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

Seashell Treasures Brought to the Islands By Hermine

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Horse Conch, Hurricane Hermine, Lightning Whelk, Tropical Storm #9 Hermine, Whelk | 17 comments

find seashells after a storm sanibel

On your WHELK. Get CERITH.  GO Shelling!

Sanibel shells from storm winds

For the past 3 days, Southwest Florida has been peppered with high winds, rough and choppy seas in Gulf Of Mexico, rain showers and extreme tides. Thank goodness we didn’t get a direct hit from Tropical Depression #9 (now named Hurricane Hermine) on Wednesday, so it was safe to go scouring the island to find a huge shell pile that formed in the morning on the west end of Sanibel at Blind Pass that brought a few awesome treasures (top photo).

seashells on the beach

After picking through those treasures for a while, I couldn’t wait to see what was happening on the east end of Sanibel at Lighthouse Beach.

sanibel beach with shells

The gulf side was still too choppy but by the late afternoon the shells started piling up at the waters edge on the pier side of the lighthouse.

seashells at sanibel lighthouse beach

Then more rain and more high winds… then…. fast forward to this morning at Lighthouse beach near the fishing pier again…. Shellzam!

seashells after a storm on Sanibel island Florida

It was Shellmania! Shells started washing up on the beach but before they could even get on shore, we had a line of shellers sitting on the sand bar in the water having a spectacsheller time.

collecting seashells on sanibel island florida

It was total shelltopia! We all became fast friends after all 5 of these HORSE CONCHS were found in less than an hour. We would hear screams of joy when someone pulled another empty one up out of the shallow water then we splashed over to see the next trophy- give a big hug then oooh and ahhh. Such a blast!

pam rambo with shellers with horse conch shells on sanibel

I found a HORSE CONCH too! It was very cool although it had lots of old barnacles and shell “crust” but since we have a few already at our house, I decided to gave it away in a “guess a number between 1 and 100” game with 9 other shellers. Congrats Andrea! haha So. Much. Fun.

sheller pam rambo with horse conch

Feeling the anticipation of what a Tropical Depression in the Gulf Of Mexico like Hermine (aka “#9”) will do to our beaches if there’s no threat of danger, makes all shellers feel giddy with excitement.  If you’re an extreme sheller, this is what we wait for. It’s happiness. 

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While running the beaches the last 2 days, I met so many amazing people finding such awesome treasures. This is what makes the beach here so much fun- sharing the shelling love.

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We also saw Captain John shelling with his family Katherine and Jack at Blind Pass. He was the new captain with Captiva Cruises who captained our last iLoveShelling Adventure .  They just moved to Sanibel 2 months ago and looks like they’re already getting the hang of finding shells. Nice TULIP!
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I haven’t even gotten a chance to hit all the beaches because we still have storm bands driving thunderstorms though our area. Please remember…. any time you hear thunder PLEASE be safe and get off the beach. It’s so easy these days to find a good radar weather app to be aware of storm bands coming through so you can be prepared. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, the sound of thunder is Mother Nature’s warning signal to be safe and take cover. The shells can wait… Mother Nature knows best.

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More shell stories to come so stayed safe and stay tuned ;)

Until then, have a shell of a day!

PS- Hi Joey, I hope you got that little WHELK from your Gramma Sandy. ;)

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Beautiful Day With Beautiful Shellers

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Dolphin, Flat Zigzag Scallop, Lightning Whelk, Pear Whelk, Rough scallop, Scallop, Whelk | 7 comments

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Isn’t it crazy how beautiful these shells are? This is about the biggest empty PEAR WHELK I’ve ever seen!

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The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.

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These beautiful shells were found by these beautiful shellers on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises.   Did you see that gorgeous orange ROUGH SCALLOP (ORANGE PECTIN). Shellzam, Super Shellers!super shellers on cayo costa-1

There were other cool shells found like this FLAT ZIG ZAG SCALLOP.

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And BABYS EARS! She got to check that one off her list.

