Sanibel Sea Beans

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Sea Pearls in scallop

Sea Pearls in scallop

Have you ever found a SEA BEAN? Well, they really aren’t “beans” but are seeds of plants from around the world that get carried into rivers then to oceans then wash up on beaches. There are almost one hundred different types of SEA BEANS but the kind we find on Sanibel are called SEA PEARLS.

Sea Beans in Scallop

Sea Beans in Scallop close up

I first heard about SEA BEANS last year after seeing a collection by our beach combing friends Mary and Dick.

Sea Beans Sanibel Island

Sea Bean Collection by Mary and Dick

Sea Beans drift onto beaches around the world, particularly after higher than normal tides with sea weed and drift wood just like I found this one pictured below. So if I don’t find many shells (like today) I always have sea beans to look for.

Sea bean on the beach

Sea Bean on the beach

Today I found this one and a few others at the Lighthouse beach….. and guess who Clark and I ran into…CShells!

Shellers at lighthouse CShells

CShells and Richard enjoying their scoops

Just a reminder to come see me at the Captiva Holiday Village Dec 4, 10, 11 and 12! CLICK HERE for details.Captiva Holiday Village

Categories : Sea Bean, Sea Pearl
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Angels On The Gulf Coast

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Angel wing shells drb

Angel wing shells by Dovie Belmont

ANGEL WING shells are very special. If you’ve ever found one, then you know what I mean. They are pure white and so beautifully detailed to a degree that is astonishingly close to what we’ve imagined all our lives to be the wings of Angels. Yet they are so delicate we hardly ever see one completely intact.

Angel Wing seashell pairs

False Angel wing pairs by Dovie Belmont

This is why I was blown away when not just one blog buddy found lots of ANGEL WINGS completely in tact… but three! And 2 out of the 3 found most of them still together! Can you believe that? Both sides!

Angel wings sea shells drb

False Angel wings sea shells by Dovie Belmont

Lucky Girl Dovie found all of these FALSE ANGEL WINGS at Salina’s Beach on the Pan Handle of Florida.

She said  “… these are the tiny Angel wings that we found all over the beach at Salinas Park…there are Angel wings, Campeche Angel wings, Fallen Angel wings, and False Angel wings. We had to be very careful because they are so fragile.”

Angel wing seashells cb

Angel wing seashells and other beach treasures by Cheri

I saw this picture (above) from Cheri and knew you would enjoy this too. She found these two large Angel Wings on Sanibel but I don’t know what beach. I am so curious, please let us know. Look at all those other fantabulous seashells too!

Angel wing seashell dig mk

Angel wing seashell dig found by MurexKen and MurexAlice

Okay, this is what topped the whole Angel Wing week. This picture (above) is what an Angel Wing around 7 inches long (maybe 8- I forgot to measure since I was so overwhelmed) looks like when it is dug out of the muck in the low tide flats on the bay side of Sanibel. It is still perfectly intact and filled with mud and sand since the mollusk wasn’t in there any more. This is CRRR-AAAAZY. Guess who found it. MurexKen and MurexAlice.

Angel wing shells mucky mk

Angel wing shells found by MurexKen and MurexAlice

You see, that wasn’t the only one they found. If I remember correctly, they found around 30 whole ones still attached together filled with nothing but sand and silt from the bay side of Blind Pass at a low tide of minus .50 feet. They rented a canoe from Castaways and paddled to the sand bars that are rarely exposed.

Angel Wing shell pair

Angel Wing shell pair

I know they are very experienced shellers and have found lots of amazing shells but I think this will be an unforgettable memory. Angel Wings are special shells and it’s like there was a shelling Angel spreading her wings all along the gulf coast.

Speaking of special, a friend shared this beautiful poem that explains in such lovely words how we feel. Especially after seeing so many wings of Angels today.


I love a beach where seabirds cry,
Where the shining water meets the sky.
Where one can look for shells and things,
And gather the gifts that each tide brings.

I like to walk upon the sand,
Between the ocean and the land.
To breathe the wonderful salty air,
And feel the breeze blow through my hair.

I enjoy the pleasure these things bring,
They calm my mind and make my heart sing.
And even when I can’t be there,
I always remember what the beach had to share.

And if you happen to see a shell,
I hope this thought you’ll remember well.
As I have prized each beautiful treasure,
So I value my family and friends in even greater measure.

And when the times comes I’m no longer here,
Do not think I have left you, never fear.
Just picture me happy on some distant shore
Picking up lovely things just as before.

For I will not have died, nor will I sleep;
I will see you again, so please do not weep,
I’ll just continue happy in His peace and care
Until the time comes when you join me there.

-Betty Jean Piech

Angel Wings by MurexKen

Cleaned Angel Wings by MurexKen

Categories : Angel Wing
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Captiva Holiday Village

It is getting VERY exciting on Captiva Island! Every day I hear about something even more spectacular happening for the CAPTIVA HOLIDAY VILLAGE festivities in December 2010. Haven’t heard about it yet? That’s because this is the very first year and the buzz is Big! I’m talking… every inch of the streets from ‘Tween Waters Inn to The Mucky Duck to South Seas Island Resort will be decorated to the nines with lights and attractions. But Wait! AND there will be a golf cart parade, boat parade, fire dancers on the beach, a holiday Marketplace, seafood festival, pub crawl and lots of live music and parties.

olive Christmas shell

“Olive want for Christmas is my feet on the beach” art by pam

Hang on…. if you like that, this is the best news! will be participating in all of the fun!! Want to know why I was collecting all of those COCKLE shells on my post The Cockle Collection yesterday?Clark and I will have a decked out Christmas golf cart for the parade decorated with shells (of course) and handing out seashells to the crowd as we ride through on Saturday December 4th. We’ll have a table for Luminary Night giving out more shells and my homemade SAND DOLLAR cookies close to the The Mucky Duck on Saturday night December 4th. We’ll also have a tent at the Holiday Marketplace selling our brand new iLoveShelling tee shirts, caps, tote bags, shelling gear and more on December  10th, 11th and 12th! I’ve had many people ask me if I wear something to identify myself on the beach…. so now I will … and you will too! It’s so exciting!

