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

My Latest Stories from the beach

String Of Shells On Captiva

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Bittersweet Clam, Carrier Shell, Coral, Florida Cone, Frond Oyster, Giant Bittersweet, Scotch Bonnet | 18 comments

collection of captiva shells and coral

As I walked onto the sand of Blind Pass Captiva towards the Gulf Of Mexico yesterday, I didn’t see much of a shell pile forming on the beach. But I did see Rena (Fort Myers) in the water about knee deep with her shelling backhoe filling up her bag. It was so much fun to see such much beautiful CORAL in her bag then she showed me her two FLORIDA CONES, GIANT BITTERSWEET and that sweet little orange candy.

rena with shells from the gulf of mexico

There was one small string of shells that had come in at the high tide, that most of the shellers were picking through to find a treasure or two. Since this was on Captiva, you could say they were doing the Captiva Crouch instead of The Sanibel Stoop…. Oh yes… that would be a crouch!

captiva shelling

After lots of people had already picked through this wrack line, Jay still found an amazing treasure. A perfect SCOTCH BONNET! Shellzam!

scotch bonnet found on south captiva beach

Brenda and Jay from St Louis were already happy with all of the other shells that they had found so the SCOTCH BONNET was just icing on the cake.

jay brenda st louis visit sanibel finding seashells

He was so surprised that it was in perfect condition with such great color just sitting in that shell line. You just never know!

scotch bonnet found on captiva beach

Jamie from Ft Lauderdale was doing double time. After he threw out a fishing rod to catch a few fish, he couldn’t help but catch a few shells as well.

jamie ft lauderdale seashells

Beautiful OLIVES and CONCHS but I couldn’t take my eye off that gorgeous ROUGH SCALLOP right below the bucket.

jamie seashells collection

Around 11am I felt so lucky to find a CARRIER SHELL! This is how I saw it….

carrier shell in the sand

I had to leave the beach around noon but came back to Blind Pass Captiva around 3:30pm just to see what the low tide had exposed. The beach hadn’t changed that much (actually, it looked pretty picked over by then) and didn’t see lots of shells in the water like the high tide had shown… BUT …. I saw another CARRIER SHELL! I may have missed it earlier since I don’t think the tide had brought in more shells after I left but this is exactly what it looked like sitting with the other shell. Click on this next photo. Would you have noticed it?

carrier shell in shell pile captiva florida

 This is what it looks like from the side view. See how it collects other shell fragments and CORAL to cement them to its shell?

american carrier shell captiva florida

Here is another view of the one I found in the morning. I love that this shell is a shell collector too like us!

carrier shell with seashell fragments

I love to find unusual shells so I was thrilled with my treasures. Other than the CARRIER SHELLS, I didn’t find many whole UNIVALVES like WHELKS or TULIPS in that line of shells but I did find a piece of a LIONS PAW and a piece of JUNONIA and some awesome CALICO SCALLOPS  and CORAL.

carrier shells lions paw junonia piece

The other shell above the piece of CORAL in my last photo is a FROND OYSTER. I wouldn’t say it was a rare shell, but I don’t find many of them in good condition like this one. I know, it’s not so pretty (like the CARRIER SHELL) but I gotta tell ya, these things make me so happy when I find them. It’s all about the little things in life.

frond oyster shell captiva florida

Have a great weekend!

shelling adventures trips by pam

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I’m Elated Finding A Bladed Wentletrap

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Bladed Wentletrap, Colorful Moon shell, Wentletrap | 26 comments

3 bladed wentletrap epitonium albidum

AHA! I’m tickled that I just found another type of WENTLETRAP! I found three BLADED WENTLETRAPS (Epitonium albidum) at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach yesterday afternoon. This will make my 6th different variation of the Wentletrap family I’ve found in SouthWest Florida. I can now add this one to the other five wentles I talked about last year (in November) in the post How To Find Wentletrap Shells On Sanibel

five different types of wentletraps

These are clearly different from the other WENTLETRAPS I have found. So after finding these three unusual tiny shells, I raced home to see which ones they were. It’s the BLADED WENTLETRAP! You see how the ribs form a straight line? Most of the others don’t form that straight line from top to bottom.

aperture side bladed wentletrap Epitonium albidum

I love to find a shell that is new to me!

sanibel bladed wentletrap Epitonium albidum

Finding WENTLETRAPS at Lighthouse Beach hasn’t been as easy as it was last year when those big areas of what looked like the coffee grounds showed up most weeks. The winds and currents just haven’t been right for the last several months to wash them in so I’ve just had to look a little harder and stoop a little lower. Hmmmm…. not a bad thing to have to do to find treasure. Especially when these are your surroundings!

