When the weather on Sanibel and Captiva is in the high 70s and low 80s during the winter months like now, it’s hard not to be outside every minute of the day… so the world slips away. This weekend, Clark and I took a few walks on the beach at Gulfside City Park to find beautiful shells like the ones in my hand. Clark was scooping just at the waters edge with his big metal shelling backhoe to pull up the LACE MUREX (Lacie!) and that very cool HORSE CONCH. We both found more MUREXES, CONCHS and WHELKS but gave them to some nice folks on the beach. And then the fog started rolling in…then out…. then in again. It was wild!
I found some beauties on the north end of Captiva at South Seas Island Resort last week too.
Although you can only get to this beach if you are staying at South Seas Resort (or its a very long walk from Alison Hagerup Parking lot in Captiva)… if you are there, look for a nice shelly area near Sunset Beach…
It’s always a treat to find a SAND DOLLAR wash up at your feet.
I found a sweet baby SUNRAY VENUS right near the SAND DOLLAR.
And right next to the SUNRAY VENUS was this pretty little SPECKLED TELLIN. Weehoo!
After so much sand was pumped onto the beaches of Captiva a couple of months ago, some of it is already being claimed back by King Neptune. You can see two different erosion lines…
I could see shells stuck in the side of the erosion ledge so I started pulling a few out. Can you see that AUGER packed into the side?
I also pulled this bad boy out of the “cliff”. A FLAT SCALLOP. Voila!
Sending you warm sandy beach wishes of blue skies and cybershells…
I have been looooving my long walks on the Sanibel beaches this week with warm, sunny days. Yesterday at the Lighthouse Beach, I enjoyed finding WENTLETRAPS and other sweet minis on the Gulf Of Mexico side instead of on the pier side where they used to be.
It feels so good to find the minis again.
Jim from Buffalo, NY found four times the WENTLETRAPS I found but I was most jealous of this crazy big WENTLE. Wow! Thats a whopping wentle to wet your whistle!
A few days ago I walked Blind Pass beach on the Sanibel side and met Deb from Minnesota…
She had such a beautiful variety of shells she mostly found at the water’s edge. Very nice BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCHS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, SCALLOPS and of course that sweet candy in the middle- a juvie HORSE CONCH.
Lokks like I’ve got some catching you up to do because I got lost in time looking through all of those PEN SHELLS, BEACH BLING and researching those DOSINIAS earlier this week. I also went to Tarpon Beach a couple of days ago and found this big shell pile.
Just a short walk from that big shell pile there are still nice low tide pools with fun stuff to explore too. This one is only about 50 yards in front of the entrance (on the left) to the public beach access.
To show you how many shell and wrack lines there are at Tarpon Beach, I tried (its a little blurry- sorry!) to take a photo of me holding a WENTLETRAP in one of the high tide lines so you could see how far I was from that shell pile and the water. There are so many fun areas to search.
Every beach I’ve been to in the past few days, has been so much fun to explore. If I didn’t find the bigger shells like Deb, I started to search for my fave minis. But then… finding shells is just icing on the cake sometimes. Sometimes I just want to feel the sunshine on my skin and breath in the sea. So I hope you can CyberSink your toes on this sandy, shelly beach and enjoy the blue skies, sunshine and warm weather to enjoy it with me. Sending sunshine and cybershells.
PS- I’m thrilled I’ve gotten some feedback and some of y’all are enjoying my “the differences between shells” posts. I have lots of different little minis in the top photos of my Lighthouse finds so until I can get to photographing the DRILLS and such, check out these posts … Similar Small Sanibel Seashells and… Seashells Open Your Eyes. That will help you identify most of these shells along with the SPARSE DOVE that’s in this post… I Spy Seashells And Beach Bling. Dont forget, you can always go to my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page… CLICK HERE.
Did you know that there were two different DOSINIA shells that wash up from the Gulf Of Mexico on to the shores of Sanibel, Captiva and Southwest Florida? In my last post, I showed you so much BEACH BLING that washed up after high west winds and teased you with two DOSINIAS as well. It’s pretty common to see DISK DOSINIA (Dosinia discus) seashells on our beaches but it’s very difficult to tell them apart from their sister and more elusive shell… the ELEGANT DOSINIA (Dosinia elegant).
To identify most bivalve shells, it’s easier to look at their interior since the biggest differences show on the inside around the hinges and also where the MOLLUSK itself connected to the shell. But… just like the outside shape, color and thickness- the interior is so similar too on these shells that it’s still so hard to tell them apart.
The easiest way for me to distinguish the differences of the DISK DOSINIA from the ELEGANT DOSINIA is by looking closely at the outside grooves on the shell. The DISK is on the left and the ELEGANT is on the right of all of my photos. Now it’s a little easier to see a difference, right?
Notice how fine the grooves are on the left shell (DISK) compared to the coarse grooves of the shell on the right (ELEGANT). If you rub your thumb nail along the out side of each shell you can definitely tell the difference .
I know you can’t run your thumb over these shells I showed you in the photos but I hope I showed you enough detail so that you could identify each one in person. But let’s just see if you can still spot the differences in CYBERSHELLING! YAY! Okay, here goes…. How many ELEGANT DOSINIAS can you find in this next photo?
Hopefully, now you will be able to pick up a DOSINIA and impress your friends and family by telling them which type of DOSINIA you just found. (heehee)
After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.
The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.
So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.
But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?
I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…
I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?
This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…
This is a BANDED TULIP…
This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…
When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.
There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…
This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…
There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.
We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.
The birds do like stone crab and clams.
They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.
They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.
Rose Petals Make The Heart Grow Pinker.
Check out my new online Art Gallery…
I’m pretty dang good at finding mini shells but I need to narrow my focus since I don’t think I’ve ever found an ARROW DWARF TRITON before. Isn’t this a beautiful shell?
I’m so happy for Gill from England since she’s the one who found this gorgeous shell at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach. So cool! Congratshellations Gill!
Now you can see a little better how small it is. Believe it or not, it’s related to the NUTMEG.
She found it on the beach in one of the small shell lines close to the water around the tip of the island looking at the lighthouse at this view.
She also found a couple of BABYS EARS, a WENTLETRAP and a few other sweet minis to add to her “list”. Her “list” you ask? She has a competition going with her husband Andy (and a few other friends) to see who can find the most species of shells in one year. They got the idea from a movie “The Big Year” about a birding competition so they designed their competition around shells and gave it a point system. I’ve got to see this movie! I googled it after she told me about their game and the tag line is ” Everyone is searching for something”. hahaha Yes we are! Shells! Their contest ends December 31, 2014 so she said she’d let me know who wins (errrr- I’d like to take bets on the winner- hahaha). How fun!
I found a few goodies just washing in at the surf line…
That was yesterday…. and today the winds have picked up gusting over 15 mph out of the north west. The Gulf Of Mexico water is churning at Blind Pass (and all of SW Florida) so it’s stirring up those shells to hopeful wash them up at our toes in the next few days. Once it calms just a tad, the shells should be rolling in, folks! Hopefully, we’ll be getting some nice Shellentines!