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

Shellabaloo Shell Adventure Is Shellsational

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Island Inn, Leal's Wentletrap, Sanibel Hotels, Shellabaloo, Shellabaloo 6, Wentletrap | 20 comments

cathy's shellabaloo shells first hours

Shellzam! Shellabaloo 6 at the Island Inn Sanibel Beachfront Resort has been awesome…

Travis shells in purple bucket

Everybody found some abshellutely beautiful shells…

seashells found at Shellabaloo 6 Jan 2015

We have had sooooooo much fun together!

Shellabaloo shellers having fun on the beach

We’ve been stooping for shells in the water…

sanibel stoop for shells

Stooping for shells on the beach…

Elaine stooping for shells at Shellabaloo

Scooping for shells with nets and shelling backhoes…

Scooping for shells on Sanibel

Sifting for shells…

Sifting for shells on Sanibel

We’ve seen live shells…

live fighting conch mollusks on sand bar

We’ve seen live starfish and other bling…

two starfish on a shell

But there are the special moments each and every time I gather Shellabaloo groups together… This time it was when Katherine (from Virginia) found a shellicious honey hole and wanted to share it with the rest of our group.

katherine found lots of shells

I peeked inside her shell bag (after I saw her working one little spot for a while) to see GAUDY NATICAS, KINGS CROWNS, BANDED TULIPS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, WORM ROCK and CHESTNUT TURBANS. She said “Can you go tell the other Shellabalooers?” Shell yaya!

Sanibel shells in a ziplock bag

This is the moment everybody saw how she was scooping in the soft sand that had just been covered by the tide. It was an awesome bonding experience as we sifted, sorted and scooped as a group then oohed and aaahed when somebody found a treasure. Shellabaloo Shellove.

bonding by seashell collecting

Then a shellebration!

happy shellers at sanibel shellabaloo

Shelling Sisters Christy (from Texas) and Janet (from Washington) had their cutie shellootie iLS gear on and showing some of their exshellent shell loot.

Christy and Janet sporting iLoveShelling gear and seashells

Cathy traveled from Nova Scotia to join us and have sweet success finding shell pickins…. but she was espeshelly happy to be in Sanibel since Canada is practically frozen over right now!

Cathy with shells and her brother travis hunting for seashells

Cathy’s brother Travis (Ottawa) found a bucket load of shells. Errrrr…..  is this the same guy that told me at the beginning of Shellabaloo that he “wasn’t that in to shelling” but was just here for his sister? Yup.  And… he also told me he wasn’t going to get in the water because he didnt like to get wet. Ahem…. would you look back at Cathy’s photo above? Uh huh! Yessiree. Just over Cathy’s shoulder on the left? That is Travis working another honey hole filled with shells … he’s practically UNDER water. LOL Look at his smile!

Shellabaloo Travis with a bucket of shells

Speaking of smiles, check out the happy faces of Karen and her daughter Katy who traveled from Maryland to be with us in the beautiful sunshine.

Katy and Karen on Sanibel beach

Elaine who shared the love of the mini shells with me, traveled from Washington state to be with us as well.

Elaine with seashells in Sanibel Florida

We all climbed aboard Sight Sea-R Cruises to take a shelling adventure to Big Hickory and had a blast.

Shellabaloo on Sight Sea-R shelling cruise

Yep, we found more shells…

conch and cockle shells from Sanibel

Kristen (from New Jersey) was celebrating after finding a LEAL’S WENTLETRAP as we all had lunch together.

Kristen at  lunch with Shellabaloo

She was able to show it to this WENTLETRAP’S name sake… Dr Jose Leal at the shell museum to have it verified. Cool!

Epitonium Leali Leal wentletrap Sanibel

Happy birthday Robin! We got to celebrate Robin from Maryland’s birthday with her mom Bobbie (Pennsylvania) during Shellabaloo too. We feel honored to have been able to help you shellebrate, Robin!

Shellabaloo Robin and Connie  lunch at Parrot Key

Every single moment we had at our iLoveShelling Shellabaloo at the Island Inn Resort was spectacsheller.

