Star light, star bright. First STARFISH yesterday in sight.
SEASTARS are always so much fun to see. This beautiful creature went right back in the calm, clear Gulf water where Linda and David (TN) found it while on our iLoveShelling adventure with Captiva Cruises yesterday.
I was also thrilled to see this gorgeous SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM that Jill (Peculiar, Missouri) found. She brought it over for me to identify and I think I went a little crazy… “Omigosh it’s perfect!”.
I always love when other beachcombers have an eye for the unusual pieces of beach bling and want to know what it is. She said she saw that cool swirl on it so she picked it up. Most people would have walked right over it… but not Jill! (check out our first one CLICK HERE -errr…. but its nowhere near as pretty as her’s).
I think Jill found that OPERCULUM because she has an eye for the small BIVALVES and likes to find shells she’s never found before. I think there are about 9 different species on her towel she brought to wrap them in for safe travels.
Jill’s not the only one that loves the bling and unusual, Shelly found all sorts of fab finds like FEATHERS, SEA URCHINS and huge shell pieces. Look at that happy smile on such a beautiful day at Cayo Costa Island!
The water was an amazing 75 degrees for Mac and Delta ( Los Angeles) to wade and scoop up a few treasures like LETTERED OLIVES and FIGHTING CONCHS. So much fun hanging out in the water with y’all!
We all found oodles of live OLIVES in the water and on the beach that we had to put back where we found them… but we were also lucky enough to find a few really glossy empty ones too.
Sue and Jens from NC were happy to find a few OLIVES and a stunning LIGHTNING WHELK too.
And PURPLISH TAGELUS shells too. These were scattered all along the mid tied wrack line on the beach so once we found one, we followed the same tide line to find so many more.
That was actually the same shell line that Krys and Mandy (Richmond, Virginia) found lots of dried out SEA URCHINS. They also found some sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS with amazing patterns but my photo just didn’t turn out well. (I’m going to look for those COMB BITTERSWEETS the next time on Cayo Costa)
We were barely off the boat stepping foot on the beach when Louisette and Michael (from Massachusettes) found a pile of shells they started scooping up. Louisette is a Sailor’s Valentine artist so she was in heaven with all of the common ARKS, VENUS shells, JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS all the same size for her work.
Local shellers Cazzie and Beth (Fort Myers Beach) found showed me their fave shells they found- Cazzie with a CONCH and Beth with a juvie lemon yellow HORSE CONCH.
So Cazzie realized that he had never seen this shell ever before on our beaches … hmmmm… Yep- he was right. We don’t normally find these type CONCHS on our beaches. It’s what I call a “WEDDING SHELL” which is a shell from the other side of the planet that someone bought in a shell shop and threw out on the beach to decorate or something (for whole story- CLICK HERE). I haven’t seen that many WEDDING SHELLS at Cayo Costa so it was pretty fun to see this one and know it is a very common shell in Okinawa, Japan– we saw them on every single beach when we visited there. When I asked Cazzie what his favorite shell of the day was… he showed me the WEDDING SHELL. :)
Rena brought her friend Nancy (Boston) who had never even heard the term “sheller” before this trip- A newbie! She might even consider herself a sheller now? haha Hopefully!
I had a twin on our cruise! Susan and I showed up with the same outfits on- same hat and iLoveShelling tee shirt. She and her husband Stuart were on a cruise last year with us when Stuart found an OLIVE without a tip. She took that OLIVE shell to Congress Jewelers with her certificate she received on our iLoveShelling trip and had this necklace made she has on this the next photo. A wonderful memory from last year- i LOVE that!!!! So much fun to see y’all.
Just like Susan and Stuart, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!
Join us! For future dates CLICK HERE
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to breathe the salty air with a walk along the shell filled beach at the Island Inn this morning.
I didn’t collect many shells today because I just wanted to hear the ocean sounds, smell the beach, feel the sea breeze and to see the amazing view.
… And give a little thanks to Mother Earth for this paradise I call home on Earth Day.
I asked Lynn from Charleston, SC if she had found any treasures and she replied with “Every single shell on this beach is a treasure”.
