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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Lion’s Paws Found After Beach Renourishment

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Atlantic Wing Oyster, Cabrit's Murex, Carrier Shell, Junonia, One-Tooth Simnia, Oyster, Sea Whip, Tolin Wentletrap | 40 comments

find lions paws Sanibel florida bp

It’s already a spectacsheller 2014! My dear friend Ellen found not just one LIONS PAW at Blind Pass Sanibel… but she found two LION’S PAWS!

elphie with lions paws bp sanibel

We walked passed that sand bar area that I’ve shown you in my last couple of posts towards Bowman’s Beach where they just finished the beach renourishment project. Remember I showed you that old wooden jetty that was newly exposed last year? Well, it’s all covered up again and filled in with fresh new sand that was pumped in from the deep waters off shore in the Gulf Of Mexico. So I’m assuming that these came in with the sand since both of them are so incredibly perfect. I want to show you the interior of this LIONS PAW so you can be on the lookout as well. I was right there with her shelling and I didn’t see either of them… I missed them both! She picked them up right after I looked in the same spot. LOL All I saw were oodles of KITTENS PAW and CALICO SCALLOPS (you know I love both of them so I was already mesmerized- hahaha) It just goes to show you, there are enough shells for everybody in southwest Florida since we all see different things while shelling on the beach. I think Im going to have to call her Shellen instead of Ellen from now on. heehee She’s got the LIONS PAW eye for sure! Shellzam! Congratshellations, Shellen!

interior lions paw sanibel florida

Clark was shelling just at the water’s edge with his shelling backhoe when he scooped up these beauties. Can you believe it? He found a CABRITS MUREX too! This one is pretty beat up but still… its a rare find for Sanibel. Again, prob from the beach renourishment. I haven’t gotten to a chance to see if that FLAT SCALLOP near his thumb will clean up well but its a beauty along with that bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN.

clark shells bp sanibel after beach renourishmnet

Shellen has an eye for LIONS PAWS, Super Sheller Clark has an eye ALPHIES and I seem to have an eye for finding CARRIER SHELLS.

carrier shell sanibel bp after beach renourishment

I also have an eye for WENTLETRAPS. As you can see in the next photo, all the way as far as you can see in the background, is a palm tree sticking up. That’s about 200 yards from the Blind Pass bridge (guestimate of course) so this is how far we walked to find our loot. Now look how far I was from the water and in that sparse shell line, I found what I believe is a TOLIN WENTLETRAP. I’ve found lots of different species of WENTLETRAPS (CLICK HERE for a line up of them) but this one looked different from the others so in my humble opinion, I think it’s a TOLIN.

tolin wentletrap Epitonium tollini bp sanibel

But honestly, I got more excited about this beautiful piece of BEACH BLING I found. It’s a purple SEA WHIP with a few cool hitchhikers! Click on the photo to enlarge to see if you can find them too before I tell you what they are.

purple sea whip with simnia winged oysters

Did you find the ATLANTIC WING OYSTER? So cool, right?

atlantic wing oyster attached to sea whip

But wait, there’s another tiny baby WING OYSTER too! Can you see it?

juvenile wing oyster on sea whip sanibel

And then I spotted a ONE TOOTH SIMNIA on this same SEA WHIP! It’s camouflaged but look closely…

one tooth simnia attached to sea whip sanibel

Shell Boom Bah! There are two ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS! Click this next photo to see both of them. Then go back and see if you can find both WING OYSTERS and both ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS in the first full size pic of the SEA WHIP. I know its weird but I felt like I had won the lotto. LOL This is why I love shelling so much. There are always magnificent hidden treasures on the beach… you just have to find the treasures that make you happy.

one tooth simnia Simnialena uniplicata on sea whip

I have one more photo to show you… I am so stinkin happy for my buddy Kaybe from The Essential Beachcomber!
She finally found her JUNONIA! She posted this on iLoveShelling Facebook page… “I’m making progress. Went from finding a little tip last week to an almost whole junonia this morning at Boca Grande. It was all wrapped up in some seaweed on the wrack line.” Exshellent!

karen kaybe junonia

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more info CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam

pam rambo art gallery iloveshelling


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Back On The Beach At Blind Pass

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Albino Fighting conch, Albino Shells, Atlantic Wing Oyster, Blind Pass, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sand Dollar | 19 comments

seashells from Sanibel island florida strainer

Low tide Sunday morning shelling at Blind Pass ….ahhhhhhh. Hawg heaven!

seashell on beach captiva florida clouds

Even if there wasn’t a shell in site, I would have been a happy girl just to walk on the beach, breath the salty air, feel the waves touch my toes and hear birds singing their sea songs. But I did have a bonus… Shells!

seashells blind Pass captiva florida shelling

While I was finding my mermaid loot, I met Lisa and Stan (Tampa) with their 2 kids Josh and Allison finding their own treasures from the sea.

lisa josh allison stan tampa visit sanibel captiva shelling


Stan was snorkeling about chest high to find some CONCHS, OLIVES and an ALPHABET CONE that he pulled out of his pockets to show me…

stan seashells sanibel captiva snorkeling

But that wasn’t it! They had a big bucket filled with CORAL, PEN SHELLS, a few BANDED TULIPS, an APPLE MUREX and a nice SUNRAY VENUS.

shell bucket seashells from captiva

I walked over to the Sanibel side of the pass and met Holly from Sanford, Florida who found an awesome orange HORSE CONCH.

