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

Shellabaloo Shell Adventure Is Shellsational

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Island Inn, Leal's Wentletrap, Sanibel Hotels, Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 6, Wentletrap | 20 comments

cathy's shellabaloo shells first hours

Shellzam! Shellabaloo 6 at the Island Inn Sanibel Beachfront Resort has been awesome…

Travis shells in purple bucket

Everybody found some abshellutely beautiful shells…

seashells found at Shellabaloo 6 Jan 2015

We have had sooooooo much fun together!

Shellabaloo shellers having fun on the beach

We’ve been stooping for shells in the water…

sanibel stoop for shells

Stooping for shells on the beach…

Elaine stooping for shells at Shellabaloo

Scooping for shells with nets and shelling backhoes…

Scooping for shells on Sanibel

Sifting for shells…

Sifting for shells on Sanibel

We’ve seen live shells…

live fighting conch mollusks on sand bar

We’ve seen live starfish and other bling…

two starfish on a shell

But there are the special moments each and every time I gather Shellabaloo groups together… This time it was when Katherine (from Virginia) found a shellicious honey hole and wanted to share it with the rest of our group.

katherine found lots of shells

I peeked inside her shell bag (after I saw her working one little spot for a while) to see GAUDY NATICAS, KINGS CROWNS, BANDED TULIPS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, WORM ROCK and CHESTNUT TURBANS. She said “Can you go tell the other Shellabalooers?” Shell yaya!

Sanibel shells in a ziplock bag

This is the moment everybody saw how she was scooping in the soft sand that had just been covered by the tide. It was an awesome bonding experience as we sifted, sorted and scooped as a group then oohed and aaahed when somebody found a treasure. Shellabaloo Shellove.

bonding by seashell collecting

Then a shellebration!

happy shellers at sanibel shellabaloo

Shelling Sisters Christy (from Texas) and Janet (from Washington) had their cutie shellootie iLS gear on and showing some of their exshellent shell loot.

Christy and Janet sporting iLoveShelling gear and seashells

Cathy traveled from Nova Scotia to join us and have sweet success finding shell pickins…. but she was espeshelly happy to be in Sanibel since Canada is practically frozen over right now!

Cathy with shells and her brother travis hunting for seashells

Cathy’s brother Travis (Ottawa) found a bucket load of shells. Errrrr…..  is this the same guy that told me at the beginning of Shellabaloo that he “wasn’t that in to shelling” but was just here for his sister? Yup.  And… he also told me he wasn’t going to get in the water because he didnt like to get wet. Ahem…. would you look back at Cathy’s photo above? Uh huh! Yessiree. Just over Cathy’s shoulder on the left? That is Travis working another honey hole filled with shells … he’s practically UNDER water. LOL Look at his smile!

Shellabaloo Travis with a bucket of shells

Speaking of smiles, check out the happy faces of Karen and her daughter Katy who traveled from Maryland to be with us in the beautiful sunshine.

Katy and Karen on Sanibel beach

Elaine who shared the love of the mini shells with me, traveled from Washington state to be with us as well.

Elaine with seashells in Sanibel Florida

We all climbed aboard Sight Sea-R Cruises to take a shelling adventure to Big Hickory and had a blast.

Shellabaloo on Sight Sea-R shelling cruise

Yep, we found more shells…

conch and cockle shells from Sanibel

Kristen (from New Jersey) was celebrating after finding a LEAL’S WENTLETRAP as we all had lunch together.

Kristen at  lunch with Shellabaloo

She was able to show it to this WENTLETRAP’S name sake… Dr Jose Leal at the shell museum to have it verified. Cool!

Epitonium Leali Leal wentletrap Sanibel

Happy birthday Robin! We got to celebrate Robin from Maryland’s birthday with her mom Bobbie (Pennsylvania) during Shellabaloo too. We feel honored to have been able to help you shellebrate, Robin!

Shellabaloo Robin and Connie  lunch at Parrot Key

Every single moment we had at our iLoveShelling Shellabaloo at the Island Inn Resort was spectacsheller.

