Archive for Wentletrap

Jul
14

It’s Raining Seashells

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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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Apr
22

Minutes For Mini Shells

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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 Preview Image

 

Mar
31

Two Scoops Of Shellicious Treasures

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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

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.

Feb
25

Peaceful Retreat To The Beach

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tiny shells collected on Sanibel Island Florida

I have been enjoying the warm sunshine we’ve been having on Sanibel the last few days… not just on the beach but outside in my back yard. I’ve been sorting…and sorting… and sorting shells. Why haven’t I been more organized in the last few days… errrrr… months…. okay, truthfully? Years! I guess thats just how I roll- I would rather spend my time doing something else other than “cleaning” (Oh how I hate that word!) but I guess enough is enough. I told y’all I wanted to do a post about the differences between some of the mini shells like the DRILLS, MUREXES and CANTHARUS like I did in my post Similar Sanibel Shells since I wanted to add more to that list. So I started looking through my Shellaboratory for each of the shells I wanted to photograph. Ack! I wanted the best of each species but I realized how dang unorganized I’ve been. Buckets, boxes and bins of uncategorized shells. Some were washed… some filled with sand. OMG

assortment of collected small Sanibel Florida shells

 So while I sort my shells to find the best GULF OYSTER DRILL, SHARP RIB DRILL, juvie APPLE and LACE MUREXES, I had to escape to the beach for a peaceful retreat at Gulfside City Park to find an absolutely gorgeous calm day.

peaceful retreat and shells on the beach of Sanibel Island

Oh… and more mini shells. I tried to just admire the shells on the beach without picking them up because…. seriously, we have enough. These days I try to only collect the shells I learn from, the ones that I give to others (like the post – Good Feeling About Seashells), the ones I decorate with or use in projects.  So these are the only ones I brought home today… Three BUTTON SHELLS, a shiny OLIVE, one sweet BABYS EAR, a wonderful WENTLETRAP and a little cutie juvie SHARKS EYE. We don’t often see oodles of black JINGLES so I couldn’t resist picking some up … and there were lots of them! I’m trying to fill up a tall vase for my home so I might go back and try to find more tomorrow. When my vase is done, I promise I’ll post it.

some seashells collected from Sanibel

So while I sort, sort, sort our minis I’ll sneak to the beach for peace, shells and sunshine.

calm collecting shells

find lions paws Sanibel florida bp

It’s already a spectacsheller 2014! My dear friend Ellen found not just one LIONS PAW at Blind Pass Sanibel… but she found two LION’S PAWS!

elphie with lions paws bp sanibel

We walked passed that sand bar area that I’ve shown you in my last couple of posts towards Bowman’s Beach where they just finished the beach renourishment project. Remember I showed you that old wooden jetty that was newly exposed last year? Well, it’s all covered up again and filled in with fresh new sand that was pumped in from the deep waters off shore in the Gulf Of Mexico. So I’m assuming that these came in with the sand since both of them are so incredibly perfect. I want to show you the interior of this LIONS PAW so you can be on the lookout as well. I was right there with her shelling and I didn’t see either of them… I missed them both! She picked them up right after I looked in the same spot. LOL All I saw were oodles of KITTENS PAW and CALICO SCALLOPS (you know I love both of them so I was already mesmerized- hahaha) It just goes to show you, there are enough shells for everybody in southwest Florida since we all see different things while shelling on the beach. I think Im going to have to call her Shellen instead of Ellen from now on. heehee She’s got the LIONS PAW eye for sure! Shellzam! Congratshellations, Shellen!

interior lions paw sanibel florida

Clark was shelling just at the water’s edge with his shelling backhoe when he scooped up these beauties. Can you believe it? He found a CABRITS MUREX too! This one is pretty beat up but still… its a rare find for Sanibel. Again, prob from the beach renourishment. I haven’t gotten to a chance to see if that FLAT SCALLOP near his thumb will clean up well but its a beauty along with that bright orange CHESTNUT TURBAN.

clark shells bp sanibel after beach renourishmnet

Shellen has an eye for LIONS PAWS, Super Sheller Clark has an eye ALPHIES and I seem to have an eye for finding CARRIER SHELLS.

carrier shell sanibel bp after beach renourishment

I also have an eye for WENTLETRAPS. As you can see in the next photo, all the way as far as you can see in the background, is a palm tree sticking up. That’s about 200 yards from the Blind Pass bridge (guestimate of course) so this is how far we walked to find our loot. Now look how far I was from the water and in that sparse shell line, I found what I believe is a TOLIN WENTLETRAP. I’ve found lots of different species of WENTLETRAPS (CLICK HERE for a line up of them) but this one looked different from the others so in my humble opinion, I think it’s a TOLIN.

tolin wentletrap Epitonium tollini bp sanibel

But honestly, I got more excited about this beautiful piece of BEACH BLING I found. It’s a purple SEA WHIP with a few cool hitchhikers! Click on the photo to enlarge to see if you can find them too before I tell you what they are.

purple sea whip with simnia winged oysters

Did you find the ATLANTIC WING OYSTER? So cool, right?

atlantic wing oyster attached to sea whip

But wait, there’s another tiny baby WING OYSTER too! Can you see it?

juvenile wing oyster on sea whip sanibel

And then I spotted a ONE TOOTH SIMNIA on this same SEA WHIP! It’s camouflaged but look closely…

one tooth simnia attached to sea whip sanibel

Shell Boom Bah! There are two ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS! Click this next photo to see both of them. Then go back and see if you can find both WING OYSTERS and both ONE TOOTH SIMNIAS in the first full size pic of the SEA WHIP. I know its weird but I felt like I had won the lotto. LOL This is why I love shelling so much. There are always magnificent hidden treasures on the beach… you just have to find the treasures that make you happy.

one tooth simnia Simnialena uniplicata on sea whip

I have one more photo to show you… I am so stinkin happy for my buddy Kaybe from The Essential Beachcomber!
She finally found her JUNONIA! She posted this on iLoveShelling Facebook page… “I’m making progress. Went from finding a little tip last week to an almost whole junonia this morning at Boca Grande. It was all wrapped up in some seaweed on the wrack line.” Exshellent!

karen kaybe junonia

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