Sunshine, seashells and friendships were beaming at Gulfisde City park beach this weekend.
I had a blast with my high school girl friends Miyuki and Laura who came to visit Sanibel this weekend with Laura’s daughter Ashley and her friends Josh and Joey. They are so stinkin cute! I was tied up in the morning so they drove up to see Captiva… they loved it of course but they didn’t find many shells so they were extra happy to see lines of shells and scoop them up by the fistfuls when I met them at GSCP. I love to see those smiling faces! Joey told me his mom does lots of shell craft projects so he was loading up on the little white ARK shells to take back home to her. Sweet!
The weather was a little hot but it was picture perfect to take a break from shelling under a few shaded palm trees.
I also met Joe and Emilie (a cool blogger at Baby Loving Mama) from MN near Gulfside City Park beach during their very first visit to Sanibel… celebrating their 12 year wedding anniversary. Congratulations!
Or should I say… “Congratshellations!”. This was also their very first time collecting shells so it was fun to see them sitting and sifting through a nice shell pile ooohing and aaaahing over beautiful CALICO SCALLOPS, AUGERS, CERITHS and LETTERED OLIVES. (Of course I was a little proud that Joe had clipped the iLoveShelling Seashell Identification card to his belt loop. Yay!)
To wind down the weekend yesterday afternoon, Clark and I stopped at Lighthouse Beach to see what type of shells had rolled up for low tide. Omigosh! It looked like high season in March on the beach… the parking lot was packed and the beach was loaded with people and umbrellas. Was this a holiday weekend that I missed? Did we miss an invitation to the beach party? Dunno but it seemed unusually busy for what we normally call the “slow season”.
At Lighthouse Beach, Clark and I weren’t finding that many keeper shells… which was just as well since I saw a few pieces of trash that had been left behind by others, so I filled up my bucket with trash and just a few treasures. As with most shellers, we always pick up trash when walking the beach- it’s just what a beach comber does. We are the best stewards of our beaches since we are paying attention to what is washing in and out. We normally see the typical wrappers and papers that get blown out of the open tote bags by the breeze- it just happens. But lots of times a thief gull or black bird raids a beach blanket with totes filled with goodies, then flies away to find a place to open the bag of chips or sandwich but then drops the plastic after the free meal or realizing it was empty or there wasnt food in there after all. I’ve seen this in action hundreds of times- and I’ve chased them away . It’s quite a show to watch!
Since Sanibel really doesn’t have a terrible litter problem like lots of other beaches in the world, we’ll keep on doing what we as shellers do best… fill our shell bags with trash and treasures, stay calm, and shell on!
PS- Lets not turn this “trashiness” into negativity. We all just need to help each other do the right thing, move on and enjoy the sunshine and treasures Mother Nature has gifted us.
Look at all of the stunning purple SEA URCHINS shellers were finding on Cayo Costa yesterday on our iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo costa with Captiva Cruises! I’ve never seen so many people finding these fragile treasures like I did yesterday. Wow! Amy and her daughter Rachel (IL) started snorkeling in the calm clear water as soon as they go to the island then hit a honey hole to fill up their shelling bag with these beauties.
Lynda and her Aunt Rhonda were having the same luck while snorkeling. These SEA URCHINS are so cool!
The SEA URCHINS were such a treasure but then I was really amazed when I saw Rhonda pull up this huge double ANGEL WING. Yes! Both sides were still together! Shellzam!
Lauren, John, Valerie and Jessica from Maryland found lots of beautiful empty FIGHTING CONCHS as soon as we got off the boat.
They are such a shelling family, I don’t think they were going to miss a thing… They found all of these SEA URCHINS too.
Holly (OH) and her mom Karen (FL) not only looked like rock stars in their cutie petutie cover-ups on (heehee)…
They found oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS clams, COCKLES and found a SEA URCHIN too.
Lisa from Atlanta joined us again on another shelling cruise! I met her on last years cruise when she found an Arrowhead Sand Dollar.
This year she found lots of different shells… and showed me her picture perfect display of her fave treasures. Love it!
Judy B was on the cruise too! I can’t tell you how fun it is for me to see people I feel like I know from conversations on my blog. She is always so helpful with comments in my posts and has such a happy attitude all the time. It warms my heart.
She was excited to find a SPECKLED TELLIN (they are fairly uncommon to find on Sanibel and Captiva), EGG COCKLE and ALTERNATE TELLIN.
So this is how amazing this world is… Judy is the person who gave me my SAND DOLLAR charm from Sealife By Congress that I wear on my DOSINIA shell. She gave this to me last year on an iLoveShelling cruise- I’m not sure why she gave it to me but I loved it, still love it and am grateful she thought of me.
When we met last year we both had the same silver Queen Conch shell from Sealife By Congress (that she wore yesterday) so maybe she knew I had lost mine (in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba- since queen conchs aren’t a local shell maybe it wanted to go back to the Caribbean- heehee).
