Archive for Sunray Venus
Another Spring Break adventure! On Wednesday, Lori, Hayley, Culter and I went to the secluded island of Cayo Costa to relax and enjoy another gorgeous day on the islands.
I had problems getting out our own boat (Clark was busy at work so he couldn’t help) so we decided to take the easy route and hop on the Captiva Cruises shelling boat Play Time for the afternoon trip.
Low and behold, guess who our captain was… my buddy Captain Brian Holaway! It was a nice surprise!
After securing the boat on the south tip of Cayo Costa, Capt Brian walked over to our shelling spot to join us for a few minutes and immediately picked up an ALBINO YELLOW PRICKLY COCKLE. Wow, can he spot those albinos! Remember he won a red ribbon for his ALBINO WHELK at the Sanibel Shell Show this year? Amazing!
I didn’t find an albino but I quickly found a handful of my own fave honeys.
BABY’S EARS and FALSE ANGEL WINGS (they look like cute little juvie ANGEL WINGS)…
Lots of beauteous JINGLES…
A couple of CLOUDY PERIWINKLES…
I also found a PURPLISH SEMELE (left) and a CANCELLATE SEMELE (right). I’m not sure why I don’t find more of these on Sanibel but I have better luck finding them on Cayo Costa, North Captiva and in Marco. hmmmm
I had thought at one time that this BRYOZOAN COLONY was a type of CORAL but as you can see side by side… it’s not a piece of CORAL like the branch on the right. I found both of these past the tree roots on the Gulf side of the beach. (click HERE for more info on Bryozoan Colony)
Okay, this one might not be your taste but I thought this SOUTHERN RIBBED MUSSEL was just so pretty for some reason. One day, when I get a fancy camera to show you the nice details up close and personal, I promise…I’ll be able to capture more of the beauty in some of these obscure seashells.
After combing, sunning and shelling this gorgeous beach, Hayley, Cutler and Lori (VA) headed back to the boat with me after one more climb on the BLACK MANGROVE tree roots.
On the boat ride back, I couldn’t help but see how excited Margie, Kristi and Mike (California) were about their seashell loot!
They found oodles of ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLES…
Quite a few humongus SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…
And a really big LEOPARD CRAB shell.
It was a perfect day on the water with calm aqua seas, warm temps in the 80s and DOLPHINS surrounding the boat.
And to top if off, it was great being with good friends and having lots of seashell souvenirs to bring home to remember the day.
I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m catching you up on the good shelling from the week and if you are coming to visit, there are still shells at Blind Pass (Sanibel and Captiva), minis at the lighthouse and just west of the lighthouse we’ve been finding lots of other shells that I’ll show you.
Brianne and her mom Kelly (AZ) were at the lighthouse beach finding SCALLOPS, WHELKS and CONCHS but the most unusual find for Kelly was part of a CRUCIFIX SHELL. It brings good luck!
They also found some beautiful PAPER FIGS in the low tide pools…
You’ve got to do The Sanibel Stoop to be able to spot good ones in the tidal pools.
The Stoopin found her this one….a double SUNRAY VENUS!
Brianne was finally able to find and hold a live STARFISH for a minute or two to admire it before she safely put it back in the water.
After talking to Liz and Sergio (central FL) while they were admiring a live SAND DOLLAR , Liz told me she was a record holder for the largest ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK and received a Best In Show award at a Florida shell show. She found it at Lover’s Key about 10 years ago. Dang it! I forgot to write down how big it was so maybe she’ll comment and let us know.
As we were walking west from the lighthouse the tidal pool got wider and wider for us to see live creatures and empty shells as well. This is Katie from Houston without a shell bag but making due by lining her treasures on her arm like a shelf…
To catch you up on Captiva’s Blind Pass, I stopped there on Thursday to find…. ahhhhh- such beautiful calm, aqua water with a pile of shells by the jetty.
Sharon (Orlando, FL) was having a great time replenishing her shell collection since she just used most of her shells….. this is so sweet….. to decorate for her wedding last week. She is on her honeymoon!
She was happy as a clam finding ….well finding CLAMS…and SCALLOPS….and CONCHS….and this COLORFUL MOON SHELL.
With all this happiness, I don’t even want to give you the bad news. It’s just that my little Smittie the Kitty is sick again so that’s why I haven’t been keeping up with getting out all the shelling news too timely. I think she’s going to be okay now… oh it’s too much info to go into …but she’ll be a RadioCat next month- and that’s some good news!
I’ve had a little dry spell finding mid size shells lately but today…. The shells are back! Yippee! We had nice southwest winds the past few days and now the shells at the lighthouse beach on the pier side have started rolling in, baby.
It’s a great day when you find a KINGS CROWN and a red TRUE TULIP!
