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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Shelling In The Rain

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in Lace Murex, Lighthouse, True tulip, Tulip | 11 comments

Alicia's one hour September Sanibel shell collection

We found darling little treasures rolling in the surf near Lighthouse Beach this week. In just an hour or so, our friends Gail and Alicia (Sanibel locals) had a nice walk along the water’s edge to find all these sweet minis including Alicia’s first perfect juvie red TRUE TULIP. It’s a beauty! Well, and the two HORSIES, OLIVES and that awesome SHARKS EYE.

Gail and Alicia with Sanibel shells

My fave find was an itty bitty LACIE MUREX with a bright pink “nose”…

Sanibel shells and sand

I’m always tickled when I find “firsts” too like Alicia finding her first TRUE TULIP. This one may not be as lovely as her bright red treasure but this is the first time I’ve found a double CUT-RIBBED ARK with the PERIOSTRACUM (the skin) still on it. Yes, I’ve found hundreds of single CUT-RIBBED ARC valves but to find both sides like this on the beach is cool to me. It’s what we call a “FRESHIE”. This one hasn’t been empty long. ( I know, I’m touch a shell geek! haha)

Cut Ribbed Ark Anadara floridana with periostracum

Clark found about the same mix as Alicia and Gail (minus the TRUE TULIP) but I love it because he has acquired a taste (not literally) for bivalves… EGG COCKLES, DUCK CLAMS, BUTTERCUPS and DOSINIAS. Did you see the BABY’S EAR as well?

September evening Sanibel seashell collection

As we were shelling, it began to rain so we picked up the pace and headed for the beach access ramp… that’s when Clark found the BABY’S EAR. Right before he found it, he mentioned how unusual it was to not be finding BABY’S EARS lately. By the time he finished his sentience, he looked down and there it was… pretty as a picture. Ha!

Clark finding Sanibel shells

Because we spend so much time on the beach, we are constantly checking radar for storms and lightning. If we get caught in the rain, it’s because there are no signs of lightning strikes in the area or no sounds of thunder so its just a light misting of rain. As I always say… Mother Nature might punish you with a lightning bolt for shelling during a storm after her warning system has been sounded…. her cracks of thunder and her scary dark skies. She has given us time and time again HER rules and regs. We should respect them. Safety first!

Sanibel beach with shells

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Bringing On The Beachcombing

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Alternate Tellin, Banded tulip, Helmet, Lion's Paw, Long-Spined Urchin, Rocksnail, Tarpon Beach Sanibel, Thorny Oyster, West Indian Sea Egg | 16 comments

Finding seashells on Sanibel Island Florida on Tarpon Beach

There is nothing more exciting than seeing shells line the beach as far as the horizon.

shells for miles on Sanibel Island Florida

At Tarpon Road beach access (mid island on Sanibel)… that’s what we saw yesterday- miles of shells. Amy from Alabama was a happy girl be able to witness this beautiful site as well.

Amy from Huntsville finds shells on Sanibel Island Florida

She found oodles of APPLE MUREXES and FIGHTING CONCHS in a wide assortment of colors, patterns and textures along with some other beauties.

seashells collected at Tarpon Beach Sanibel Island

I ooohed and ahhhed over her best find (well, her best find to me anyway) which was this ROCK SHELL. Its not often I see these shells so I was excited for Amy that she found one.

rock shell at Tarpon Bay Rd Beach

I saw Ellie from Wisconsin holding her hand in a way to protect something delicate.

ellie from Wisconsin finds shells in Florida

It was a gorgeous double ALTERNATE TELLIN with colors of yellow, pink and mauve. It looks like a beautiful butterfly!

holding a Sanibel seashell

I was thrilled to find a LONG-SPINED URCHIN and a WEST INDIAN SEA URCHIN to add to my mix of treasures (OLIVES, CONCHS, TINTED CANTHARUS, NUTMEG, ROUGH SCALLOP, dark rich BANDED TULIP, a WORMIE and …. candy!)

