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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

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Lotsa Shellove at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Beachy Shell Stuff, Sailor's Valentine, Sanibel Shell Festival, Shell Art, Shell crafts, Shell Love Bug, Shell Shows | 16 comments

The 2017 Sanibel Shell Festival was spectacsheller!

Not only were we shellebrating 80 years of this shelltastic show….

It was the perfect place for me to share the shelling love with Shell Love Bug! Shelldazzled with over 20,000 local shells, Shell Love Bug is like a Sailors Valentine version patchwork quilt of the shelling community coming together … so what better place than the shell show?

So many beautiful pieces of shell art.

Jeff Oth’s vintage sea shell jewelry exhibit was shellsational.

So many gorgeous shell specimens like this exhibit of MORTONS EGG COCKLES by Rachel Fields…

If you look closely at some of the exhibits like this ATLANTIC THORNY OYSTER by Elliot Sudal, the stories are shellmazingly cool. He “caught” this shell in a narly ball of fishing line, weeds and debris while fishing in 70 feet of water.

What other fisherman would have realized this gorgeous shell was in the middle of all that crud.

Cutie Shellootie Debi McBroom knew she had something different when she found a DEPRESSED TOP SNAIL at Turner beach.

She won a Blue Ribbon for her exhibit of this unusual shell find.

What a smile! Now that’s some shellove for The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’s marine biologist Rebecca Mensch for her blue ribbon LEAFY JEWELBOX.

Congratshellations to Andrea and her husband Jay for their prized MULBERRY SHELLS from Muscat, Oman. Sending lots of Shellove and wishes to you both. Hope to see you both pulling up those HORSE CONCHS at the Lighthouse again real soon, okay?

The shellovely Andrea Schopf and her shellcrusted SEAHORSE won People Choice Award for the entire artistic category. Boom Shellalaka!

Michael Gilmore got to introduce his newest Sanibel sheller and future prize winner… sweet little Shellove Baby.

And then this happened…. the ultimate Shellove!

The Shell Museum’s marine biologist Stef Wolf was at the live MOLLUSK tank with her students educating the public about the lives of our favorite shells when…. her boyfriend Steve Plein got on bended knee and asked her to marry him (with a stunning ring from Congress Jewelers- my fave!). She said YES!

Shellphoria!

Best wishes to you both for a life full of good health and happiness.

ShellLove is in the air…

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Seashells, Sea Stars to Sleepy Crabs At Gulfside this Week

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Egg Casing, Horse Conch Egg case, Lightning Whelk Egg Chain, Sleepy Sponge Crab (Dromia personate) | 16 comments

millipede seastar sanibel nine leg starfish

In nature, it’s impossible to predict when you might see a MILLIPEDE SEASTAR or find a large pile of shells in the same place you may have seen it a week ago… or yesterday for that matter.

shells-at-gulfisde-city-park-beach-sanibel-

Because of winds and tides, the Gulf of Mexico is always moving. Winds from the east then west then north then south…  the gulf is constantly swirling. Because of this continuous moving life force of waves in Southwest Florida, we get a fascinating view to watch our beaches constantly shift… leaving sand, sea life and/or their empty shells in different places every day. Just like this beautiful beach bling village I saw at Gulfside City Park beach on Sanibel Island this week, it won’t be there for long- wind and rain could wash this away at any moment. But I enjoyed every minute looking at this shellmazing piece of beach art.

We discover new treasures every day on the beach.

 

But it’s not every day when we will see a live HORSE CONCH and its egg casing…

horse conch with egg case on the beach-1

Or see a LIGHTNING WHELK and its EGG CASING.

lightning whelk egg case on Sanibel Florida-1

Even more unusual, I found this SLEEPY SPONGE CRAB (I believe its a Dromia personate) tucked inside a SEA PORK (TUNICATE) this week at Gulfside. Adorbs! This is exactly why a beach comber is called back to the beach over and over and over again. We learn something new every day!

Dromia personata sponge crab Sanibel Florida- 1

I took a short little video to show you how cute he looked in his little SEA PORK house. I haven’t been doing many videos lately because I can’t figure out why they are so blurry- ugh. So I tried again and … oh boy….. it’s blurry still- grrrrrrr- but I’m going to go ahead and show it cause he’s such a cutie shellootie!

 

But wait y’all! Don’t forget the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival is this week Thursday, Friday and Saturday – March 2, 3, 4 2017. And guess who will be there?!!! I will be at the festival every day with…..

Shell Love Bug!

shell love bug vw seashell car

Come visit us!

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I Sea Stars, Weeds, Urchins and Shells

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Beach Bling Sea Debris | 19 comments

A little northwest wind blew in a few more seashell goodies this week at Blind Pass… including a few of of my faves like a oh so sweet BITTERSWEET, CARRIER SHELLS, bright sunshine orange CHESTNUT TURBAN, baby TRUE TULIP, LACE MUREX, RIBBED CANTHARUS, colorful CALICO SCALLOPS and  a teeny tiny cutie shellootie ROUGH SCALLOP.

I met Cindy the Shellinator a few weeks ago sitting on top of a big pile of shells while finding all sorts of great treasures then I saw her again this weekend sittin ‘n siftin in about the same place. Both times she found a CABRITS MUREX. Shellzam! Just last week the tide took all of the shells back out to sea and left us just with lots of sand. Cindy was there to catch the new shells getting washed back in so she got the pick of the shellitter. Shellack Lady!

Earlier in the week I combed Gulfside City Park a few times to see a fresh new wrack lines wash in with SEA WEEDS, SEA STARS, SEA URCHINS, lots of PEN SHELLS.

I also found all sorts of beach bling like SEA WHIPS, MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS, CRUCIFIX SHELLS, SPONGES and oodles of PAPER FIGS….. and a perfectly huge ANGEL WING (“angle” wing – wink wink). This particular egg casing in the next photo is a PAPER FIG- cool, huh?

Oh! Out of all the SEA WHIPS I saw this past week, I only found one with a purple ONE-TOOTH SIMNIA attached. It’s the little shiny chameleonic shell in the middle of this next photo. They are so easy to overlook but it sure is fun when ya spot them- it’s ike a secret treasure.

 

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