If you’re a beach comber, Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island has been the perfect place for those long walks on the beach while picking up a few beautiful treasures.
A beautiful and peaceful walk…. oh yea… and some excitement each time spotting one of these gorgeous works of art.
Definitely exciting finding an empty KINGS CROWN.
Clark and I met beachcomber Laurie a mile from any other people… we compared our fave find HORSE CONCHS. Wowza!
This walk was so amazing…. I did a video to share with you! I headed north from Bowmans Beach to find the new pass Tropical Depression Hermine (she was a hurricane after she left here) opened up from Clam Bayou about a month ago. Not sure how long it will last but this new waterway is a little paradise.
Oh Wait! … before you take your mind into the amazing paradise…. please don’t forget to “tip” Shell Love Bug to help with youth educational programs at the Shell Museum! CLICK HERE
Okay…. now back to paradise… Take a big, slow breath and clear your mind. Escape to the beach for a few minutes to find a few shells and feel the power of peace Mother Nature has given us.
The best time to find lots of shells on the beaches of southwest Florida is after a storm coming from the Gulf Of Mexico – which is exactly what happened last weekend when Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine came through.
We never know exactly when or where the shells will start washing in after the storm leaves town but theres nothing more fun than hunting for them high and low. This is also the time to meet lots of other fun-loving shellers on the hunt for those amazing treasures that roll up on our beaches.
… And in the water when it calms.
… And anywhere in between.
Errrrr but wait. There may be something more fun than searching for them… Finding them.
This type of excitment is exactly what happened at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach by the fishing pier last weekend. It’s what we shellers wait for and dream about!
Earlier this week the seas calmed from the storm and the shells weren’t as easy to find so Clark and I headed south towards Marco to explore the outer islands by boat.
OMG Super Sheller Clark hit the shellmongus jackpot… 2 gorgeous HORSE CONCHS! Thank you Tropical Storm Hermine for stirring up the Gulf Of Mexico just a tad without doing any damage to anything or anyone. You left such beautiful gifts of the sea for us.
For the past 3 days, Southwest Florida has been peppered with high winds, rough and choppy seas in Gulf Of Mexico, rain showers and extreme tides. Thank goodness we didn’t get a direct hit from Tropical Depression #9 (now named Hurricane Hermine) on Wednesday, so it was safe to go scouring the island to find a huge shell pile that formed in the morning on the west end of Sanibel at Blind Pass that brought a few awesome treasures (top photo).
After picking through those treasures for a while, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening on the east end of Sanibel at Lighthouse Beach.
The gulf side was still too choppy but by the late afternoon the shells started piling up at the waters edge on the pier side of the lighthouse.
Then more rain and more high winds… then…. fast forward to this morning at Lighthouse beach near the fishing pier again…. Shellzam!
It was Shellmania! Shells started washing up on the beach but before they could even get on shore, we had a line of shellers sitting on the sand bar in the water having a spectacsheller time.
It was total shelltopia! We all became fast friends after all 5 of these HORSE CONCHS were found in less than an hour. We would hear screams of joy when someone pulled another empty one up out of the shallow water then we splashed over to see the next trophy- give a big hug then oooh and ahhh. Such a blast!
I found a HORSE CONCH too! It was very cool although it had lots of old barnacles and shell “crust” but since we have a few already at our house, I decided to gave it away in a “guess a number between 1 and 100” game with 9 other shellers. Congrats Andrea! haha So. Much. Fun.
Feeling the anticipation of what a Tropical Depression in the Gulf Of Mexico like Hermine (aka “#9”) will do to our beaches if there’s no threat of danger, makes all shellers feel giddy with excitement. If you’re an extreme sheller, this is what we wait for. It’s happiness.
While running the beaches the last 2 days, I met so many amazing people finding such awesome treasures. This is what makes the beach here so much fun- sharing the shelling love.
We also saw Captain John shelling with his family Katherine and Jack at Blind Pass. He was the new captain with Captiva Cruises who captained our last iLoveShelling Adventure. They just moved to Sanibel 2 months ago and looks like they’re already getting the hang of finding shells. Nice TULIP!
I haven’t even gotten a chance to hit all the beaches because we still have storm bands driving thunderstorms though our area. Please remember…. any time you hear thunder PLEASE be safe and get off the beach. It’s so easy these days to find a good radar weather app to be aware of storm bands coming through so you can be prepared. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, the sound of thunder is Mother Nature’s warning signal to be safe and take cover. The shells can wait… Mother Nature knows best.
More shell stories to come so stayed safe and stay tuned ;)
Until then, have a shell of a day!
PS- Hi Joey, I hope you got that little WHELK from your Gramma Sandy. ;)
It’s hot on Sanibel Island in August and September so its the time of year when I try to organize the Rambo Shellaboratory by sorting shells we’ve collected in the past months and try to find room to display them. For months, our shells and bling we found in Okinawa, Japan sat on our dining room table while I tried to find the time to photograph and research all of the ones we couldn’t identify. I even wanted to do another post about the beach bling we found (like Buzz Lightyear, Jeanne!) but life happens and things get away from me when we return from a big trip like that. So now that its scorching hot during the day, I feel like staying in the air conditioning so I can enjoy the shells we’ve already collected instead of collecting more. Today I added a few shelves in the Shellaboratory so we can enjoy looking at our loot and share those precious memories Clark and I had while combing the beaches on that far away land we explored for weeks. I love it!
If you were keeping up with the weather on Sanibel, we’ve been watching Tropical Storm Erika in the Caribbean since we were in her path for a few days. Since we live on an island, we pay close attention when we are in the pathway for any named storm, but fortunately Erika fell apart and is no longer threatening us. That’s not to say that we don’t have some wicked skies…
Clark and I only got a few minutes on the beach before we heard thunder in the distance but we did find one or two treasures.
