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

Rooting For Seashells At Sanibel Lighthouse Beach

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video | 26 comments

Conch shell on driftwood at Sanibel lighthouse

The Sanibel Ligthhouse is all dressed up for Christmas with wreaths and big red bows bringing festivity to the salty air. 

seashells on driftwood -Sanibel lighthouse beach

The cool, windy air brought a few of my favorite shellers out to the beach as well… like Wanda and Lori. It’s always so much fun to see yall- “Shello” to your family!

Sanibel dreaming for Wanda and Lori

As soon as I walked on the beach, I met Ruth Anne and Mark (VA) who showed me a beautiful TULIP and WHELK they found in the water on the way to the Sanibel pier. Thank you for the tip! I headed that way and found some too.

Shellers Ruth Anne and Mark from Virginia visit Sanibel-1

On the way around that east tip of the island, I saw Penny who I met on our shelling adventure to Big Hickory in July. She found an abshellutely beautiful double SPINY JEWELBOX that was “cemented” to a CROSS-BARRED VENUS – like Mother Nature crafted the perfect little display stand to show off the long spines and dabs of purple she painted on the inside of this artful shell.

sea whip and shells on Sanibel beach-1

As you can see in this next picture (wet shorts and nets), Penny and her husband Greg found most of their shells in the water but there were plenty of shells scattered along the beach too.

Penny Greg Austin TX find shells on Sanibel Island-1

So…. I took a video while I was shelling around those tree roots that I’ll show you. I miss doing my videos! So I filmed some fun shelling around the tree roots (in between the lighthouse and pier) where Mark told me he found his TULIP. But…. Ugh- now I remember why I haven’t posted videos lately. The dang thing won’t download clearly! I took this next vid on my iPhone 6s – if someone can tell me why it won’t download to Youtube without being clear, please give me tips so I can get y’all some good footage? It takes hours to download.

Until then, pretend like the water has splashed up on your sunglasses like you know it does… and keep shelling through the water drops on your lens. Hey, we do that any way, right? When there are shells washing in, we dont have time to get out our little lens cloths and clean our sunglasses off- we just work around it and get shells and bling while the gettin’s good. Oh… and watch out for those tree roots too! Dont worry about the bumps and bruises we’ll get when those branches stab us in the ribs or bump your head while we work around them… we’ll heal later. hahaha Ok, and one more thing… if you get a little queazy when the camera is moving too fast to catch those shells, you might not want to watch this while drinking a milkshake- just saying. heehee

Even through your salty sunglasses, it’s still fun, right? Ha! Did you see Penny and Greg in the background still shelling too? fun! After I took the video and a few photos of the shells I found, I realized that I really didn’t need to take any of these shells home, the Shellaboratory is filled with these same shells so I left them for someone else that may not have found as much…

shell ferry left seashells for shellers

Just seconds later, a taker. Yes!

Sanibel lighthouse beach path walk way
Sanibel lighthouse with whelk seashell on driftwood-2

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Walking The Beach Warms The Soul

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Pear Whelk, Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video, Starfish, Sunsets, Video, Whelk | 27 comments

Seastar starfish waiting to be swept away by the ocean

Even though we aren’t wearing our usual tee shirts and shorts here on Sanibel Island because of this cold 40 degree weather, walking the beach warms the soul.

Island Inn Sanibel cottage paradise

“Espeshelly” since cold weather brings shells!

seashells in a shell pile

Sanibel Lighthouse beach has load of shells washing up about a half a mile west of the Lighthouse.

hundreds of conch on sanibel

There were lots of live CONCHS… and lots of empty ones too but my fave was this empty sweet striped PEAR WHELK.

collecting pear whelk seashells


pear whelk shell in the sand

There were shells starting to come in at Island Inn Sanibel too (my second picture from the top)

shells in the sand with ocean wave

There were also shells starting to come in at Blind Pass too (CLICK HERE for map)

sunray venus shell on sanibel beach

shells at blind pass sanibel

Were you hoping for a video to warm you up? You Got It! I walked down the beach on the gulf side of the Sanibel Lighthouse….ummmm… maybe about 1/2 mile west or so. I mostly found empty minis (like the 3rd photo) in the washed up shell lines and live FIGHTING CONCHS and STARFISH (like the first photo) in the water near the Lighthouse but when I walked further down the beach I found this… 

One more photo to sooth the soul… The evening warmth of shelling at Blind Pass at sunset last night.

