As part of the Ocean Conservancy‘s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup, Dee Serage of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) organized volunteers to pick up and document litter on our beaches and coastlines this past Saturday. So the beach on Sanibel from Blind Pass to Bowman’s is free and clear of any trash because of our fun little cleanup crew in the photo above from left to right… Susan (Soul Sister Susan), Daron who was our efficient record keeper, me, Super Sheller Clark, Judy, Grant, Cameron and Berringer.
We spread out and literally combed the beach.. or should I say “litteraly”.
We searched high on the beach for trash…
…and we searched low on the beach for litter. We had to leave these big shells piles for another day but couldn’t help but look for something unusual.
Berringer did find a few unusal shells. Oh, and remember the SPOTTED EAGLE RAY I showed on my last video? Clark had “spotted” the ray in the water and told everybody to come look at it but Berringer is the one who knew exactly what it was right away. “Look! It’s an EAGLE RAY!” (you see why I like him?)
He found a beautiful yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN pair…
And look at the bright purple color of this SOUTHERN HORSE MUSSEL !
It even has purple in the interior…
Grant found this very cool completely dried PUFFER FISH…
This is what I call cool BEACH BLING…
Grant also found this sweet little SEA URCHIN…
Yes, there were lots of shell piles like I showed you in the cyber shelling photo on my last post with but we were on a mission to pick up trash and we had a very long walk so we only picked up the cool unusual things that didn’t weigh much… like this ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! We rarely find these…
Clark brought home this aqua buoy. We couldn’t throw that away!
But back to the main reason we were there… to rid the beach of any trash. Cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, more and more plastic were the top items found but I was so surprised to see so many balloons with ribbons on the beach. Balloons are a huge NO-NO to bring to the beach! They can get swallowed or wrapped around wildlife so please never take balloons to the beach for any occasion.
Fortunately, our beaches aren’t terribly littered so I think we only filled up 7 fairly small bags which is not so bad for a 2 and 1/2 mile walk. But Clark didn’t stop there. He even saw trash thrown over the beach access boardwalk so he fished it out under the rail. Go Super Sheller Clark!
I’m sure yall do this already, but just a reminder while we are shelling… let’s pick up any trash and put it in our shell bag until we can find a trash can or dumpster to dispose of it. Okay, So… lets recap what we do as “shellers”. On our beach walks we can get exercise, find treasure, explore, learn about wildlife and the creatures of the sea AND save the planet AND spread peace on earth. LOL Yes! Shellers save the planet! We are the Super Shellers!
It’s not unusual to see COWNOSE RAYS swimming along Sanibel’s shoreline… but this was the first time we witnessed a beautiful SPOTTED EAGLE RAY surfing along the coast near shore today. I got him on video so you can see too! We saw this guy half way between Blind Pass and Bowman’s Beach while participating in the 2012 Coastal Cleanup organized by SCCF. It was really fun but I’ll show you photos of that later since I can’t wait another minute to show you Spot, The Sanibel SPOTTED EAGLE RAY. See Spot swim!
Okay, I know… I’ve gotten lots of requests for more cyber shelling so to hold yall over, we saw this on our walk today…. find as many as you can!
This, my friends, is NOT a very different color of a LETTERED OLIVE as I assumed on my September 7 post. It is FULGURATOR OLIVE (Oliva fulgurator form formosa) which is a species that only recently started to appear on our islands… particularly at Blind Pass Captiva.
We had quite a discussion in the comments section about what kind of OLIVE shell this could be after I showed 2 photos of the shell found at Blind Pass after Hurricane Isaac stirred the Gulf Of Mexico. Since I couldn’t get in touch with Amy who found the original shell, I asked around on the iLoveShelling FaceBook page to see if anybody else had found one of these “brown OLIVES”. Kari Newman who lives in Fort Myers said she found one July 29, 2011 at Blind Pass Captiva too and would love to show it to me.
Wow, that’s it! And hers is so beautiful too!
It looks like it belongs in a box of delicious gourmet chocolates with those gorgeous creamy stripes on the aperture side.
I asked Kari if I could take the shell to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to get a positive identification from Dr. Jose Leal. Yes! She was thrilled… and so was I. So today I took the shell over to the Shell Museum to have Dr. Leal take a look at it and he identified it as the OLIVA FULGURATOR.
Wahoo! So cool! It turns out that the museum does not have a specimen of a FULGURATOR found in our area. They only have specimens found on the east coast of Florida. This is how beautiful Kari is…. she donated her shell to Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. She told me her whole family was shelling that day but her 3 year old daughter Kadence was actually the one who picked up this shell first. (Ha! Teach ‘em to young, Kari!) She wants little Kadence’s shell to be in a museum so she will know how special it is.
I have obviously never found one of these OLIVES and neither has Clark. But… guess who else found one this past February. One guess. You got it didn’t you. Donnie The Shellinator found a FULGURATOR. LOL
He didn’t think anything about this shell until he saw the photo in my other post. He said he thought it was a non-native species so didn’t give much thought and threw it in with some other “just okay finds”. I’m sure he will look at this one a little differently now, right? I can tell you now, Clark and I will be on a major hunt to find one…. and we will find you Mr. Fulgurator!
Thank you Dr. Leal for doing such a great job for the Shell Museum and solving this mystery for us! And Congrats to all who have found this luscious chocolate treasure.
UPDATE 11/28/2012: Dr Leal added Kadence’s FULGURATOR to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum website and named her as the collector. Congrats Kadence! Check it out… http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=309