This morning I went to Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach to see if anything washed up. I ran into Tam Tamand Don shelling along the pier side of the beach.
They found some awesome shells! Tammy posted this photo on iLoveShelling Facebook page of her incredible LIGHTNING WHELK and this very cool medium sized HORSE CONCH.
And best of all…. Kristen (instagram @_salt_life_ ) found a JUNONIA at Lighthouse Beach! Shellzam! She tagged this photo on iLoveShelling Instagram page. Congratshellations Kristen, it beautiful!
We should have still have some really bad weather this week so I will probably still be “seeking shellter” by sorting and being a Shellab Rat but if I have any news on shells coming in from this weather, I’ll let you know!
Just in case you missed my other post about The Shellaboratory, check it out CLICK HERE
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more information and dates CLICK HERE.
The weekend started with a lovely walk on the wide shell strewn beach at Gulfside City Park where I was pleasantly surprised to bump in to our good friends Dick and Mary. We were all waiting to see how Tropical Storm Karen (churning in the middle of the Gulf Of Mexico) would effect the shelling on our southwest gulf coast. It was still beautiful and calm with lots of bivalves, some OLIVES, MUREXES, SEA BEANS, CONCHS and a few other goodies.
My next stop was Blind Pass Captiva where I saw Donnie, Alyssa, Holly, Valerie and Michael in the water snorkeling for their treasures. They were having a ball!
Ooooo… pretties! I wish I had gotten a better picture of that ALPHABET CONE next to the SAND DOLLAR. Its a MeglaCone it’s so huge. LOL
That big shell mound I showed you last week was dwindling down but there were still a few shells on the beach but most were finding them in the water…
Even at YOLO beach, there were shells lining the calm shoreline. It was a perfect day to rent a wave runner to explore the whole coast of Captiva.
So that brings us to the shells we found this evening around sunset at Blind Pass Sanibel. Clark found a piece of JUNONIA along with some CONCHS and WHELKS…
But the only place we found lots of shells was right in front of the old wooden bulkhead which is now more exposed than I’ve ever seen.
The rest of the beach was wiped clean… all in one afternoon! William and Sarah from Kentucky were not too upset about the shells being taken back out in the water. They said they have been shelling a long time and realize that the beach changes every day. They just started their week long vacation so they are looking forward to the hunt for shells. That’s part of the fun!
This is what Blind Pass Captiva looked like around 6pm tonight. It’s so different from yesterday… and waaaay different than last week with that shell mound. Tropical Storm Karen didn’t bring huge shell piles to our beaches over the weekend but we could still get some effects tomorrow. The beaches will change again tomorrow and the shells have shifted so I look forward to the treasure hunt this week.
The last I saw, Gulfside City Park still has a nice string of shell lining the beach so I might start there tomorrow.
But on Tuesday…. I’m so excited for our treasure hunt on the iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise to Cayo Costa! Wahooo! I hope you can join us to explore the secluded island … for information CLICK HERE
PS- UPDATE: 10-7-13 11:59 am – The winds have changed yet again but this time they are coming from the west and stirring the Gulf up. This is what Blind Pass Captiva is doing now. Mother Nature is fascinating. We should see more shells soon!
Tropical Storm Andrea swept the seashells onto Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach on Fridaybut she also swept most of them out into the Gulf Of Mexico by Saturday night. I figured the shells had blown to another beach so I headed to the other side of the island… Blind Pass. I found some! There was a pretty nice shell mound under the bridge that leads to Captiva. That’s where I found Jamie and Alex from Hollywood, Florida shellebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Their wedding had a seashell theme so Alex surprised Jamie with a shelling week Sanibel. Sweet!
They were sifting through smaller CLAM shells to find a few nice FIGHTING CONCHS, LGITHNING WHELKS, LETTERED OLIVES, CALICO SCALLOPS and COCKLES…
Kealey and Chad from Sarasota were having good luck shelling the same spot…
Oooooh… Look at that WORM SHELL! And they found a few nice SHARKS EYES, WHELKS and that sweet candy.
Cheri, Rylan and Amanda from New Smyrna were having a ball collecting JINGLES and SCALLOPS…
I was collecting CALICO SCALLOPS too. I can’t resist picking them up when the colors are this gorgeous!
I had a question here in the comments section the other day asking “Is there a good beach to find shells while my husband fishes?”. Now you can see for yourself! Danny caught this nice SNOOK (he gently released it immediately after I took the photo) in the same spot we were finding these shell…
I ran back down to Lighthouse Beach happy to see there were still people finding shells… the miniature shells. Jesse, Erick and Jonsiah from PA were thrilled to find their very first WENTLETRAPS…
The iLoveShelling FaceBook Pagewas rocking too so I wanted to share a few photos of shells that were posted from the weekend… like from Steve O who found his first PAPER FIG…
Brooke L posted this next photo and said “The shells were great, the beaches empty, waves rolling in, and a perfect sunset! Thank you TS Andrea!”
Kelly M from Dunedin, FL found the big “J” on Honeymoon Island over the weekend. Wahoo! A JUNONIA!
I love this next photo that Greg D posted. He found three huge HORSE CONCHS! He wrote “Three horse conchs I scooped up at Bind Pass Friday night. Great ending to our vacation”. Boom Shellalaka!
I never got a chance to check out Gulfside City Park but I have a feeling there might be shells showing up on that beach soon. I hope to get there tomorrow!
Don’t forget! Only 5 more days to enter to win a Shelling Vacation on Sanibel! CLICK HERE!