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

Seashells At The Sanibel Lighthouse

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Dusky Cone, Wentletrap | 15 comments

Sanibel Lighthouse seashells

The Sanibel Lighthouse beach has been a long time favorite place of ours to search for the mini shells. The evening was cool and breezy so to take a nice walk from the gulf side to the fishing pier over the weekend was delightful. Our beloved little WENTLETRAPS were scattered along the mid tide line along with a a few adorable little DUSKY CONES. Of the 5 we found, the last one we picked up I believe (the one on the far left by the cutie little pink COQUINA half) is an ALBINO DUSKY. It doesn’t look beach worn and there’s not a speck of color in it. Hmmmmm. Score!

Dusky shells Sanibel island Florida

Clark and I are now on the mend from fighting that awful cold/flu/”crud” that zapped us both from every ounce of energy and zombified our brains for a number of days- yuk! Taking a short walk on the beach was just what the doctor ordered- ahhhh we both feel much better. For us, getting outside in the sunshine is always the best medicine and searching for shells on the beach is the perfect follow up therapy.

miniature seashells on Sanibel


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My Inner South Carolina Seashell Artist Is Channeling Whelks

Posted by on Mar 29, 2016 in Cape Romain, Channeled Whelk, Eastern Oyster, Knobbed Whelk, Knobbed Whelk Egg Case, Oyster, South Carolina, Wentletrap, Whelk, World shelling | 17 comments

channeled whelk shells

I am channeling my inner artist looking at these CHANNELED WHELKS as I look back on our shelling trip to the Carolinas earlier this month (Beach Combing Trip To Portsmouth Island). I could have taken hundreds of photos of these incredishelly beautiful works of art as I saw them laying in the sand half buried in the islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

channeled whelk

Seeing KNOBBED WHELKS and OYSTER SHELLS rolling up in the surf was a masterful sight to behold.

South Carolina shells on the beach

Mother Nature artfully placed a SAND DOLLAR as though she staged this still-life for me to photograph.

South Carolina sand dollar

I didn’t find all of her still-lifes in obvious places. These 2 KNOBBED WHELK shells, an ANGEL WING and oodles of OYSTER SHELLS were behind a large wrack line of driftwood, seaweeds and various sticks from sea oats and sea grasses.

shells in beach wrack

The EASTERN OYSTER SHELLS are so beautiful as well, especially the juveniles as they form stunning sculptures.

eastern oyster sculpture

After searching for miles, we found an area filled with the sweet adorable miniature shells. There were even WENTLETRAPS!

miniature shells south carolina

And then, Whelp… another WHELK.

empty knobbed whelk

How can they be this gorgeous?

knobbed whelk with oyster shells

We found dried KNOBBED WHELK EGG CASES too. They are so similar to our LIGHTNING WHELK egg cases we find in Sanibel but the KNOBBED WHELK EGG SACK disks are little more oval in shape.

knobbed whelk egg case-1

But this just may have been the find of trip….  a GIANT EASTERN MUREX. Boom Shellalaka! It may not have been he prettiest shell on the beach but it really is giant and it just seemed impossible that we would find one.  I can’t claim finding it- our friend (our hostess with mostest) Karen found it then gave it to me. Omigosh really? We don’t normally bring home shells that we don’t find ourselves (we are fortunate to already have enough) but it is an amazing memory from that day and an awesome shell. Very cool- thank you!

Giant Eastern Murex

Clark and I (in red colors) are still smiling from our shelling trip with Nanette, Helen, Jackie, Karen and Captain Dan. We met all of them in McClellinville, South Carolina where Karen’s buddy Captain Dan Scarborough took us out on his boat to the out islands. I can’t even explain how much fun it was island hopping out on the boat all day with this crew.

shell trip guides to South Carolina

We brought back a few brilliant shells with different color patterns that look like Mother Nature had a field day with her architectural designs and paint brush.

shell basket filled with South Carolina seashells

Clark and I are so grateful to these Three Crazy Carolina Girls- Jackie, Helen and Karen for inviting us on this unforgettable shelling trip. Love these girls!

Shell guide friends Jackie, Helen and Karen

To join me on a shelling trip adventure in SW Florida…

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Walking In A Wentletrap Wonderland

Posted by on Dec 26, 2015 in Finding Wentletraps video, Video, Wentletrap, Wentletrap trapping | 11 comments

wentletraps with beach daisy in the sand

A wonderful, warm walk in a WENTLETRAP wonderland.

Watch this wideo – errrrr – vvvvideo (heehee) of my morning’s walk near the Sanibel fishing pier today….

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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.


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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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