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

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

seashells on cayo costa island-1

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

large huge pear whelk-1

The colors of this LIGHTNING WHELK are stunning.

male lightning whelk-1

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.

flat scallop beach combing-1

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

shelling cruise prize finds-1

We also shellebrated birthdays. Happy Beach Birthday!

beach combers cayo costa-1

Every day is a shellebration to be on the beach.

shelling family cay costa-1

With beautiful seashells and beautiful shellers.

family shellers captiva -1

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.

Sherri Bode with seashells-1

seashells of south west florida-1

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!

cutie katie cayo costa-1

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.

coquina semele tagulas beach combing-1

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?  

dolphin smiling captiva florida-1

Sealife By Congress Jewelers


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A Sea Star… Make a Wish!

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Pear Whelk, Sea Life, Starfish | 7 comments

live starfish sanibel-1

You get that magical feeling when you see a STAR wash up on the beach next to your toes, don’t you? We always feel so lucky to be able to touch them, to pick them up and to return them safely to the sea … never feeling afraid they will bite like so many other sea creatures. They seem happy, peaceful and a little whimsical for some reason so we always feel a little giddy to catch a glimpse of them. So since they seem so magical, I’m gonna make a wish whenever we see a SEA STAR from now on.

sea star and seashells-1

All along the east end of Sanibel this morning, we saw lots of other healthy live creatures as well… like this beautiful PEAR WHELK.

live pear whelk mollusk-1

Earlier this week at Blind Pass Sanibel, I found a few strings of shells lining the beach…

seashells in the gulf

I found a few hidden treasures tucked in between the loads of ARK shells…

shells in the sand

I found a few other treasures too…

beach combers on Sanibel in winter-1

Sue and Molly from Indiana were so much fun to talk to and happy as clams to be stooping for shells in the cooler weather.

Sue and Molly Indiana shelling Sanibel

Sue’s fave find was a beautiful GAUDY NATICA, while Molly was thrilled she found a little MOON shell too… a juvie SHARKS EYE and a verrrrrry cool BRYOZOAN COLONY that looks like a cross between a SPONGE and CORAL.

bryozoa with gaudy natica moon-1

I also met other shellers traveling from Indiana to Sanibel…. Debbra and Steven.

Debbra and Steven

We found lots of little mini shells along the beach at the water’s edge and some nice LETTERED OLIVES as we waded in the water shin deep.

hand of miniature shells

My fave finds today? Seeing the live creatures were a highlight of the day and I found many cutie colorful SCALLOP SHELLS (and a sweet double SUNRAY VENUS) to make me even happier.

strength in scallop shells

Join me on an iLoveShelling Beach Combing Adventure… CLICK HERE for more info



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Walking The Beach Warms The Soul

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Pear Whelk, Sanibel Lighthouse Seashell Video, Starfish, Sunsets, Video, Whelk | 27 comments

Seastar starfish waiting to be swept away by the ocean

Even though we aren’t wearing our usual tee shirts and shorts here on Sanibel Island because of this cold 40 degree weather, walking the beach warms the soul.

Island Inn Sanibel cottage paradise

“Espeshelly” since cold weather brings shells!

seashells in a shell pile

Sanibel Lighthouse beach has load of shells washing up about a half a mile west of the Lighthouse.

hundreds of conch on sanibel

There were lots of live CONCHS… and lots of empty ones too but my fave was this empty sweet striped PEAR WHELK.

collecting pear whelk seashells


pear whelk shell in the sand

There were shells starting to come in at Island Inn Sanibel too (my second picture from the top)

shells in the sand with ocean wave

There were also shells starting to come in at Blind Pass too (CLICK HERE for map)

sunray venus shell on sanibel beach

shells at blind pass sanibel

Were you hoping for a video to warm you up? You Got It! I walked down the beach on the gulf side of the Sanibel Lighthouse….ummmm… maybe about 1/2 mile west or so. I mostly found empty minis (like the 3rd photo) in the washed up shell lines and live FIGHTING CONCHS and STARFISH (like the first photo) in the water near the Lighthouse but when I walked further down the beach I found this… 

One more photo to sooth the soul… The evening warmth of shelling at Blind Pass at sunset last night.

Sunset at Blind Pass Captiva Turner Beach

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Sanibel Seashell Babies

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Egg Casing, Horse Conch, Horse Conch Egg case, Horse Conch Egg Casing, Lightning Whelk, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Paper Fig, Paper Fig Egg Case, Paper Fig Shell Egg Case, Pear Whelk, Pear Whelk Egg Case, Pear Whelk Egg Chain, Whelk | 18 comments

Lighting whelk egg chain on sanibel beach

On my beach walk at the Lighthouse Beach today, I saw many different lines of shells and oodles of Beach Bling in lots of different wrack lines to sift through. About half a mile away from the lighthouse on the gulf side, I found lots of fun minis in the high dried tidal pool areas (on the right of the next photo)…

lighthouse beach low tide

Yes, I love to show photos of minis… But… if you know me…. I love me some BEACH BLING! I was enamored with  all of the different egg casings for the different shells lined up along the shore

seashells and beach bling egg cases

LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAINS were everywhere. Female WHELKS produce these long EGG CHAINS which can get up to 33 inches long. There can be up to 145 capsules in each strand and each capsule contains around 45 eggs. That’s alot of babies, right? But that’s life in the wild- only the strong survive. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing

lightning whelk egg case chain

PEAR WHELK EGG CHAINS were a little bit harder to find but I saw about 6 of them.

