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

On the Beach With Shell Eggs And Ham, Pam-I-Am

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Banded Tulip Egg Case, Disk Dosinia, Egg Casing, Elegant Dosinia, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Long-Spined Urchin, Millipede Starfish, Paper Fig Egg Case, Pear Whelk Egg Case, Pig's Foot, Sea Pork, True Tulip Egg Case, Tulip Egg Case, whelk egg casing | 29 comments

crab trap and buoy on sanibel beach

After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.

sanibel beach after storm winds

The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.

crab traps wash up n sanibel beach

So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.

pig hog foot on sanibel beach

But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?

pen shell and yellow sea pork

I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…

lightning whelk egg chain gscp sanibel

I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?

baby lightning whelks in egg chain

This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…

paper fig egg case on pen shell


banded tulip egg case on penn shell

This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…

true tulip egg case sanibel florida

When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.

true tulip egg case with other mollusk eggs

There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…

millipede starfish and pen shell

This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…

long spined sea urchin sanibel florida

There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.

disk dosing top elegant dosing bottom

We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.

The birds do like stone crab and clams.

gull eating crab

They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.

bird eating stone crab sanibel

They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.

bird on beach with crab

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Seashells Painted With Stripes

Posted by on Mar 24, 2013 in Baby's Ear, Coquina, CyberShelling, Land Snail, Lined Tree Snail, Maculated (Brown) Baby's Ear, Whelk, whelk egg casing | 35 comments

striped Sanibel Florida Coquina shells

My earliest childhood memory of shelling is when I would get so excited to find COQUINAS. They look just like butterflies! Maybe that’s why I still love them so much now… but then, another thought would be…  maybe because they are just so darn cute! The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was loaded with COQUINAS yesterday evening. Just like being a kid again, I got really excited to find so many variations that look like they have had stripes painted on them. For me, it’s unusual to find this many striped ones all together. While I was picking up these cuties, I also found a few other minis like this KEYHOLE LIMPET…

striped coquinas sanibel

These Wisconsin visitors were having a great time finding the minis and COQUINAS too…

wisconson shellers

Sweet collection…

striped coquina seashells

While we were busy admiring the COQUINAS, these brand-new Fort Myers residents (Ron and Kelli!) found this huge awesome LIGHTNING WHELK…

Ft Myers whelk sanibel

Look at the color of the spire on this beautiful shell and this one looks like it has painted stripes too. Nature’s miracle and a spectacsheller find!

lightning whelk spiral spire

This mom and daughter shelling team from Orlando were loving the minis and the baby LIGHTNING WHELKS they found in the EGG CHAINS

orlando visit Sanibel mom daughter

Right before the sun went down, I met Kim, Olivia and Zach….

Kim Olivia Zach periwinkle b ear

Kim said she saw my post about the brown MACULATED BABY’S EARS last week from Cayo Costa, then found two of them! She said she would have had no idea what it was unless she hadn’t just read about it and saw the pics here. I love that! Here is the one she found last night near the fishing pier. This would have been so easy to mistake it for a SLIPPER SHELL while laying in the sand or mixed in with other shells, right? Wow! Great find!

Brown babys ear maculated

But hold on, she also found this pretty little shell. I didn’t know what it was until my friend H.L. Schroeder  (Lori -heehee- who knows a lot about land snails) identified is as a LINED TREE SNAIL.

drymaeus multilineatus lined tree snail

It looks like an artist took a brush to a white snail shell and painted the lines on this one too. Just gorgeous. I know it’s rare to find one on the beach since this may be the first one I’ve seen in person but since it’s a land snail, I dont know if its rare on the whole island. Here’s the aperture side of it.

lined tree snail

Okay… I’ve got to confess. Maybe you noticed, I didnt give names to some of the folks I met on the beach last night. I have so much happening in this little brain of mine so I have to take notes on my phone since I’m really bad on remembering names. Well, my phone was on overload and couldnt take any more data. I lost the names of these wonderful folks. Ack! I could tell you all about where they live, what they do, and all about our conversations but … names? Lost. Please,  Cute Couple- “Well, not St Paul, MN but it’s so close, that’s where we normally tell people we are from”, and Exuberant Couple “We just moved to Ft Myers! Pam, is this a pretty normal find here? No? Waahhhoooooo!” and Mom “I’m mad at you when you don’t post every day- hahaha” and Daughter “We jump in the Avis car any chance we get to drive to Sanibel”…. y’all forgive me! Here is a CYBERSHELLING picture to make up for it. Click on the next image to blow it up to find all of you own shells!

Cyber Shelling coquinas

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Beach Bling Babes

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blue Crab, Broad Paper Cockle, Crabs, Egg Casing, Lace Murex, Leopard, Skate Egg Case, Stone Crab, whelk egg casing | 19 comments

lace murex juvenile

Now who in their right shelling mind could not think that this little baby LACE MUREX shell is not THE cutest thing that ever washed up at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach? heehee What a cutie petutie!

