Archive for Lightning Whelk
For 5 days now, the shelling in SouthWest Florida as been has been outrageous! It doesn’t get more outrageous that finding your very first JUNONIA after 20 years of searching… then 2 days later, finding JUNONIA #2! Jill from Miami was livin’ the good life this weekend finding those trophies plus two ALPHABET CONES to boot. Shellzam! Congratshellations, Jill- so happy for you!
But wait.. the outrageousness continued! Wouldn’t you love to find a huge empty HORSE CONCH like this with a bright orange interior?
Gail and Alicia not only found that one gorgeous shell, they found 3 more! … Plus a nice size LIGHTNING WHELK too. Over the long weekend, they were out every morning before sunrise and said there were hundreds of live HORSE CONCHS rolling in the surf on the beach near Island Inn but kept on looking to find ones that were empty.
So I’m sure you can image how happy they were to find those amazing large shells already…. then to find a SEAHORSE too? They found this guy in the afternoon just getting back out on the beach in the high tide wrack line. REally, after all of those trophy shells then a SEAHORSE….Outrageous! Congrats Gail and Alicia!
I found quite a variety on Island Inn beach as well but nothing compared to what they found of course…
I met Lea and her daughter Kristi from Omaha picking up the dried MILLIPEDE STARFISH in the high tide wrack line.
They asked me how to preserve these awesome SEASTARS so they can put them in shadowboxes when they get home. Honestly, I have never had luck with keeping them in tact because I guess I keep them outside or in my garage too long and the humidity gets to them so they break apart and start stinking -Ack! I’m doing something wrong so I never pick them up anymore- I don’t care how bone dry and perfect they are. But… My friend Moira makes beautiful shadowboxes with them as well as Kim who both live in Chicago- they have no problems so I hope they see this so they can explain in a comment how they get them home without breaking them and keeping them intact for a frame.
Fort Myers Beach at Point Estero was rocking with shells too! My friend Debbie’s dad Dennis from Kansas was in town for the holiday and they found lots of treasures…
Repeat… they found LOTS of treasures… LOL
Throughout the holiday weekend, I saw lots of shells at Lighthouse Beach, South Seas, Blind Pass, Island Inn, Point Estero…. and my last stop for the weekend shelling was Gulfside City Park this morning for low tide. I found such a variety of shells again including a perfect ALPHABET CONE along with the best SHARK’S EYE I’ve found in a while. But my real favorites where violet colored FIGHTING CONCHS which I don’t think I’ve ever found colors in FIGHTING CONCHS like these before. Weird, because I even found another purple one at Island Inn beach the other day. So unusual.
This morning Karen from Orlando area was happy with her finds too…
She found a perfect ANGEL WING and a few SAND DOLLARS…
And these are just a few that were in her bag. Awesome.
There where so many live creatures as well. It’s always fascinating to see these beautiful living animals in their natural habitat like this beautiful live LIGHTNING WHELK. Since this shell was occupied, I dug a hole for him to wait it out until the higher tide came back in so he could scoot along wherever it wished.
One more thing…. I have a new online Art Gallery!
Over the years, I have shared many, many photos of my shelling adventures and have learned that… just as I love to collect a beautiful shell, I love to capture a beautiful moment or my beautiful surrounds with my lens just as much. I never could find the means to offer them as quality, affordable art on canvas, prints, cards and more…. until now! So I started an online Art Gallery for my photographs. It’s just the beginning so I haven’t added all of the photos that you’ve asked for in the past but at least this is a start. I’m heartfelt that you’ve asked for them and I’m proud that now I can offer them. Please stop by, take a browse, say “hi” and if you like one enough to buy it, I would be incredibly honored.
This Thanksgiving holiday weekend has been such a Shellaganza in Southwest Florida, it’s been hard to choose which beach to shell first! But as you know by my last post, we chose to shell Blind Pass Captiva on Thursday and hit the mother load. I’m so happy we found soooo many good shells, but it’s not only that we found shells… I’m thrilled that everybody found amazing shells like this…
And I got to meet so many awesome shellers like Skip and Tina. Tina found the spectacsheller SCOTCH BONNET and Skip found the amazing ALPHABET CONE, FLAT SCALLOP and gorgeous TRUE TULIP. And those were just a few shells they found. Their bag (in the first photo) was filled to the brim with incredible shells. It was a pleasure to meet you both!
I also met Jessica, Lyle and Matthew from Virginia who now know how addicting shelling can be after finding so many shells like this in only a couple of hours. They didn’t know the names of many of the shells, so I peeked in their bags to tell them the names of most of the shells in their bags… LIGHTNING WHELKS, FIGHTING CONCHS, APPLE MUREXES, LETTERED OLIVES, BANDED TULIPS… But OMG, Wait!
