Archive for Starfish

Apr
09

Millepede Starfish Eats Whole Potato

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millepede starfish sea star eating a heart urchin

This MILLEPEDE SEA STAR ate a whole POTATO URCHIN that was entirely too big for his belly so he split himself wide open. Are you crazy, dude?

luidia senegalensis nine arm sea star eats heart urchin

After strong west winds yesterday, Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel had some very cool BEACH BLING washing up this morning but this takes the cake… the potato cake, that is. heehee

I could tell that the STARFISH was very much alive since his little tube feet and spines on the underside were sticking out and moving around to tell me he wanted to go back into the water so he could finish this shellicious breakfast. (Of course I understood him- I talk Starfish) In the next photo, the hole in the middle of his body is his mouth so, as you can see, the POTATO URCHIN (or HEART URCHIN) that he ate is barely visible from this side. 

nine leg starfish is called a millepede sea star

But looking at this view…. Holy Cowrie! The whole URCHIN is there but his belly wasn’t big enough.

starfish eats whole potato urchin

In my humble opinion, it seems to reason that since SEA STARS can regrow arms if they break off, I’m assuming once this guy finishes his meal he will be able to repair his torn body and live happily ever after. So I put him back in the Gulf to digest this massive meal and hopefully live another day.

millepede starfish sea star eating a potato urchin

Check out this short video I took so you can see the whole dang thing! YouTube Preview Image

But the funnier thing is…. our friends Dick and Mary had just told us that they found a dead MILLIPEDE STARFISH on the beach that had swallowed half a bivalve. Oh my! They just sent me these iPhone photos so I could share them with you too. One valve of the ALTERNATE TELLIN bivalve shell is inside him and the other is hanging out of his mouth on the underside. This is so wild!

millipede starfish with alternate tellin bivalve inside body

This is the other side that you can see that one valve is still hanging out. Crazy! Unfortunately, this SEA STAR wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree so neither guy made it out alive from this meal.

starfish with bivalve valve hanging out of his mouth

PS- I’ve interchanged the words “SEA STAR” and “STARFISH” a few times throughout this post. I know “SEA STAR” (I intended these to be said aloud with air quotes instead of real ” ” so go ahead, air quote away!) is the more socially acceptable way to say “STARFISH” these days but I’m stuck with calling them “STARFISH” since I grew up calling them that. Just so you know. :\

 

Sanibel Starfish and seashells

Quick update… I stopped at Tarpon Bay Rd public beach access today just to see if these NW winds brought us some shelling treasures. Yes- The beach was loaded with fun piles to pick through and more in the water!

Beach combing Sanibel at Tarpon Bay Rd beach access

This next photo is from yesterday and the shells were in the water at Blind Pass and just a few scattered on the beach. But I’m sure today they have made it on to the beach but I didn’t have time to check. I’d say if you are in southwest Florida, check out the closest beach to you- it will probably have some seashell treasures! I’ll post more pics soon but wanted to give you an update ASAP.

blind pass captiva sand bar shells

 

 

Mar
02

Sanibel Sunrise to Sunset

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seashells and sunflowers at the beach

Sunrise on Sanibel is such a beautiful sight at Lighthouse Beach, I always tell myself I need to get out there in the morning more often.

sanibel lighthouse at dawn

As I was shelling at the waters edge, I met a family enjoying the cool morning while collecting shells along the same path. Rick, Cindy, Sarah, Harley (she’s peek-a-boo-ing between her mom and dad’s legs- heehee) and Richard from Virginia were tickled with their finds.

rick cindy sarah richard harley virginia visits sanibel florida

Cindy found a beautiful PAPER FIG and ANGEL WING while Rick was finding juvie WHELKS, CONCHS and pieces of shells with cool BARNCLES attached…

seashells collected on the beach

Cindy found this awesome BRITTLE STAR on the beach which we thought was too dry to still be alive but while we inspected him and all ooohed and aaahed, the little guy started waving one of his arms to tell us he still had some life in him. Omigosh! He needed water! Cindy hurried to get this guy back to the Gulf Of Mexico.

brittle star on gray

Sarah found her first WENTLETRAP!

finding sea shells

I should have known I would see award winning SAILORS VALENTINE artist Constance Miller shelling at the lighthouse because the Sanibel Shell Festival this week. She loves to find her own WENTLETRAPS and other mini shells to use in her gorgeous designs.

