Archive for Brittle Star
After late afternoon rain showers in the summer tropics of Sanibel when the setting sun peeks out from the clouds, the colors of the sky seem to magnify the brilliant colors of the water, beach, sand and shells.
I didn’t find many empty shells along the middle island beach of Sanibel but I made up for it finding the perfect SAND DOLLAR. Or maybe I was so amazed by the living SEALIFE that I couldn’t focus on picking up shells. I’m still in awe over the baby KINGS CROWNS so my focus has been on stopping at every living thing to inspect it closely just to make sure I dont miss anything. WOW! I usually walk right on by the SEA ANEMONES at low tide trying to find half buried shells but this one stopped me in my tracks. Look at the color of this one! The shallow water waved the tentacles back and forth so I could get a view of it’s magical dance.
The turquoise blue color caught my eye on this different one. I think it’s a SEA ANEMONE because of the size, shape and texture but I never saw it open (I waited for about 15 minutes) and it didn’t retract when I gently touched it. Hmmmm. Something new again. Have you ever seen one this color?
I found this BRITTLE STAR wrapped up like a ball in the water that was lapping up on the beach. “He” looked like he had seen better days but I untangled him then placed him in shallow water without the wave action. He started coming alive again! You can see he is already starting to bury himself in the sand.
I could have taken hundreds of photos of live sea creatures during the low tide evenings this week but to experience such beautiful late afternoons with the cool breeze says it all in this next photo. It takes my breath away. Happy weekend to you all.
The “Island” is Sanibel. “Their Hunters” are Super Sheller Clark (aka Mr Rambo- heehee), me, and YOU in the top National story of the New York Times! Dr. Leal and The Shell Museum were in it too. Wahoo!
How did this happen? Well, first of all, let me introduce you to the talented folks that made this story happen.
The brilliant writer/reporter (17 years with The NY Times) Lizette Alvarez who threaded this beautiful piece together with her gift of words and Angel Valentin top notch photographer from Puerto Rico and South Florida …
I’m still boggled by the whole thing but… Out of the blue we got a call from Lizette to introduce herself and tell us that she would like to do a story about shelling on Sanibel. She said she’d like to come to Sanibel to interview us and she was hoping to get a photographer to cover the story. Heck Yay-ya! Two days later we were hanging out at Lighthouse Beach showing Lizette and Angel the treasures of Sanibel.
It was a gorgeous low tide evening with lots of shells for collecting as well as exposed live mollusks. We couldn’t have placed an order for a more perfect evening to share the wonders of our island. Hunting along side us was my new BFF Isabel (which happens to be Lizette’s daughter) perfecting Sanibel’s signature stance… The Sanibel Stoop.
It turns out that Isabel is an excellent sheller. Within minutes of being on the beach, she found a nice sized unbroken ANGEL WING…
In the article, Lizette wrote about a 13 year old boy that found a STARFISH. This is the BRITTLESTAR STARFISH that Hunter from Mulberry, Florida found…
Hunter and his sister Audrey showed us all of the other STARFISH and CRABS they were finding and learning about too.
Shelling Sistah Denise Kisko from North Carolina made it in the story too!
This next photo is Denise being interviewed by Lizette… meanwhile, “a 13 year old girl” got curious about her abandoned shell pile she had been digging in. Okay, this is funny… Denise was quoted saying “Don’t find anything in my pile” kiddingly to a 13 year old girl. That 13 year old girl was Isabel! LOL Isn’t that so cute?
If you haven’t read the story yet, a black-and-white photo in our house was mentioned (well, Mr. Rambo’s “shell-festooned house” was mentioned- hahaha). We have a wall in our hallway with photos of our families and special memories.
In one of those frames is a photo of Clark’s shell collection on his bed at age 7.
He arranged all of his favorite shells on his cowboy bedspread then asked his mom to take a picture of it. A-dor-a-ble.
After 3 hours of laughing, learning, sharing and seashell hunting, we had to say goodbye. It was an evening that we will never forget especially because we really had a fantastic time. I’m not saying I wasn’t nervous…because I was totally shaking in my flip flops at first. But then after being with such fun down to earth people…
Who genuinely love life…
It was easy to relax and share what we love… Shelling and Sanibel. Thank you Lizette, for contacting us.
To read the New York Times story, click on this next image….
Note to self: remember to get a photo of me too with the gang when something big happens … like being interviewed by one of the biggest publications in the world. ;)
The holiday season is in full swing on Sanibel and Captiva islands so I have been a busy little elf! First of all, I’d like to introduce the brand new i Love Shelling 2012 Calendar chock full of beautiful Sanibel photos and of course our beloved seashells. Now you can enjoy shelling 12 months of the year!
Here’s a sneak peak of January’s sunset photo and CLICK HERE to see all 12 months and get one for yourself or as a gift for your shelling buddy.
We also hit the beaches this week to find a few shells and lots of Beach Bling. We found big old WHELK and CONCH pieces I love for yard shells along with a few SEA WHIPS, LONG SPINED SEA URCHINS, PURPLE SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRAB SHELLS and this little BRITTLE STAR too.
There were lots of DOSINIAS mixed in with hundreds of SAILORS EARS and TRANSVERSE ARKS…
I even saw a few bones scattered along the beach. These are from bait in the crab traps in the gulf that get tossed around in rough surf.
