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

Wild Sanibel Continues

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Coquina, Lined Sea Star, Millipede Starfish, Purple Sea Urchin, Starfish, Urchin | 19 comments

Sanibel live colorful coquinas

Wild Sanibel continues to be thriving with live creatures showing up in high definition color this week like oodles of these live COQUINAS near Lighthouse Beach.

Live coquina shells in the water

After a few days of west winds, bunches of Beach Bling washed ashore near the Sanibel fishing pier earlier this week.

Sanibel lighthouse shells and beach bling

We’ve been seeing hundreds of live LINED STARFISH and beautiful purple SEA WHIPS in the water.

Florida Gulf lined starfish with purple sea whip

There are so many 9 armed MILLIPEDE STARFISH as well…

9 arms Millipede Starfish Sea Star

This was one of the biggest live TRUE TULIPS I’ve seen in a while at low tide. Gorgeous and healthy.

Sanibel live true tulip

Now this guy was a little bit creepy. Lots of folks gathered around to see the bright orange snake slithering around the exposed concrete slabs in the water at the entrance of the Lighthouse. Since I had never seen this snake before on Sanibel, I texted my naturalist and shelling guide buddy Captain Brian Holaway to see if he knew.

Sanibel Mangrove Salt Marsh snake Florida Gulf

Of course he did! He told me it is a non-venomous MANGROVE SALT MARSH SNAKE (Nerodia clarkia compressicauda).  Whew- they aren’t poisonous so I took a minute to snap a few more photos and enjoy looking at how handsome he was.

Orange Sanibel florida Mangrove Salt Marsh snake non venomous in water

Just last night, Monica from Ocala found a few striking shells along with the brilliant test of a Purple SEA URCHIN.

Sanibel Sea urchin and sea shells

Another evening this week Clark saw Maria from Monrovia who found a huge empty HORSE CONCH walking in the water at Bowman’s Beach. Congrats Maria!

Maria Monrovia found a horse conch

I have been so consumed with the living wild creatures, I didn’t see many empty shells… but I’m very happy with one perfect PAPER FIG, a purple SEA URCHIN, 2 juvie FIGHTING CONCHS and a PEAR WHELK.

Sanibel Paper fig, sea urchin and conchs

 

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more information and dates CLICK HERE.

pam rambo shelling trips

PS- I took a video of some of the live creatures to show you but for some reason in the last few months, it takes forever to download them. Now you know why I haven’t done many videos lately! ugh. When it is done, I’ll post it to Youtube- you can find me here…. https://www.youtube.com/user/pamrambo

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Shining Sanibel Sea Star

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Lined Sea Star, Starfish | 22 comments

Shining Sanibel Sea Star

A STARFISH can be tumbled by the sea so roughly to lose an arm or two but can pull himself back together by re-growing those broken limbs. They can also endure tidal changes that leave them stranded on the beach with little water at low tide. They are survivors! I watched oodles of these survivor SEA STARS use their TUBE FEET to scoot around the tidal pools and upright themselves after a wave turned them upside down. They even use those TUBE FEET for feeding and breathing so even though they might not look like they are alive, if they are anywhere near the water they have a chance to survive.  (OMG That PELICAN photobombed my STARFISH picture! LOL)

 Sanibel sea star showing its tube feet

I was so amazed by the movement of a couple of these very frisky critters, I took a little video to share the awesomeness. Enjoy the YouTubeFeet video- heehee. [youtube]http://youtu.be/dIUDrS5U3oc[/youtube]

PS- Along with the new cruise schedule I mentioned on my last post, don’t forget we are still on schedule for our super fun get-together on Captiva Cruises.

We have an iLoveShelling boat cruise for shelling on Cayo Costa this Friday June 6, 2014 at 1 pm. Join us!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Healthy Living On The Coast Of Sanibel Island

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Augers, Baby's Ear, Fighting Conch, Hermit crabs, Lettered Olive, Lightning Whelk, Lined Sea Star, live baby ear, low tide, Onion Sea Anemone, Sand Dollar, Sea anemone, Shark's Eye Egg Collar, Sponge, Whelk | 24 comments

Lightning whelk in Sanibel surf

If the Sanibel SEA LIFE could have talked last evening at low tide, they probably would have been chatting it up about how lovely the evening was and how healthy they were feeling…. just like us.

live starfish at sanibel lighthouse beach

This LINED STARFISH was raisin’ the roof!

