It was a little overwhelming to see so many shells, STARFISH, HORSESHOE CRABS, SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRABS and so much more sea “stuff” littering the beach around Gulf Side City Park (Algier’s) yesterday afternoon. In the picture above, I tried to show you… a) how many great shells were there right together… b) how close to shore those crab trap bouys are… c) just how many other things were washed up together.
Look at how many PEN SHELLS and COCKLES!
It was unbelievable how many PURPLE SEA URCHINS there were. The same cold front and west winds that blew that JUNONIA into Anthony’s hand, blew all of these URCHINS, other sea life and even the crab traps to shore.
That was a perfect TRUE TULIP hiding in with other shells. I got so excited that I found a good shell but then saw he was still alive…. then in a split second was so happy again that he was still alive. I put him back in the water to hopefully live to breed to make more beauties. This sport of shelling is an emotional roller coaster, huh? LOL
Did you ask what a pig’s foot was doing on the beach? I did too the first time I saw one. Pig’s feet are used as bait to put in crab traps to attract STONE CRABS so if the traps get damaged or open up because of rough seas, the pig’s feet wash up on shore eventually.
Every time I find an ANGEL WING, I think of the poem Thoughts From A Shell Collector.
Speaking of angels, look how cute these little girls are.
Dawn is showing a perfect nine arm MILLIPEDE STARFISH. She was putting as many live critters back in the water as she was putting in her shell bag.
After the sun set, the tide was coming back in to take lots of these shells and sea life in this wrack back to the sea.
I feel like I write “wow” too much on this site, but WOW. Spectacular. Thank you so much for the photos. A visual feast. What an incredible bonanza of sea critters. This is Sanibel at her best! Too bad for you about that red tulip, but good for him! I know exactly the feeling of finding a giant red tulip, only to discover he’s alive. *sigh*
I want to write that all the time too… wow! I’m just so amazed how different every day has been the past weeks. WOW.
PS and FYI- I never get tired of hearing “wow”
Hundreds of sea biscuts !!!! near lighhouse….closer to Buttonwood !!!! wow !!!
Sea Biscuits? Really? They look like fat, puffy sand dollars. If so, I’ll have to run down in the morning…. if I can wait until then.
They were actually a type of urchin.
Maybe the heart urchin?http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/category/urchin/heart-urchin/
Let’s see pictures of them!
WOW! I just can’t stand it! 3 more days, please oh please shells, wash ashore next week too!!
It has been an incredible two days. Christmas came early. I won’t be able to stand up straight for weeks. For every one I put in my bag, more than ten went back in the water. I started out taking pictures of some of the huge live beauties but there were just too many and not enough time.
Mary Ann, I did the same….not enough time. Did the tide take some back this afternoon?
Oh.My.Goodness. I’m pea green with envy!
I can’t believe how much I’m learning from you and all the other shellers! I never knew such a world existed…pig’s feet?…now there’s a surprise!
Double WOW… Great blogging as usual and as always theres something new to learn. I never knew bout the pigs feet. Your site offers so much :)
We love Algiers Beach and always have good luck with shells there too. My 14 year old daughter and I are planning a mother daughter trip in couple of months and she has a great eye for Wentletraps, she found a good amount on a previous trip. My family and I are so looking forward to your next blog.
Where abouts is Gulf side city park??
It is right off Middle Gulf Drive. Look for the signs.
Lee in Michigan
Wow… I’ve never seen so many sea stars wash up on shore. That’s just an awful lot of sea life (still living) hitting the shore and that seems so unusual to me. Have y’all been having crazy winds and tides down that way or what? I’m hitting our beaches this afternoon to see what our currents, tides and winds of the past few days has brought us.