Shellabaloo 6 Sanibel guided shelling tour shells

Oh, but we had more fun that I have to show you with more shell pictures… so until our Shellabaloo exshellaganza has completely unwound from all of the excitement…

Shellabaloo 6 Sanibel guided shelling tour 2015

Thank you Island Inn for hosting this Shellabaloo shellowship again!

island inn sponsor logo

Dont forget, you can join us on another iLoveShelling Shell Adventure… CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips

 

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From Sanibel Calm to Major Crimes

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Bubble shell, Lighthouse, Wentletrap | 20 comments

shells by Sanibel lighthouse

I’ve been so amazed with Gulfside City Park beach in the last months, I’ve shunned my long time fave beach… Sanibel Lighthouse. Please forgive me, Lighthouse Beach? I think she knew it wasn’t an intentional cold shoulder so she forgave me by scattering a few WENTLETRAPS along a BUBBLE SHELL filled shoreline.

wentletrap with bubble shells

She really made me put my nose to the grind-sand but knew I wouldn’t give up quickly. Aha… another one.

wentletrap among shells

 

After satisfying my shellove of the hunt, I put a few treasures in my pocket…

Sanibel small shells

I walked on the Sanibel pier so I could breathe in more of the view of my old dear friend. Peace.

view from Sanibel pier

My company felt the same.

birds on Sanibel Pier

Cue the soft sweet music….. then…. the record scratch…. rrrrriiiiip! Yes, the beach walk this morning was very quiet and calm but last night was another story. Cue the dance music!

It was a parrrtaaay. Y’all know my husband Clark is a do-gooder, right? He’s always doing good deeds for his Rotary Club events but this is another group he’s involved in… Sunshine Kids. Last night we went to a fundraising party for this awesome organization raising money to help children with cancer so I donated a few of my fine art photographs on canvases to help raise a few bucks. At the end of the night, Clark saw actor Tony Denison from TNT’s  hit show “Major Crimes” carrying my art. Wow! He out-bidded everybody else on my piece and is taking it home to L.A. with him. We love Major Crimes show so it was fun to meet him in person to see how generous and passionate he is about helping Sunshine Kids.  Thanks Tony, we are thrilled!

pam rambo art with tony denison

If you are in SW Florida this week, join me Wednesday November 26, 2014 on our next iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure… a cruise at low tide to shell the secluded island of Big Hickory. CLICK HERE for more info.

pams-shelling-trips1

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It’s Raining Seashells

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Lighthouse, Live Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar, Sunsets, Wentletrap | 15 comments

seashells by the Sanibel pier

For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.

mini shells in a hand

Gwendolyn, Hailey, Sarah and Viet from the Orlando area found some sweet minis too. I especially loved that little black and white WEST INDIAN FALSE CERITH Viet found.

Sarah Gwendolyn Viet Hailey on Sanibel beach

For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.

Anthony Ryan Jose shelling Sanibel

Anthony was amazed by the live LIGHTNING WHELK he found so while showing his family this live creature he made sure he held the shell so the MOLLUSK still had water covering the inside until he walked it back out so return to the sea- so thoughtful! He and Ryan found lots of other loot (including that gorgeous LACE MUREX) while Jose found two SAND DOLLARS that were still grey but without any cilia/fur/hair/breathing apparatus so he knew these were dead. Jose told me he saw hundreds that were still alive so he left them alone but knew these two were ones he could keep.

live whelk and other shells of Sanibel

As the sky opened up and it began to rain (without lightning), I met these three beautiful ladies Christine, Lindsey, and Caren from Connecticut just as we were heading off the beach.

shellers on the beach before the rain

We got to talking while I looked at some of their sweet minis, and I completely lost their names! Ack! So embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me! Yes, I remember so much about y’all (first time finding wentles, watching the vids and even a first time sheller) but names? psh- sometimes they get lost. Sorry!

handful of miniature shells from Sanibel

Notice what unusual colors the changed in all of these photos before and after the rain? Every 15 minutes it seemed as if I had sepia toned glasses on then back to colorama glasses. As I was running off the beach, a rainbow appeared for a few minutes when I saw Holly from Fort Myers again.