Jessica found a CABRITS MUREX! Boom Shellalaka! It was mixed in with all of the other shells and had a small hole in it but I told her that was a pretty rare shell to find in our area. Very nice find!
James and his brother Jacob (from Chicago) are experienced shellers who named all of the shells they found – which BTW, was very impressive. It tickled me so much though when James snatched a perfect bright orange HORSE CONCH out of the water and shouted “Score!”. Yes you did, Jacob!
It was so much fun to see everybody finding such beautiful treasure. Local sheller Roma (who never lets me photograph her- silly girl ) never even got wet by the waves as she sat in the shell pile digging away. She found all of these shells in one small area…
As you saw in the video on Thanksgiving Day, Clark didn’t want to get wet since we had plans later in the day for our big meal but after finding these 2 ALPHABET CONES right next to each other coming in with surf… it was all over.
Super Sheller Clark was soaked by the time we got to our car.
Uuuuuhhhhh… and so was I.
A few minutes after Clark took that picture, I found a JUNONIA! Yes, it is a little beat up and cracked but I was very thrilled! I showed it on my last post but I love that photo so much, here it is again. These were the best of our finds on Thursday…
After shelling for countless hours Thanksgiving morning, we decided it was time to pack it up. While loading up the car with all of our loot, we met this sweetheart family Linda, Eliana and Nik from Pennsylvania ready to adventure out to find their own treasures. Prepared with shelling scoops, bags and a fantastic attitude I’m sure they found all of the shells they could hope for. So nice to meet y’all!
But that’s not all folks! I know this is a long post but I have so much to catch you up on since … really…. its been a Shellaganza. I have met so many nice folks while shelling and that was just on Thursday. I want you to meet more folks that I was shelling with yesterday (Friday) at Blind Pass (Turner Beach) it was a Sit N Sift kind of day…
The shells weren’t crashing up on the beach any more but they were buried in a mound of shells. These were all found sittin’ ‘n siftin’ by Jeff and Donna from Palm Beach Gardens….
Isn’t that amazing? Jeff and Donna were sitting right here to find a CARRIER SHELL, GAUDY NATICA, SHARKS EYES, ALPHABET CONES, FLORIDA CONES, FLATS, TULIPS… and on and on. Love it!
Shelling Sistah Connie Knight was deep into the shelling zone with her cute hat and tee on
It was so much fun to meet her shelling family on this big pile of gems… meet Zach, Lori and Nate with Connie all visiting from Iowa
I always love to see that rich chocolate color in the LACE MUREX Nate found along with his other favorite shells…
Local shellers Bob and Sue couldn’t resist sifting through the pile looking for a few unusual shells but I think were having more fun giving OLIVES to the other shellers. There were so many OLIVES!
I met sweet Patti Goodwin on last month’s iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa (“Woop!” heehee) but this time I got to meet her husband Curt too. They arrived when I was about to leave so I hope y’all found some good treasures.
I saw Becky and Wade again too. They had been at the Lighthouse Beach on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) and told me it was a great day shelling there too.
Wade found this Mega True Tulip at Lighthouse Beach! Woohoo! It was a fabulous day on all of the beaches of Southwest Florida!
Since returning from Cat Island, things have been a whirl wind… literally… with the wind whipping from the north bringing such exciting shelling days for us here at home. Then preparing for the big holiday, I haven’t been able to find one extra second to clean our Caribbean shells from our vacation or much less finish telling you all about it. I’m so sorry but when local shells arrive, I want you to know about it ASAP! So if you are anywhere near SW Florida and want to do a little shelling, most of the beaches have some great shells and some really interesting BEACH BLING to explore. Once I slow down and finish up local exploring (Island Inn beach has great shells too!) , I’ll share the rest of our adventure to the Bahamas so you will have more info on other shells from around the world.
Want to shell together? Join me on the next iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa Friday December 6, 2013 at 9am!
I hope your shell ‘o lantern is filled with goodies like this….
And of course a little candy corn…
It was a spectacsheller day of shelling on the Captiva Cruise’s iLoveShelling shell seeker boat adventure to the secluded island of Cayo Costa yesterday. There were so many different varieties of shells that were found on our treasure hunt but I was especially excited for Karen from Kentucky when she showed me this awwwesome SCOTCH BONNET she picked up. Boom Shellalaka!
I was so much fun to meet and shellebrate with Karen’s whole family Tim, Elizabeth, Jane, (Karen) and Lesley after having such great finds…
But hold on. Karen wasn’t the only one to find a SCOTCH BONNET. Oh yaya… Two SCOTCH BONNETS were found! Shellzam!