So this is kinda one of those “Pay it Forward” stories.
Fast forward to this year…. Yep! These are the same charms that you will receive on every featured iLoveShelling cruise in the form of a $25 gift certificate from Sealife By Congress . You can choose your fave shell!
Isn’t that awesome? So Judy received one of these certificates yesterday on the cruise to get another charm or pendant for the one she gave me. And everybody else got one too! Yay! Thank you Sealife By Congress!
So not only did we have a blast shelling on one of the most beautiful islands in the world…
We found fabulous BEACH BLING like this COQUINA LIMESTONE.
We made wishes on the shell tree for more perfect days like this.
As we watched DOLPHINS and MANATEES playing around us…
I hope you get to join us for one of these special events with Captiva Cruises…
Check out our new upcoming dates and call 239-472-5300 to reserve your spot.
And check out all of the iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures…
Naaaaa, it’s not the Jaws type shark so you don’t have to get out of the water for this one. Actually you want to get IN the water to see this type of creature… it’s a SHARK EYE (Neverita duplicata or as I always say “Shark’s Eye) seashell. Over the years of beach combing, we’ve been fortunate to have found these shells in so many different life stages to share with you so I thought this was the perfect week to sum up some of the cool things we’ve learned about the SHARKS EYE. Why not… it’s Shark Week!
When this MOLLUSK is still alive, its amazing to see the animal wrapped around it’s shell like we found in my post The No Place Like Home On Sanibel.
Here’s a video of a live SHARKS EYE in action I filmed for a post in 2011…
We only see the live SHARKS EYES at low tide scooting around in the sand but we seem to find a lot of empty SHARKS EYE shells washed up on Sanibel and Captiva especially after storms. We started to realize we don’t normally find the operculums. When Clark and I found another live one, we paid closer attention to the operculum to see exactly what it looked like so we could make sure not to miss one washed up on the beach. Why don’t we find them washed up on the beach more often? Dunno exactly but I’m assuming because they are so paper thin that they crumble easily when the animal dies and dries up. They also look like a small piece of broken PEN SHELL or a brown leaf so they are easy to overlook. Anyway, here’s what the OPERCULUM looks like when it’s attached to the healthy animal still in his shell…
Almost a year after I made this video, low and behold, Clark found our first SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM washed up on the beach.
We’ve also seen juvie live SHARKS EYES sliming around finding their way…
We’ve seen lots of other live babies scooting around at low tide on Sanibel along with teeny tiny eggs in the SHARK EYE EGG COLLARS.
This is what the EGG COLLAR looks like that the female SHARKS EYE lays. If you see a ring like this while at the beach that feels and looks sort of like freshly made hand crafted paper, take a closer look then place it back in the water if that’s where you found it. There are hundreds of itty bitty baby SHARKS EYES in there. Cool, huh?
What do SHARKS EYES eat? They are carnivores who love to make a meal out of bivalves but at times they are cannibals …. so one SHARKS EYE will eat another SHARKS EYE. (Hmmmm… that happens with the fish type Tiger Sharks too on occasion). You can tell another SHARKS EYE ate this SHARKS EYE in the next photo because it makes a beveled edge hole just like this. CLICK HERE to see that story.
There are two types of these MOON shells that look similar and are hard to distinguish between the two of them. See how much higher the spire is on the shell on the left? The one on the right is a Neverita duplicata (SHARK EYE) and the one on the left is a Neverita delessertiana ( FALSE SHARK EYE) I’ll do another post to show you the aperture side so you can see another difference but I usually just look for the “eye” that looks popped out.
Have you heard me talk about the “Paul Newman’s Eye”? Paul Newman was an Academy Award winning hunky actor known for his incredibly beautiful, brilliant blue eyes (I know, funny I thought I needed to explain who he was, right? But anybody under 30 might not know! LOL Oh wait y’all would know “Newman’s Own”- thats the guy. haha) Anyway, not all SHARKS EYES have a blue center but when they have that handsome brilliant blue “eye”… it’s called a PAUL NEWMAN’S EYE.
See how many different sizes and patterns they have. Gorgeous!
I had so many nice comments on my last post about the differences in SCALLOPS and that y’all really like my educational posts. Me too! I have oodles of photos and gobs of great information about shells AND beach bling that I’ve built up over the years, so I need to start combining them so we all can find the information a little easier. It’ll take a while, but it sure will be fun looking through so many older posts that have been buried by newer posts.
Dont worry, I’ll still post any shelling updates on the beaches but hopefully once a week I’ll pick a shell to research so we can see all the cool stuff we’ve learned over the years.
But speaking of shelling updates… I hope to see you tomorrow on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises at 9am- Come join us tomorrow! CLICK HERE for information and some new dates for iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures into February 2015 …