I may have to start taking winter vacations, the shelling is outstanding after a storm. This is almost too much to bear when I can’t get in there and dig. And, that Junonia! It’s killing me. On my last visit this past summer, I was sure there was a Junonia awaiting me, particularly when I found so many cones . . . maybe if I’d just stood there a little longer as the tide washed all those beauties up. (sigh)
Wow, wow, wow and wow!! So many things ashore. I’ve never seen that before. I have seen lots of pen shells but never so much other stuff with them. Hopefully the tide rescued the living. On behalf of those of us landlocked for most of the year – thank you to all who help the living sea treasures get back in the water!!
OMGOSH!!!!! Look at all those urchins! And fighting conchs!! And Pens, oh my!!! I’m as pea green as I can possibly be!!! WOW!! I’m hopping a flight tomorrow!! Whoops….. can’t do that. Going north to the land of big snow instead… it’s killing me!!!
oh wow!!! hopefully my husband & i will be down in march!! i hope we find piles of treasures as wonderful as yours! i look forward to all of yoour photos & postings. thanks so much!!
I have butterflies in my stomach!!! Those pictures are INCREDIBLE!!! I have always wanted to find my own urchin so bad! Looks like I might be able to when we take our first trip to Sanibel next month! And I have a good feeling that I am going to be stashing every extra penny into savings for the rest of my life to be sure I get to Sanibel often!
I am learning so much here too! I’ve always been crazy in love with shells… but I didn’t realize how little I knew about them and all the different kinds there were. Oh I just can’t wait!!
Thank you, Pam, for sharing these awesome photos!!! I get excited just looking at the photos…can’t imagine if my old heart could take seeing all of that abundance of seashells at one time!!! WOW!!! Merry Christmas to you, and thank you so much for all of the beautiful photos that you share of the seashells and the shellers!! And thank you for all of the information that you post on the seashell idenifications. I use your site more than I am willing to say out loud!!! Dovie
Oh wow! How awesome. Love the chaos of it all. Look at all those sea urchins too. And the True Tulip looks insanely wonderful. Will link to that poem now. Pruxxx
There certainly has been a plethora of FABULOUS SHELLING happening on Sanibel lately. That is awesome. THANK YOU for rescuing those “live” creatures that can’t make it back alone. Pam, you give a whole new meaning to the work “(w)rack”! LOL Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Eight days and counting!!!! Hope you see you on the beach!
Absolutely stunning. I share in your joy and amazement. Thanks for the opportunity for us to cybershell. It tides us over until the next time we can be on Sanibel. However, it is difficult not to get on a plane right now even if only for the weekend. Love the true tulip and angel wing. Got my shirt today. Maybe will see you on the beach in the spring!
I’m so jealous!! My husband would have a really hard time getting me to come in off of the beach if I was there! What fun!
The word hyperventilating come to mind when I gaze upon these photos.
Hi, thanks for enlightening us as to why pigs feet are on the beach. 12/3 was our last day at Sanibel and we had pretty good shelling. But there were also more urchins, starfish, pen shells and crabs then we had ever seen before. And pigs feet were everywhere. Now we know how the feet got there.
After your post of 12/2 about the shell pile at Blind Pass we wanted to go but had to wait for a plumber and we never got there. We have “enjoyed” (envied??) all of your posts since then.
Your posts make us miss our home away from home…Trying to keep warm up here in the north.
Ken and Phyllis
Overwhelming! Do you know how lucky you are?!!! I have never seen anything like that before. I would totally be freaking out and filling my pockets, my pants, my shirt, anything! That is crazy!
We shelled earlier this week east of Bowman’s on beaches off West Gulf Drive and experienced first hand what Pam showed in her pictures. We burned as many calories tossing those very heavy creatures back in the sea as we did walking. Also saw an example of the baby octopus that Pam wrote about a few weeks ago and many star fish and sea urchins. Went home with many treasures and cannot wait until next time. Putting together a sampling of shells and a field guide for each grandchild for Christmas.
Two words: Freakin’ awesome!!!
I just found your explanation of pig’s feet. I found one on the beach when we were there in September and thought it might be Bin Ladens hand. Even though my rational brain thought it might be a pig’s foot. I almost brought it home with me, but the look on my husband’s face made me realize …. nah.