Now this is what shelling after a storm should look like! Woop! Woop! Look at those LIGHTNING WHELKS and that HORSE CONCH! But hold on… I hate to get you too excited. So before you start envisioning piles of shells washed up by the load full in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac already, the shells really haven’t made it on the beach yet. They are still in the water. That’s how our buddy Donnie found all of these shells this morning. By the time I got to the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach at sunrise, Donnie had already scooped the goods. See? All by himself in the water with no other competition. LOL
There were a few FIGHTING CONCHS and usual suspects on the beach closer to the lighthouse point but not like Donnie’s finds.
So before I get to the beach again this afternoon when the tide starts to recede, I thought I’d go ahead and post these awesome photos so you will know what to expect when these beauties hit the shore. Need help identifying any of these shells? Click on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page…
Gorgeous shells Donnie! Should I call you Awesome Sheller Donnie since “Super Sheller” is already taken? Or King Of The Dawn Donnie? Donnie The Cone King (He’s found over 140 since January)? Never mind, I got it!… Donnie, The Shell Dominator! LOL
I just heard that Blind Pass Captiva had some shells churning in the surf so it’s hard to decide where I’m gonna head first in an hour or so. Acckkk! So many places to shell and not enough time! If I find major shell piles forming, I’ll will send a quick TWEET or post on FACEBOOK then post again here ASAP. Happy Shelling!
Oh wait! I wanted to show you that in case you couldn’t figure out what that thing is in the top right corner… It’s a sea turtle shell bone. I found a piece yesterday too but mine doesn’t have that bone piece running through it. BLING!
Tropical Storm Isaac blew through Sanibel last night and today without doing too much damage that I could see… thank goodness. Whew, we got lucky. Very lucky.
Through sporadic rain and north east wind gusts, we headed to a few different beaches to see the effects of Isaac. The morning’s high tide brought waves crashing on to the sea oats and up on to the beach access boardwalks. Wow!
Then by the late afternoon at low tide, the water receded a bit to let us hunt for shells. Nothing yet but a few PEN SHELLS and a few areas of “shell crush” which is just bits and pieces of broken shells coating the sand.
We ran out to the Sanibel Pier yesterday to check the beach condition and met Joe (a meteorologist!) and Joanne from Las Vegas looking for any signs of shells. They weren’t finding so many whole shells yet but it was so much fun to meet y’all!
Okay, this is interesting… Look at the beach erosion at the pier in the background of the photo with Joe and Joanne and remember that was yesterday. If you’ve ever been to this beach before, you’ve probably walked under the pier to get to the other side to look for shells. Now take a look at the photo I took today of the pier. Look at the difference with the sand! No way to walk under it now!
We did not find any shells today but I will be at the beaches tomorrow to check the conditions. We still have high east winds so I’m still not expecting any good shelling until the winds change directions and start coming from the west. Of course I will keep you informed but my thoughts are now with the folks in Louisiana and surrounding areas that are now in Tropical Storm Isaac’s path. Please be safe!
Until I can give you more shelling news and updates for Sanibel and Captiva, I filmed a few areas of the beach today with my good friend Diane so you could come along with us on our check-up of TS Isaac. You won’t need a raincoat to join us but earplugs might help because that wind was howling!
I found this ANGEL WING pair the same day I found those cute little RAGGED SEA HARES in my last post but I kinda got distracted in showing this cool find for a few days. Things have been a little crazy here in on the west coast of Florida since Tropical Storm Isaac has been trying to make his mind up if we were going to be his target or not. It doesnt look like a direct hit for us, so before I get distracted again, I’ve got to show you what happened with this cool juvenile ANGEL WING!
As soon as I saw this double ANGEL WING on the beach, I got out my video camera and started filming since it isn’t often that you find the pair together laying on the beach. It seemed so weird to me…. and it got weirder when I saw that the body of the MOLLUSK was still inside the shell. So walk along with me while we watch what happens to this “shell” …[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBVfPpCcEEQ[/youtube]
He was alive! It’s that so cool he survived?
Remember when I said I thought he lost his MESOPLAX(which I probably mispronounced the word but hey, I was happy that I remembered the dang thing ;))? That is the little plate or cross bar that is attached to both valves when the animal is still alive. I thought that was gone when I didn’t think he was alive. I quickly put on my cheater readers (thank goodness I had them with me!) and saw that the MESOPLAX was still in place. To show you what it looks like, here’s a photo of an ANGEL WING pair with its MESOPLAX that MurexKen and MurexAlice found and I posted in Angels On The Gulf Coast.
As I write this post in my home on Sanibel Island, it is rainy, dark and dreary with scattered wind gusts effecting us already from Tropical Storm Isaac which is just starting to hit the western part of the Florida Keys. The storm track has now moved further to the west so we are not in “the cone” as we were yesterday and early this morning. We are far enough away from the storm now that we don’t have any evacuation warnings. Oh. Thank. Goodness. We don’t have to evacuate but we were prepared to leave and would have left in a heartbeat if we were still on track for a hurricane. We don’t mess with Mother Nature. Now our thoughts are with the folks that are in the new path and wishing safety for everyone. Please be safe!
So now that they are only predicting tropical force winds here similar to what we experienced with Tropical Storm Debbie in June, I expect to see shells rolling in but not until a couple of days. Right now the shells are being taken out with the east winds so there is nothing really on our beaches at this point. The storm should pass us tomorrow afternoon but it may bring storm surge flooding which can be very dangerous so we always have to consider safety first. It should take a couple of days any way for the shells to arrive since they have been pushed out with the eastern winds so they have to have time to get pushed back on to our shores. I’m thinking late Wednesday afternoon or Thursday… then game on. I cannot wait to share with you the shelling effects of this storm later this week! Do YOU have a time prediction for this to happen? …
This looks nothing like the SEA HARES I’ve seen in the past that gracefully dance through the water flapping their wings like a beautiful bird. I know, this guy looks like Bob Slug Marley… in need of a haircut. I found this RAGGED SEA HARE at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach yesterday morning at low tide where there were ooodles of them! I’ve never seen one of these before! We’ve had some strange winds from all directions and very choppy seas the last few days so I think they got pushed in right after they “hatched”. When they got out of the water, they retracted their horns and pigtails (haha- they are actually called papillae but let’s go with pigtails for now) and rolled up in ball. This gives new meaning to “hare ball”, right?
And yes! Another video! I loooove finding and learning about new sea life and add it to my BEACH BLING identification page!
Ummmm…. Please don’t tell anyone else that I heard what this RAGGED SEA HARE was saying… they might think I’m crazy. 😉
Oh and I had witnesses that will tell you I wasn’t crazy listening to these guys. I ran into Dan and Tina (TN) who were at the Lighthouse shelling finding all of these fantastic shells while I pointed out the RAGGED SEA HARES…
And! To top it all off, I saw Karen with her cutie aqua iLS shirt and iLS cap on! I first met Karen and Dexter (St Louis) after they found a huge MEGALADON SHARKS TOOTH at Blind Pass last year. It was so good to see yall again!
PS- If you don’t know already, there is a tropical storm in the Atlantic predicted to become Hurricane Isaac which is on a path headed towards Southwest Florida. If it stays on this path and gains strength, I’ll let you know in a quick post if we have to evacuate. Fingers crossed that we only get shells and NOT a hurricane.