sea urchins and shells collected on Sanibel Island

Then I walked the beach at BLIND PASS Sanibel to see Michelle from Illinois (right) with her family Mary, Mike, Patti and Molly. she was carrying a strange looking shell so I stopped her.

mary mike patti molly michelle from illinois shelling sanibel

OMG its the lip of verrrry large HELMET shell. Wow! HELMETS are from Caribbean so to see the lip of that shell in such good shape and color was impressive. She also found a nice THORNY OYSTER too. Good eye, Michelle!

helmet lip and thorny oyster

I saw Justin and Jeff from Connecticut scooping in the water and Bonnie combing the beach about a mile from the pass (the furthest point in the background).

justin bonnie jeff conn shelling sanibel

They were having a ball finding some really nice shells like TULIPS, WHELKS and huge COCKLES. They said they were just as happy to find shells as being here to enjoy this awesome weather.

justins shells

Krystal S posted on iLS Facebook all the shells they found yesterday morning at Blind Pass Sanibel….

shells by Krystal S Facebook

Molly P posted there as well to show us she found this LIONS PAW this week on the Captiva side of Blind Pass. Congratshellations, to all of you!

lions paw Molly P facebook

Keep ’em coming, Mother Nature!

Sanibel beach filled with shells

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Seashells Rock Southwest Florida

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Alphabet Cone, Baby's Ear, Cabrit's Murex, Cone, Fulgurator olive, Junonia, Scotch Bonnet, True tulip, Tulip | 19 comments

seashells you can find on Sanibel Island Florida

Shells! Shells! Shells!  I teased you yesterday with a quick update post of Beth’s beautiful seashells she found at Lighthouse Beach after west winds whipped through Southwest Florida a few days earlier in the week, but it really was just the start of an incredishell couple of shelling days.

beth from ohio found beautiful shells on a visit to sanibel florida

A few of you spotted the TRUE TULIP Beth (Ohio) found, which I believe is the prettiest TRUE TULIP I’ve ever seen. It’s “truly” spectacsheller!

beautiful true tulip found on sanibel island florida

Well… on second thought it may be the second prettiest one to the one I found while videoing after a storm on the post Fishing For True Tulips At Sanibel Pier. heehee

aperture opening of beautiful true tulip on sanibel island

I saw Connie Miller and John again and they were having a BABYS EAR hay day.

connie john shelling sanibel

She was filling her coffee cup with other treasures too but I was amazed with how many BABYS EARS.

babys ear seashells found on sanibel island florida

Jana, Andrea and Ruth Ann from Tennessee not just found beautiful LIGHTNING WHELKS….

jana andrea ruth ann from tennessee visits sanibel florida for shells

They found The Sanibel Six ….and to my surprise, Andrea found a SCOTCH BONNET! The Lighthouse Beach isn’t really known as SCOTCH BONNET territory.

seashells found at sanibel lighthouse beach in march

Later in the day, Ruth Ann posted a photo on the iLoveShelling Facebook page that Andrea found a CABRITS MUREX the same day on Captiva. Shellzam!

cabrits murex

I must have just missed them because I was on Captiva watching this major shell pile form at Blind Pass later in the afternoon….

seashells washing up on shore of captiva island florida

This is where I met Cathy (Ft Myers) after she found two SCOTCH BONNETS while the shells were rolling in. Holy Cowrie!

cathy found scotch bonnet shells on captiva island florida

But wait! after I took that photo of her holding her 2 SCOTCH BONNETS…. I heard her squeal with excitement! She found #3!!! BoomShellalaka!