Holly from Ft Myers in front of Sanibel Rainbow

I snapped a photo of some of her mini finds since they were waaaay cute. See that BABYS EAR on the right? We had talked about BABYS EARS earlier in the evening… saying we haven’t seen many at the Lighthouse Beach lately… then got on another subject… walked a few feet … I looked down and screamed in mid sentence. A BABYS EAR right at our feet. LOL We both laughed and I told her that happens on the iLoveShelling cruises all the time and I swear people think I plant them. Theres NO WAY! I would NEVER do that. It’s just happens .. and yes, it’s weird but it happens… a lot (but never with JUNONIAS- dang it!).

mini shell Holly found at lighthouse

I was now soaked…and happy… so I decided to just walk instead of run to the beach access ramp to the parking lot. That’s where Ingrid and Pat from Missouri and I laughed at ourselves for hanging out in the rain. Look at that big bag filled with shells! That’s why Ingrid said it was hard to be torn off the beach- Die-Hards!

Ingrid Pat from MO shellers in the rain

These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!

shells Ingrid found from lighthouse

As I was talking with Ingrid and Pat, Clark showed up drenched too but with a pocket full of minis and SAND DOLLARS.  Clark found some of those grayish bald SAND DOLLARS too… and more minis- yay!

sand dollars and seashells sanibel

Just to make sure we don’t confuse the dead SAND DOLLARS with the live ones… we always check to see if there is anything that looks like “fur” or “hair” on them when they are gray-ish like this. Nope! These are all very smooth and bald- not a “hair” in sight.

dead sand dollars without cilia

 

You can compare them to these live SAND DOLLARS to easily see the cilia/fur/hair on the edges of all four SAND DOLLARS in the next photo. See?

baby sand dollar

Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.

Sanibel pier at dusk

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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. [youtube]http://youtu.be/utPmcWunvjs[/youtube]

 

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Two Scoops Of Shellicious Treasures

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Carrier Shell, Crucifix Shell, CyberShelling, Lace Murex, Lighthouse, Wentletrap | 27 comments

Sanibel Stoop at lighthouse beach

Dont you remember that old saying… “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes”? Well, it’s the same with shelling in Southwest Florida. We’ve had swirling high winds with rain the past few days so it has changed the shelling on every beach every 10 minutes. Just as the rain stopped at one point, I hurried to Sanibel Lighthouse Beach to see if the weather brought in good shelling conditions yet. I met more die-hard shellers! A little drizzly weather wasn’t going to keep Ann, Doug and Patricia from Minnesota from shelling…

Ann Doug Patricia from Minnesota visit Sanibel for seashells

Patricia found her first NUTMEG! And… notice that Patricia made her own necklace out of one of the shells (LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS) she found that already had a hole in it. So cute!

patricia found her first nutmeg

Then yesterday morning I met the cutest family from Indiana at Lighthouse Beach… Sean, Lori, Ellie, Wanda and Karl. Karl is a birder who volunteers at Ding Darling a few months in the winter and answered a few questions I had about some of the birds Ive seen lately. We realized how similar shellers are to birders then told him about Gill and Andy’s “The Big Year” 

sean, lori, ellie, wanda karl from indiana shell sanibel

If they were competing in The Big Year with shells, I think Sean would probably be the big winner in the family. As soon as he showed us all the great shells he was finding, he was back to his ankles in the water to find more. Love it!

Sanibel seashells in a shell net

Andrea from Ft Lauderdale said her day was complete since she found a perfect LACE MUREX with a pink nose.

