we’ve seen in a long time!
I found a regular sized NUTMEG that I thought I’d keep along with a BITTERSWEET, a CALICO CLAM with a cool pattern, and my new faves- the CALICO SCALLOP.
We ended the evening watching another gorgeous sunset over a big pile of Sit ‘N Sift shells on the other side of the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva.
The sky turns a lucious orange right at the horizon when the sun sets over the Gulf Of Mexico.
Then it melts into the water to end another sensational day on the island.
Oh Wait! I did take a short little video right when we first got to Blind Pass at 6pm yesterday. It’s just a little something to show you exactly where we were. This was right before Therese showed me her WHELK! Have a wonderful weekend!
My favorite time to shell is in the warm evenings when the receding low tide seems to expose a mile of undiscovered beach…
Whichever way you walk, you know will be the right way…
When treasures are half buried but you see just enough of a clue to know you’ve found something special…
When there are live creatures trying to camouflage themselves until they can make it back under the sand like this tiny baby SAND DOLLAR…
When the sky glows like a bon fire just before the sun sinks behind the horizon.
There were quite a few shells half buried all along the Lighthouse Beach (like the NUTMEG) but if you walk west on the gulf side this week in the evening you will see oodles of live FIGHTING CONCHS, STARFISH and other amazing creatures… oh and some treasures like the empty LIGHTNING WHELK as well. It’s just a beautiful site to see. I’ve heard that Bowmans Beach and Blind Pass have some great shells right now so if you are around Southwest Florida, you should get out on one of the beaches this afternoon/evening. It’s a site to behold.
And we have a little bit of SHELLEBRATING to do too! The iLoveShelling facebook page now has over 5000 fans! Wahhooo! 5000 shellers who love shelling as much as we do! We are in some exshellent company, my friends. Here’s a little shout out to our 5000th shelling friend, Angela Lucas! Thank you Angela and welcome to the world of iLoveShelling! Here’s Angela and her mermaids!
My world has been splashed with so many amazing colors of shells lately! These gorgeous tiny TRUE TULIPS (above) were a combination of both my finds and SS Clark‘s finds over the last few weeks as well as these little HORSE CONCH candies. These are the shell colors we dream about!
Since I just talked about the process I took to clean the big size HORSE CONCHS in my September 5 post, I thought I’d tell you that I only rinsed these shells with fresh water before I photographed them (as well the shells on my last post). None of these shells needed any more cleaning than just a rinse as you will see. I did put mineral oil on the TULIPS to bring out the color but I didn’t on these HORSE CONCHS because… well… I ran out of time.
I’ve showed a few colors of the CALICO SCALLOPS (and even named them!) but here are some rich colors of the ROUGH SCALLOP. I just love this lemon yellow one Clark found…
Even the NUTMEGS have been rich with color.
Not only did we find so many different patterns and colors on LIGHTNING WHELKS, I even found one without color at all… an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK! See the white one on the bottom row?
I think this ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK deserves a close up shot. You can see that it still has a shine to the exterior which would be a sign of an albino. Beach worn white shells have a dull matte finish so you can tell that the sun bleached the color out of them.
Hmmm. This photo makes it look blue. Dang it. It really isnt blueish but since it was so bright white against the blue, the lens got tricked and the white balance went wacky. If I get time, I’ll try to retake it but you can see the true color with all of the other LIGHTNING WHELKS but hopefully you can see, this one is in excellent condition with a nice glossy aperture.
Now every where I look I see amazing technicolor I thought were only saved for dreams.
We spent hours boating from Fort Myers Beach to the outer islands of Sanibel this weekend. I felt like we were on vacation! The first island we pulled up to I found this nice sized WENTLETRAP…
It was resting in a nest of sea weeds and SARGASSUM.
Okay, I’ll fess up. Clark and I weren’t really looking for WENTLETRAPS but it was a nice surprise. We were actually looking for a LION”S PAW. “Why”, you ask? Because we wanted to find this LIONS PAW’s brother or sister…. or better yet, the granddaddy!
It’s a beauty, right? Did you see that all of the knuckles are in tact? Saweeeet! Captain Brian found this awesome LION’S PAW on Cayo Costa on Friday. Is this a happy face or what! Congrats Brian!