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We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!

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Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.

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With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.

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sifting for shells cayo costa-1

Talking about beautiful shellers? This gal has made me smile for years. Sherri Bode (Sherri from MN) has commented on my blog for years by giving me positive feedback and helpful ideas …. and I finally got to meet her in person for the first time on this Shelling Adventure. She’s just as sweet and adorable in person and I’m so grateful for you Sherri- you warm my heart! The internet is a crazy and powerful way to meet like-minded folks but it’s even more fun when I can put a face with a name after meeting in person.

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And then this happened…. Four  years ago, Clark and I met Katie and her dad on a cold January day on the beach at Blind Pass (read post HERE). She was bursting with happiness just to be on the beach shelling that day, so neither Clark nor I ever forgot her. Omigosh, she was on the cruise too!

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She still emits so much happiness when she’s on the beach finding shells. This time she was finding COQUINAS  and other minis so she can make shell flowers and hearts like the ones on Shell Love Bug.

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When she told me who she was, my mouth dropped seeing how she’s blossomed into such a beautiful woman since I remember that day like it was yesterday. Then she showed me on her phone the 2 photos she took that day four years ago. The first photo was of her and me.  Love that! Soooo darn cute.

katie and pam rambo

The second photo was Katie and Clark. I was sooooo tickled to see this photo because in a conversation to a friend just 5 days ago, Clark told the story of Katie asking him to be in a photo with her. You made his day then Katie, and you made my day this week showing me this photo! I will seriously cherish this forever.

katie and clark rambo

It was truly a magical day. We even had DOLPHINS swimming up to our boat. Seriously …. can’t you see they are smiling?  

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Sealife By Congress Jewelers

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Sorting and Shelling For Seashell Art Project

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Cone, Coquina, Florida Cone, King's Crown, Lightning Whelk, Seashells, Whelk | 9 comments

sorting florida cone shells

To start a seashell art project, the first thing on the “to do list” is find shells. Check.

Finding seashells on Sanibel Island Florida on Tarpon Beach

Then the shells have to be cleaned and dried. Check.

sorting lightning whelk shells sanibel

Then the shells should be sorted by species and color. Check.

sorting florida scallops

Depending on the project, the shells may need to be sorted in sizes. Check.

sorting turban shells

Now that we’ve got most of the finding, cleaning, sorting and sizing done… there is even more fun to be had in the creating process.

sorting scallop seashells sanibel

Shelling is beach therapy but creating shell art is just another form of therapy all over again… seashell therapy. To look at the beauty of these treasures is an art in itself. I can’t get enough of it!

coquina seashells on white

 

Now that we’ve got lots checked off on the list for our seashell art project, we’ve still got lots to do to put them all together to make the design and finished product. I can’t wait until it’s done and to unveil it for the 1st Annual National Seashell Day June 20, 2016 on Sanibel and of course I’ll be showing lots of photos right here.  It’s gonna be spectacsheller… Stay tuned!

sorting kings crown seashells 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.

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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.

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

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

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And then, Whelp… another WHELK.

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How can they be this gorgeous?

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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.

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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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Beach Bucks To Big Whelks – Our Shelling Adventure

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish Swim Bladder, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sea Life, Whelk | 12 comments

Sand dollars in the sand and shells

A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…

cayo costa florida boardwalk

We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.

Cayo Costa beach

Lots of shells lined the shore.

beach filled with shells

It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.

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Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!

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Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.

happy shelling family on Cayo Costa

I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”…  Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.

finding sand dollars

Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!

finding big shells on the beach

Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.

finding whelks on the beach

Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha

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The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…

Mother daughter shell vacation

Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.

beach finds on Cayo Costa beach

Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.

finding angel wings
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?

finding beach treasures on Cayo costa

Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.

find sand dollars on shell trip

Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …

find arrowhead sand dollar

and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.

arrowhead sand dollar and angel wings

Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…

find cool shells on beach combing trip

Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.

beach finds from shell trip

Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!

whelk and moon shell art

Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.

find beach bling

Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER . After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)

fish swim bladder beach bling find identification

And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…

happy couple finding shells

The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.

finding shells and sand dollars

On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!