3 scotch bonnets found in sw florida on captiva

It was a very happy birthday for Suzy (Fort Myers) because she found her own SCOTCH BONNET too. Here she is shellebrating with her husband Frank. Shelltastic!

suzy frank found a scotch bonnet on captiva

In a few hours, I watched lots of the shells roll back into the Gulf Of Mexico but there were so many still at the waters edge and in the pile.

beach full of shells on captiva island florida

I saw my friend Faye from North Carolina (she lived on Sanibel for years and years) find a huge handful of shells.

faye finds shells at blind pass captiva

Nice, huh?

sea shells found at blind pass captiva in march

Faye actually had a little help from Super Sheller Clark as he scooped the water with his shelling backhoe and brought us shells to sort through. Clark is on the far right getting those shells for us! I haven’t even gone through our shells yet to get a photo but I do know that in all of these years shelling Clark had never found a CARRIER SHELL… until now. He found four! hahah It’s one shell that he said he just didn’t have an eye for…. I repeat…. until now. Yay Clark!  I’ll get pictures and show you later. ;)

shelling blind pass

Right as I was leaving, Len from Illinois showed me a couple of shells he found.

len from illinois found a fulgurator olive shell

He found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Exshellent find along with the very nice NUTMEG.

nutmeg and fulgurator olive captiva florida

It has been so much fun to see the beaches change within hours and to witness Blind Pass fill up with shells again. I feel like its been three months since we’ve seen it get shell crazy by the jetty rocks. It felt sooooo gooood.

bucket of seashells on sw florida coast

I have to show you Erin’s JUNONIA again since it was so sweet.

junonia found on captiva island florida

I haven’t even caught you up on all the great shelling holes I found this week! Yes, Lighthouse Beach and Blind Pass Captiva have been fabshellous… but the shelling on Fort Myers Beach has been outragshellous too!

shelling fort myers beach point estero resort

Next post I will show you how amazing the shelling on the south end of Fort Myers Beach. Here is the first pile of shells I stooped over to find my first treasures yesterday on this beach. Just click on the photo to enjoy the CYBERSHELLING! I hope this incredishelling continues through the weekend!

cybershelling seashells at Fort Myers Beach Florida

UPDATE 3-20-14 around 6:00pm- I stopped at Blind Pass Captiva to see how the beach had changed. It was wiped clean of shells! Ack! There was still a small and very picked over pile of shells but most was just sand. All of the shells were taken back in the water. Darn it!

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Seashells And Beach Bling Arrive Shell Festival Week

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Decorate with shells, Lighthouse, Sailor's Valentine, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Sanibel Shell Festival 2014, Shell Art, Shell Shows, True tulip | 21 comments

sanibel stoop after a storm

Heavy winds and rain with tornado watches whipped through Sanibel during the first day of the 2014 Shell Festival yesterday. They had to close the show around 1:30pm because the storm caused power outages throughout the island so the Sanibel Community House was completely pitch dark. What a fluke!

But…. those same whipping winds caused hundreds of seashells to wash up at Lighthouse Beach this morning. Yay!

shelling after a storm on Sanibel

All sorts of STARFISH, PEN SHELLS, DISK DOSINIAS and SEAWEED piled up to form a nice thick wrack line to pick through…

shells and shellers after stormy weather on sanibel

I always love to sift through all the BEACH BLING to see what sorts of cool things from the deep belly of the Gulf Of Mexico make an appearance. I found a gorgeous treasure in this mess of sea debris so I thought you might enjoy picking through it for some CYBERSHELLING too. Get picking by CLICKING on the pic!

hidden treasure shell in beach debris

Did you find this stunning TRUE TULIP too?

red true tulip after sanibel storm

Here’s another CYBERSHELLING photo to check out such an amazing pile of DOSINIAS. After I got home and looked at this photo a little closer, I realized I missed a very cool WORM SHELL, Dang it! Oh well, I hope someone else snagged that piece of yumminess up…

dosinia white clams washed up on sanibel beach

I love to look inside the PEN SHELLS for hidden gems too. This one had a tiny TRUE TULIP laying inside like a precious pearl waiting to be found. Once I picked it out of the PEN SHELL, I realized this baby TRUE was still alive and well protected so I put both together back in the water to hopefully get lodged in the sand.

true tulip in pen shell

It was so much fun to see so much bling and shells wash up at the Lighthouse Beach again… especially for the many shellers in town for the Shell Festival.

morning shelling after a storm on Sanibel

I promise I’ll get back to showing more exhibits from the fair on my next post but I had to shout out about the shelling news at the Lighthouse… and here are my favorite finds from this morning.

