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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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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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Captiva Holiday Weekend Shellaganza

Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in Banded tulip, Blind Pass, Cabrit's Murex, Carrier Shell, Colorful Moon shell, Junonia, Lace Murex, Lettered Olive, Lightning Whelk, Moon Snail, Olive, Scotch Bonnet, True tulip, Tulip | 33 comments

shells of captiva sanibel florida

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been such a Shellaganza in Southwest Florida, it’s been hard to choose which beach to shell first! But as you know by my last post, we chose to shell Blind Pass Captiva on Thursday and hit the mother load. I’m so happy we found soooo many good shells, but it’s not only that we found shells… I’m thrilled that everybody found amazing shells like this…

tulip flat scallop alphie scotch bonnet captiva florida skip

And I got to meet so many awesome shellers like Skip and Tina. Tina found the spectacsheller SCOTCH BONNET and Skip found the amazing ALPHABET CONE, FLAT SCALLOP and gorgeous TRUE TULIP. And those were just a few shells they found. Their bag (in the first photo) was filled to the brim with incredible shells. It was a pleasure to meet you both!

skip tina find alphabet cones scotch bonnet

I also met Jessica, Lyle and Matthew from Virginia who now know how addicting shelling can be after finding so many shells like this in only a couple of hours. They didn’t know the names of many of the shells, so I peeked in their bags to tell them the names of most of the shells in their bags… LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, APPLE MUREXES, LETTERED OLIVES, BANDED TULIPS… But OMG, Wait!

jessica kyle matthew VA find seashells captiva florida

Jessica found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka! It was mixed in with all of the other shells and had a small hole in it but I told her that was a pretty rare shell to find in our area. Very nice find!

cabrits murex captiva florida

James and his brother Jacob (from Chicago) are experienced shellers who named all of the shells they found – which BTW, was very impressive. It tickled me so much though when James snatched a perfect bright orange HORSE CONCH out of the water and shouted “Score!”. Yes you did, Jacob!

james jacob chicago visits sanibel captiva for seashells

It was so much fun to see everybody finding such beautiful treasure. Local sheller Roma (who never lets me photograph her- silly girl ;)) never even got wet by the waves as she sat in the shell pile digging away. She found all of these shells in one small area…

roma variety of shells captiva florida

As you saw in the video on Thanksgiving Day, Clark didn’t want to get wet since we had plans later in the day for our big meal but after finding these 2 ALPHABET CONES right next to each other coming in with surf… it was all over.

clark found 2 cones in one scoop captiva

Super Sheller Clark was soaked by the time we got to our car.

super sheller clark in the surf

Uuuuuhhhhh… and so was I.

pam shelling captiva in the cold

A few minutes after Clark took that picture, I found a JUNONIA! Yes, it is a little beat up and cracked but I was very thrilled! I showed it on my last post but I love that photo so much, here it is again. These were the best of our finds on Thursday…

Thankful for shelling in Southwest Florida

After shelling for countless hours Thanksgiving morning, we decided it was time to pack it up. While loading up the car with all of our loot, we met this sweetheart family Linda, Eliana and Nik from Pennsylvania ready to adventure out to find their own treasures. Prepared with shelling scoops, bags and a fantastic attitude I’m sure they found all of the shells they could hope for. So nice to meet y’all!

linda eliana nik PA ready for shelling sanibel captiva

But that’s not all folks! I know this is a long post but I have so much to catch you up on since … really…. its been a Shellaganza.  I have met so many nice folks while shelling and that was just on Thursday. I want you to meet more folks that I was shelling with yesterday (Friday) at Blind Pass (Turner Beach) it was a Sit N Sift kind of day…

sit n sift shell pile turner beach captiva florida

The shells weren’t crashing up on the beach any more but they were buried in a mound of shells. These were all found sittin’ ‘n siftin’ by Jeff and Donna from Palm Beach Gardens….

donnas shells captiva sanibel shelling

Isn’t that amazing? Jeff and Donna were sitting right here to find a CARRIER SHELL, GAUDY NATICA, SHARKS EYES, ALPHABET CONES, FLORIDA CONES, FLATS, TULIPS… and on and on. Love it!

Jeff Donna palm beach gardens visit captiva for seashells

Shelling Sistah Connie Knight was deep into the shelling zone with her cute hat and tee on :)

connie knight shelling capiva florida

It was so much fun to meet her shelling family on this big pile of gems… meet Zach, Lori and Nate with Connie all visiting from Iowa

connie knight iowa zach lori nate shelling captiva

I always love to see that rich chocolate color in the LACE MUREX Nate found along with his other favorite shells…

nate seashells captiva florida november

Local shellers Bob and Sue couldn’t resist sifting through the pile looking for a few unusual shells but I think were having more fun giving OLIVES to the other shellers. :) There were so many OLIVES!

bob sue periwinkle park sanibel shelling

I met sweet Patti Goodwin on last month’s iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa (“Woop!” heehee) but this time I got to meet her husband Curt too. They arrived when I was about to leave so I hope y’all found some good treasures.

pat goodwin curt nova scotia shells captiva florida


I saw Becky and Wade again too. They had been at the Lighthouse Beach on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and told me it was a great day shelling there too.

wade becky shell pile captiva florida

Wade found this Mega True Tulip at Lighthouse Beach! Woohoo! It was a fabulous day on all of the beaches of Southwest Florida!

large True Tulip wade found on sanibel florida

Since returning from Cat Island, things have been a whirl wind… literally… with the wind whipping from the north bringing such exciting shelling days for us here at home. Then preparing for the big holiday, I haven’t been able to find one extra second to clean our Caribbean shells from our vacation or much less finish telling you all about it. I’m so sorry but when local shells arrive, I want you to know about it ASAP! So if you are anywhere near SW Florida and want to do a little shelling, most of the beaches have some great shells and some really interesting BEACH BLING to explore. Once I slow down and finish up local exploring (Island Inn beach has great shells too!) , I’ll share the rest of our adventure to the Bahamas so you will have more info on other shells from around the world.

