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

Shelling at Crystal Clear Cayo Costa

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, live lettered olive, Olive, Snowy Egret, Southern Quahog, Southern Quahog Juvenile, Starfish, Two-Spined Sea Sea Star | 8 comments

Two-Spined sea star starfish Sanibel Island Florida

The waters surrounding Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises were so calm and crystal clear, we could see all sorts of amazing live creatures like this TWO-SPINED SEA STAR…

clear turquoise water in southwest florida


live lettered olive

As well as huge live HORSE CONCHS with several colonies of different hitch hikers making their home.

live horse conch with hitch hikers

It was shellsational!

shelling the water on Cayo Costa

Sylvia from PA was thrilled to find quite a few empty FALSE ANGEL WINGS.

Sylvia PA with angel wings on Cayo Florida

It was an ANGEL WING kind of day! They may not look like much here in this next photo, but trust me… they are very special finds when they have just come out of the water still little dingy and packed with mud with both halves still together. These were only just a few of all the ones we found. It was so cool!

empty double false angel wings

Sally, Kathy, Lynda and Mary from MI were some of the lucky ones to have gotten handfuls of them.

Shellers Sally Kathy Lynda and Mary MI on Rambo trip

Lynda also found some other favorites too.

shells on a blue towel

Carrie and Valerie (KY) couldn’t help but stay in the water to hunt for treasures.

Carrie and Valerie (KY) find shells in clear Cayo Costa water

They were both finding ANGEL WINGS plus some other awesome shells.

seashells found in sw florida on shelling trip

Rock hounds from Michigan- Nicole, Joe and Steve were happy to hunt for gems in the warm clear water. It was so much fun hearing about their PETOSKY STONE treasure hunts compared to hunting for shells. Thanks for the lesson!

Nicole, Joe and Steve MI find seashells in sw florida

They found a variety of goodies but I especially loved Nicole’s JUVENILE SOUTHERN QUAHOG with the zig zag pattern (bottom left). When the Southern Quahogs get older, they lose that great pattern so its always fun to see it at this stage.

juvenile southern quahog among other shells found on shelling trip

Kathy from NC was a-dorable all dressed in her aqua and shelling sister tee. So much fun to meet you!

Kathy NC with i Love Shelling tee shirt

And talk about a-dorable… real true shelling sisters Cindy (Ohio), Teresa MD and Margie (Ohio) are only 3 of 7 sisters… with 7 brothers. They are the sweetest happiest gals and it was a pleasure to meet y’all!

Cindy, Teresa MD and Margie Shelling Sisters from Ohio

Local sheller Deena found a bucket full of double SUNRAY VENUS shells. Thank you for coming with us Deena- just know Im thinking about you this week.

deena ft myers with sun ray venus shells

Vanessa, Ana, Marta and Alice came to SW Florida all the way from California to find shells… and they were ready! Ana, it was so much fun to compare notes with you on some of the shells and beach adventures.

Vanessa, Ana, Marta and Alice CA find shells

Shelley, Kianna and David (MI) were very lucky that the water was so calm and clear to have spotted a huge perfect ANGEL WING and to get it back to the CAPTIVA CRUISES dock safe and sound.

Shelly, Kianna and David MI find angel wing shell Captiva

It’s always fun to meet families that shell together like Eddie, Bill, Donna, Isabella, Steve and Michele from Delaware. They all have great shelling eyes that they must have gotten from Donna.