Clockwise- a GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLE filled with BUBBLE SHELLS, a BUTTON and a little itty bitty juvie FIGHTING CONCH; 2 juvie FIGHTING CONCHS; TRUE TULIP; CALICO CRAB SHELL; the smallest CARRIER SHELL I’ve ever found on Sanibel; SHARKS EYE; LACE MUREX, oodles of SUNRAY VENUS, SEA URCHIN and then another LACIE.

collecting seashells and beach bling on Sanibel

I have some other great news too… there are spots available for you to join us for Shellabaloo! It’s the most fabulous Shelling Adventure on the planet! Come join us April 24-27, 2014 to experience this awesome event. CLICK HERE for more info.

shelling trip

Okay, I can’t resist…. I have to show you a few more shell pieces from the show. They are exquisite!

seashell design susan lloyd sanibel shell festival

sailors valentine exhibit 2014 sanibel shell festival

you are my sunshine seashells

sea shell art flower

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On the Beach With Shell Eggs And Ham, Pam-I-Am

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Banded Tulip Egg Case, Disk Dosinia, Egg Casing, Elegant Dosinia, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Long-Spined Urchin, Millipede Starfish, Paper Fig Egg Case, Pear Whelk Egg Case, Pig's Foot, Sea Pork, True Tulip Egg Case, Tulip Egg Case, whelk egg casing | 29 comments

crab trap and buoy on sanibel beach

After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.

sanibel beach after storm winds

The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.

crab traps wash up n sanibel beach

So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.

pig hog foot on sanibel beach

But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?

pen shell and yellow sea pork

I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…

lightning whelk egg chain gscp sanibel

I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?

baby lightning whelks in egg chain

This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…

paper fig egg case on pen shell


banded tulip egg case on penn shell

This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…

true tulip egg case sanibel florida

When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.

true tulip egg case with other mollusk eggs

There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…

millipede starfish and pen shell

This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…

long spined sea urchin sanibel florida

There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.

disk dosing top elegant dosing bottom

We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.

The birds do like stone crab and clams.

gull eating crab

They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.

bird eating stone crab sanibel

They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.

bird on beach with crab

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Sunrise Shelling

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Banded tulip, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, Tulip, Whelk | 18 comments

whelkom whelk sunrise sanibel

 Sunrise. There’s something so peaceful about beach combing on Sanibel as the sun rises over the Gulf Of Mexico. It makes the rest day even more special after receiving a gift of the sea like this beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK.

sanibel island sunrise welcomes whelk shell

Soooo…. why don’t I do it more often??? Ack! It’s terrible that I don’t take advantage of seeing such an incredible welcome from the sun each day. But… I’m just not a morning person.  I do love to shell in the morning when there is a very low tide like this week at sunrise so I went to Gulfside City Park to find these beauties…

sandy shells of sanibel florida

Every day has been such different shelling at Blind Pass the past few weeks so since I was already up and at ’em, I showed up at Blind Pass Sanibel by 8 am to find the shell pile getting even bigger. As I’ve said before, it only take 2 hours for this beach to change from “not many shells” to “Holy cowrie! Look at all the shells!”.

sanibel shell pile blind pass

I met Carol and Terri from Pennsylvania who were thrilled with their morning treasures…

carol terri pennsylvania visit sanibel shells

These were Terri’s fave finds. Wow! She said if she had to pick one, that stunning GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON SHELL) was her ultimate find.

cone gaudy natica moon shell

I asked Carol what her fave treasures were from the morning and this is what she showed me. Wow again! Two dark KINGS CROWNS and they both found CANDY!

whelk tulip conch olive seashells

This was just a peek in Terri’s shell bag…

shells in a bag

So I think I will just enjoy the few mornings like this when I have the umpfff to get out to see sunrise.

sanibel shells wash ashore

It makes the day even more special.

sanibel tulip shell at sunrise

I’m working on dates for more shelling adventures so I hope to have those by the end of the week. Stay tuned!

shelling adventures trips by pam


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