There are days on Sanibel when hundreds of COCKLE shells… or DOSINIA shells… or PEN SHELLS wash up on the beach. Well, this past week (and lots of random weeks this year) there were hundreds- if not thousands- of SAND DOLLARS washing up on the beach.
Lots of them were still living (!) but some were perfectly bare of cilia and spines which means they can no longer be alive.
If you have any doubts whether a SAND DOLLAR is alive or dead, please leave it where you found it. But if you want to learn how to tell the difference, please CLICK HERE for my post How To Identify Differences Between Live And Dead Sand Dollars.
Local sheller Karen knows the ones she can keep and was as dumbfounded as I was to find gazillions of them scattered all over the beach.
So many in perfect condition.
If you look closely at this next photo, you’ll see those dark spots throughout the sand- most of those were still the live ones dotting the beach at Gulfside City Beach on Sanibel Island.
It always feels like such a special day to just see one, so I was feeling like I won the SAND DOLLAR lottery.
We have a nice collection of SAND DOLLARS already so I don’t normally pick them up any more… but… I had a few events planned this week to visit with friends so Clark and I gathered a few up to give as gifts. We placed them overnight in a bleach solution then rinsed them off in the morning. CLICK HERE for a more detailed tutorial for cleaning SAND DOLLARS.
We then placed them in the sun all day to dry out. They made for wonderful party favors for my friends that evening. Gifts from the sea.
We just had some strong NE winds move in this morning so all of these sweet beach bucks might get covered back up with the wave action. We always have to remember not to take anything for granted- they’re here one day and maybe gone the next. It happens that fast!
I’m working on new dates for our iLoveShelling cruises. I hope to have dates very soon so I can see y’all when you come to SW Florida to visit! I have through January… so CLICK HERE to join us!
A few more beautiful sunrises and sunsets have happened since I took this photo last week. I almost forgot about showing you these amazing treasures and moments because time seems to be passing with the speed of light. I didn’t find the shell of a lifetime so it didn’t seem as important to post. But that’s not what its all about, is it? It’s not just finding the biggest and best shell pile in the world. It’s finding something that makes you happy and content while you are on the hunt for that once in a lifetime seashell. The amazing thing about beach combing is that every day and every hour there’s something beautiful to see or washes up at your toes.
Life is colorful. No two people will see beauty the same way.
Enjoy each moment on the beach. You might not find a more special place on earth.
There will be days you will never forget.
Sanibel has had so much rain in the past month, we’ve had flooded streets, yards and parking lots. Now that we have had a few days of sunshine, we are finally drying out. It’s so refreshing to be on the beach without the threat of a thunderstorm and to enjoy the site of shells and beautiful skies.
I’ve found mostly shell crush (broken shells, bits and pieces), drift shells (smooth beach worn shells) and Sanibel’s most common shells (CLICK HERE for the top six shells) but they remind me I should start some shell craft projects using the same shells that are on our beaches in SW Florida all the time.
I’ve always wanted to do a frame like this as friend Rhonda makes …
But after having lots of home improvement projects this summer, all I want to do is enjoy walking the beach to unwind and to admire all of these beautiful shells (broken or not!) and the landscape that surrounds them. Beach therapy is the best therapy on the planet.
Last night’s mango sky brought out a mango tinted HORSESHOE CRAB along with several different mango colored seashells as well. Check out this BEAUTIFUL CRASSATELLA (9 o’clock) Clark found last night at Bowman’s beach.
Near the east end of Sanibel the night before, I found lots of sweet mini shells. WENTLETRAPS filled the inside of a mango colored COCKLE SHELL and BUTTON SHELLS, BUBBLES, mango tinted MUREXES, DRILLS and CONCHS filled the cup of a DOSINIA. I can’t even believe I saw the tiniest of 2 DOVE shells, a RICE OLIVE and a new find for me…. a BROWN-TIP MANGELIA (Kurtziella atrostyla).
I looked through my loose change to take a photo of a coin to show just how tiny this shell was and I found a wheat penny- perfect! How in the world did I ever see this little magnificent shell? So happy I did! And yes, it has little “mango” accents (instead of boring brown) on it too.
Okay… what is all this mango stuff about, you ask? I’ve been sorta obsessed with our MANGO TREE this year. It has loads of juicy delicious mangoes hanging from every branch but we try to wait until they are fairly ripe before we pick them. But…. every morning we find half eaten mangoes on the ground. Grrrrr. Some critter was making a mess of our luscious fruit and I wanted to know exactly what critter was feasting on them. I had an idea the animal but I bought I critter cam to see for sure. hahaha I know- a little crazy but it worked! In this next photo, you can see in the far left that this
evil cute little RACCOON was up on his hind legs about to pick that mango. Shooooo!
Then his little RACCOON bff joined in on a little tango for the mango madness smorgasbord.
And then…. O.M.G. I caught a COYOTE in my backyard this morning on camera! Wow! There have been COYOTE sightings on Sanibel since 2011 and we’ve seen a few around the islands but I’ve never gotten a photo of them and I sure didn’t know they were roaming around in my backyard at 4:15am. I’ve never heard of a local COYOTE hurting a human but I’m just very happy that my little DustBall and PuppyCat kitties are safe inside and NEVER go outside.
Of course I wanted to name it (not sure if it’s a girl or boy), but I still haven’t come up with a name yet… Wildie Coyote? Tootie Fruitie Coyote? Mango Rambo? LOL Whaddaya think?
Life on Sanibel… day and night, there’s always something “wild” happening.
Join me on an iLoveShelling Adventure! For more info CLICK HERE (I’m working on new dates for season- I should have those up soon!)
PS- I’m hoping its running much smoother now with most of the kinks worked out for the new site design. I’m not done reorganizing the categories menu yet either, but I’d love feed back if you think the dropdown menu is easier to look through too now. It was a mess- eeeeek- sorry!
An hour before sunset is my favorite time to shell on Sanibel in the summer time.
The temperature is cooler and the skies change by the second so it makes for a beautiful backdrop to the already colorful shells.
I went to Blind Pass Sanibel to find just a scattering of shells right at the water’s edge but not too many in the tidal lines on the beach.
Brian, Mathew and Kory from Indiana plopped right down in the water and found shells just by digging around. They were having a blast!
I also went to Gulfside City Park this week and found this SHARK EYE along with thousands of live baby SAND DOLLARS just like a found earlier this month in my post Sand Dimes By The Dozen.
It’s always so much fun to see what the tide washes in.
You just never know what you’re gonna find.
Since most of you know that I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now, its time to update my blog. Technology is moving at the speed of lightning (not LIGHTNING WHELKS- they are kinda slow- heehee) so I am spending most of my time with my nose stuck in my computer figuring it all out instead of being on the beach every day. I know, cue the violins- haha. I just wish I could give you more info about the beaches and more videos but when this is all updated, I will get back to my regular schedule of sharing our world of shelling with more posts, cybershelling and fun videos.
I wouldn’t miss our iLoveShelling cruises though! JOIN US! For info on dates CLICK HERE
Shellzam! These are some of the unbelievable shells and bling we’ve found on an extraordinary shelling trip to the other side of the world from our home on Sanibel Island, Florida. Yes, Sanibel is the the most amazing place on the planet for beach combing but when you’re extreme shellers like Clark and me…
We’ve got to explore the awesome beaches around the globe.
Stay tuned for all of the details of our amazing beach combing adventure…
in Okinawa, Japan!