I feel the same Lynn!
John from Rhode Island plopped right now in the water and waves where he was finding all sorts of treasures. He found an amazing live purple FIGHTING CONCH that he gently put back in the water to live a healthy life after we all admired it.
After this little SEA STAR said “Hello” then waved “Good Bye”, the surf washed in and took her right back out to sea. Hmmm… Or maybe she was saying “Raise your hand if you Love Shelling!”
This OLIVE shell was playing “Hide ‘N Seek” with me.
A beautiful treasure may be right in front of you but if you don’t appreciate it when you can, it may disappear in a moment. Always keep your eye on the ball… well, in this case… the SHELL. ;)
It still amazes me how many variations of beautiful shells can be found on Sanibel during a morning walk on the beach during low tide.
Laura drove to Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park beach from her home in Fort Myers Beach to collect a few shells this weekend. She may not have filled up her shell bag but the treasures she found were well worth the trip… especially the fabulous FLAT SCALLOP, MUREXES and gorgeous LETTERED OLIVES she showed me (in the first photo).
Her husband Shannon found lots of those same shells in the high tide wrack line.
And he found oodles of CONCHS, DRILLS and TURKEY WINGS too to fill up his bag.
Our weather this weekend has been absolutely perfect with high 60s in the mornings and low 80s in the day. Love it!
Stacy (Pompano, FL) was having lots of luck shelling the tidal pools where she was happy finding all sorts of shell loot.
She found those glossy colorful OLIVES as well but she loves the minis too so my fave shell of hers was the tiniest and cutest little TOP SHELL (furthest to the left in her hand- cutie!).
I saw Barbara from NJ again but this time she showed me one heck of a beautiful shell she found… a GOLDEN OLIVE!
It was a dark mustard color – almost orange – and sooo beautiful but…. it was still alive. Most of the shells at the shore line were alive but I found most of the empty shells in the high wrack line or in the higher tidal pools. Barbara showed her GOLDEN OIVE to us long enough for me to get a photo, then she returned it to the sea. Breed, GOLDEN OLIVE, breed! LOL
It’s always nice to go on vacation like we did last week but living on Sanibel is sooooo nice to come home to. We are happiest living by the water’s edge on Sanibel just like most of the shells we saw at low tide this weekend… happy, healthy and very much alive.
Join me for a Shelling Adventure! Next one is tomorrow Oct 27, 2014 at 9am with Captiva Cruises. For more info CLICK HERE.
Oh and PS- I have something very special coming up this week… We are shellebrating iLoveShelling 5 years Shellaversary so Stay tuned!
Our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa had a rain delay Tuesday morning but just like shellers know how to make broken shells into beautiful pieces of art or jewelry, everybody who was there made the most of our time we had together. Captiva Cruises made our delay turn into something to talk about! We all gathered on the Lady Chadwick boat to stay safe until the storm passed (which BTW, wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon) where we could chat about my favorite subject… shelling! After a couple of hours of “shell n tell” and the weather still iffy, we all decided that most of us could come back the next day. Lets go for it!
So yesterday, our iLoveShelling cruise -round 2 – brought us sunshine and smiling faces! Beth, Debbie, Carol, Joyce from Athens, TN were bright and cheery just like our whole crowd.
While boating to the island, I picked a winner for the sterling silver seashell charm that Sealife By Congress gave as a gift to one lucky iLoveShelling cruiser. Carol won!
For everybody else on the entire iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress gave a $25 gift certificate so each of these shellers could have a sterling silver charm as well. Here is Dena, Stephanie, Mary, Gary, Lauren and Cameron with their Sealife By Congress gifts. An awesome jewelry store with an awesome way to start off the day. Remember, on every scheduled iLoveShelling cruise, Sealife By Congress will give gifts as well!
Then we pulled up to Cayo Costa to find crystal clear water, a beautiful beach with a string of seashells and puffy white non-stormy clouds. Paradise found.