constance marshall miller shelling sanibel lighthouse

Clark and I walked just south of Bowman’s Beach to catch sunset and saw the perfect Sanibel Stooper shelling the sand bar just as the sun reached the horizon. So beautiful!

sanibel stoop bowman's beach florida sunset

Just after I snapped the photo, that Sanibel Stooper walked back towards the beach so I approached him to tell him I got a fun photo of him at sunset. Holy Cowrie! It was Rick again! LOL Yes, that was the same Rick that I had just met in the morning shelling at Lighthouse Beach. He and his son Richard (Marley’s dad) were still shelling but this time near Bowman’s too. It’s a small island, huh?

rick richard collect sea shells bowman beach sanibel

These are just a few goodies they pulled out of their shell bag. Lots of treasure!

collecting seashells on sanbel island bowman's beach

If you are near Sanibel Island this week Thursday- Saturday (March 6,7,8 2014) you shouldn’t miss the 77th Sanibel Shell Festival. It will be lots of fun AND…. I am entering into the show for the very first time. I have two pieces that will be judged in the artistic division so I will definitely show you pictures later in the week after they have been judged. Yes, judged… Ack! Pressure! Please wish me good luck! And of course I will be blogging about all of the other exhibits as well. I hope to see you there!

sanibel shell festival 2014

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

This is a BANDED TULIP…

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

Dec
02

Shellebrating Outrageous Shelling Days

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alphabet conus junonias

For 5 days now, the shelling in SouthWest Florida as been has been outrageous! It doesn’t get more outrageous that finding your very first JUNONIA after 20 years of searching… then 2 days later, finding JUNONIA #2! Jill from Miami was livin’ the good life this weekend finding those trophies plus two ALPHABET CONES to boot. Shellzam! Congratshellations, Jill- so happy for you!

Jill Martin 2 alphies 2 junonias sanibel island

But wait.. the outrageousness continued! Wouldn’t you love to find a huge empty HORSE CONCH like this with a bright orange interior?

orange horse conch found sanibel florida

Gail and Alicia not only found that one gorgeous shell, they found 3 more! … Plus a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK too. Over the long weekend, they were out every morning before sunrise and said there were hundreds of live HORSE CONCHS rolling in the surf on the beach near Island Inn but kept on looking to find ones that were empty.

gail alicia find horse conchs whelks sanibel

So I’m sure you can image how happy they were to find those amazing large shells already…. then to find a SEAHORSE too? They found this guy in the afternoon just getting back out on the beach in the high tide wrack line. REally, after all of those trophy shells then a SEAHORSE….Outrageous! Congrats Gail and Alicia!

seahorse found on sanibel beach

I found quite a variety on Island Inn beach as well but nothing compared to what they found of course…

seashells on sanibel after a storm

I met Lea and her daughter Kristi from Omaha picking up the dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH in the high tide wrack line.

mom lea kristi omaha shells sanibel

They asked me how to preserve these awesome SEASTARS so they can put them in shadowboxes when they get home. Honestly, I have never had luck with keeping them in tact because I guess I keep them outside or in my garage too long and the humidity gets to them so they break apart and start stinking -Ack! I’m doing something wrong so I never pick them up anymore- I don’t care how bone dry and perfect they are. But… My friend Moira makes beautiful shadowboxes with them as well as Kim who both live in Chicago- they have no problems so I hope they see this so they can explain in a comment how they get them home without breaking them and keeping them intact for a frame.

One of many Millipede Starfish on the beach today

Fort Myers Beach at Point Estero was rocking with shells too! My friend Debbie’s dad Dennis from Kansas was in town for the holiday and they found lots of treasures…

dennis kansas shells fort myers beach florida

Repeat… they found LOTS of treasures… LOL

shells haul ft myers beach florida

Throughout the holiday weekend, I saw lots of shells at Lighthouse Beach, South Seas, Blind Pass, Island Inn, Point Estero…. and my last stop for the weekend shelling was Gulfside City Park this morning for low tide. I found such a variety of shells again including a perfect ALPHABET CONE along with the best SHARK’S EYE I’ve found in a while. But my real favorites where violet colored FIGHTING CONCHS which I don’t think I’ve ever found colors in FIGHTING CONCHS like these before. Weird, because I even found another purple one at Island Inn beach the other day. So unusual.

shells found low tide morning sanibel

This morning Karen from Orlando area was happy with her finds too…

Karen Mid florida shelling sanibel

She found a perfect ANGEL WING and a few SAND DOLLARS…

angel wings sand dollars sanibel florida

And these are just a few that were in her bag. Awesome.

shells found sanibel december 2013

There where so many live creatures as well. It’s always fascinating to see these beautiful living animals in their natural habitat like this beautiful live LIGHTNING WHELK. Since this shell was occupied, I dug a hole for him to wait it out until the higher tide came back in so he could scoot along wherever it wished.

whelk sea shell spire on the beach

One more thing….  I have a new online Art Gallery!

