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

Santa’s Seashell Good List

Posted by on Dec 22, 2012 in Alphabet Cone, Bittersweet Clam, Calico, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Giant Bittersweet, Horse Conch, Junonia, Queen Helmet | 20 comments

collecting seashells captiva seashore

We were shellebrating the season on the beach at Blind Pass Captiva today! We must have been on Santa’s “Good” list this year because he gave us the best gifts of all… gifts from the sea. Seashells!

true tulip seashell surf

Lots of seashells!

seashelling captiva

But wait… let me back up because the shells weren’t there all day so let me show you how quickly Mother Nature (maybe Santa too?) can do her/his magic.I arrived at Blind Pass this morning at 8 a.m. bundled in layers of clothes to ward of the 46 degree cold northwest winds. BRRRRR! That’s cold for us! I found a few scattered COCKLES, FLIGHTING CONCHS and PEN SHELLS along the high tide line and pocketed three beautiful shells… a KNOBLESS FIGHTING CONCH, GIANT BITTERSWEET and a funky orange CALICO SCALLOP…

KNOBLESS fighting conch bittersweet

There was nothing to speak of along the jetty rocks so I thought I’d amuse myself by waving to say hello to the camera since my shadow was the only thing in the picture (I know, I’m a dweeb). See? No real shells to write home about…

blind pass december morning

So I left around 9 a.m. (played tennis) and came back around 12:45 to find all of these shells piled up! In that short time span, thousands of shells rolled up along side those jetty rocks!

blind Pass december afternoon

Probably only an hour after I left, Lucky lady Glenda from England plucked the king of shells, a JUNONIA, right out of all those shells! And you won’t believe it… her husband Richard found a rare QUEEN HELMET!

queen helmet zigzag scallop junonia florida

So you know what that means… the “KING” and “QUEEN” will find their way back to England soon. LOL Congratshellations, to the royal couple!

junonia queen helmet england visitors

As soon as I walked onto that shell pile, Dawn snagged an ALPHABET CONE out of an incoming wave…

dawn alphie bp captiva

Then she showed me 3 HORSE CONCHS she just collected as well. Candy!!!

dawn horse conchs abc cone

Michelle and Eric were on Santa’s Good list too!

michelle eric shellers florida

I took this photo when I first saw them and I know they bucketed a few more ALPHIES, HORSIES and BITTERSWEETS but take a look at her JUNONIA (“cob”), part of a LION’S PAW and that gorgeous FLAT SCALLOP (lots of those found today!)…

junonia cob cones lions paw flat

 I don’t think there is anything more fun than witnessing a pile of seashells being formed on the beach. It is mind boggling that within 4 hours, thousands of treasures can be washed up by the waves of the Gulf Of Mexico. More photos coming soon!

seashellers captiva florida


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Platinum Medal Winning Juvenile Junonia

Posted by on Aug 5, 2012 in Helmet, Junonia, Queen Helmet | 42 comments

tobias tiny junonia

Since I awarded the SAND DOLLAR gold, silver, and bronze medal trophies this week, I knew what I needed to do when I saw this tiny juvenile JUNONIA. I had to award another special seashell medal for the summer shelling Olympics.

The Platinum Shelling medal!

platinum sand dollar medal

The Platinum Shelling Medal goes to Tobias from Fort Myers!

tobias juvie junonia

As we all know, finding a JUNONIA is what we all strive for here in Sanibel and Captiva, but to find such a tiny perfect specimen is very rare… not to even mention how stinkin adorable it is. He found this trophy shell at Blind Pass Captiva near the bridge right where McKenzie found hers last week. Congratulations, Tobias!

tobias juvenile ap junonia

So speaking of rare finds, Donnie found another killer shell along with his bronze medal winning seashells this weekend. It’s a little beat up but it really looks like a juvenile QUEEN HELMET!

queen helmet captiva

You can find QUEEN HELMETS in the Caribbean, the Keys and on the east coast of Florida but they are not native to our area so this is a really rare find too. It’s amazing this made it here mostly in one piece with just some bumps and bruises.

queen helmet seashell florida

Okay, I already gave you a “medal” Donnie, so you’ll just have to add this shell to your other winners. hahaha Which here is a photo of the HELMET with his other awesome finds. He found part of a JUNONIA!

junonia helmet

Local sheller Michelle (with Eric) found a piece of JUNONIA too this weekend.

michelle eric junonia

Evan found a SAND DOLLAR and a JUNONIA piece too! Wow! They all found the JUNONIAS at low tide in the same place Tobias found his- Blind Pass.

Evan sand dollar junonia

 Jeannie from Tampa found some great shells too…

jeannie worm shell turban

She found this nice WORM SHELL (Woohoo! WORMIE!), some pretty CALICO SCALLOPS and a bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN (I wish I had gotten a better picture of that- i love those shells!).

jeannie seashells

On the Sanibel side of Blind Pass I met the nicest family from Michigan plucking seashells right out of the surf. Meet Gail, Larry, Laura, Kevin and in the front row- Ella, Theo and Emma.

family on sanibel

They had just gotten to the beach but they all already found some faces…

hands of shells

Congrats again to Tobias! Thanks for tweeting this photo!

tobias moran junonia


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