I have said countless times that the beaches of Southwest Florida change every day and by the hour so finding shells becomes a fascinating treasure hunt. So I would say Tam Tam from Michigan has had quite a treasure hunt this week! She found so many shells that aren’t found on our beaches all that often like that sweet baby LIONS PAW (top left), a CABRITS MUREX (middle), a LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN (okay, thats not a shell but its just so beautiful and big for that type of URCHIN) and a THORNY OYSTER (bottom). The ALPHABET CONE isn’t rare at all but it is just dang gorgeous…. and same for that BABY’S EAR. And of course you see she found a JUNONIA too!
Tammy found her LIONS PAW along West Gulf Drive and found her JUNONIA and CABRITS at BLIND PASS SANIBEL. Her friend Barb from Virginia found a CABRITS MUREX at Blind Pass Sanibel too!
I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!
Oh but hold on there’s more… Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!
Her LIONS PAW is soooo pretty, right? The CONE is just as spectacshellar and both were found off West Gulf Drive. That is a very dark rich color variation of a FLORIDA CONE. Shellicious!
Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.
They are very new to shelling but as you can see, they already have a great eye for such pretty shells. They found out about all the seashells on Sanibel from Derek’s dad Darrell who caught the shelling bug about 5 years ago on his first visit to Sanibel. Hey Darrell! Thanks for spreading the shelling love on to your kids- Derek and Lisa cracked me up!
Lisa could identify most of their other shells but she showed me this little mini shell and asked me what it was. Its a PITTED MUREX! I don’t find these all that often but I loved that even as new shellers, they both were so interested in this tiny shell that turned out to be not all that common in our area.
Every day is a new adventure on Sanibel, Captiva and all of the beaches in southwest Florida. What I find even more rare than these shells that my lucky shelling friends found, is that our islands are filled with so many friendly, smiling folks that enjoy every gift from the sea whether its rare or not. (oh…and the view aint half bad either ;) )
South Seas Island Resort on the north tip of Captiva Island has always held special memories for Clark and me. It was our first vacation spot together when we lived in Virginia Beach and the first time we ever beach combed together. It’s the beach where I fell in love with WORM SHELLS… oh yeah… and Clark too (heehee). As I walked down to the jetty rocks towards Redfish Pass this morning (reminiscing) I was soooo excited to find such a fun shell wrack line with a SAND DOLLAR, double SUNRAY VENUSES, CONCHS, WHELKS, a WORMIE (!) and other goodies.
The shells were just rolling in…
On the other side of the jetty (on the pass side) there were lots of shells caught in between the rocks…
Even in the sand throughout the beach (recently renourished sand), I found lots of CHESTNUT TURBANS, a CARRIER SHELL and all sorts of minis…
This was a particularly handsome CHESTNUT TURBAN…
A sweet PURPLISH TAGELUS…
But… I can’t even tell how thrilled I am to have found one of these shells for the first time…. a CROSS-HATCHED LUCINE (or Divalinga quadrisulcata). Dr Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum said “Not found here before, Smithsonian has lot in their collection from deeper in the Gulf, so I am not surprised to see it here. Good, solid find”. Kris from Shellabaloo 4 found one on Captiva too!
It’s a beautifully detailed shell so you bet I will be looking for more!
I even found a piece of JUNONIA this morning too. I felt like a kid in a candy store since there was nobody else out there shelling. I had the whole beach to myself! It’s a private beach for everybody who stays at South Seas Island Resort or owns a home there (like a friend of mine) so I felt so fortunate to be able to beach comb there this morning. Check out the satellite map of this north tip area… CLICK HERE.
Sunrise. There’s something so peaceful about beach combing on Sanibel as the sun rises over the Gulf Of Mexico. It makes the rest day even more special after receiving a gift of the sea like this beautiful LIGHTNING WHELK.
Soooo…. why don’t I do it more often??? Ack! It’s terrible that I don’t take advantage of seeing such an incredible welcome from the sun each day. But… I’m just not a morning person. I do love to shell in the morning when there is a very low tide like this week at sunrise so I went to Gulfside City Park to find these beauties…
Every day has been such different shelling at Blind Pass the past few weeks so since I was already up and at ’em, I showed up at Blind Pass Sanibel by 8 am to find the shell pile getting even bigger. As I’ve said before, it only take 2 hours for this beach to change from “not many shells” to “Holy cowrie! Look at all the shells!”.
I met Carol and Terri from Pennsylvania who were thrilled with their morning treasures…
These were Terri’s fave finds. Wow! She said if she had to pick one, that stunning GAUDY NATICA (COLORFUL MOON SHELL) was her ultimate find.
I asked Carol what her fave treasures were from the morning and this is what she showed me. Wow again! Two dark KINGS CROWNS and they both found CANDY!
This was just a peek in Terri’s shell bag…
So I think I will just enjoy the few mornings like this when I have the umpfff to get out to see sunrise.
It makes the day even more special.
I’m working on dates for more shelling adventures so I hope to have those by the end of the week. Stay tuned!