Over the years, I have shared many, many photos of my shelling adventures and have learned that…  just as I love to collect a beautiful shell, I love to capture a beautiful moment or my beautiful surrounds with my lens just as much. I never could find the means to offer them as quality, affordable art on canvas, prints, cards and more…. until now! So I started an online Art Gallery for my photographs. It’s just the beginning so I haven’t added all of the photos that you’ve asked for in the past but at least this is a start. I’m heartfelt that you’ve asked for them and I’m proud that now I can offer them. Please stop by, take a browse, say “hi” and if you like one enough to buy it, I would be incredibly honored.

http://twenty20.com/iloveshelling

 

gallery-check-out-iloveshelling

Don’t forget! We have an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa on Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am. We can do some fun shelling together… so Join Us! CLICK HERE

shelling adventures trips by pam

Pointe Estero Giveaway LOGO2

It’s time for a Shelltastic Southwest Florida Vacation GiveAway!

We have TWO giveaways for TWO winners!

The first prize from Pointe Estero Beach Resort is a 4 day/3 night stay in one of their beautiful TWO bedroom Gulf view suites. Pointe Estero Beach Resort is the perfect getaway on the quiet south end of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Yep, that’s right! You could win 3 nights in a TWO bedroom suite!

Pointe Estero LOGO

Pointe Estero is right smack on a gorgeous stretch of beach filled with beautiful seashell treasures from the gulf just waiting to be found. You can shell all day into the evening then catch brilliant sunsets right at your front door. It’s a sheller’s dream!

Pointe Estero Beach Resort Sunset Fort Myers

You could have a chance to win a stay in a beautiful suite like this at Pointe Estero…

Pointe Estero Room View

Relax and refresh by taking a dip in the tropical pool with cool breezes off the Gulf Of Mexico…

Pointe Estero Ft Myers Beach pool

Or take a walk on their peaceful beach for a little serenity and shell collecting…

Fort myers Beach Florida before storm

These are just some of my fabulous finds I collected within a couple of hours on Pointe Estero’s beach just last month (CLICK HERE to see the post)…

BEACH PINK BLING FLORIDA

Look how many SAND DOLLARS were scattered along the beach.

Fort Myers Beach Florida seashells Point Estero

See what I mean? It’s Shelltastic!

shell collection diane myers beach florida

Which brings us to the second prize from Sealife By Congress!

Sealife By Congress Logo

Sealife By Congress is giving away this stunning sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant!

sea life by congress starfish necklace

 Their store on Sanibel Island is filled with gorgeous jewelry made especially for beachcombers like us. This starfish necklace is dazzling!

starfish necklace sea life by congress

So how can you win one of the awesome prizes? It’s easy. Remember, there are 2 different prizes and 2 winners so you have to register for both prizes separately.

Just follow these simple directions… UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. A winner has been chosen (see below).

 

  • Enter A Chance To Win- 4 days/3 nights stay in a 2 bedroom Gulf view suite at Pointe Estero Beach Resort 
  • Enter A Chance To Win- A sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant by Sealife By Congress

Rules:

  • Enter for a chance to win either of these prizes from September 5, 2013 through September 11, 2013.
  • Properly fill out entry form for Pointe Estero giveaway at the link stated in the directions above
  • Properly fill out entry form for Sealife By Congress at the link stated in the directions above
  • Winners will be announced September 13, 2013
  • One entry per person

Okay? Just to make sure…. Did you click on both different links to enter your chance to win both prizes? All righty then. Good Luck on your chance to win a Shelltastic Southwest Florida Vacation Giveaway !!

UPDATE: 9-13-13- The contest is over. The winners have been chosen…

Congratulations!!!!!

Denise Stahl (AS, FL) for winning the 3 night stay at Pointe Estero Beach Resort

Kathie Porter for winning the sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant by Sealife By Congress

Thank you to Pointe Estero Beach Resort and Sealife By Congress for your fabulous giveaway prizes!

   Pointe Estero Beach Resort Florida LOGO

Sealife By Congress Logo

golden sanibel starfish photo