Andrea from Fort Lauderdale found lace murex Sanibel

Beauty!

sanibel island lace murex

Clark took one scoop with his shelling backhoe at the waters edge and brought a pile of shells to me. I snapped a photo so you could shell with me. CYBERSHELL away!

backhoe scoop for cybershelling

While I picked out some nice shells, he brought another scoop to me. Wow! Stephanie, this CYERSHELLING is for you (I got the book- Thank you!)…

cyber shell shelling pile

Did you find these shells and more? Crazy, right? Two scoops of shellicious treasures!

sanibel cybershelling

There were lots of empty wonderful shells just at the surf’s edge on the gulf side at the lighthouse then walking west we found oodles of live creatures in the morning at low tide.

lighthouse shell photo

So…  let’s get back to the “just wait 10 minutes until the weather changes for good shelling” bit. Lots of people ask me how I know which beach to be at for the good shelling all the time. Here’s a secret…. normally, I visit LOTS of beaches to find the best shelling. Yes, I can regularly find good shells or something really interesting EVERY time I walk on a beach here but I do stop by different beaches (Blind Pass, Gulfside City Park, Lighthouse) to assess the conditions on a regular basis and I don’t post on each one. That’s what is fun to me…. seeing the beaches change so much. I want to find the most interesting treasures to learn something and share it with you. So before I found so many shells at the Lighthouse Beach after the rain storm, I visited Blind Pass Captiva where I met Karen, Randy and Stephanie from Orlando…

karen randy stephanie orlando collect shells captiva

Stephanie found a CARRIER SHELL and other goodies on the sand bar on the pass side.

carrier shell, conchs welk coral cerith

It was so much fun to talk to Renee and Charles from Chicago after seeing how excited they were about their finds.

renee charles chicago visiting captiva for shells

Charles found a WENTLETRAP there! After i took this photo, Renee told me she found a SCOTCH BONNET too. Huh? She told me it had a crack in to though so she didn’t put it in her “faves” pile. LOL I forgot to take a photo of it after she dug it out of her bag to show it to me and … yep! It was a beautiful SCOTCH BONNET with a small crack.

shells by renee and charles captiva

I’ve seen lots of cool BEACH BLING all week but this was my favorite… a CRUCIFIX SHELL. Hmmm… with Easter just around the corner.

crucifix shell on a Sanibel  beach

If you are trapped in that unseasonably cold, snowy weather up north, I’m hoping the two scoops from Super Sheller Clark will help warm you up. We are wishing you sunshine and seashells!

clark with shelling backhoe

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I’m Stooping Over For A Wentletrap Clover

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Alternate Tellin, Angulate Wentletrap, Holiday, Lined Tree Snail, St Patricks Day, Tellin, Tolin Wentletrap, Wentletrap | 13 comments

lucky four leaf wentletrap clover

Top of the Sanibel mornin’ to ya!

wentletrapping doing the sanibel stoop at sunrise

It’s always a lucky day just to have the time to walk the beach… but it’s a very lucky day if you find a couple of WENTLEPTRAP shells.

collecting miniature sanibel seashells

Paula brought down some Luck O’ the Irish from Boston to find a few O’wentles near the Sanibel lighthouse and pier – along with a few other sweet minis.

paula from ma shelling sanibel

Did someone have to kiss the Blarney Stone to find a whole handful of O’wentles like this?

sandy wentletraps seashells epitonium found at Sanibel lighthouse beach

We can ask Deenie since this handful was hers. Wait a minute. Deenie is from Massachusetts too. Hmmmmm….

collecting seashells at sanibel lighthouse near causeway

I danced a little jig to find a few of my own plus I found a LINED TREE SNAIL, a violet tinted juvie FIGHTING CONCH and a double ALTERNATE TELLIN to name a few.

shells from sanibel island florida lighthouse beach

While we were finding our Pots of O’Wentle Gold, I was green with envy to know that Bruce from Chicago found a JUNONIA at Blind Pass Sanibel a few days ago.

Happy Shell Paddy’s Day!

photo by Cari Wells

photo by Cari Wells

PS… I believe the WENTLETRAP at the top of Deenie’s hand is a BLADED WENTLETRAP along with a few others but most of the others are ANGULATE. Deenie was very excited that a few days ago she found her first BROWN BANDED WENTETRAP so we talked about that top one being different as well.  I realized that I never added the BLADED to my lineup of WENTLETRAPS on my post How To Find Wentletrap Shells so I’ll update that soon so we can see the differences.

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