Archive for Long-Spined Urchin


Bringing On The Beachcombing

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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

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

rare seashells on sanibel island florida

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 junonia found on sanibel florida

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!

barb with caritas murex i love shelling tee

I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!

juvenile cabrits murex barb

Oh but hold on there’s more…  Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!

sue lions paw florida cone sanibel

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!

lions paw florida cone color variation

Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.

lisa derek kansas visit sanibel for shelling shells

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 derek seashells from sanibel

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.

pitted murex lisa kansas found on sanibel

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 ;) )

sunset captiva red sky palms

shelling adventures trips by pam

photo art gallery pam rambo i love shelling


Shelling For The Holidays

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i Love Shelling 2012 calendar cover

 The holiday season is in full swing on Sanibel and Captiva islands so I have been a busy little elf! First of all,  I’d like to introduce the brand new i Love Shelling 2012 Calendar chock full of beautiful Sanibel photos and of course our beloved seashells. Now you can enjoy shelling 12 months of the year!

Here’s a sneak peak of January’s sunset photo and  CLICK HERE to see all 12 months and get one for yourself or as a gift for your shelling buddy.

Jan page calendar 2012

 We also hit the beaches this week to find a few shells and lots of Beach Bling. We found big old WHELK and CONCH pieces I love for yard shells along with a few SEA WHIPS, LONG SPINED SEA URCHINS, PURPLE SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRAB SHELLS and this little BRITTLE STAR too.

Beach bling shells sea whip urchin

There were lots of DOSINIAS mixed in with hundreds of SAILORS EARS and TRANSVERSE ARKS

ark shells, dosinia, sailors ears

I even saw a few bones scattered along the beach. These are from bait in the crab traps in the gulf that get tossed around in rough surf.

Sanibel beach bone from crab trap

STONE CRABS are what lots of those traps are made to catch. When fishermen bring in the traps, they only take one claw from a STONE CRAB since the claws have the best meat. They throw the crab back without killing it because they know the crab can eat and defend  itself with only one claw until another claw grows back. Here is a STONE CRAB  claw lying on the beach that could have been a good appetizer if it had been freshly caught. Darn!

stone crab claw on beach

There were HORSESHOE CRABS too …

horseshoe crab beached


Blue Crab Sanibel


shark eye moon shell egg collar

 I met a wonderful local man Frank, who moved here in 1964 and still loves to walk the beaches and pick up shells especially with his daughter Connie. He told me he was 87 but he looks like he is no older than 72! Thank you Frank for your service for our country in WW2.

Connie, Frank Sanibel locals

Here are some of the mini shells Frank and Connie collected when I saw them along Middle Gulf Drive.

Connie Frank mini shells

 I also have photos of the yesterday’s oh-so-fun Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade. Here’s one picture of our Junonia Jalopy but I’ll have to show you the rest tomorrow. It was a blast!  All of the other cart were so darn cute!

junonia jalopy i love shelling

Check out my new tee shirt! I wore my new “Oh CONE All Ye Faithful” Christmas design v-neck tee. I got so many compliments- so much fun ! And don’t forget to check out the 2012 i Love Shelling Calendar too….. and the new online i Love Shelling Shop….. Or the fun faves at Shelling Shop. You see? I’ve been a little Santa’s helper for the good seashell loving girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Xmas beach art

 Captiva Holiday Village Logo


seashells of Sanibel

In the last couple of days, the seashells have been rolling in with the surf at Blind Pass Sanibel and a few so far at the lighthouse too. The above photo of a sampling of what we found so you can enjoy virtual shelling ASAP if you can’t be here right now. So go ahead…. click on the photo above and I’ll wait for you so I can show you the rest of the photos. (whistle, hum, whistle….la, la, la….)

Okay, you ready for the rest?

Look at the first photo on the bottom left part of the pic. You see where the yellowish color meets the greenish water? That’s that drop off I was talking about yesterday and where we found most of the better shells (like my ALPHY). This was at Blind Pass Sanibel Sunday afternoon.

Blind Pass beach Sanibel

Then the water was receding with the low tide and they started washing up on the beach….

shells at Blind Pass

Dayna from Sanibel (I’m sorry if I misspelled your name! My notes disappeared) with her big catch of the day… a huge HORSE CONCH. And her daughter!. Congrats!