Want to shell together? Join me on the next iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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Finding A Pot Of Gold

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Live Sand Dollar, Rainbows, Sand Dollar, Sea anemone, True tulip, Urchin, West Indian Sea Egg | 17 comments

family water seashells captiva

 The beach at Captiva’s Blind Pass near the jetty rocks was an absolutely gorgeous aqua blue yesterday… and that’s where SaraBeth, Todd, Pati and Kate from Texas were finding their turquoise pot with golden treasures.

turquoise shell bucket bp

Danielle from North Carolina found this bucket of golden shells in the water too along with her family in the background. See how close they were to the jetty rocks? It was calm and clear- so completely different from last week when TS Andrea came through.

daniel nc shelling captiva

All of the shelling action was in the water so Mikey, Linda and Mike from Tampa, FL were chest deep in the water too having a ball scooping up CONCHS, WHELKS and a variety of shells. They know if the shells arent on the beach… get in the water to look for them! Most likely you will find something golden and you’ll have a great time looking.

mikey linda mike seashells captiva

I also want to show you all of the live creatures that are around Lighthouse Beach this week. Michael R found this WEST INDIAN SEA EGG (URCHIN) in one of the tidal pools at low. It really doesn’t show up well in this photo but the spines were a beautiful pink tint. Thanks for showing it to me Michael before you put it back in the water.

west indian sea egg sanibel

Its always a treat to see such a laaaarge healthy TRUE TULIP scooting along the shallow waters. I thought he wanted to be in a little deeper water so I put him in a tidal pool that just covered his shell but he made a “U-ie” and went right back to shallow water. Okay, dude- I get it. I’ll leave you alone next time. :)

live tulip scoot sanibel

There were thousands of live SAND DOLLARS everywhere! I thought this one was so interesting since it was so light in color but very much still alive… And that he had repaired himself from an injury.

live repaired sand dollar

We normally don’t see SEA ANEMONES like this one laying on top of the sand like I found this one. Weird, huh? But it was still alive so I hope he survived after I put him back in the water.

white sea anemonae

We’ve had rain on and off this whole week so it’s been fun to see so many RAINBOWS! This one stretched along the horizon to remind us that Southwest Florida is an amazing pot of gold.

rainbow over Sanibel beach path

I’ve got some fun news…  We reached 6000 “Likes” on our iLoveShelling Facebook Page! Wahoo! Thank you Lisa Rothman for being our 6000th shelling friend!

6000 facebook  likes

One more thing…Only a few days left to enter to win a shelling vacation on Sanibel! Enter now so CLICK HERE!

Seashell Island Shelling Vacation

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Feeling Like A Lucky Dog On SanCap

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Blind Pass, Fighting Conch, Horse Conch, low tide, Sunsets, True tulip | 29 comments

most beautiful shell tulip

Boom Shellalaka! This is what you call a shellacious prize find! A huge, perfect, colorful, empty  TRUE TULIP.

best shell captiva weekend

Joyce from Alabama found this gorgeous specimen on the Captiva side of Blind Pass in the shallow water sand bar on a very low tide Friday evening. Her husband Dan was right there by her side to help her shellebrate. Congratshellations! Lucky Dog!

dan joyce alabama visits captiva

She probably found this about the same time I was shooting a little video showing the tidal water running out of the pass and catching a few shells. At the end of the clip, I show Dan and Joyce shelling in the background and comment that I’m sure they found some good shells too. I had no idea HOW good. Ha! Check it out… 

I loooove that spot when the low tide is still receding and just strong enough to carry the shells along with it.

shelling sand bars

Augusta, Philip, Sybil, Guy and  Pierre from my old stomping grounds Chattanooga, TN (I lived there 1988-91 and loved it!) were especially thrilled to find FIGHTING CONCHS since they are a Fighting Irish family. Cute!

tennessee family visits sanibel shells

I met another happy family… Emma Caroline, Jeb, Carolyn and Keith from Mississippi had bags filled with shells from the Sanibel side of Blind Pass.

emma caroline jeb carolyn keith mississippi visit sanibel

Marie from PA was bound and determined to find treasure. I saw her pacing back and forth on the outer sand bar and couldnt wait for her to come back int to see what she got. A beautiful lemon yellow HORSE CONCH…

Marie philly vistits sanibel

And more pretties…

Marie finds seashells by seashore

Marie is only half of “Two Crazy Girls from Philly” (as she commented on iLS Facebook). Here she is with her best friend and other “crazy girls” Sue…

best friends on the beach

The shells were still at the same spot I showed you on my last post

string of shells sanibel

We all felt like lucky dogs just to be out on the beach on such a beautiful Memorial Day weekend… even the real dogs were having fun doing the Sanibel Stoop!

dog in sanibel sunset

Yes, Lucky Dogs indeed.

lucky dog sanibel shells

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