Eddie, Bill, Isabella, Donna, Steve and Michele Delaware seashells

They had asked me where they could find WENTLETRAPS on Cayo Costa and I told them they were there but we don’t find the very often on that island. Low and behold Donna found a WENTLETRAP and her granddaughter Isabella found one too. Isabella inherited her gramdmoms shelling eye! Congratshellations!

wentletraps found on cayo costa

Join me for a Shelling Adventure CLICK HERE !

snowy egret on cayo costa

pam rambo shelling trips

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Cockles, Conchs and Quahogs

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Angel Wing, Atlantic Giant, Banded tulip, Colorful Moon shell, Dark Cerith, Fighting Conch, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Pen Shell, Ponderous Ark, Sanibel, Southern Quahog, True tulip | 13 comments

sanibel seashells on pen shell

After several weeks of east winds, the west winds have finally arrived to drive some shells on to our beaches. Today was only the first day of the westies but since it was a really low tide this morning, I figured I’d find some goodies. It’s always a good day when you find an ALPHABET CONE and you’ve got to see just how darn cute this little juvie HORSE CONCH is…

juvenile horse conch

I couldn’t believe I found this ANGEL WING sitting in the high wrack line…

angel wing bivalve sanibel shell

I love when I find shells like this BANDED TULIP lying on the beach like this.

banded tulip off donax

Tonya, Beth and Max from Ohio had their bags filled with all sorts of treasures.

tonya, beth, max sanibel seashells

Wanna look in their shell bags? I sure wanted to too! COCKLES and CONCHS and CLAMS…

sanibel seashell bags

Max found this live LIGHTNING WHELK in the high tide wrack line so he walked it down to the water and gently put it in the water. Good for you Max! You helped save this beauty.

live lightning whelk max

I found local Sanibel sheller Lynn walking her very happy standard poodle Alexander with a pocket full of seashell treasure too.

alexander standard poodle lynn beach

Look at those pretty those COLORFUL MOON shells along with those candies and a mini TURE TULIP.

lynn seashells moons conchs

There was all sorts of bivalves scattered along the beach. I found this ATLANTIC COCKLE, PONDEROUS ARK and SOUTHERN QUAHOG together on the beach just like this…

atlantic cockle, ponderuos ark, southern quahog

This is the biggest DARK CERITH I’ve ever found. It’s one and a half inches long!

1 1/2 inch cerith seashells

 I was pretty pleased with what we all were finding on the beach near Donax Street today after the first day of west winds. Tomorrow might be even better!

low tide shell collecting

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Collecting Seashells For The Shellebration

Posted by on Jul 3, 2011 in King's Crown, Sanibel, Shark's Eye, Southern Quahog | 9 comments

fighting conch sunset

After scattered rain showers throughout the day yesterday, the evening was clear enough to enjoy a beautiful walk on the beach to find some live shells….

Kings crown eats southern quahog

…And LOTS of empty shells!

seashell shell rake

We were collecting shells last night to add to our buckets of shells to throw from out “float” to the crowd for the Sanibel 4th of July  Parade Shellebration tomorrow!

pat finds sharks eye

Pat from South Carolina found a really big SHARK’S EYE MOON SNAIL.

sharks eye moon pat

Along with catching some nice seashells, we even caught a glimpse of a rainbow finally…

rainbow beach path

Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations!

walking beach at sunset

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Clark Found A Junonia?

Posted by on Jun 17, 2011 in Alternate Tellin, Junonia, Sanibel, Southern Quahog, Sunsets | 29 comments



Clark and his junonia

Clark was teasing me to no end on the sand bar at Blind Pass Sanibel when he told me he found something really good. Ut Oh. What!? Oh no you didn't! He said, "Yep!" and showed me a JUNONIA.

Worn Junonia

Ha! Yes, it's a JUNONIA...... a very worn JUNONIA. But still a whole one so, and yes, it's still better than what I've found....barely. ;)

Worn Junonia Aperture

After shelling Blind Pass, we decided to visit beach access #7 off West Gulf Drive since we haven't been there in months. Lots of TELLINS....

Alternate Tellins on blue


Southern Quahogs

I was tickled to find several large old worn WHELKS. I love these old "yard shells" so I line them up in an area in my garden to look at them every day.