Curled live starfish sea star Sanibel Island

The live LETTERED OLIVES were doin’ the locomotion…

live lettered olive shell

The live AUGERS were gettin’ jiggy with it…

live auger shells at low tide Sanibel

This live BABY’S EAR was jivin’ and slimin’…

live babys ear shell

The live FIGHTING CONCHS were putting’ up their dukes…

live fighting conch in sand

There were hundreds of HERMIT CRABS running around claiming the best shells for their residences.

apple murex with hermit crab

We even saw quite a few SHARK’S EYE EGG COLLARS brimming with little tiny eggs…

sharks eye egg collar

We even saw lots of ONION SEA ANEMONES flowering in the tidal pools…

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemone

Hmmmm….I wonder why they call it an “ONION” SEA ANEMONE … heehee

Paranthus rapiformis onion sea anemonae CNIDARIA

The colors of the night were amazing! This clump of SEA SPONGE was the most brilliant color purple…

purple sea sponge Sanibel

A little higher on the beach, I saw that Leah from Georgia found a honey hole of wonderful minis which included lots of WENTLETRAPS.

collecting seashells on the seashore of Sanibel Island

Leah and her husband Matt were vacationing on Sanibel to celebrate Matt’s 40th birthday.

Matt Leah from Georgia vacation on Sanibel for shells

Finding a few beautiful shells to take home was just icing on the cake. Happy Birthday Matt!

seashells found on Sanibel Island by Leah

The weather was perfect, the beach was teeming with live creatures and each breath of fresh, salty air made exploring the tidal pools heaven on earth.

Whelk in the surf of Sanibel Island

sand dollar at low tide Sanibel Island

exploring low tide on Sanibel Island

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Sanibel’s Sign Of The Times

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 in Lined Sea Star, Nudibranch, Sea hare, Sea Slug | 16 comments

2012 Sanibel seashells

This says it all…. 2012 is a gorgeous year on Sanibel. Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach was no exception yesterday where I met Melissa using PEN SHELLS to make this “sign of the times” (heehee). Her kids Ricki and Mack made perfect models to show off her seashell art.

2012 sanibel beach

The beach and parking lots have made a full recovery from Tropical Storm Debby last month. Even the STARFISH are recovering! Days after TS Debby, we saw hundreds of live STARFISH washed up on the beach with most of their arms broken off. See how resilient they are? This one had 4 out of 5 arms broken off (I’m sure from the storm) and all 4 are growing back now trying to match that original long arm on the right of my hand. Cool, huh?

sanibel lined starfish

I also saw a live SEA HARE (or SEA SLUG)! It’s always a treat to see these graceful creatures swimming along our shoreline.

sea hare swimming

I have video of a larger one 2 years ago which shows the purple ink shooting out (CLICK HERE), but this SEA SLUG is much smaller and has little green “horns”. Here’s another quick vid taken in knee deep water near the Sanibel pier.

PS- Oh, and don’t mind that AHH-OOO-GAA noise at the end. One of my best buddies was calling me on my cell phone… that’s her ring tone. It makes me laugh every time! LOL

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aIyRxg10jo[/youtube]

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Sanibel Low Tide Golden Sky

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 in Coffee Bean Trivia, Lined Sea Star, low tide, Sanibel, Sea Pork, sunrise, True tulip, Tulip | 31 comments

Sanibel stoop yellow low tide

Walking out on the beach before sunrise is a special feeling. It has an extra special feeling when it is a very low tide of -1.0 AND it’s Christmas weekend.

collecting seashells flashlight sanibel

I thought my eyes hadn’t focused when I took this next photo of Clark. Whatever happened to it (too early in the morning?)… I’m so glad! It came out like a beautiful impressionist painting…

sunrise sheller watercolor

As the sun was rising near the Sanibel lighthouse, the sky turned golden…

Sanibel lighthouse sunrise yellow

We saw lots of live shells and washed up sea life like this poor LINED STARFISH that took a beating but wouldn’t give up despite losing all of its arms. It survived al of the elements and started growing each of its arms back. What a survivor!

starfish regrow arms

And you thought all SEA PORK was ugly, right? Well look again! This one looks just like an orange with its bright orange peel.

orange peel sea pork

My best find was this rich in color nice sized TRUE TULIP…

True tulip sanibel lighthouse

Clark had the find of the day with this WAY cool tiny shell I have never identified before. It’s a COFFEE BEAN TRIVIA

coffee bean trivia sanibel florida

coffee bean trivia aperture finger

Coffee bean trivia finger

We both tried to rub off those brown smudges…HA! Silly us, those brown spots are part of the shell! That would be like trying to rub off the spots off a JUNONIA or SCOTCH BONNET. Silly!

coffee bean trivia Niveria pediculus

coffee bean trivia Niveria pediculus aperture

Hmmmm…. whaddaya think? Look like coffee beans to you?

Sanibel coffee beans

Sanibel photographer sunrise

 

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Go Starfish, Go!

Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Lined Sea Star, Live Starfish Video, Sanibel, Starfish, Video | 14 comments

Or…. go little mini HERMIT CRABS! I caught a speedy LINED STARFISH on video at the lighthouse beach last week at low tide making use of the hundreds of legs he has. Do you think Mr. SEA STAR was running after these mini HERMIT CRABS to have a nice little appetizer? They are carnivores so I could have interrupted dinner time- oops!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl_Dp0SonkA[/youtube]

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