So we looked high and low for even a piece of one…
While on Cayo Costa, we met Anna (Indiana) shelling the beach with a bag full of shells tied to her walking stick…
She had a beautiful collection of shells ranging from SAND DOLLARS to that excellent yellow HORSE CONCH.
Now who wouldn’t be happy with this collection? She found ANGEL WINGS, TRUE TULIPS, TURBANS, a NUTMEG, SHARK’S EYE, LIGHTNING WHELK and a cute twisted WORMIE.
Clark found one of these live ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLARS floating in the current then saw the other one close by. We have found dead ARROWHEADS before but neither of us has ever seen live ones like this. They are beautiful! Clark put them back in the water right after I snapped this photo to keep them nice and healthy.
Well, we didn’t find LION”S PAW and the water clarity was a little cloudy but after seeing so many SAND DOLLARS, I put on my mask and snorkel to see what else I could find in the water. Take a few good breaths and get used to the water so you can go on my snorkeling vacation with me. Here we go!
PS- Next post I’ll show you lots of MANATEES that we saw this weekend! I love those SEA COWS!
We finally got down to Blind Pass last night just in time to catch the -0.1 low tide. As usual, the beach has changed since a week ago when we were there last and the sand bars have shifted. The best thing was… more shells! And I met Shelling Sistah Lisa (a Virginia Beach girl too!) with her blue shell bag filling up with The Sanibel Six and more like a TURKEY WING and some sweet KITTEN’S PAWS.
Lisa’s husband Eric (they are both teachers- love those teachers!) was doing just as well…
Eric told me he found something “a little different” ….. he found a beautiful NUTMEG!
I also met Denise and PC from Savannah, GA with…. yep, the Sanibel Six along with TURBANS and more plus a WORMIE!! I was surprised to see there were a few WORM SHELLS out there too .
Then the sky started turning dark and the storm was getting closer. I know, look at all those larger shells on the beach! They were mostly PEN SHELLS, cracked FIGHTING CONCHS and DOSINIAS.
And look what the backhoe pulled up in one scoop! An ALPHABET CONE and a TRUE TULIP! That was the last hurrah. We headed off the beach before the storm got any closer.
Most of you probably don’t use Twitter but I sometimes enjoy a small tweet or two….. especially yesterday when I got this tweet from @Lifesabeach that said “What we found at Blind Pass yesterday”. This photo was attached ( you can click on it to go to her photo page)…..Yowza!
Okay I have one more thing….. I need to be serious just for a second. It’s about the strong currents and rip tides that occur often at Blind Pass…. especially with the tidal changes. It can be very dangerous! Really! Think about it….the same water that can sweep all of those shells to the shore in a matter of minutes can sweep a person out into danger. Just please be smart and careful(even if you are a strong swimmer!) if you feel a strong current, undertow or rip tides- go shell on the beach or just she shallow water. Okay, I want to leave you on a good note so go back and look at all of Lisa’s shells in the first photo so you can smile again!
We had more 15 mph cold winds blowing from the north west all day yesterday. That means shelling at Blind Pass should be pretty good. So that’s why Clark and I headed there this morning at 8 a.m……. which was a little too late to snag this huge LIGHTNING WHELK John found. He got there at 6 a.m.!
Geez…. AND he found a SCOTCH BONNET! This shell is pretty rare to find here so to find a whole one is shellicious. He and his wife come to Sanibel or Captiva to do a little shelling on the weekends from the middle of Florida.
I always get the warm and fuzzies when I meet someone who reads my blog. Look who else I ran into!
It’s Christine Kieffer! She’s one of our shelling sisters who leaves fun comments and adds lots of joy to this blog.
Here she is in the picture above with her husband Rick who helped her get that live HORSE CONCH back safely in the water.
Do shelling families get any cuter than this? I hit the jackpot this morning running into my blog friends. Julie is a shelling sister too and brought her whole family out to gather the shell goodies.
Right away her son Conner found this huge colorful NUTMEG.
Her daughter Katie found one of my faves…. a baby FLAT ZIGZAG SCALLOP.
Yep! There’s Joan that I introduced to you 2 weeks ago (on my post As The Seashells Turn) looking for her treasures in that shell pile right next to the jetty. It was so much fun to run into so many shelling sisters and shelling brother John (shelling brother just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it. Maybe “sheller bro”… er…. uhhh… nah)…. I’ll just go with” my little shelling family”. So nice to see yall.
I’m getting waaarrmmer…..