Shellabaloo 6 Sanibel guided shelling tour shells

Oh, but we had more fun that I have to show you with more shell pictures… so until our Shellabaloo exshellaganza has completely unwound from all of the excitement…

Shellabaloo 6 Sanibel guided shelling tour 2015

Thank you Island Inn for hosting this Shellabaloo shellowship again!

island inn sponsor logo

Dont forget, you can join us on another iLoveShelling Shell Adventure… CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

 

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How To Find Wentletrap Shells On Sanibel

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Angulate Wentletrap, Brown banded wentletrap, Humphreys Wentletrap, Leal's Wentletrap, Matthews Wentletrap, Plastered Wentletrap, Wentletrap | 62 comments

different wentletraps

WENTLETRAP shells are very hard to find if you don’t know where to look for them or you don’t realize how small they are. I can always spot another “wentletrapper” when I see one on the beach because they have perfected the Sanibel Stoop….and it’s a specific Sanibel Stoop. Clark and I were at Lighthouse Beach the other evening where I met Sailor’s Valentine artist Constance (Connie) Miller. I knew she was looking for WENTLETRAPS the moment I saw her because of her posture -heehee.

searching for wentletrap

She and her husband just arrived on Sanibel from Delaware then headed right straight to the beach for wentletrapping. I asked her if she was having luck so she opened her hand to show me her WENTLETRAPS…

different wentletraps

Would you like to find them too? Okay! I’m going to give you some tips! First of all, let me show you a video I made a while ago that will show you where  and how I found oodles of WENTLES near the east tip of Sanibel.

I found the WENTLETRAPS in the video very high on the beach in the high tide line along with lots of other minis, BARNACLES and bits and pieces of other shells. In this next video, you’ll see the same thing… minis, BARNACLES, bit of other shells and also you’ll see another clue for good wentletrapping. I always look for what looks like coffee grounds washing in with the surf. Once you find those “coffee grounds”, get in position using the Sanibel Stoop method to get low to the ground to see these little jewels. Adjust your eyes to focus on the smalls then follow that line until you start seeing BUBBLE SHELLS and other minis to lead you to your first WENTLETRAP. Watch this next video to see what I’m talking about…

So as you can see, they will show up in different places but that’s why it’s so much fun when you find them! You follow the clues for your treasure hunt then practice the stoop until you find one. Normally when you find one, you’ll find a several more.

Okay, so the reason I’m back on this WENTLETRAP kick is because when I was talking to Connie and she showed me her shells, I realized that she had 3 different types of WENTLETRAPS in her hand. Look back at the photo of connie’s hand and you’ll see that the one on the left is longer and thinner than the others. So when I got home, I went through all of my WENTLETRAPS to inspect the differences in mine. I’m not an expert in the different types…yet (heehee)… but I believe (with the help of our good friend MurexKen!) that the first one is a LEAL’S WENTLETRAP (Epitonium leali) named after Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’s director Dr. Jose Leal.

leali wentletrap

leali wentletrap aperture

The second one from the left in Connie’s hand I believe is a HUMPHREY’S WENTLETRAP (Epitonium humphreysii). My photo doesn’t really show the tannish color in between the ribs but when you put it beside the others, you can see the difference like in her hand.

humphreysii wentletrap

The third and fourth ones on the right are the most common to find on Sanibel, ANGULATE WENTLETRAPS (Epitonium angulatum). 

angulate wentetrap

So when I went through our 4 x 4 jar of WENTLETRAPS with hundreds of gems…

pam seashell table

I found another type as well… the MATTHEWS’ WENTLETRAP (Epitonium matthewsae). If you look at the top photo in this post, this is the 4th one over and you can see just how delicate and beautiful this one is.

mathewsae wentletrap

mathewsae wentletrap aperture

I found one more too! It’s the BROWN-BAND WENTLETRAP (Gyroscala rupicola)

brown banded wentletrap

brown band wentletrap

Okay, so I know this is a lot of info to just find a sweet little old WENTLETRAP… so I dont want you to get overwhelmed if you are trying to find your first one (Traci ;)). Don’t worry, one day you will find one. Then after you find a few, you can come back to this page and see if you have any of the more uncommon ones. There are two others that are found in SouthWest Florida but I haven’t found them or figured out those differences yet so I have to keep searching too. So get out to Lighthouse Beach, get your Sanibel Stoop on and get focused on your clues.  I hope this helps you find those precious WENTLETRAPS!

UPDATE January 22, 2013 : There was another WENTLETRAP species found for southwest Florida. A PLASTERED WENTLTRAP (Family Epitoniidae
Cirsotrema dalli) . Read the story CLICK HERE

plastered wentletrap

Wentletrap staircase

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