Archive for Sunsets
For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.
Gwendolyn, Hailey, Sarah and Viet from the Orlando area found some sweet minis too. I especially loved that little black and white WEST INDIAN FALSE CERITH Viet found.
For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.
Anthony was amazed by the live LIGHTNING WHELK he found so while showing his family this live creature he made sure he held the shell so the MOLLUSK still had water covering the inside until he walked it back out so return to the sea- so thoughtful! He and Ryan found lots of other loot (including that gorgeous LACE MUREX) while Jose found two SAND DOLLARS that were still grey but without any cilia/fur/hair/breathing apparatus so he knew these were dead. Jose told me he saw hundreds that were still alive so he left them alone but knew these two were ones he could keep.
As the sky opened up and it began to rain (without lightning), I met these three beautiful ladies Christine, Lindsey, and Caren from Connecticut just as we were heading off the beach.
We got to talking while I looked at some of their sweet minis, and I completely lost their names! Ack! So embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me! Yes, I remember so much about y’all (first time finding wentles, watching the vids and even a first time sheller) but names? psh- sometimes they get lost. Sorry!
Notice what unusual colors the changed in all of these photos before and after the rain? Every 15 minutes it seemed as if I had sepia toned glasses on then back to colorama glasses. As I was running off the beach, a rainbow appeared for a few minutes when I saw Holly from Fort Myers again.
I snapped a photo of some of her mini finds since they were waaaay cute. See that BABYS EAR on the right? We had talked about BABYS EARS earlier in the evening… saying we haven’t seen many at the Lighthouse Beach lately… then got on another subject… walked a few feet … I looked down and screamed in mid sentence. A BABYS EAR right at our feet. LOL We both laughed and I told her that happens on the iLoveShelling cruises all the time and I swear people think I plant them. Theres NO WAY! I would NEVER do that. It’s just happens .. and yes, it’s weird but it happens… a lot (but never with JUNONIAS- dang it!).
I was now soaked…and happy… so I decided to just walk instead of run to the beach access ramp to the parking lot. That’s where Ingrid and Pat from Missouri and I laughed at ourselves for hanging out in the rain. Look at that big bag filled with shells! That’s why Ingrid said it was hard to be torn off the beach- Die-Hards!
These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!
As I was talking with Ingrid and Pat, Clark showed up drenched too but with a pocket full of minis and SAND DOLLARS. Clark found some of those grayish bald SAND DOLLARS too… and more minis- yay!
Just to make sure we don’t confuse the dead SAND DOLLARS with the live ones… we always check to see if there is anything that looks like “fur” or “hair” on them when they are gray-ish like this. Nope! These are all very smooth and bald- not a “hair” in sight.
You can compare them to these live SAND DOLLARS to easily see the cilia/fur/hair on the edges of all four SAND DOLLARS in the next photo. See?
Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.
Our first iLoveShelling Sight Sea-R Cruise was even better than I could ever even imagined! This brand new Sight Sea-R boat proved to be the absolutely perfect shelling excursion with plenty of room to take our 48 amazing shellers to this new shelling destination only accessible by boat… Big Hickory Island.
Not only is the island filled with our favorite treasures (shells, of course)….
We kicked this shelling adventure off with lots of other goodies too. Giveaways! Clark and I brought a big bucket of Sanibel Six shells so everybody could pick out a lucky shell to get things started. Then we treated everybody to iLoveShelling waterproof Seashell Identification guides, bumper stickers and had raffle prizes for hats and tee shirts. So. Much. Fun.
Our biggest surprise was from Mary and Jana of Sealife By Congress- my fave jewelry store. You won’t believe it, they gave every single person on this cruise a sterling silver sealife charm. Seriously. They came on the boat with large baskets filled with beautiful pieces of jewelry and let us all pick our gift of hand made sterling silver dolphin, starfish, sand dollars, scallops and yes… even junonia charms. So sweet!
Texas cutie cousins Pat, Pam, Kay, Peggy, Debby and Linda were thrilled to all receive such a gracious gift of jewelry. Thank you Sealife By Congress!
Let me tell you… this boat turned into a parrrr-taayyy!
So to top it off, on the boat ride to the island we spotted lots of different wildlife. There were dozens of species of birds but we were most excited about seeing many ROSEATE SPOONBILLS…
We also saw a rare sighting of a SEA TURTLE popping out of the water and we also witnessed countless pods of BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN.
This was already so much fun and we hadn’t even starting shelling yet. But I was soooo ready… especially since I saw Holly had made a special shell bucket for herself with “My Shell Holl” on it- heehee. She also made one for her husband Ted that said “Collect-Ted Shells” and she made one for me with “My Pamtastic Shells”. OMG So stinkin cute.