Dayna with horse conch

horse conch seashells sanibel

Mindy from New York was specifically looking for collecting KITTENS PAWS.

new york mindy seashells

There were oodles of them along with COCKLES and JEWELBOXES….

kittens paws

Oooooh, I found a FLAT!

flat scallop sanibel

Then we walked the beach by the lighthouse last night and found the PEN SHELLS and double DOSINIAS were littered along the shore. That’s a great sign for great shelling to come! The PEN SHELLS are the first ones to get dislodged out in the gulf after a rough seas so this could mean great shells will wash up the next few days.

pen shells dosinias sanibel


lightning whelk corner

This teeny tiny baby crab was alive and crawling around on this very cool old SHARK’S EYE. Can you believe the color?

baby crab on sharks eye

This LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN was still alive so he went gently back into the water.

long spined sea urchin in pen shell

I met 2 great gals from Kentucky looking for WENTLETRAPS Sharon and Renee (friends of HL!). I think the had been picked over by someone else but we still found about 10 wentles and lots of other goodies.

Sharon Renee sunset sky

Goodies like this fabulous WORM SHELL Clark  found…

worm shell sunset

We are having a very dark, rainy day with rumblings of thunder predicted all day so I’ll just wait another day to go shelling and another night to see skies like last night on the beach. I couldn’t decide which photo I like better so I’m posting both.

Sanibel pier sunset reflection

watercolor sky sanibel pier



After North West Winds

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Long spined sea urchin

Long spined sea urchin

I don’t see LONG SPINED URCHINS often but it seems they get washed up after a good wind blow. We had 20 mph north west winds yesterday so I saw lots of shells and live creatures washed up on the beach at Blind Pass this morning.  This guy was still alive as well as lots of FIGHTING CONCHS and other shells so we put them back into the gulf for hopes of survival and more breeding.

alphabet cone nutmeg Don

Don's Alphabets and numeg

These  ALPHABET CONES were not alive and they were just a few good shell finds Don from Vermont. He was out on the sand bar on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass before sunrise with a head lamp. Here’s a shot of his other shells he found this morning ….

seashells head lamp light

Don's shells and head lamp

Yes, that’s a gorgeous TRUE TULIP on the right. You can see how deep the water was crossing over to the sand bar by looking at Don’s shirt below… if you can take your eyes off that beautiful red TULIP he’s holding.

Don true tulip

Don's true tulip

So to recap, Don got to Blind Pass at the crack of dawn, worked really hard to find all these beach treasures,  practically had to swim back to get to the main beach…. then ends up giving most of his shells away to a couple he just met on the beach. He even made sure they knew all the correct shell names. What a nice guy!

giving seashells

Don showing Sara and Bob different shells

Look at all of these treasure Don gave Sara and Bob. So sweet.

sara seashell

Sara's new seashell

Sara and Bob new found seashells

Sara and Bob (OH)

I walked over the bridge to the Captiva side of the pass and met Shanti and Barry that were visiting from the east coast of Florida for the weekend to do some shelling.

Shanti Barry shell bucket

Shanti and Barry (Pompano, FL)

They told me they didn’t know what a WENTLETRAP was before they found… us! They are blog buddies (!) so they wanted to see what Blind Pass had in store after the north west winds. They also told me they had to run down to the lighthouse to see if they could find some of those WENTLETRAPS we talk about. I’m sure you’ll have good luck since you’ve already had a good start with this bucket of goodies.

Shanti's seashells

Shanti's seashells

I met another sheller who was mostly collecting KITTEN’S PAWS.

Tamara kittens paws

Tamara (VA)

Tamara is a preschool music teacher who was collecting KITTEN’S PAWS to give to her students with an added pearl inside and a note saying “You are precious”. Really, I don’t make this stuff up. These people I meet are genuinely this nice and it gives me so much pleasure to spread the word that shelling attracts these amazing people.

fighting conchs and juveniles

Fighting conchs

These are a few FIGHTING CONCHS and other shells we found this morning.

Banded Tulips

Banded Tulips

Kings crown Blind Pass Captiva

Kings crown

Lightning whelk female

Lightning whelk

After listening to one of the 6th graders at the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show last week in my video, I saw this LIGHTNING WHELK and immediately assumed this was a female since the color is getting a little lighter. Hmmm. Ya think?

pear whelk in scallop

Pear whelk in scallop shell

I always love to see PEAR WHELKS! They just seem special to me.

For those of you who like to keep up with the changes at Blind Pass, I made a little video today. You can see the differences with the tide change and of course, the changes that occur everyday with the sand shifting by the wind and current. YouTube Preview Image