SLBC iLSPromo

And one more for you…  here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.

Cyber shelling sand dollars

Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HEREPam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!

MMGY Global with Pam Rambo

 

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Whelks And Conchs And Fossils, Oh My!

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Fossil, Junonia, Lightning Whelk, Whelk | 30 comments

Doug shells Sanibel

Shells, shells and more shells rolled in the week after the storms hit SW Florida this week. Folks who didn’t mind getting their toes wet at the surf’s edge for a couple of hours were rewarded with some a-maaaazing gifts from the sea. Annie, Lucy, Heidi and Doug who were visiting Sanibel from Ohio all found some cool shells… and look at that huge empty HORSE CONCH Lucy (in the red sweatshirt) found- it was Shellectric!

Annie,Lucy, Heidi, Doug Ohio visit sanibel

It was like playing Duck, Duck, Goose… picking up shells and looking to see if they were occupied- Live, Live… Empty!

whelk shells after a storm on Sanibel

The shell game…

shellers at lighthouse beach Sanibel

It was almost too overwhelming to look at the beach with all the beautiful colors peeking out of the sand when the waves receded. Which way do I go?

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LIGHTNING WHELKS… it was like a people were tripping over them. haha (Ok- I’m sort of exaggerating… errrr.. sorta)

Large Lightning whelk grey color Sanibel

But Im not exaggerating about this…. Chris and his wife Karen from Vermont found a JUNONIA at Blind Pass- Shellzam!

Chris and Karen Vt visit Sanibel

Patti from NY was overjoyed to find her own big WHELK at lighthouse beach. Boom- Shellalaka!

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Then I saw her one hour later and… she found another one. haha Ooo Shell-la-la!

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You can see Clark in the background scooping up shells I showed you earlier this week while families all around him found their own amazing treasures.

Sanibel shelling after a storm

Rudy from MN was finding WHELKS too- he was around the same spot as Clark and there were plenty to go around for everybody. Happiness.

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This says it all! The day was so spectacsheller, Kathy was doing the happy dance and shouting to the palm tree tops. Isn’t she the cutest thing?

Kathy happy dance finding seashells

But hold on… I never even got to show you the crazy FOSSIL SHELLS that local shellers Pam and Cheryl found near the Sanibel fishing pier…

Pam Cheryl Sanibel fossils

Seriously, isn’t this crazy?

fossil shells on Sanibel

Shelling sisters Andrean and Karen from OK had the same instincts I did throughout the week because I ran in to them at just about every stop- they hit the same beaches at the same time. We should have just car pooled together hahaha. They even found the “FOSSIL PIT”.

Andrean Karen OK visit FL sisters

The last time this road got washed away by a storm, the City Of Sanibel brought loads of dirt with shells mixed in from the FOSSIL pits in Florida so thats why these unbelievable shells rolled out. That OLIVE in Andrean’s hand was still shiny- Wow. And… the shell just to the right of it I believe is a Mitra lineolata which was a common shell 5 million years ago but is now extinct. Cheryl had one in her hand in the other photo too. Blows the mind, right?

fossil shells Sanibel island florida

I hope to do a whole post just on FOSSIL shells you can find around the islands (to see a previous post on FOSSILS CLICK HERE ) but I still have much to catch up on (it was a busy week…. my birthday week- heehee). We also had an awesome time on our iLoveShelling Adventure yesterday so I’ll show you what we found there on my next post.

I know lots of you up north are dealing with some terrible weather and preparing for scary storms this weekend so we are sending love and warm wishes to you. Please be safe!

Oh and PS- The BROWN PELICAN we took to CROW (on my last post CLICK HERE) is still being cared for at the clinic. He still has a splint on his fractured right leg but they say he is making a nice recovery. Yahoo!

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