Mary, Gary and Cameron found some fabulous shells including a PAUL NEWMAN’S SHARKS EYE. Yep, its a blue eyed beauty…
Lauren found the cool piece “rock” made of shell fragments which I used to believe were just chunks of cement made by fishermen used to keep their crab traps from moving around in the water. Now that I’ve questioned all of those different shells that are normally in the mix, I realized that they are fossil fragments cemented in limestone called COQUINA LIMESTONE. And yes, the “largest” shell on the right side is…. a COQUINA.
Landon started snorkeling as soon as he got off the boat and in just a few minutes, he showed me he found an ALPHABET CONE. Yay!
By the time we got back on the boat, he and his mom had two big bags filled with shells. They had so many FIGHTING CONCHS and LETTERED OLIVES, he decided to walk around the boat to give everybody any of the shells they had found. So sweet! In October they have another shelling trip planned which they told me was inspired by my post of our trip to Turks and Caicos. We want to hear how it goes!
On the beach, we were finding a few BABYS EARS, quite a few WHITE CRESTED TELLINS, ALTERNATE TELLINS, SHARKS EYES, CANCELLATE SEMELES, ANGEL WINGS and one SPECKLED TELLIN as well.
The larger shells seemed to be in the water so the clear aqua was very inviting to just go for it like Michele from Los Angeles did. Can you believe how clear that water is? Wow! Since her mom Debora (NY) is an artist more than a sheller, she decided to the opportunity to take in the island scenery and do some graphite drawings of her shells. So lovely!
Alex and Tara encouraged Isabelle (Gainsville, Florida) to use a stunning pice of pink pearlized WINGED OYSTER shell she found for the seashell pendant for her sterling silver charm from Sealife By Congress. Perfect idea!
It’s impossible to explain how much fun we all had after almost 9 hours of hanging out together on the cruise and because of our rain delay. It actually turned out even better because the rain gave me more time to get to know these fabulous folks… Sarah and Sandy from Arora Ontario… Grace, Melia and Teresa from St Louis… Pat from Michigan, Carol from Cape Coral, Belinda from Ohio and Kevin and Kerry from Pennsylvania.
Thank you for joining me, it sure was a shelling trip worth the wait.
But… Even if you can’t make an iLoveShelling cruise, Captiva Cruises has shelling cruises to Cayo Costa twice a day- one at 9am and one at 1pm. CLICK HERE for more info
For iLoveShelling dates and times CLICK HERE. JOIN US!
If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.
This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!
The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…
The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…
This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…
The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…
There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.
We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…
We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…
Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee
The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…
A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.
Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.
Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!
The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.
It still amazes me to walk the beach to see miles of seashells lining the coast…
Joann from New Jersey remembered her mother used to make jewelry from the shells she collected on Sanibel so wanted to come back to do the same.
Combing the beach back and forth in front of Island Inn Sanibel, she found BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCH, OLIVES, LIGHTNING WHELKS, COQUINAS, CALICO SCALLOPS, APPLE MUREXES and a sweet colorful NUTMEG.
Her brother Harry and his wife Joann (easy to remember!) from Tampa were thrilled to find so many shells they remembered as kids.
Sandy McFadin had commented on my iLoveShelling Facebook page last week asking what the shelling was like at Island Inn. Hmmm I hadn’t been in a while so this is for you Sandy! And… Sarah the ShellAnimal had requested another video so I started shooting a video at the Island Inn before the rain came in to chase us all off the beach. While I panned around to the shore, I caught Harry walking towards me then stopping to pick up a shell. Then he called out “Hey, I found four OLIVES!”
Come beach combing with me and you’ll see why I had to meet Harry and the Joanns. Click on the video…
The evening before this, Clark and I walked this same stretch of beach for sunset where Clark found a perfect FLAT SCALLOP and we had fun watching all of the birds like this beautiful SNOWY EGRET…
A BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER….
And a WILLET…
We also loved adding to this shell tree.
I made a wish when I added my shell…
It was a perfect way to end a beautiful day…
Wishing upon a shell shrub :)
With a beautiful beach, shells, sunsets and lively wildlife… it’s the perfect place to gather people who love shelling to join me for a 4 day shellathon during Shellabaloo! It’s coming up soon so don’t miss out for our April 24 event! CLICK HERE for more details. I love to meet new shellers!