Tarpon Beach Top Shelf Shells

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handful of seashells sanibel

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…

laura ken matthew jaime sanibel shells

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.

tulip pear fig conch cone

And they love to search the water!

waders finding shells

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!

wentletrap tarpon beach

I was so surprised to find a BABY’S EAR too…

babys ear tarpon beach

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.

wetskin sanibel shells

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)

jude sanibel blind pass

She was thrilled with her finds! She found everything from WORM ROCK to a DOUBLE ALTERNATE TELLIN to a COCKLE full of minis…

jude sanibel seashells

Right under the bridge, Janet from Sanibel (too shy for me to take her picture!) found this awesome FLAT SCALLOP.

fan flat mexican scallop jan

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.

tarpon bay rd beach sky



Every Day Is A Gift

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beach combing southwest florida

Yes, I am a fanatic sheller and beachcomber… but some days I want to visit the sea to find calmness and peace.

Sanibel stoop shelling april

The beach reminds me that life’s treasures aren’t always obvious. At times I have to stop for a minute or two and focus on everything that is surrounding me. Then take another minute or two to refocus from the large obvious objects, to the smaller items that I may not have noticed.

looking for seashells florida

There is so much there and so much more to enjoy. That’s when I am happiest.

seashells on sanibel beach april

 By the look on Kelly’s face, she found a little happiness too.

kelly beach comber sanibel

Kelly (Colorado) picked up a TINTED CANTHARUS, WENTLETRAP and golden CHESTNUT TURBAN near Gulfside City Park.

tinted cantharus wentletrap turban

I don’t see the TINTED CANTHARUS often so here is a look at the aperture side of the shell…

tinted cantharus aperture

It also makes me so happy to find someone else that only collects one little shell to make them all warm and fuzzy (although we didnt need much help with getting warm… it was in the mid 80s. Nice!). I was happy to meet Susan from Naples…

susan sun bather sanibel

She was thrilled to find this beautiful little COQUINA. She told me she loves butterflies and showed me her butterfly notebook which matched her sweet little COQUINA. That’s all she needed to make her day of shelling complete. One COQUINA. Every day should be that simple.

coquina butterfly notebook

With all of the beautiful shells strung along the beach, Caryn from Michigan was quite amazed by the SPONGES, EGG CASINGS,  and even the BONES (leftover bait from the crab traps that fell out) that were scattered on the beach. Ah! Somebody else that loves that BEACH BLING like I do!

caryn mi beach bling sanibel

And I met other beachcombers that found a few treasures but just as happy to be on the beach with the fresh air and sunshine. Here is Bernadette from Quebec City, Gertie from Arizona and Angela from Melbourne, FL (with the iLS shell ID card!)…

bernadette ca gertie az angela

Ahhhh. Yes. I found my not-so-obvious treasures in seeing the happy faces of others enjoying what Mother Nature does best… reminding us that every day is a gift.

sanibel stoop girls seashells

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shelling sistahs deb lizzi baba becky karen sharon betty roxie sandy

When girlfriends get together for a beach vacation, you can feel the sisterhood happiness and excitement all the way down the shore. The “Sistahs” are actually newbie shellers but are definitely not newbies at finding the best treasures life has to offer. Deb, Lizzi, Baba, Becky, Karen, Sharon, Betty, Roxie and Sandy each live in different parts of the world so they have a reunion each year at a new destination … so this year they picked Captiva to “shellebrate” their friendship. They even wanted matching iLoveShelling tee shirts to commemorate the occasion. I feel so honored! Here’s Karen with her cute tee and showing off the best find of the morning. A reeaaally big LACE MUREX…

Karen lace murex sanibel captiva

That’s an exshellent find!

Karen lace murex close up

Talk about “exshellent” finds… these guys have been shelling for over 20 years together and know how to find the good stuff in life too. Ian, Brett, Brett’s brother Jeff  (who also happens to be Ian’s dad) were also shelling near the Blind Pass bridge on the Sanibel side and as you can tell… a very happy shelling family. Look at those smiles!

ian brett jeff shellers sanibel

They told me they had great luck fishing all day yesterday and today they will be shelling all day and already had great luck this morning. My faves are the amazingly dark LIGHTNING WHELK, huge orange CHESTNUT TURBAN, and of course… the WORMIE! (heehee- they even called it a “wormie” too) And I didn’t even take pictures of the rest of their favorite finds… like the NUTMEG, LACE MUREX, bright orange CALICO SCALLOPS and TURKEY WINGS.

brett cleveland seashells from Sanibel

Brett even shared his finds with the “Sistahs”. They were thrilled!

brett shares sanibel shells

We had a pretty good shell pile to practice the Sanibel Stoop… and the Sit ‘N Sift…

sit sift seashells sanibel

I feel so fortunate to be part of such an amazing community of people brought together by shells. Oh, and sometimes a GREAT BLUE HERON joins in on the family fun too.

Blue Heron Sanibel Florida ils


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