pear whelk egg chain casing

What’s the difference between the LIGHTNING WHELK and the PEAR WHELK? Aha! Now you can see for yourself how much smaller and shorter the PEAR chain on the left is compared to the larger LIGHTNING WHELK on the right.

compare pear lightning whelk egg case chains

PAPER FIG EGG CASES (or the PAPER FIGS themselves) are never that easy to find but I did see about 3 different ones. They never get to be long chains like the WHELKS but instead they look like little corn cobs that are glued together at the sides.

paper fig egg case

I saw dozens of HORSE CONCH EGG CLUSTERS today too. Most all of the cases I saw washed up on the beach were empty inside each capsule. In each of the photos, I removed one of the capsules of the egg clusters so you could see what shape each of the capsules looked like.

horse conch egg casing

Here is a HORSE CONCH EGG CASING, PEAR WHELK EGG CHAIN and a LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN all together on the beach. I saw other casings but I’ll have to save those for another day…. because….

mollusk egg casings found on sanibel island florida

Want to walk the beach with me to see what it looked like when I found all of these EGG CASINGS? I made a video! I’ve gotten some requests lately from peeps up north “jonesin”  for my beach videos. LOL Love it! I don’t want to let you down! Enjoy!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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On the Beach With Shell Eggs And Ham, Pam-I-Am

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014 in Banded Tulip Egg Case, Disk Dosinia, Egg Casing, Elegant Dosinia, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Long-Spined Urchin, Millipede Starfish, Paper Fig Egg Case, Pear Whelk Egg Case, Pig's Foot, Sea Pork, True Tulip Egg Case, Tulip Egg Case, whelk egg casing | 29 comments

crab trap and buoy on sanibel beach

After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.

sanibel beach after storm winds

The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.

crab traps wash up n sanibel beach

So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.

pig hog foot on sanibel beach

But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?

pen shell and yellow sea pork

I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…

lightning whelk egg chain gscp sanibel

I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?

baby lightning whelks in egg chain

This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…

paper fig egg case on pen shell


banded tulip egg case on penn shell

This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…

true tulip egg case sanibel florida

When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.

true tulip egg case with other mollusk eggs

There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…

millipede starfish and pen shell

This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…

long spined sea urchin sanibel florida

There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.

disk dosing top elegant dosing bottom

We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.

The birds do like stone crab and clams.

gull eating crab

They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.

bird eating stone crab sanibel

They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.

bird on beach with crab

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Breakfast of Shelling Champions

Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Apple, Banded tulip, Horse Conch, low tide, Murex, Nutmeg, Pear Whelk, Shark's Eye, Tulip, Whelk | 14 comments

banded tulip sanibel sunrise october

I may not be a champion but I like my weekend breakfast to be garnished with TULIPS while I fill up on PEARS….

pear whelk at low tide sanibel florida

Quite a few PEAR WHELKS …

pear whelk with purple sun rise

With a little NUTMEG…

nutmeg in sunrise sanibel

This weekend’s low tides were in the early morning so it was such a treat to see the sunrise… and to collect the shells from the shallow tidal pools.

But I started the weekend running into an awesome family at Blind Pass Captiva around sunset as they were just packing up all the shells they found after snorkeling. Paul, Darren, Gabe, Kyle, Emily, Ellie from Naples are all like shelling encyclopedias. They knew the names of all of their shells and little tid bits about them too. Hmmmm… “Enshellopedias”! Ha! They were so much fun to talk to…

shelling family vacation sanibel captiva florida

They found lots of CONCHS, WHELKS, TULIPS, COCKLES, OLIVES  and all sorts of treasures. You know I love to peek at other people’s shells so I was thrilled to take a look into Paul’s green shell bag. Wanna see too? Ha! I knew it! Here you go… Fun!

shell bag sanibel captiva florida blind pass

The next morning at the Lighthouse Beach, I met Charity holding a double ATLANTIC GIANT COCKLE she was holding like a treasure box. It was a treasure box! She had filled the COCKLE with all of her other tiny treasures she found at low tide.

charity with sea shells sanibel

I met the rest of her family… Janssen, Lynn Ann and Joann visiting Sanibel from the Tampa area…

janssen LynnAnn charity Joanne

Lynn Ann told me that they found all of these shell like the fab SHARKS EYE, HORSE CONCH and APPLE MUREXES (and the SEA BEAN) at the tip of the island in front of the lighthouse.

sanibel shells found in october

At low tide, it’s always glorious to see and touch live MOLLUSKS… especially this live 14 inch HORSE CONCH. No worries- this creature was very happy to be put back into the water where it could keep healthy and hopefully have lots of babies.

live horse conch sanibel beach


I’ve never been much of a morning person (I know. Sounds crazy for an obsessed sheller like me to say that but it’s just the truth)… so I hope this next season I learn to enjoy mornings like I did this weekend. I meet people like Angela from the Outer Banks of North Carolina who was too shy for me to take her picture but made a big impression on me. It was a pleasure to talk with you Angela!

shells found on sanibel florida

But now that I think about it, I doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I always find shells and I always meet awesome people shellers. I meet them finding shells at breakfast time , lunch time , afternoon snack time, dinner and evening snack time. It really doesnt matter! Errrr. I might sleep in tomorrow morning. heehee

sanibel stoop in aqua

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