I even found smaller baby shells in some of the LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CASES that have been washing up this week…

lightning welk egg chain

Most of the disks were empty but some of them still had tiny dried shells in them…

egg sac whelk

One was torn open so we could see the teeny tiny babies. They only look like grains of sand at this point… or honestly they remind of those little bits when eat corn on the cob. Errrr, Okay, I cant really explain that well so let’s move on and get back to the point… they are tiny LIGHTNING WHELKS!

baby whelks in case

I got to share these little WHELK EGG CHAINS with a couple of gals that came to visit us from Virginia Beach. Kathleen was a good friend of Clark’s over 40 years ago and they haven’t seen each other since. What a hoot to meet Kathleen and her friend Jan and to hear about “the old days” and to catch up on all of our mutual friends while walking the beach…. and to find out they both love shelling!!!

jan clark kathleen

Today, I ran into Roma with a shell bag full of BLING!

roma shell bag

I peeked at her “Bling Bag” and saw all of this…

seashells bling crab bag

Holy Crab! She loves BEACH BLING as much as I do! She was collecting all of these different CRAB claws and shells for her daughter who makes jewelry out of them. There is a HERMIT CRAB CLAW, STONE CRAB CLAWS, BLUE CRAB CLAWS and some LEOPARD BOX CRAB shells. Ha! Love it!

crabs southwest florida

I found one more piece of cool BEACH BLING.. a MERMAID PURSE! Okay, it’s a SKATE EGG CASE but it sure is more fun to think of it as a MERMAID PURSE, right?

skate egg case shark eye

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you my fave shell today… A BROAD PAPER COCKLE. The colors on this sweetie are awwwwwesoooome…

color broad paper cockle

PS- Shellers Unite! There are still a few spots left on the iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa this Sunday the 17th from 9am to noon. Come join me and lots of other spectacsheller folks that love shelling! Call Captiva Cruises to book your shelling spot at 239-472-5300.

For more iLoveShelling Cruise dates and info on the Shellabaloo click on the next image…

iLoveShelling ShellingAdventures

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Breaking The Case of Lightning Whelk Eggs

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Egg Casing, Lightning Whelk, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Whelk, whelk egg casing | 29 comments

lightning whelk egg case2

I wasn’t able to enjoy the shelling while the super moon tides were at the lowest this weekend since I was tied up with other “stuff”. But high on the wrack line there are still so many LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CASES on the east end beaches of Sanibel.

lightning whelk egg case

Since I’ve been dissecting some of the BEACH BLING I’ve found over the last week (like the SEA WHIPS), I decided to go ahead and open up one of the dried out LIGHTNING WHELK EGG “disks”.

whelk egg chain babies

open whelk egg case

There are teeny tiny little LIGHTNING WHELK shells in some of the disks.

whelks in egg case

Isn’t that just a wonder? Talk about miniatures!

juvenile whelks from case

There can be up to 40 babies in each capsule. Isn’t that incredible?

close up juvenile whelk

 I didn’t find that many discs with baby WHELKS in them in this case because it looks like most of them “hatched” already. You can see a little round hole on top side of the discs… this is escape hatch! They use this when they are ready to explore their brave new world.

lightning whelk egg escape hatch

Just to show you how teeny tiny the WHELKS I popped out of the case were, I’ve added one of these little juvies in this Wheel of Whelks surrounding a penny.

whelk size growth

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Sanibel Seashell Egg Casings

Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Cone, Horse Conch Egg Casing, Sanibel, Skate Egg Case, Starfish, whelk egg casing | 19 comments

Sanibel beach path

It makes me so happy when Sanibel low tides are in the evenings. It’s my favorite time of day to walk the beach so low tide is such a bonus.

Alphabet cone sky

Finding this ALPHABET CONE was a double bonus! I found it right before dusk on the ledge of this little tidal pool near Donax Street beach access….

aqua sky reflection

There were lots of PEN SHELLS, COCKLES, DOSINIAS and live seashells.

pen shells cockles

I met a first time sheller with all of these (unknowingly) live STARFISH in her bucket. She couldn’t believe she they were still alive since they felt stiff but was very happy to now know to put all SEA STARS back unless they are completely dry. We put them back in the water where they did a little happy dance and started crawling away.

Sanibel sea stars

There were so many EGG CASINGS strung all along the shore line.

egg casings on Sanibel


Tulip Shell egg casing sky

Tulip shell egg case


whelk egg case

I even found a SKATE EGG CASE….

Sanibel skate egg case

An ANGEL WING! Clark found it completely in tact floating in the surf.

Clark angel wing

Jim (MO) found an old, pitted LIGHTNING WHELK full of character.

Jim whelk Sanibel  beach

Sharon (GA) was collecting sea debris of SPONGES, a CRAB SHELL and a SEA URCHIN but she didn’t have a shell bag. She only had her aqua blue flip flops to carry them on. The perfect back drop!

spongy shoe

Talk about a perfect back drop….. My Shelling Sistahs Linda, Anna and Jean in their cute tees with the full moon! This was monday night at the lighthouse where we were still finding lots of minis but not many bigger shells.

Shell tee shirts

I was mesmerized by shellcrafter Jean’s orange bucket swinging against the reflection in the sand of the blue and pink splashed sky.

shells by the seashore

We went to the lighthouse again tonight but I haven’t loaded my photos yet but I gotta tell you, we found some nice shells. Double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS, PAPER FIGS, CONCHS and much more…. photos and a video to come!

Sanibel shell scoop beach

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Sanibel Stoop

Posted by on Apr 14, 2010 in Horse Conch, West Gulf Drive, whelk egg casing | 2 comments

Sanibel Stoop

Candy corn (baby horse conch)

There was lots of Sanibel stooping going on at West Gulf Drive around Casa Ybel Resort. We have some shell piles back and there some good shell to find in there. I found myself some candy corn. I could just eat up those little bright orange HORSE CONCHS! They are just the cutest. I saw the other day, that Tink from MyMobileAdventures calls them mac and cheese. Pretty yummy too!

More Sanibel stooping

Whelk egg casings

I could not believe how many WHELK EGG CASINGS there were on the beach. Every 5 steps there was another one…then another one….then another one. I’m not sure if that is bad news for WHELKS or just good news for good shelling in the next few days. Let’s hope for good shelling!

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