I always feel like I’m on vacation when I’m at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva. It’s only a 25 minute drive for me to get there but once I’m there I get a little giddy, then I relax, soak up every single gorgeous view…then of course hit the beach. Last night, my friend Diane and I combed Sunset Beach up to the north point by the jetty rocks at Redfish Pass to find a nice variety of shells. I found a piece of JUNONIA again (I found a nice piece in January too- click here) and I was tickled to find a nice NUTMEG. I always seem to find OLIVES, FLATS and TURBANS when I am there but the last few times I’ve been there, I’ve found the really orange TURBANS. Love them!
There were shells at the edge of the surf but we found shells mostly high on the beach…
…Just like Jimmy and Joey from Chicago.
Their sister Sophia pulled a baby FIGHTING CONCH out of her shell bag to show us the shell she found especially for her gramma. Sweet! She will love it, Sophia!
We made it to the end of the island just in time to catch the sunset over a pile of shells.
We had to look up every few minutes because it was too much fun to pick through the pile of shells.
Sunset over paradise.
I did find something rare last night. A rare photo- heeheehee. Diane snuck a photo of me doing the Sanibel Stoop… well actually, the Captiva Crouch. LOL I’m the one who is normally taking the “Stoop” photos so it was funny for me to see this one. :) Sweet Di.
Even Miss PELICAN stayed for a while with us to enjoy the calm, colorful evening.
I’ve never seen so many glossy PAINTED EGG COCKLES wash up together as much as I have on the new sand bar at Blind Pass Captiva. Gail Carr (Maryland) collected of these beauties and much more sweet gems she sorted in this fab tackle box…
That nice little organized box had another side too she filled with sweet treasures…
I love to talk to people who get so much enjoyment at collecting so many different varieties of shells… as I do. Gail said “Each shell has it’s own unique beauty.” I agree! That’s why I got so thrilled when she showed me she found a couple of my new fave shell… the CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE.
She even found a few SHIVA SHELLS… which are the OPERCULUM to the CHESTNUT TURBAN. Gail happen to find a few bright orange CHESTNUT TURBANS as well so I wanted you to see what they looked like together.
I was thrilled to have shared the excitement with Gail since she had found a few and didn’t think I wasn’t crazy for feeling so excited about finding “just another silly plain white clam shell”. LOL
In less than a month, this whole sandy beach on the pass side of the jetty rocks has formed and if you look closely, here are some hidden gems in there. Seriously… twenty days ago, I took this next photo of the shelling on the Sanibel side and it shows in the background the Captiva jetty rocks…no sand bar.
Over the weekend (on my way to find my precious LUCINES) I took this photo of my view as I stood on the bridge that connects Sanibel to Captiva looking over to the Captiva side. Wild, huh? This is what keeps me shelling day after day… the beaches change every single day and you never know what you will find until you get there!
If there is a better souvenir than finding an awesome LIGHTNING WHELK like this to remember a wonderful vacation… I dont know about it.
Therese told me she only saw a tiny bit of the top of this shell and thought it looked interesting enough to start digging around it. Then she realized it was this perfectly empty WHELK! Congratshellations Therese! She and her husband Dan (visiting from Minnesota) had an exshellent afternoon at Blind Pass Captiva under the bridge at low tide filling up their shell bags with WHELKS, CONCHS, OLIVES and one nice piece of a JUNONIA.
Wendy (a local Sanibelian) found a few goodies to take home to make into jewelry…
She also found a SHIVA SHELL (which I didnt even get a picture of – darn!- so CLICK HEREif you want to see one) and this incredible DOUBLE JEWELBOX. It has pieces of CORAL growing on it!
Clark found a few nice shells too but the one I got most excited about was the WHITE CRESTED TELLIN in the top left corner. We have found them more on Cayo Costa but to find one at Blind Pass is pretty rare. The shell in between the two OLIVES is a huge and thick weird shaped JINGLE I thought was interesting too. I love that weird stuff!
You really couldn’t see how big the NUTMEG was in the last photo so I thought I’d show you how big it is in Clark’s hand. It’s shellacious! It measures in at a whopping 48mm… which isn’t like a world record size (Susan H?) but it’s the biggest one we’ve seen in a long time!
I found a regular sized NUTMEG that I thought I’d keep along with a BITTERSWEET, a CALICO CLAM with a cool pattern, and my new faves- the CALICO SCALLOP.
We ended the evening watching another gorgeous sunset over a big pile of Sit ‘N Sift shells on the other side of the jetty rocks at Blind Pass Captiva.
The sky turns a lucious orange right at the horizon when the sun sets over the Gulf Of Mexico.
Then it melts into the water to end another sensational day on the island.
Oh Wait! I did take a short little video right when we first got to Blind Pass at 6pm yesterday. It’s just a little something to show you exactly where we were. This was right before Therese showed me her WHELK! Have a wonderful weekend!
Yes, I am a fanatic sheller and beachcomber… but some days I want to visit the sea to find calmness and peace.
The beach reminds me that life’s treasures aren’t always obvious. At times I have to stop for a minute or two and focus on everything that is surrounding me. Then take another minute or two to refocus from the large obvious objects, to the smaller items that I may not have noticed.