Holly sanford florida horse conch juvie

I love this mid size HORSE CONCH! There are some BARNACLES around the lip and spire but I suggested waiting to get home before trying to get them off. When those barnacles are anywhere near that fragile lip, I suggest being very delicate picking around that lip by inserting a dental tool in the middle of the barnacle to work inside out first…being very easy. I’m sure it will clean up beautifully if you take your time… its worth it- that’s a fantastic find!

orange horse conch barnacles

I even stopped by Gulfside City Park (mid island Sanibel) for a few minutes today too just long enough to find another tiny SAND DOLLAR. Sweet!

sand dollar beach treasure with shells sanibel

Okay, I can’t wait to show you a closer view of my other finds today. I was very happy to find a double ATLANTIC WING OYSTER . I know it’s not so pretty on the outside…

winged oyster exterior sanibel florida

But goodness… look at that special inside. It’s pearlescent!

double atlantic wing oyster interior

My fave find of the day is an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH!

albino fighting conch periostracum

It looks a little yellow because it has the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it but if I cleaned it completely off, it would be stark white…. ALBINO! Okay- this is funny…. When I told Clark I found an ALBINO, he first congratulated me then looked at my photo of it since I left the shells in the sink in the garage. He said “That’s not an ALBINO, Pam!” (Ha! He thinks he’s the ALBINO expert since… well, I’ll have to give it to him… he does have a knack for finding them). So I sashayed to my shell stash and brought him my shell. “Hmmmm….Oh, okay.” He said. HAHAHA

I haven’t decided yet if I want all of the PERIOSTRACUM off yet so I’m going to be like Scarlett Ohara so… “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

shell collecting sanibel captiva september 2014

PS- Did you see “land” snail in my bucket too? I found a ROSY WOLF SNAIL (bottom left about 7 o’clock) on the path back to my car. It’s still “rosy”.

****   Calling all shellers! We are having a SHELLATHON in January CLICK HERE for details!   ****

shellabaloo 4 shell trip


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Beach Bling Clinging To Wing Oyster

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Atlantic Wing Oyster, Sea Whip | 18 comments

Pteria colymbus wing oyster juvenile

I found more shells clinging to SEA WHIPS! This time I found quite a few ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS  hitch hiking on those beautiful SEA WHIPS I talked about on my last post.

wing oyster juvenile

Notice how pearlescent the inside is! I didn’t want to break the two valves apart but you can peek in to see the beauty.

inside atlantic wing oyster

I found quite a few of these attached to the SEA WHIPS I found in the BEACH BLING last month.

sea  shell in sea whip

I know, this WING OYSTER doesn’t look that pretty hanging on to this gorgeous purple WHIP but he would definitely clean up nicely if I chose to untangle him.

wing oyster attached to fan

I’m just always amazed at what I’ve overlooked before.

sea whip wing oyster

I didn’t find all of these on the beach in the last month. I looked through some of my other SEA WHIPS I collected through the years and low and behold… I didn’t even realized I had perfect specimens of ATLANTIC WING OYSTERS wrapped up in my WHIPS.

atlantic wing oyster sea whip

I can’t believe I can’t find the photo (sorry!) …. but at the 75th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show this year there was a display of an ATLANTIC WING OYSTER still attached to a SEA WHIP. I kind of laughed to myself because at first it looked like a dirty purple SEA FAN with some junk not washed off. Then I put on my cheater glasses to look at the display. Cool! A WING OYSTER treasure! I love it- I learn something new every day.

Pteria columbus with gorgonian

After looking closely at the larger double shells, you’ll be able to see that both the sides don’t match. The two valves are completely different sizes and even the shape is different too.

atlantic wing oyster pearl color

You might not think these shells are pretty enough to toss in your shell bag, but at least when you see those SEA WHIPS, you might be able to find a little hidden treasure that most other people would pass right by and never see.

atlantic wing oyster

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Seashells Sighting While Fish Are Biting

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in Atlantic Wing Oyster, Bittersweet Clam, Captiva's Blind Pass shell mound, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Giant Bittersweet, Oyster | 22 comments

fish biting seashells sighting

So Exciting! When I arrived at Blind Pass Captiva yesterday morning, I saw that guy catch a fish while everybody else was wallowing in the joy of the big shell pile. Happiness.

shelling captiva florida

Chris (Calgary, Canada) found this very big WENTLETRAP right there! I was thinking the same thing as you are right now….. a WENTLETRAP at Blind Pass? I don’t see many people find them right there so that was a really good find in my book.

chris calgary ca wentletrap captiva

His daughter Kyla found a piece of JUNONIA. Any piece is a good piece!

kyla junonia captiva

My friends Courtney and Eileen (Sanibel) were having a blast soaking in this gorgeous day with the bonus of a huge shell pile…

courtney eileen captiva seashells

Eileen found this very colorful FLAT SCALLOP … but hold on… I know you will notice that tattoo just like I did so I’ll tell you what it “says”. It’s her mother’s signature. Is she cool, or what? She is definitely a piece of art work!

flat scallop eileen captiva florida

Courtney found my favorite shell of the day.

courney oyster

I hope yall dont think I’m crazy but it’s an awesome ATLANTIC WING OYSTER with both sides still attached.

atlantic wing oyster

Look at the inside of this shell…it’s like opening up a beautiful pearl!

atlantic wing oyster inside

I found lots of The Sanibel Six shells but only one ALPHABET CONE. It has this crazy pointy hat on top! I know it’s old and worn but I still really like it.

alphabet cone pointy tip apex

Barbara was doing an excellent job of the Sit ‘n Sift filling up her kitchen strainer. So smart! One less step when she gets home to clean them. ;)

Barbara shell pile captiva florida

There were lots of CHESTNUT TURBANS mixed in with WHELKS and FIGHTING CONCHS…

assorted seashells captiva florida


bittersweet clam shell captiva florida


coral branch on beach captiva

I think there was only about 5 shellers when I got the “mound” but within an hour, it was a ShellFest!

seashells blind pass captiva florida

I’ve got several videos so I here’s the first one. Happy Weekend!

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