I saw quite a few pairs of SUNRAY VINUS CLAMS that were still together. Lucky again!
This gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK rolled up on the beach just waiting to be picked up by a lucky sheller.
This was a lucky shelling family enjoying gulf treasures washing up with every handful. They were having a blast! And me too!
Check out those beauties. Okay, I know you didn’t miss that butterscotch yellow TRUE TULIP sittin’ pretty in the middle of all those other shellicious shells, did you?
In with the shells, came live SEA CUCUMBERS, STARFISH and a few SEA URCHINS. James was a good sheller and gently returned this live sea critter to the water to help it survive. What a cutie!
I’m sure you can identify most of these shells but I’m especially tickled by the bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN and the little candy HORSE CONCH. There is another shell I’m also pretty tickled with but it’s broken. It is the second one down on the right side…….it’s a CARRIER SHELL! I didn’t get a good shot of it so maybe I’ll show you tomorrow if I can get a good picture. Don’t know all the other names all of the shells above? Try looking at my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. Good luck ….. Tag! You’re it! I’ve now passed my good luck from finding that CRUCIFIX SHELL today on to you. Have fun.
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
It was a super weekend with a “super moon”, super sunrise, super shelling, super dolphins and super sunsets. I am still over the moon (heehee) after seeing that dolphin rushing towards me yesterday morning at sunrise so I’ve added that video again at the end of this post. Hope you don’t mind.
The full moon was setting over Sanibel leaving a low tide and live shells exposed on the beach. I always love to see live shells at low tide and especially when they are healthy and happy eating a scrumptious meal (sorry Mr Fighting Conch).
I was so amazed at how black this WHELK was devouring the other shell . It looked like a tar blob oozing out of his shell. Okay, let me make sure you know….this is not tar…this is a MOLLUSK!
Look how cute this live PEAR WHELK is! He’s doing a great job of making his way to deeper water.
Diana got out on the beach at 5:30 with a flashlight to take advantage of the full moon low tide yesterday morning. Notice the moon setting behind her right next to her ear…. I think she is listening to what the moon has to say. She found lots of FIGHTING CONCHS, a gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUS, BANDED TULIPS and lots of other shells.
Right after I took this picture and admired the moon again, I turned around to ogle at the sunrise view again and that’s when we both saw the dolphin splashing in what looked like golden water. I lost track of exactly where I was since I followed them along the beach a little ways but it was somewhere between Holiday Inn and Sundial.
It’s so much fun to see Dolphin so close to the beach whether they are feeding or playing. They corral the little fish up to the beach so they can easily pick out the ones that want to enjoy for breakfast. I happen to think they have a great time putting on a show as well.
Since there were two low tides yesterday, I went back to the beach in the evening….
Todd (PA) was searching for shells in the low tide surf while his girlfriend Courtney was on the beach finding goodies.
She found a beautifully colored PEAR WHELK, CANDY (JUVENILE HORSE CONCH), TURKEY WING, LIGHTNING WHELK, NUTMEG, BANDED TULIP and a little tiny OLIVE.
So along with all of the other super-ness of the weekend, you can see I met some super shellers.
I’m still exhausted from boating yesterday. Clark, friend Mary Jo and I “adventured” to take our boat down to the sand bars off Marco to do some shelling. The gulf was calm and flat for our hour and a half boat ride down (if only it had stayed that way). We pulled up to our first sand bar where I found this beautiful LIGHTING WHELK.
There was a nice shell wrack that looked very picked over but there were too many SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS to count. They are always so pretty when they are together.
Then I thought I hit the jack pot….
Only half of a JUNONIA but it was still fun to find it. Maybe I’ll make a necklace like Kathy.
I found a very nice size MOON SNAIL or NATICA which Mary Jo calls them.
Mary Jo found a TUSK SHELL which is very tiny so you can see it would blend in with just about everything in the sand. I’ve only ever found one … I don’t have any eye for them yet.
I found just one WENTLETRAP in what looks like coffee ground camo. There were a few RICE OLIVES in there too…. but wait! I just looked closer at this photo and there is a TUSK SHELL in this photo I didn’t even see.
My best find of the day was this very different FLORIDA CONE. Look at the colors and stripes- wow!
I met Ron from Marco and he said he boats the islands to fish but if the fish aren’t biting, he shells.
I won’t even tell you how many times we almost got stuck on the shallow flats. It’s not easy boating down there if you don’t know the waters (which we don’t). Then the boat ride back was 2 and a half hours back to the dock ….. the gulf was very choppy which makes the ride very intense (ugh). It was a beautiful day in Marco but I’m sure glad to be back on Sanibel. To be able to walk out on the beach to find incredible shells by the handful…. priceless.