There is so much there and so much more to enjoy. That’s when I am happiest.
By the look on Kelly’s face, she found a little happiness too.
I don’t see the TINTED CANTHARUS often so here is a look at the aperture side of the shell…
It also makes me so happy to find someone else that only collects one little shell to make them all warm and fuzzy (although we didnt need much help with getting warm… it was in the mid 80s. Nice!). I was happy to meet Susan from Naples…
She was thrilled to find this beautiful little COQUINA. She told me she loves butterflies and showed me her butterfly notebook which matched her sweet little COQUINA. That’s all she needed to make her day of shelling complete. One COQUINA. Every day should be that simple.
With all of the beautiful shells strung along the beach, Caryn from Michigan was quite amazed by the SPONGES, EGG CASINGS, and even the BONES(leftover bait from the crab traps that fell out) that were scattered on the beach. Ah! Somebody else that loves that BEACH BLING like I do!
And I met other beachcombers that found a few treasures but just as happy to be on the beach with the fresh air and sunshine. Here is Bernadette from Quebec City, Gertie from Arizona and Angela from Melbourne, FL (with the iLS shell ID card!)…
Ahhhh. Yes. I found my not-so-obvious treasures in seeing the happy faces of others enjoying what Mother Nature does best… reminding us that every day is a gift.
When girlfriends get together for a beach vacation, you can feel the sisterhood happiness and excitement all the way down the shore. The “Sistahs” are actually newbie shellers but are definitely not newbies at finding the best treasures life has to offer. Deb, Lizzi, Baba, Becky, Karen, Sharon, Betty, Roxie and Sandy each live in different parts of the world so they have a reunion each year at a new destination … so this year they picked Captiva to “shellebrate” their friendship. They even wanted matching iLoveShelling tee shirts to commemorate the occasion. I feel so honored! Here’s Karen with her cute tee and showing off the best find of the morning. A reeaaally big LACE MUREX…
That’s an exshellent find!
Talk about “exshellent” finds… these guys have been shelling for over 20 years together and know how to find the good stuff in life too. Ian, Brett, Brett’s brother Jeff (who also happens to be Ian’s dad) were also shelling near the Blind Pass bridge on the Sanibel side and as you can tell… a very happy shelling family. Look at those smiles!
They told me they had great luck fishing all day yesterday and today they will be shelling all day and already had great luck this morning. My faves are the amazingly dark LIGHTNING WHELK, huge orange CHESTNUT TURBAN, and of course… the WORMIE! (heehee- they even called it a “wormie” too) And I didn’t even take pictures of the rest of their favorite finds… like the NUTMEG, LACE MUREX, bright orange CALICO SCALLOPS and TURKEY WINGS.
Brett even shared his finds with the “Sistahs”. They were thrilled!
We had a pretty good shell pile to practice the Sanibel Stoop… and the Sit ‘N Sift…
I feel so fortunate to be part of such an amazing community of people brought together by shells. Oh, and sometimes a GREAT BLUE HERON joins in on the family fun too.
Not only did Hurricane Isaac bring in loads of various species of shells and BEACH BLING, the storm brought in the most glorious colors of treasures I’ve ever seen. As you can see in the picture above, the shell colors are spectacsheller but it was also so exciting to find a few pieces of SEA GLASS, MILLIPEDE STARFISH, CORAL, WORM ROCK, OPERCULUMS, and BRYOZOAN COLONIES.
I was also thrilled to find quite a few CONES but look at the variation in color of these ALPHABET CONES. I love this deep dark brown one in the middle!
I found this brownish CONE which I assume is just a really fabulous FLORIDA CONE like the others but I haven’t seen that deep rich color here in SouthWest Florida before. Look how big it is…. I loooove it!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this CHESTNUT TURBAN either! Look at the fantastic pattern and colors of the one on the left!
The FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS were everywhere so it was almost overwhelming. I normally don’t collect them any more but I couldn’t help but pick up a variety of the colors after Clarkfound the ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH. There were so many different colors than this (and in better shape) but these are the ones that made it home with me… White, tan, orange, brown and black.
The JUVENILE FIGHTING CONCHS were out of control! I could have gone crazy! But then again, I had to ask myself… “Self?” “How many shells do you really need to take home?” … Then I answered “Okay, Self, I’ll only take enough to show my fave peeps on my blog”. (That gave me a great excuse to take just a couple more than I needed. ;)) So now you have to look at all of these patterns and colors so I can make my Self feel better… heehee…
On my August 30 post, I showed you a darling blue bucket with all kinds of great shells pile to the top and the lucky gal Amy who found them. Well Amy also found this incredible brown OLIVE shell that I am assuming is an unbelievable LETTERED OLIVE (9-13-12 UPDATE: I assumed incorrectly! It’s a FULGURATOR OLIVE! ). I know, I know, it doesn’t look like a LETTERED OLIVE (because it’s not… please see my post Brown Olive Shell Mystery Solved!) but just like the other shells I’ve shown, the coloring can vary tremendously.
Isn’t that sooooo beautiful?? Look at the aperture side. It’s just as fabulous…
The last few weeks on the beach have been so amazing. Mother Nature has yet again colored my world.