We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday. Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.
We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.
But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!
We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…
We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.
With so many storms in the last week, I’ve been so focused on finding the beaches with the best shells since each day has changed the beaches so drastically. One day the water is rough with shells being piled on the beach. The next day the water calms with a clear aqua color to snorkel to your hearts content to find lots of shells. And then the next day, the water isn’t as clear but has a nice shell line strung along the beach which makes for a nice walk. This all happens within days at Blind Pass Sanibel! Sometimes you have to be flexible if you want to find shells. Yesterday was one of the days that there was a nice but little shell line strung along the beach so I walked under the bridge on the Sanibel side. That’s where I saw Megan, Sheila, Cheyenne and Rebekah picking up a few shells…. and lots of SLIPPER SHELLS !
I should pay more attention to SLIPPER SHELLS because I’ve had so many people ask me about them lately. They are one of the most common shells on Sanibel so I see them almost every time I visit any of our beaches. I remember collecting them when I was a child so I should have the same fondness I have for COQUINAS, KITTENS PAWS and SCALLOP shells since they were my first memories as well. Hmmmm. So I got out my SLIPPER SHELLS I’ve collected over the years to reunite with these old friends.
I’ve always grouped them all together and called them all SLIPPERS but there are a few different ones. Okay, wait…. I’ve not always called them “SLIPPERS”. As a kid, we called them “Toe Nails”. Don’t ask my why but maybe that’s why I don’t give them enough time! But I’ve heard them called “Boats” or “Quarterdecks” too but they really do look like slippers when you turn them over and see where the MOLLUSK lived.
The most common SLIPPER is the called the COMMON ATLANTIC SLIPPER SHELL. Look at how many different colors, shades, patterns and sizes they have…
The SPOTTED SLIPPER is so cute! I think I can start liking SLIPPERS again after revisiting these cuties…
It’s a little harder to find the SPINY SLIPPER SHELLS.
You can actually see the little spines on these shells. It looks similar to the SPINY JEWELBOX but you can tell the difference by turning it over to see half the “cover” which makes that bedroom slipper look. The SPINY JEWELBOX is a bivalve and the SLIPPER is a univalve (or gastropod).
We find more of the DEPRESSED SLIPPERS when we go to Cayo Costa…
Look how flat it is!
You can see by this aperture view how shallow the “slipper” part is. Haven’t you found one of these and thought it was just a piece of shell? Nope. It’s a funny little shell.
So I’m still learning not to take the common shells for granted and realize how amazing and beautiful they are too. I love the little things the beach teaches me because I may have missed this beautiful little DAYFLOWER next to the pathway to the parking lot at Blind Pass Sanibel. How many stinkin times have I walked that path and I have never stopped to recognize this little beauty. I’m liking those little SLIPPERS even more for making me stop and shoot the DAYFLOWERS.
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Sanibel is the perfect canvas to paint sensational sunsets, beautiful beaches, wonderful wildlife and of course, bountiful beach treasures.
Painting the Sanibel lighthouse
Clark and I walked the beach around the lighthouse late yesterday afternoon in search of some minis. I was looking for KEYHOLE LIMPETS for a picture for my Seashell Identification page. I looked in all of my bags, jars, buckets and drawers of shells and couldn’t believe I couldn’t find a good LIMPET to photograph.
Keyhole Limpet in sand
I found one! …..and another and another. Then Clark joined the hunt and found a few too.
My eye was focused on the pattern of these LIMPETS but I kept seeing the SPOTTED SLIPPERS so I picked them up too.
Spotted Slipper Shells
Since I was focused on the minis I even found TUSK SHELLS which are only 3/8 of an inch long. I was tickled to find them since I’m just learning to have the eye for them. I found three hanging out with a WENTLETRAP and two DWARF OLIVES.
Clark found this teeny tiny TURKEY WING. So to show how small it is, I put it next to the other minis.
Miniatures with turkey wing
I think I’ve been having miniatures shells on the brain because I just can’t believe how sweet this little beautifully framed piece of shell art is I received last week from Sanibel Sister Judith. You have to remember her! She is one of the sisters that uses those giant sized tweezers to pick up the minis at the lighthouse when they come to visit. This is what they make after picking up all those sweet little shells. Talk about a beautiful canvas for those mini shells. I absolutely love it! Thank you Sanibel Sister Judith!
Judith’s beautiful shell art
Judith should enter her work into the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show. It’s starts this Thursday March 3, 2011 and runs through Sunday March 5. So don’t forget and I hope to see you there!
Sanibel Sisters Linda and Judith
Here you go virtual shellers! Have fun identifying so many beautiful shells by clicking on the picture for enlargement to see some of the shells that Sue from Pennsylvania found from shelling the beach off West Gulf Drive.
As you can see by Sue’s picture above with the tide coming in there aren’t many shells on the beach now, but last week there were plenty. That’s when she found her ALPHABET CONES, LACES MUREX, FLORIDA CONES and so many of the other goodies you see in the virtual shelling photo. The shells come and they go. She is making a SAILOR’S VALENTINE with some of these shells along with her granddaughter Kaitlyn who found the CABRIT’S MUREX from yesterday’s post. So I’d say they had successful shelling. Good luck with your sailor’s valentine, Sue!
There were still a few shell piles here and there so I again started looking more at the shells I normally don’t photograph. Geez. Look at what we’ve been missing! This BROAD-RIBBED CARTIDA is such a beauty with its animal print effect and deep lines. Could you imagine a frame or mirror made mostly of these? It would be stunning, I think.
So often we see SLIPPER SHELLS but I never thought they were cute until we moved here and learned they were called “slipper shells”. The name gives them the cute factor because you can see they are in the shape of a slipper by looking at the inside view. Growing up, we called them TOE NAIL SHELLS. Yep- by looking at the outside of the shell, they do resemble a toe nail. EEEW! No wonder I didn’t like them.