While on the boat ride back, we were showing off Karen’s SCOTCH BONNET when I saw Megan from Ohio holding the same shell in her hand too. OMG! We had to get these two gals and their shells together for a photo. Here are super shellers Karen and Megan!
I found out that Megan and her family were having a fun game going on for their vacation… The Shell-Oympics. Ha! They set rules and points for their shell finds to try to take the gold medal- so cute! But I think Megan just pulled ahead but they still have the rest of the week. Here are the other Shellympic athletes Gary and Amber with Megan. (So Sorry I didn’t get mom in the photo!)
That’s not all folks. Seconds of stepping off the boat (seriously, I’m talking seconds), Hunter from Georgia saw a small part of this LIGHTNING WHELK sticking out of the sand so he reached down to unbury this beauty. Way to go Hunter- I should call you ShellHunter instead of just Hunter! Now that’s what I call finding buried treasure.
Hunter’s brother Walker spotted this BABY’S EAR by walking around to the gulf side where the shell piles had formed around the tree roots. Hmmmm… I think I’m channeling my Cherokee in my blood… I really want to give him a name too. ShellWalker! (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) Way to go ShellWalker!
I was so happy to see Sheri Zipp and her daughter Samantha on the cruise with us too. They have been coming to Sanibel for years and I met Sheri almost 4 years ago when I first started this blog and she was one of the first people to ever comment. I’m forever grateful for all of your encouragement. …and… Nice WORMIE!
I was thrilled for Diane to find this gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK with such deep color.
The Millers from Michigan were finding gigantic SOUTHERN QUAHOGS (I wish I had gotten a close up of those QUAHOGS. They were ginormous!) and lots of OLIVES…
Sweet Teri traveled all the way from California to vacation on the gulf coast of Florida to find shells.
She was filling up two different bags of shell. Her first bag was for the larger shells like the GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLES and SOUTHERN QUAHOGS then the other bag was for the smaller shells like the JINGLES, SCALLOPS and those two fab WORM SHELLS shown here…
Ha! I met William and Sarah at the wooden bulkhead on Sanibel the other night and they showed up at the cruise too! They always have such great smiles and were tickled to find this nice size old HORSE CONCH … aka- a great yard yard shell. They said since the other side isn’t completely there, they will use it on their front porch or in the garden when they take it back to Kentucky.
Happy 40th Anniversary Wendell and Mary! Awwww. That goes to show you- couples that shell together, stay together. heehee. You are a beautiful couple and you both still look like kids!
Eddie Maguire and his wife Beth were on the cruise too. I met Eddie on the iLoveShelling facebook page as he always has such nice and positive comments so it’s finally nice to put a face with the name. So nice to meet you both! (Oh gosh Beth- I didn’t realize your eyes are closed but you are so cute even with your eyes closed, I didnt think you would mind.)
We all really had such a good time and it was a pleasure to hang out with so many awesome people who love to shell just as much as I do. It’s always such a bonus to be able to take shells home as memories of such a shelltastic day. Shells like this…
But leaving the beautiful living creatures like these CLOUDY PERIWINKLES where they belong on the beach and on the stumps exposed at low tide…
Thank you all for a special day filled with gifts from the sea and lots of new friends.
We have more dates planned for the iLoveShelling cruises but if you miss any of those dates, you can still hop on one of Captiva Cruises‘ other trips to Cayo Costa (or sunset cruises, or dolphIn watching cruise, or cruise to Useppa just CLICK HERE). For dates for the iLoveShelling cruises and events, CLICK HERE.
Most shellers could only dream of finding such a large perfectly toned LIGHTNING WHELK like this. But Clairissa from L.A. found TWO of them at Blind Pass Captiva! Boom Shellalaka!
I was absolutely thrilled for her and thrilled to find that there was a gorgeous shell pile that formed in the last 24 hours oN the beach by the jetty rocks. Shellalujah!
I saw her combing the water back and forth….back and forth. I asked her mom Nannette if she was finding anything out there and she said “Oh yeah…. Lots”.
As I looked in their bucket, they told me that the best ones were the big WHELKS they found in the rain storm late yesterday afternoon before the shell pile formed. Ooooo- I had to see them! Fortunately she still had them in her car. Yowza! Clairissa said she found them after hours of being out in the water in the rain. Persistence. She told me she actually found several of those large WHELKS ( i think she said 4) but gave 2 away to kids that were on the beach since she saved the 2 best ones for herself. She’s an amazing sheller and a saint. Congratshellations on your beautiful finds!
There were lots of other people finding shells too… including me.
