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Weekend Of Beach Wonders

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tidal starfish with seashell

It’s always exciting to see what Mother Nature has in store for us on the beach when the Gulf Of Mexico is stirring with choppy seas from high winds.

stormy skies on a shelling day

At the water’s edge at Blind Pass Sanibel yesterday morning, there were lots of shells rolling back and forth in the surf … but you had to be fast to grab them! There were quite a few live shells, so we had to be very careful to inspect each one but here are a few of the empties I found…

Sea shells found in the water of Sanibel island

Then Clark and I went to Lighthouse Beach later in the day…

stormy seas and seashells at Sanibel Lighthouse beach

As hundreds of DOSINIA shells lined the beach, most folks were mesmerized by the family of DOLPHINS feeding close to the shoreline.

dolphins and seashells

I watched the cuteness for a few minutes as well but couldn’t keep from eyes from wandering among the shells and bling.

Sunray venus wings of a sea shell in the sand

There were little surprises washing up at this beach too.

ribbed cantharus and angel wing

It was a fun girls getaway to Sanibel weekend for Kelly (CO), Katie (MN), Amy (MN), Cyndi (Ft Lauderdale, FL) to celebrate Maria’s (MN) birthday… and to find those shell treasures washing up on the beach.

girls weekend shelling

Cousins Helen, Kristine (Indiana) and Kate (from Illinois) have been shelling every year on Sanibel for 20 years. They take shells back to their kids’ schools to teach them about the gifts of the sea.

family reunion shells

Clark was out in the water scooping with the shelling backhoe.

Clark scooping shells at Sanibel Lighthouse beach

He scooped the shells in the water and brought them up to the beach… voila! This one scoop brought up a GAUDY NATICA and an APPLE MUREX.

Gaudy Natica found at Sanibel Lighthouse beach

His fave was an ALBINO FIGHTING CONCH and these…

some of Clarks shell finds

I went back to the beach this morning just west of the lighthouse to find more bling along the beach.

shells and bling on the beach

There were still hundreds of DOSINIAS…

beautiful beach with shells and birds

But I didn’t see the TULIPS and MUREXES like yesterday. That’s okay, there were different treasures… like quite a few perfectly intact fragile PAPER FIGS scattered along the beach. Score!

paper fig sea shell on the beach


paper fig shell in the sand

I think the cutest thing I saw all weekend was this sweet baby STARFISH stranded in a pile of shells in the high tide wrack line. I saw a few live SEA STARS at the water’s edge washing out with the tide change but this was the tiniest one I saw. Awwwe- so cute!  After I turned her over to see that she was still alive… yay! In the water you go to live out a full happy life.

tiny juvie starfish on my finger tip

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It’s The Little Things In Life

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miniature seashells in the sand


Good things in life aren’t always obvious. Arriving to dreary, overcast skies on the beach of a year-long planned vacation destination might be disappointing for some folks. Then after coming up empty handed after an hour of searching for those large gorgeous TULIPS, CONES and WHELKS you’ve read all about… the disappointment could get even bigger.

seashells at lighthouse beach

When I’m on the beach and I hear “This is my vacation and the shelling has been so disappointing”, I stop… look at the beach…. look at the water… and I look at every lovely thing surrounding me on the beach as I stand there in a tee shirt, shorts and flip flops. I don’t know, but my eyes must just see more blue peeking out of the clouds in a beautiful landscape.  I also see a beach filled with shells as far as my eyes can see. I see this…

shells on the beach during cool dreary day

Then everything else in the world disappears when I look at this beach combing playground. Wait! Did someone just say to me “There are no shells”? wracks of shells on the beach

There may be crushed shells and sea weed but I never look at that as a bad thing. To me, that’s what makes shelling so much fun! Maybe because I looooove to play games and I love to learn and respect the rules of games to make it more challenging. The way I see it… Mother Nature is playing the Shell Game with me. Each hour of each day in Southwest Florida, Mother Nature has hidden little shells and treasures in different places on the beaches and I have to find them.

not so obvious shells not the beach

Aha! Hidden in a line of beached SEA GRASSES, I found you little LETTERED OLIVE, APPLE MUREX and sweet tiny TULIP!

collecting shells on the beach

Weehoo! Thank you, Mother Nature, for slowing me down to pick up that OLIVE and MUREX so I could refocus my eyes to see those BUBBLE SHELLS, SPARSE DOVE SHELL and that awesome WENTLETRAP that were only inches away.

finding seashells on the beach

Then inches from that WENTLETRAP I saw a beautiful little honey hole of minis. Well… everything is relative, isn’t it? This is what I call “beautiful” so maybe you will too in the next CYBERSHELLING photo. Click on this next image to see if this might make you happy even on an overcast, dreary day. I do believe it will!!

Sanibel cyber shelling miniature shells

It’s not so dreary after all, right? Those little things in life are things we need to focus on some times.

seashells and seaweed

They will lead us to the more obvious beautiful things.

beach art mermaid with starfish

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New Years Reshellution

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small seashells on turquoise

My New Years Reshellution is to NEVER say “There’s not much on the beach today” when I see only crushed broken shells in the water, wash line or on the beach like this…

shells in the water

Clark and I decided to visit the east end of Sanibel late yesterday afternoon near Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach. I felt like it had been so long since we visited our “old” fave beach so we just wanted to take a nice long walk and revisit this part of the island to see if any shell piles had formed. After walking a while without finding any nice size MUREXES, OLIVES, WHELKS  or CONCHS, I spotted a huge TURTLE sand sculpture that tickled my funny bone. I said “Oh look how cute this sand turtle is, Clark! It looks like it may be the best thing we find tonight”.

turtle sand sculpture at dusk

A few minutes later, we hit a miniature shell honey hole with WENTLETRAPS, BUBBLES, DRILLS, MUREXES, WHELKS, OLIVES and CONCHS. It wasn’t a shell mountain like the one at Blind Pass this past week (and I think its still there!) but I felt like I hit gold.

Collecting small seashells on Sanibel

It was fun to share this little mini heaven with locals Beth and Jim and to see them get just as excited about finding tiny LIMPETS as Clark and I do.

Shell stooping for small seashells on Sanibel

How could I ever think that “There’s not much on the beach” when hidden in pockets of tidal lines in the sand … there are magnificent beauties like this…

miniature shells found on Sanibel

Oh… and did you see the lunar halo LAST NIGHT? Omigosh! It was awesome- thank you Alicia for letting me know to look up at the night sky!

lunar halo from Sanibel Island

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