Sunset at Blind Pass Captiva Turner Beach

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Sanibel Wishes and Memories

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Dolphin video, Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video, Sanibel Seashells Surf Video, Video | 30 comments

sanibel shell tree

As I was shelling yesterday, I thought of all the amazing sightings I get to witness on Sanibel’s beaches. Feeling very content and fortunate, I still picked up a shell to add to this shell tree so I could make a wish.

adding to shell treee

Afterwards, I walked back to the shoreline to find a yellow ONE TOOTH SIMNIA on a golden SEA WHIP. I immediately thought of Gina from Shellabaloo 2.

yellow one tooth simnia

Then I was captured by the sight of a guy on a SUP standup paddle board against the aqua water and brilliant blue sky. I got out my video camera and started filming the peaceful sight. A DOLPHIN popped out of the water right in front of him and he “whooped” with excitement. Wow!

sup and dolphin

Finding the simple pleasures in life make wishes come true. This inspired me to make another video…. Sanibel Wishes. Open your eyes to take in whats right in front of you… then make a wish.

I not only placed a shell on the shell tree for a wish, I also placed shells on a castle built for the memory of a shelling friend.

brett's shell memorial

There are people I meet on the beach for a brief moment but I feel I have an immediate kinship. Brett was one of those people.

ian brett jeff shellers sanibel

Sanibel wishes and memories.

brett shares sanibel shells

My thoughts are with you Ian, Jeff, Connie, John and your families.


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Minutes For Mini Shells

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Brown banded wentletrap, Clavelina picta, Lighthouse, Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video, Tunicate, Video | 17 comments

sanibel beach treasures with brown banded wentletrap

I had a few extra minutes today (how did my life get so busy?) so I snagged those few minutes to take a beach break. I’m so glad I did! With a beautiful 75 degrees and a slight breeze, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was the perfect hunting ground for the minis. I found a BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP along with a cutie DUSKY CONE, TUSKS, SPARSE DOVE SHELLS and many other sweet shells.

brown banded wentletrap with miniature shellsbrown banded wentletrap with miniature shells

After I found a few of these beauties, I saw something else weird wash up in the surf that look sort of like giant orange pulp (with a strange alien creature in each pulp)….

clavelina picta sanibel florida

Dr. Eric Milbrandt from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation identified it for me as a Clavelina picta COLONIAL TUNICATE. It’s in the same family as the SEA PORK we see often on our beaches. Weird and very cool. Thanks Eric!  (BTW, I put it back in the water since it still had fluid in each of those sacs)

colonial tunicate sanibel florida

Before I found the TUNICATE and the BROWN BAND WENTLETRAP, I filmed a little video because I was so shocked that I walked right out from the parking lot to find so many goodies. I normally have to search high and low to find a honey hole of minis! I’ll show you exactly where I found all of my minis and my orange glob of coolness. 


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Seashelling And Cybershelling At Sanibel Lighthouse Beach

Posted by on Feb 8, 2014 in Cone, CyberShelling, Florida Cone, Horse Conch, Lighthouse, Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video | 30 comments

seashells and the sanibel lighthouse

 Just a few steps from the Sanibel Lighthouse, oodles of seashells were being washed up near the shoreline yesterday.

shells and palm tree sanibel surf

I overheard Kathy and Karen (Wisconsin) getting very excited about the shells they were finding in the water…

kathy karen wisconsin finding seashells on sanibel

Yes there were! In ankle deep water along the surf line, I saw one shell after another so I quickly got out my video and started filming. This video is uncut and I was continuously filming so you can see how I had to keep working the same area to find all of these shells. Each wave uncovered more shells so I had to be patient. More CYBERSHELLING to the rescue!

As you can see, the shells weren’t obvious since they were buried and filled with sand so I had to keep stooping for better scoops. Sisters Diane (Illinois) and Nancy (Missouri) couldn’t believe how many they found in that one area.

diane illinois nancy missouri sisters shelling


seashell candy corn

In the video, you briefly see Penny (Wisconsin) stooping in the water a little further out. I think I mumbled something like I hoped she was finding shells out there too. Any way, I ended up meeting Penny and her husband Brian a few minutes afterwards.

penny brian wisconsin enjoy shelling sanibel

We figured out that just around the same time I was filming her out in the water, she found this FLORIDA CONE.

florida cone sanibel lighthouse

I also drove up to Blind Pass Captiva but that new sand bar in the pass is mostly just sand now but there are still some sweet minis. The Sanibel side of Blind Pass is still producing shells but the tides have been fickle so its been a hit or miss. It’s almost like if you don’t see shells there, just wait 4 more hours and they should be rolling in. I was just so happy to find such goodies at my old fave stomping ground- The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.

looking for seashells on sanibel island florida

shelling adventures trips by pam

shelling adventures trips by pam

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