STONE CRABS are what lots of those traps are made to catch. When fishermen bring in the traps, they only take one claw from a STONE CRAB since the claws have the best meat. They throw the crab back without killing it because they know the crab can eat and defend itself with only one claw until another claw grows back. Here is a STONE CRAB claw lying on the beach that could have been a good appetizer if it had been freshly caught. Darn!
There were HORSESHOE CRABS too …
And a BLUE CRAB…
I also saw this MOON SHELL (SHARK’S EYE) EGG COLLAR…
I met a wonderful local man Frank, who moved here in 1964 and still loves to walk the beaches and pick up shells especially with his daughter Connie. He told me he was 87 but he looks like he is no older than 72! Thank you Frank for your service for our country in WW2.
Here are some of the mini shells Frank and Connie collected when I saw them along Middle Gulf Drive.
I also have photos of the yesterday’s oh-so-fun Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade. Here’s one picture of our Junonia Jalopy but I’ll have to show you the rest tomorrow. It was a blast! All of the other cart were so darn cute!
Check out my new tee shirt! I wore my new “Oh CONE All Ye Faithful” Christmas design v-neck tee. I got so many compliments- so much fun ! And don’t forget to check out the 2012 i Love Shelling Calendar too….. and the new online i Love Shelling Shop….. Or the fun faves at Shelling Shop. You see? I’ve been a little Santa’s helper for the good seashell loving girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho!
I found that CARRIER SHELL I showed you on my last post Carried Away By A Carrier Shell but since I was so excited, I didn’t get to show you the rest of the shells I found. Aren’t the beautiful? It was an amazing day.
But wait, I’ve got a shell pile for you cyber shellers out there! I promise, I did not touch one thing in this pile before I took the next picture. But be careful! If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you might have a little sensory overload. Use caution, please.
OMG I just looked at that photo again! I missed another CONE!!! Did you spot it? TWO cones…. and I just looked again- maybe THREE. I worked this pile a while so I could have gotten it on another swipe but I definitely didn’t get it on the first run. I guess I was gathering every ounce of patience not to pluck this WORMIE, CANDIE and ALPHIE (notice the ultra cuteness clue of the “ie”endings) off the beach so I could take the picture.
So just a few minutes after finding this little seashell honey hole, I found the CARRIER SHELL and had to do a video. I hope you can see some of the other shells in that “troth” (I don’t think I’ve ever called it that before, but it sure did seem like one- LOL).
Oh yeah, something else cool…there was a live four legged BRITTLE STAR in one of the tidal pools.
A CLUB SPINED SEA URCHIN is an ECHINODERM….and so is the GREEN SEA URCHIN (or also called the VARIEGATED SEA URCHIN)…
This post is a continuation of our snorkeling Road Trip To Seashells In The Florida Keys because I had to do a little more research on these SEA URCHINS I saw this past weekend. We have all kinds of ECHINODERMS (pronounced ek-EYE- no-derms) on Sanibel which include SEA STARS, SAND DOLLARS, SEA CUCUMBERS and SEA URCHINS but these are slightly different AND I wanted to share this word with you…. I love to say it ….”Echinoderm”. Ha!
It was fun to see this ”hairy” BRITTLE STAR (also an Echinoderm) while so many beautiful tropical fish casually swam by painting the sea with bright blues with stripes of yellows and greens.
So come on in the water with me and enjoy snorkeling the underwater world in only 5 to 12 feet of water around the Florida Keys.The water’s fine!
Earlier this week the DOSINIAS were everywhere at the lighthouse. Doesn’t it look like Mr Greenjeans just dropped all of his ping pong balls all over the beach? I know, I’m showing my age.
There has been a variety of shells washing up at the lighthouse beach this week. The MUREXES, SHARK’S EYE, TURBAN and FIGHTING CONCH that are resting inside a double DOSINIA CLAM were some of the treasures in Dennis and Terri’s (WA) shell bag.
A shelling sister!….With her tee shirt to prove it!
This is a view of the outside of a DOSINIA. You’ve probably seen one of these before if you’ve come for a visit to Sanibel or Captiva.
I placed their shells in the DOSINIA in the first photo because I saw this live APPLE MUREX looking so cute hanging upside down in this one.
That’s a huge WENTLETRAP in Terri’s hand! The smaller one is the size we are used to finding.
Ha! Clark hates to be out-shelled (remember the day I found my first SCOTCH BONNET? Clark found one the same day.) So of course he found a monster WENTLETRAP too.
This was a live BRITTLE STAR that got caught in the receding tide so we picked him up (they won’t hurt you) and placed in back into the gulf.
Here are a few pictures I took this week. I just didn’t get a chance to post them yet so the beach may have changed (as it does every day).
Judy and Robin
More Sanibel Stooping.
Don’t worry, it’s a DOLPHIN not a SHARK.
A pink SEA ANEMONE.
Blind Pass update: I took the photo above and the one below Sunday at Blind Pass on the Sanibel side. The sand is filling in between the shore and the sand bar so I wonder if there is any water that separates it now. I didn’t see anybody collecting too much there but I’ll check it out tomorrow too.