Christmas shells for Captiva Holiday Village

Christmas shells for Captiva Holiday Village

These are just some of the shells that I am going to be giving away throughout this “extravaganza”. Now you know why I need LOTS of shells and can’t have the ones that break easily (like the SEA URCHINS that I passed up yesterday). Yes, I have my WORMIES in the mix too. I won’t be throwing them out of our cart in the parade but I will have some at my booth at the Holiday Marketplace for you special people out there that are as crazy about them as I am.

cone christmas shell

“Oh Cone all Ye Faithful” art by pam rambo

Okay, ya’ll- If you are thinking about joining us in any or all of the Holiday festivities, I have the inside scoop on places to stay.

If you want me to help you find a room for a week or weekend, just CONTACT ME HERE and I’ll help you find a great place to stay to help us Shellebrate the Season! Here is an events calendar…… click it to enlarge.

Captiva Holiday Ad

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The Cockle Collection (Video)

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Atlantic Giant Cockle whole

Atlantic Giant Cockle whole

It’s funny- I don’t usually pick up COCKLE shells. I guess because they are common on the beaches of Sanibel and I haven’t thought of a fabulous craft project for me to use them. My friend Sarah made that beautiful mirror I showed you on Septemeber 2, post Sarah’s Seashell Chandelier but then again, she only used four. So I don’t have a reason to pick them up….. until NOW! I can’t give you my reasons why YET (geez- I’m not big on secrets but this will be worth it!). I will be announcing this really big event hopefully this week.

Atlantic Giant Cockle shell, Sanibel, Florida

Atlantic Giant Cockle half

I made this video yesterday so this shows you that there are still shells (and sponges and urchins and SEA PORK and lots of fun stuff) on the beach left over from last weekend’s wind and good tides.YouTube Preview Image

On the Cockle hunt, we met Jim from Ohio enjoying the sunset sky and learned he was a big sheller too. He quickly bonded with Clark after discovering each of them had found two JUNONIAS (in the past) …… and ribbed me for my big fat zero. That’s OK fellas… “those who wait, find the biggest Junonias of all”. ;)

Junonia seashell finders

Junonia Jim and Clark

Here’s a hint for the big event-    It’s beginning to look a lot like……


Saving An Octopus

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Octopus at Little Hickory

Octopus at Little Hickory

Rhonda picked up this OCTOPUS on Monday at low tide and walked it to the water to help him survive. This past Saturday, I saw several octopuses washed up on the beach at low tide too. Here’s a video of one of those poor guys stranded up on the beach as I picked him up with a PEN SHELL to carry him to safety.YouTube Preview Image

If the video doesn’t work properly, you can view it at

Categories : Octopus, Octopus Video
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Beachcombing Blogger-Palooza

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Little Hickory Fighting conchs

Low Tide shelling at Little Hickory

Shelling Bloggers Unite!

Blogger Karen from The Essential Beachcomber organized a low tide shelling expedition at Little Hickory for bloggers Rhonda from Shellbelle’s Tiki Hut, Debbie from Love of the Sea and ME! What a blast!

Shelling Bloggers

Bloggers Karen, Rhonda and Debbie

We met at Little Hickory beach in Bonita Springs at 7 am (yep, another early morning) yesterday for low tide shelling…. and gabbing.

Little Hickory Live Sand Dollar

Live sand dollar

Rhonda found this live SAND DOLLAR, then another and another. Lots of very healthy ones so even though we didn’t find any to take home, it’s always good to see them happy and healthy.

Bonita Springs Fighting Conchs

Bonita Springs Fighting Conchs

On the other hand, there are still hundreds of FIGHTING CONCHS fighting for their lives at low tide and many dead. I posted an article about this last week (Fighting Conchs on Bonita Beach) but haven’t heard an update as to why they think they are dying. As you can see, there are still tons of them.

Debbie's true tulip

Debbie's true tulip

Debbie found this gorgeous TRUE TULIP about 4 inches long. I think that was the best find of the day!

Crucifix bone

Crucifix bone

Another beachcomber, Carol, at Little Hickory found a CRUCIFIX SHELL. It’s actually the head bone of gafftopsail catfish and it is said to bring good luck to the finder. I sure hope that’s true because……

Crucifix shell from catfish

My Crucifix shell from catfish

I found one too! Mine isn’t as perfect as Carol’s but I didn’t read anywhere that it had to be perfect to bring good luck. Woohoo!

Little Hickory in the sand

Little Hickory beach

I’m already lucky to live in paradise but I feel lucky too for getting to spend such a fun day with 3 other beach bloggers! See? It’s working!

Karen The Essential Beachcomber

Karen The Essential Beachcomber

Thank you Karen for getting our Beachcombing Blogger-Palooza together!

PS- I now have Google Friend Connect. If you are a member, please join me!