sanibel lighthouse with shellers

Before I found my wentles I started seeing quite a few minis lining the shore at the water’s edge. I found all of these in about 10 minutes all in the same wrack line. I do have one ANGULATE WENTLETRAP in my palm under the CONE but its sort of hidden.

miniature button shells limpet sanibel lighthouse

Then I found a few more different shells and a piece of CORAL in the low tide pools as well. Check out my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page if you need help identifying any of the shells… just CLICK HERE

seashells and coral from sanibel lighthouse

But then I found all three of the BLADED WENTLETRAPS  in the same line pretty close together in the same line. Now you can see how small they are…

bladed wentletraps sanibel lighthouse

I met cutie pies Richard and Dendy from Mississippi enjoying their seashell treasure hunt on this beautiful afternoon. They had found a few MUREXES, CONCHS and also some minis too like a few WENTLETRAPS.

deny richard jackson mississippi visit sanibel shelling

But I couldn’t get over this sweet juvie GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON SHELL) Dendy found. Look how tiny! It’s a Shellipution! LOL

juvenile gaudy natica colorful moon shell sanibel

There’s always something fun to find in those little shell lines at the Lighthouse Beach at low tide. You just have to take your time, enjoy the hunt and get down low in stoop position.

sanibel stoop lighthouse minis

sanibel lighthouse beach shells birds

Join me on a Shelling Adventure!

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

 

 

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Weekend Of Wonder

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Ibis, Sand Dollar, Sunsets | 23 comments

 

sunset sanibel bay with dock yellow sky

When you enjoy the outdoors and comb the beaches on Sanibel as often as I do, every single day becomes a wonder. I wonder if there is going to be a magnificent sunset today? Oh yes. There often is. I wonder if dogs do the Sanibel Stoop while on the beach too? Oh yes they do. LOL

bentley the dog sanibel stoop

I wonder if I will ever get tired of watching people do the Sanibel Stoop? Oh no I won’t!

sanibel stoop before the rain

Those to Sanibel Stoop-ers I was wondering about were Lindsay (NH) and her mom Vickie from Georgia. They were watching in wonderment over the live LETTERED OLIVES making their trails through the sand when I caught them stooping on Gulfside City Park over the weekend.

lindsay new hampshire vickie ga shelling

I told them to keep going a few more yards to find some SAND DOLLARS and other shells that I saw Cheryl and Dick (Cape Coral) collecting…

cheryl dick cape coral seashells

I loved what they had collected…. seashells AND bling- SAND DOLLARS and a FEATHER. I know so many people get very concerned when they see folks picking up dark colored SAND DOLLARS but trust me, these were not alive. Cheryl even asked me to look over them just to be on the safe side before she put them in her bag. I’ve heard so many people say lately… “I wonder how you can tell whether a SAND DOLLAR is still alive or not”. I’ve found that it’s easiest to describe a SAND DOLLAR that is not alive as being “bald” (Mr Clean style!) so there isn’t any “hair” on them. Cheryl’s SAND DOLLARS may be dark but they were all “baldies”. LOL There was one of hers that still had some cilia/hair/fur around the sides but the complete front and back were completely bald ….. I’ll call that the George Costanza style! LOL The SAND DOLLARS breath through that cilia so if most of it is gone, they are not alive and you can collect them. So to sum it up…. Cheryl had about a dozen “Mr Cleans” and one “George Costanza”. hahahhaa

sand dollars, feather, seashells

Yesterday, I checked out Blind Pass Captiva only to find a very sandy beach with just a few shells rolling up. You can still find shells in the water but you have to snorkel for them. There were so many fishermen near the jetty rocks, it’s a wonder how anybody could have shelled that area any way. Ack!

sandy beach captiva blind pass

I walked over to the Sanibel side of Blind Pass near the old wooden sea wall and tree roots only to find lots of sand but a flock of beautiful IBIS birds. It’s such a wonder how the beach changes so quickly.

ibis birds sanibel blind pass tree stumps

I’ve heard that the water is still filled with shells but you have to swim around and/or snorkel for them… but I didn’t have time to do that but I always enjoy my beach walk and I still have a few SAND DOLLARS of my own to clean up. So put on your suit and grab a snorkel if you want to find your own wonder-ful day!

sanibel birds ibis feeding

shelling adventures trips by pam

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