Old Whelks

The low tide in the late afternoons this whole week has been heaven.

sunset on west gulf drive


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Wrack Of Clams

Posted by on Feb 4, 2011 in Sanibel, Southern Quahog | 8 comments

Middle Gulf wrack line

Wrack of clams

All along Middle Gulf Drive beaches on Sanibel, there was a nice wrack line of PEN SHELLS and soooo many different CLAM shells. The first one  is the SOUTHERN QUAHOG clam.

Quahog Clam ID

Southern Quahog Clam

It really has those beautiful blue stripes running through it but one of the most incredible things about this shell is that you can count the rings on this clam to tell how old it is…. like the rings of a tree! The second incredible fun-fact is that an Arctic QUAHOG found in 2007 was to be considered one of the oldest living animal on the planet. 405 year old! To read the whole story click on National Geographic.

Egg Cockle

Egg Cockle

I found several EGG COCKLE clams. They are as smooth as silk and actually feel like an egg in my hand.

Buttercup Lucine

Buttercup Lucines were everywhere

The BUTTERCUP LUCINE is another shell crafter favorite, as you can imagine with that pretty yellow inside.

Disk Dosinia ID

Disk Dosinia

There were even more DOSINIAS every step of my walk.

Ponderous ArK

Ponderous Ark

And oodles of ARKS with both side still attached.

Beached Clams

Double ark and other clams

I didn’t see many of the regular faves like the CONES or CONCHS but  the west winds will be moving in for the weekend so we might have better luck finding those and a TULIP or two. The best find of the day I saw was by Alice from Chicago. She was collecting the Buttercup Lucines and lots of the other clams but she was most proud of this perfectly large ANGEL WING. Great Find.

Angel Wing on drift wood

Alices' Angel Wing on drift wood

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Sani-Belles Love Sanibel And Captiva

Posted by on Jan 28, 2011 in Blind Pass, Captiva, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Lace Murex, lady-in-waiting, Southern Quahog, Southern Quahog Juvenile | 12 comments

New seashells on Captiva island

Captiva Crouch

They’re baaack. We’ve been waiting all week for those west winds to push the shells up on the beach…. and now we got our wish. Shells were washing up at Blind Pass this afternoon but not on the new sand bar. They were piling up all along the beach at our old fave spot on the right side of the jetty rocks on Captiva.

i Love Shelling shellers

Sani-Belles Val, Suzie, Ella (Mom), Ellene

My favorite finds yesterday were…. The Sani-Belles!!  Girls know how to have fun in this family and they do it in their iLoveShelling tee shirts and named themselves Sani-Belles for their love of the islands! Shelling sister Sani-Belle Val from New Mexico (Every day I cherish that ornament she made me) brought her sisters Sani-Belle Suzie and Sani-Belle Ellene and their mom Sani-Belle Ella (California) out to Blind Pass at the perfect time of day laughing and giggling every moment with every scoop of shells they found.

Sani-belle Suzie's shell bag

Sani-belle Suzie's shell bag

Sani-belle Suzie has a pretty darn good shelling eye.

Juvenile Southern Quahog Seashell

Sani-Belle suzie's Juvenile Southern Quahog

Look at the pattern on this JUVENILE SOUTHERN QUAHOG. I had a little difficulty identifying this shell because the pattern is so similar to the LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS clam. MurexKen came to the rescue again to help correctly identify it. I would have never thought something named a QUAHOG could be mixed up with a LADY-IN-WAITING (only perhaps in Shrek). Thanks MK!

Tiny Flat scallop

Sani-Belle Suzie's tiny flat scallop


lace murex in shells

Lace Murex in shells

I couldn’t believe my eyes! I found a MERMAID resting on the jetty rocks!

Mermaid on the rocks

Mermaid Ella

It was crazy how many OLIVES were rolling in. We also found those huge (relatively speaking…. they are only 2 inches long ;)) AUGERS Every time the waves hit the shore, it seemed to bring AUGERS and OLIVES. Here’s a look at what we experienced yesterday. Enjoy the video.

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