We were all ready to hit the beach to find shells. And we did! Sandy from Fort Myers Beach’s newspaper The Island Sand Paper found some awesome shells to make her smile. Go back and take a look at the second photo from the top, those are her shells- See? Awesome.
We couldn’t believe how many WORM SHELLS we all found…
And lots of SHARK’S EYES…
During the boat ride back, I asked how many people found CONE shells (and not ones they picked from the “lucky bucket”) and 19 shellers raised their hands. Wow!
I’m always so happy to meet families that shell together. Christine, Anthony, Paula, Bryce and Dominic (from VT and MA) were such a pleasure to talk to.
I asked Bryce what his favorite thing about the cruise was and he reminded me that together we saved a SEA HARE that got washed up on the beach. We put the SEA HARE back in the water and after a minute, he revived and swam away- that was his favorite moment. I asked Anthony what his favorites were and he immediately showed me his ROSE PETAL TELLINS (with 2 COCQUINAS as well).
Clark and I loved hearing Keri (also from the Sand Paper) tell about shelling bringing back so many memories of her childhood while shelling with her grandmother. I think that’s why we love it so much… we explore the beach like we are kids again and remember those days.
Thank you Captain Phil and Meg for such a great adventure!
I still can’t believe how exciting every moment was with perfect weather seeing DOLPHINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILLS, OSPREY, PELICANS, a SEA TURLE, lots of seashells and the best group of people Clark and I could wish for.
To make a fairy tale ending, on our way back to the dock we watched the sun set over the Sanibel Lighthouse…
It was a very special day to remember. Oh but wait… I still have more photos and I have just a few more things I want to share with you about this day on my next post. The surprises continue!
Thank you Sight Sea-R Cruises!
You can catch a cruise too. Hop on a regularly scheduled shelling cruise on the Sight Sea-R to Big Hickory every Wednesday at 10am, Call 239-765-7272 or go to the website at http://www.sightseaflorida.com. You won’t be disappointed.
If you want to catch an iLoveShelling shelling adventure with me as your guide (once a month), CLICK HERE
Signs of summer have been showing up early on the islands lately. The late afternoon billowy clouds have been rolling in on the horizon causing afternoon showers and gorgeous sunsets. I finally made it back to Bowman’s Beach the other evening to watch the sky show at sunset and to see what types of shells have been washing upon that shore.
I mostly found the common bivalves, but I was happy enough with collecting a WORM in a BUTTERCUP topped with an OLIVE and a pinch of NUTMEG.
Summer might be right around the corner, but the animals on the island know it’s still Spring. It’s been so much fun watching the wildlife in the last few weeks now that the island isn’t as busy. My friend Diane has been watching a family of NIGHT HERONS nest in her back yard so I had to go pay them a visit. Oh My! There are three young chicks in the nest with the Mamma. So sweet!
Clark and I watch this ALLIGATOR cross the road right in front of us in our car last week. Yikes! It’s still mating season for them so he was moving pretty quickly from one pond to another (thank goodness). This was the best photo I could get with such short notice. LOL
Last night by the Sanibel Pier, I couldn’t peel myself away from watching this awesome OSPREY catch and feed on a nice size POMPANO fish. Clark and I watched him eat this fish dinner for maybe 20 minutes all while his family screeched and yelled at him to bring fish dinner back to the nest only 20 yards away.
As we started to walk away from the OSPREY show, a Mother DOLPHIN and her baby splashed out of the water next to the pier then a MANATEE swam by. Magical. Since the wildlife was the life of the party last night, the only shell I collected to bring home was this BABY’S EAR.
That one shell was well worth an evening’s walk on the beach to witness more wild wonders of life on Sanibel.
Join us on tomorrow for an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises! Call 239-472-5300
Combing the beach as the sun sets over the Sanibel fishing pier reminds us why we love our home.
After getting back from Grand Bahama Island, we couldn’t wait to breathe in our own beach. We were greeted by a beautiful view of our lighthouse with an OSPREY keeping close to watch over it.
This majestic creature posed for me long enough to let me snap this photo…
Mr HERMIT CRAB came out of his LIGHTNING WHELK home to say “Hi!”.
We saw many beautiful and empty shells on our own beach of Sanibel but didn’t collect any since we had already collected so many CARIBBEAN SHELLS from the Bahamas which still needed to be cleaned. Now I’m done! These are the shells we found within 2 days shelling the east end of the island and going on our boating adventure with Joel (I’ve now learned he spells his name Joel but pronounced Joe-L like I wrote in my last post). We always love to find so many different species like this.
