Archive for Pear Whelk
These shells are the cream of the crop! This is any shellers dream to find a handful of shells like this. I’m talking… not just a TULIP… but a gorgeous nice size red TRUE TULIP. And not just a FLORIDA CONE, but a deep orange FLORIDA CONE with a purple tip. That PEAR WHELK is so yellow! And that size HORSE CONCH? Not so easy to find. And as you can see, I could go on. I just can’t believe I haven’t spent more time at Tarpon Beach (at the end of Tarpon Bay Rd on the Gulf side). It’s been a gold mine the last few weeks! Laura and Ken from CT were shelling with their family Jaime and Matthew who live in Fort Myers hit the right spot…
Matthew told me the whole family has been shelling for over 20 years on Sanibel so they know what to look for and knew they had some top shelf shells.
And they love to search the water!
The water wasn’t the only place there were shells. The WENTLETRAPS are there as well. You can see this one trying to hide in the sand…. sorry buddy! I see you!
I was so surprised to find a BABY’S EAR too…
Clark and I also hit Sanibel’s Blind Pass this weekend too. There are lots of shells still on the canal side of the pass under the bridge.
That’s where we met Jude from NY decked out in her skin suit to cover up from the harmful rays of the sun. Hey Judy, that’s pretty smart! (I couldnt resist)
She was thrilled with her finds! She found everything from WORM ROCK to a DOUBLE ALTERNATE TELLIN to a COCKLE full of minis…
Right under the bridge, Janet from Sanibel (too shy for me to take her picture!) found this awesome FLAT SCALLOP.
Clark and I found a few goodies this weekend that we’ve never found before! I get so excited to find something new! I hate to be a little bit of a tease but I have to get some good pictures of them then I’ll show you our finds tomorrow. Okay, okay…. I’ll give you a hint on our finds. The one I found is a shell that’s a little rounded on the TOP. The one Clark found isn’t a shell but it protects a MOLLUSK but not SHARKS.
Happy. That’s what this photo of a mom (Margaret) and daughter (Katy) from Chicago says “Happy”. I peaked into Kay’s shell bag and knew why she had such a happy face. Who wouldnt be happy filling a mesh bag full of seashell treasures like these…
She found this awesome ALPHABET CONE…
Her mom Margaret found great treasures too and pulled out these two ALPHIES and a TULIP…
Katy and Margaret collected their seashells this morning at Captiva’s Blind Pass but yesterday I saw Bridget and Brendan from New Hampshire on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass with the same happy faces.
They were exhilarated by finding gobs of shells like these FIGHTING CONCHS…
While I was in the parking lot at Blind Pass Sanibel, I ran into Jean from Iowa who found an extremely large PEAR WHELK (no, not in the parking lot, silly)…
I mean, this is a gargantuan PEAR WHELK!!!
Earlier in the week on the east end of Sanibel, I showed you all of the weird BEACH BLING that was washing up on the beach. Now the BLING (and Red Tide) is moving out with some north/northwest winds and those winds are bringing in some nice big shells.
My faves (and Clark’s) this weekend have been the multicolored SCALLOP shells. They are amazing! I relate it to the same experience as seeing a DOLPHIN… I will never get tired of spotting a DOLPHIN no matter how many times in the week I see them. Its the same with SCALLOPS. I will never get tired of spotting a beautifully colored SCALLOP and being amazed by so many different patterns. They are both magical.
I love to travel… but more than anything, I love to come home to my beautiful island of Sanibel. Sanibel is like getting to finally sleeping in your own bed or taking your first good breathe of fresh air.
Yep. Super Sheller Clark found this beautiful ALPHABET CONE last night at the Lighthouse beach. We just couldn’t wait any longer to see our own contented beach. Clark was looking at this CONE like it was a long lost friend.
I was enjoying all the signs of a beautiful life on our islands. I picked up this gorgeous KINGS CROWN (above) then realized it was full of life and health so I was happy I scooped up so much sand with “him”. He went right on his merry way when I put him gently back where I found him. The Gulf of Mexico was so full of life! I found a live SHARK’S EYE too…
There were lots of live PEAR WHELKS too…
And live KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS. Did you notice I put the whole common name of this SAND DOLLAR? Sine we found those cutie tiny SAND DOLLARS in Thailand, I’ve been trying to figure out what type they are… when I realized that I’ve never said which ones ours are that we find here in SouthWest Florida. KEY HOLE SAND DOLLARS!
And live LIGHTNING WHELKS…
In the next photo of this same LIGHTNING WHELK, I wanted show you how much lighter the other side was but do you see that little string on my left hand ? While on our trip to Thailand, we were blessed by a Monk who wrapped this string with a knot around our wrists. I was told it was called a “spiritual line” and we are to wear it until it falls off and not to cut it off. It is for good luck, good health and to remind us every day that today is special so live it that way. I immediately thought of those strings I used to tie around my finger to remind me to do something. So every day now when I look at this string on my wrist I am reminded that today is a gift.
PS- I’ll show lots of more photos of Thailand soon!
Ahhhhh Freak Out! Le Freak. C’est Chic. Freak Out! … Remember that song? Wouldn’t you freak if you found this FREAK LIGHTNING WHELK?
Martine (from my last post) introduced me to her Periwinkle Park neighbors Ron and Lucienne because they too love to shell. As soon as I saw their picnic table loaded with shells, I spotted this LIGHTNING WHELK. I freaked out when I saw the curly tail on this guy!
What’s a FREAK shell? As I understand it, it’s a shell with an abnormal structure, albinism, dwarf, giant or some sort of growth defect or maybe even a strange color pattern. This is Lucienne proudly displaying her FREAK WHELK…
After I calmed down about the curly tailed freak, I spotted something else. Another freakin’ FREAK?