My friend Susan sat right down in that big shell pile and started sifting…
Sitting in the one spot, she found 2 GAUDY NATICAS (COLORFUL MOON), CONCHS, WHELKS, OLIVES, MUREXES, SCALLOPS and one sweet HORSIE…
I’ve got lots more photos and a video too but had to get the news out…. shell pile at Blind Pass! We’ve had nice west winds for a few days with this rain storm and its supposed to continue for another day. Fingers crossed we have another few days of seashell heaven!
I am obsessed with shells. I love to hunt for shells, collect different species of shells, travel for shells, learn about shells and research shells. So I have been like a pit bull with a bone ever since Shellabaloo 3 when an unusual shell showed up at our Shell ‘N Tell.
Was is really a right-handed LIGHTNING WHELK? Or was it a KNOBBED WHELK (Busycon carica) just displaced????? LIGHTNING WHELKS are the only left handed shell in Florida so to find a right-handed would be so cool. I am so excitable when I see a “local” shell (Southwest Florida) I haven’t seen before so my mind starts racing. After I wrote the post Seashells And Beach Bling at Shellabaloo 3 Shell ‘N Tell, I just had to look into it further about that WHELK Gregg found. Something wasn’t sitting right with me. Somehting else looked a little different about that whelk other than just the opening…. was it really from this area? Hmmmm. Then I got an email from another Shellabalooer, Marie, who said after she was sorting through her shells when she got home, she realized she found one of those right-handed whelks too. What??? What are the odds???
OMG. It was sitting on her tray at the Shell ‘N Tell and I didn’t even see it! Here’s the photo I put on the blog post. Can you see it now? LOL
So I started racing through my shell collection of LIGHTNING WHELKS. Have I found a RIGHT-HANDED LIGHTNING WHELK before and just didn’t realize it?
Well, No. I didn’t find one in our collection. Dang it!
While we visited the Baily-Matthews Shell Museum, Dr. Leal said something like “one in 10,000 LIGHTNING WHELKS are right-handed” … or something like that. Sorry if I got that number wrong but all I know is that he said it was a very rare find. So then…
While I was visiting my mom and family in Virginia Beach earlier this month, I helped my mom organize some her shells from her closet she had stacked up in shoe boxes. Aha! This looks like Gregg’s right-handed shell. These were a few shells that were collected years ago from the Outer Banks of North Carolina (or they could have been found after a Nor-Easter on Virginia Beach- we cant recall) that looked just like his shell. They are KNOBBED WHELKS !!
Now that I had one in my hand, I knew that this was the same shell that Gregg and Marie found here on our beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. So they didn’t find rare right handed LIGHTNING WHELKS after all, they found KNOBBED WHELKS like these.
After getting back home (with a few of my mom’s shells- heehee), I lined up all of the WHELKS. Now you can see the differences of all of the WHELKS too. Unfortunately, I don’t have a right-handed LIGHTNING WHELK to put in the line-up but you can see the rest of them.
From left to right- LIGHTNING WHELK (Sanibel), PEAR WHELK (Sanibel), KNOBBED WHELK (Outer Banks, North Carolina – OBX), CHANNELED WHELK (OBX).
You can see by the shape of the spire, and the “tail” the differences are from the LIGHTNING WHELK (left) and KNOBBED WHELK (right)
This view gives you lots of differences…especially since the LIGHTNING’s aperture opens on the left.
Since the CHANNELED WHELK (left) and PEAR WHELK (right) look so similar, I thought I’d show the different views here as well…
Remember, we don’t have CHANNELED WHELKS (Busycon canaliculatum) here on the southwest coast of Florida either but we do have the PEAR WHELKS.
This is what Dr Leal and I concluded from the mystery of these found KNOBBED WHELKS (not right handed lightning whelks) on Sanibel/Captiva. People return shells to the sea- no matter where they found them. I have heard countless times (really, I hear this sooooo often!) that people will find a box of shells they collected from various places over the years but they want to get rid of them. They decide to take them back to the beach that is convenient. OR… they buy shells to scatter on the beach for a party, wedding or so their kids will have different shells to find. Then they leave them and the high tide takes them away and the end up washing back in like they were from the gulf. It happens. That’s why people find so many “foreign” shells here on Sanibel. So for our group to find TWO right handed lightning whelks in one week, errrrr….. even though we find the BEST beaches for our Shellabaloo shellers while they are here …. I think we found somebody’s old shells they collected from the Atlantic Ocean that they scattered on Sanibel.
So know we know the differences between a LIGHTNING, PEAR, KNOBBED and CHANNELED WHELK!
Join us for the next Shellabaloo January 6-9, 2014 or some of our other shelling adventures by