Archive for Lightning Whelk
Shellzam! Super Sheller Clark found an incredishell 11 inch LIGHTNING WHELK this weekend.
All along the Sanibel shoreline from Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach, there were strings of shells lining the beach just waiting to be picked through. Looking at this next photo, Clark found his WHELK around the furthest point in the background while in knee deep water… half buried in the sand. He said he only saw 1/4 of it. Oh yaya!
I could tell there had already been lots of people that had picked through this pile (but they missed so many!).
These were just some of the shells from this pile and along the shoreline…
These are a few of their faves… CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, OLIVES, MUREXES and SCALLOP shells.
Kathy and Angie visiting from PA were just as happy too..
These are my favorite kind of evenings… beach combing at sunset.
Espeshelly when when we get to bring home one of these big bad trophies- way to go Clark! Boom Shellalaka!
As we celebrate new days watching the sun rise over the horizon at low tide in the new year on Sanibel…
We also shellebrate the gifts of the sea…
We also celebrate the gift of witnessing living creatures exposing themselves for just a short time as the water recedes.
With most animals, we are easily able to see if they are alive, healthy and breathing but with creatures of the sea that have washed ashore, it’s a little bit more difficult. We (shellers) take the time to to look for signs of life with respect. As soon as I saw this shell was occupied by noticing the body and OPERCULUM of the “snail” still intact, I gently placed it back in the water covered with sand making sure the opening faced down into to sand.
Even for some shellers, it’s hard to tell if a SAND DOLLAR is dead or alive so the best thing to do first is… slow down. Take a few minutes to look for any cilia which looks like fur or looks a little fuzzy in the edges. Any time a SAND DOLLAR is this color, assume that it is still alive… gently place it back in the water.
If a STARFISH is any where near the water or if the sand is still damp where you found it, always assume it is still alive too and let it be.
Shellers are very fortunate to have seen the miracles of Mother Nature as we comb the shorelines to discover the magic of the sea. We learn new lessons every day we walk the water’s edge. For most beach combers, we know the signs of life in sea creatures but inexperienced visitors may be overwhelmed with the beauty that surrounds them and not know to take the time to look for signs of life. Since I grew up on the water, I always assumed other folks knew shells, SAND DOLLARS and STARFISH live their lives close to shore but now I’ve learned that most people don’t know much about life in the ocean or gulf. First time visitors to the beach may have heard how amazing shell collecting is and unintentionally collect a live animal without knowing it. It’s an amazing experience to see the compassion on a new sheller’s face after learning they have collected a live animal then race it to the water where they found it to save its life. Most just don’t know… and are thankful to learn and appreciate the living ocean even more.
There have been so many live critters exposed during the morning’s low tide the last few days so with many newbies on the beaches, I’m sure I’ll get to see the amazement on someone’s face that just learned for the first time that shells, sand dollars and starfish are living beings and are still actually alive.
Come with me on a shelling trip! For upcoming dates … CLICK HERE
It’s gray today. The skies have been dark, cold and cloudy with drizzling light showers throughout the day. But there’s always something so good to find in a day like today in SW Florida … take for instance the spotting a few beautiful brown dots in the gray sand at Blind Pass this morning. Well, how about that- a beaming little fragment of JUNONIA sitting right in the middle of the new sand bar that formed again last week.
I found more sunshine to go along with that piece of polka dot shell. There was no thunder or lightning- thats so important so we could still be on the beach safely in the rain. Then… I found Ka’Sha, Stephanie, Aunt Andrea and E’Mia from Iowa laughing and cheering at every piece of shell they found on the BLIND PASS bar and in between rocks. They collected pieces of SAND DOLLARS, pieces of FIGHTING CONCHS, pieces of WHELKS and pieces of ARKS to put in their ziplock bags. It was their first time seeing shells wash up on the beach and they were enjoying every single minute- gray skies or not and broken shells or not. Happy.
After leaving Blind Pass, I headed to Gulfside City Park (I know, I know. I just can’t get enough of it these days!) to see the changes there since we’ve had a little cold front move through. Yes, there are a few new shells coming in with the tide but the best thing was to see the Iowan girls again. They were even more excited!
Combing the beach at the shoreline, there were a few nice treasures like this LETTERED OLIVE…
and this teeny tiny LIGHTNING WHELK.
Then I heard a scream… E’Mia found this big LIGHTNING WHELK completely empty. Awesome!
Since we have many shells still to be sorted in the Shellaboratory, I’ve been trying only to collect shells with different patterns, colors or sizes to take home from my beach walks. Today, I will have to find a place in my Shellaboratory for a juvie orange FIGHTING CONCH, a dark maroon spotted ROUGH SCALLOP and a dark striped juvie LIGHTNING WHELK. Ok, we probably have lots of similar ones to these…. but really- I’m trying my hardest to be selective. I want to leave more for YOU!
When I got home, I received a note from my shelling sistah CShells. She knew I couldn’t hit all the beaches this morning so she gave me an update on where she went and if there were any shell piles she saw (which she said “nothing major”). But she made me smile as she told me she saw a LOGGERHEAD TURTLE and a BALD EAGLE – “Some people would think it was a yucky day, but it’s amazing the wildlife you see when it’s raining. It’s a good day.” Yes, I agree. It’s always good to see the good through the gray.
Come shelling with me! Here are my next dates for my Shelling Adventures… CLICK HERE