Looks like a PEAR WHELK, right? I know, but I don’t think it is (although I could be wrong). I guess it could be a left handed PEAR WHELK with a strange apex but I what ever it is, it’s a FREAK! In my humble opinion, I think it’s a LIGHTNING WHELK that is a “Knobless Wonder” in a WHELK version instead of a HORSE CONCH. Look! It doesn’t have the spines that LIGHTNING WHELKS normally have. Believe it or not, they had two of these they found the same day.
Lucienne’s husband Ron was especially proud of this huge, beautiful KING’S CROWN he found as well. Wow! gorgeous…
Even this one looks like it is a little unusual (not to mention the size of it!) because of a second row of spines…
I wouldn’t consider this one to be a FREAK but this LIGHTNING WHELK had a slight bend to the base (or what I like to call the “tail”). And look at the color on this baby- fabulous!
Look at all these beauties!
I asked Ron and Lucienne where they find their best shells. They told me they love to shell in the bays around Sanibel in their homemade kayaks. Yes, you heard that right. They made both of these beautiful kayaks!
Thank you for sharing your treasures, Ron and Lucienne. I had an incredible time drooling over your incredible shell collection… especially those FREAKS! I’m still freaked! It’s hard to say what causes mollusks to have abnormal growth patterns like “Curly Tail” but there could be many reasons including lack of food, healing after damage by predators, water quality (red tide maybe!) or who knows…. it could be just in the DNA. Whatever it is, i LOVE FREAK SHELLS!
It was a super weekend with a “super moon”, super sunrise, super shelling, super dolphins and super sunsets. I am still over the moon (heehee) after seeing that dolphin rushing towards me yesterday morning at sunrise so I’ve added that video again at the end of this post. Hope you don’t mind.
The full moon was setting over Sanibel leaving a low tide and live shells exposed on the beach. I always love to see live shells at low tide and especially when they are healthy and happy eating a scrumptious meal (sorry Mr Fighting Conch).
I was so amazed at how black this WHELK was devouring the other shell . It looked like a tar blob oozing out of his shell. Okay, let me make sure you know….this is not tar…this is a MOLLUSK!
Look how cute this live PEAR WHELK is! He’s doing a great job of making his way to deeper water.
Diana got out on the beach at 5:30 with a flashlight to take advantage of the full moon low tide yesterday morning. Notice the moon setting behind her right next to her ear…. I think she is listening to what the moon has to say. She found lots of FIGHTING CONCHS, a gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUS, BANDED TULIPS and lots of other shells.
Right after I took this picture and admired the moon again, I turned around to ogle at the sunrise view again and that’s when we both saw the dolphin splashing in what looked like golden water. I lost track of exactly where I was since I followed them along the beach a little ways but it was somewhere between Holiday Inn and Sundial.
It’s so much fun to see Dolphin so close to the beach whether they are feeding or playing. They corral the little fish up to the beach so they can easily pick out the ones that want to enjoy for breakfast. I happen to think they have a great time putting on a show as well.
Since there were two low tides yesterday, I went back to the beach in the evening….
Todd (PA) was searching for shells in the low tide surf while his girlfriend Courtney was on the beach finding goodies.
She found a beautifully colored PEAR WHELK, CANDY (JUVENILE HORSE CONCH), TURKEY WING, LIGHTNING WHELK, NUTMEG, BANDED TULIP and a little tiny OLIVE.
So along with all of the other super-ness of the weekend, you can see I met some super shellers.
I don’t see LONG SPINED URCHINS often but it seems they get washed up after a good wind blow. We had 20 mph north west winds yesterday so I saw lots of shells and live creatures washed up on the beach at Blind Pass this morning. This guy was still alive as well as lots of FIGHTING CONCHS and other shells so we put them back into the gulf for hopes of survival and more breeding.
These ALPHABET CONES were not alive and they were just a few good shell finds Don from Vermont. He was out on the sand bar on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass before sunrise with a head lamp. Here’s a shot of his other shells he found this morning ….
Yes, that’s a gorgeous TRUE TULIP on the right. You can see how deep the water was crossing over to the sand bar by looking at Don’s shirt below… if you can take your eyes off that beautiful red TULIP he’s holding.
So to recap, Don got to Blind Pass at the crack of dawn, worked really hard to find all these beach treasures, practically had to swim back to get to the main beach…. then ends up giving most of his shells away to a couple he just met on the beach. He even made sure they knew all the correct shell names. What a nice guy!
Look at all of these treasure Don gave Sara and Bob. So sweet.
I walked over the bridge to the Captiva side of the pass and met Shanti and Barry that were visiting from the east coast of Florida for the weekend to do some shelling.
They told me they didn’t know what a WENTLETRAP was before they found… us! They are blog buddies (!) so they wanted to see what Blind Pass had in store after the north west winds. They also told me they had to run down to the lighthouse to see if they could find some of those WENTLETRAPS we talk about. I’m sure you’ll have good luck since you’ve already had a good start with this bucket of goodies.
I met another sheller who was mostly collecting KITTEN’S PAWS.
Tamara is a preschool music teacher who was collecting KITTEN’S PAWS to give to her students with an added pearl inside and a note saying “You are precious”. Really, I don’t make this stuff up. These people I meet are genuinely this nice and it gives me so much pleasure to spread the word that shelling attracts these amazing people.
These are a few FIGHTING CONCHS and other shells we found this morning.
After listening to one of the 6th graders at the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show last week in my video, I saw this LIGHTNING WHELK and immediately assumed this was a female since the color is getting a little lighter. Hmmm. Ya think?
I always love to see PEAR WHELKS! They just seem special to me.
For those of you who like to keep up with the changes at Blind Pass, I made a little video today. You can see the differences with the tide change and of course, the changes that occur everyday with the sand shifting by the wind and current.