Here’s a close up of some of shells and BEACH BLING. Gorgeous, right? One day, oh… one day, I will identify all of these on one post but until then, I have other posts with identification of most of them on our other shelling trips in the Caribbean -CLICK HERE.
And BTW… Happy Mothers Day to my sweet mom and all of you wonderful mothers out there! My kitties have been as sweet as pie to me today so thank you for a wonderful day my beautiful Dustie…
And thank you to my baby boy RustBucket (his newest name is PuppyCat- he fetches!)… even though I busted you eating my plants today.
When shellers get together at Shellabaloo, incredishell things happen.
Seashell creativity gets shellsational!
Shellers turn into Michelanshello…
Leonardo Di Vinshell…
And Shellgar Degas…
Our Shellabaloo Shell ‘N Tell at Island Inn turned into a shellorama of artistic fun! Let me re-introduce you to the arteeeests.
John captured his masterpiece with a palette of seascape undertones…
Carol shared her shell perspective with an esthetic splash of color with a mixed media using orchids and butterfly ALTERNATE TELLINS…
Malgorzata’s avant-garde creation illustrated the many possibilities of collecting miniatures…
The Texas sisters Lisa, Sunnye and Suzanne shared an assemblage of shell variants in their gallery of abstracts…
Iron Man Bill chose to compose his canvas with his minimalist perspective from shelling while water snorkeling. (Oh and btw, -stepping out of the silly “artsy” language for a minute- he truly is a competitive Iron Man- wow!)
Cindy’s three- dimensional masterpiece exhibited blended lifelike designs…
Suzi’s impressionistic style set off by brilliant pigments, designed a collage of remarkable beauty.
Didn’t you enjoy the Shellabaloo Shellartist Gallery? LOL
On our last night together after drooling over all of the amazing shell displays, we had a Shellabaloo prize! This stunning Sanibel Island Junonia necklace from Sealife By Congress is the perfect keepsake for Sanibel shellers so it was a perfect piece for remembering Shellabaloo. I wear mine every day!
Suzanne was the lucky winner of the Sealife By Congress necklace! Congratshellations Suzanne!
Our time together was priceless.
We collected lots of shells and memories together.
Four perfect days…
to the last perfect sunset at the Island Inn Beachfront Resort.
Clark and I thank each of these amazing people for joining us!
What exactly is Shellabaloo? Its the most spectasheller shelling event on the planet! CLICK HERE for more info
PS- Unfortunately, I don’t have any dates for a future Shellabaloo but I do have a few other Shelling Adventures set up – CLICK HERE
I have said countless times that the beaches of Southwest Florida change every day and by the hour so finding shells becomes a fascinating treasure hunt. So I would say Tam Tam from Michigan has had quite a treasure hunt this week! She found so many shells that aren’t found on our beaches all that often like that sweet baby LIONS PAW (top left), a CABRITS MUREX (middle), a LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN (okay, thats not a shell but its just so beautiful and big for that type of URCHIN) and a THORNY OYSTER (bottom). The ALPHABET CONE isn’t rare at all but it is just dang gorgeous…. and same for that BABY’S EAR. And of course you see she found a JUNONIA too!
Tammy found her LIONS PAW along West Gulf Drive and found her JUNONIA and CABRITS at BLIND PASS SANIBEL. Her friend Barb from Virginia found a CABRITS MUREX at Blind Pass Sanibel too!
I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!
Oh but hold on there’s more… Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!
Her LIONS PAW is soooo pretty, right? The CONE is just as spectacshellar and both were found off West Gulf Drive. That is a very dark rich color variation of a FLORIDA CONE. Shellicious!
Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.
They are very new to shelling but as you can see, they already have a great eye for such pretty shells. They found out about all the seashells on Sanibel from Derek’s dad Darrell who caught the shelling bug about 5 years ago on his first visit to Sanibel. Hey Darrell! Thanks for spreading the shelling love on to your kids- Derek and Lisa cracked me up!
Lisa could identify most of their other shells but she showed me this little mini shell and asked me what it was. Its a PITTED MUREX! I don’t find these all that often but I loved that even as new shellers, they both were so interested in this tiny shell that turned out to be not all that common in our area.
Every day is a new adventure on Sanibel, Captiva and all of the beaches in southwest Florida. What I find even more rare than these shells that my lucky shelling friends found, is that our islands are filled with so many friendly, smiling folks that enjoy every gift from the sea whether its rare or not. (oh…and the view aint half bad either )