It makes me so happy when Sanibel low tides are in the evenings. It’s my favorite time of day to walk the beach so low tide is such a bonus.
Finding this ALPHABET CONE was a double bonus! I found it right before dusk on the ledge of this little tidal pool near Donax Street beach access….
There were lots of PEN SHELLS, COCKLES, DOSINIAS and live seashells.
I met a first time sheller with all of these (unknowingly) live STARFISH in her bucket. She couldn’t believe she they were still alive since they felt stiff but was very happy to now know to put all SEA STARS back unless they are completely dry. We put them back in the water where they did a little happy dance and started crawling away.
There were so many EGG CASINGS strung all along the shore line.
Here’s a HORSE CONCH EGG CASING…
This is a WHELK EGG CASING…
I even found a SKATE EGG CASE….
An ANGEL WING! Clark found it completely in tact floating in the surf.
Jim (MO) found an old, pitted LIGHTNING WHELK full of character.
Sharon (GA) was collecting sea debris of SPONGES, a CRAB SHELL and a SEA URCHIN but she didn’t have a shell bag. She only had her aqua blue flip flops to carry them on. The perfect back drop!
Talk about a perfect back drop….. My Shelling Sistahs Linda, Anna and Jean in their cute tees with the full moon! This was monday night at the lighthouse where we were still finding lots of minis but not many bigger shells.
I was mesmerized by shellcrafter Jean’s orange bucket swinging against the reflection in the sand of the blue and pink splashed sky.
We went to the lighthouse again tonight but I haven’t loaded my photos yet but I gotta tell you, we found some nice shells. Double SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS, PAPER FIGS, CONCHS and much more…. photos and a video to come!
WAAAA!!I THINK I KILLED A STARFISH!!! :( I found a little 3″ star that was very firm, but his ‘skin’ seems a bit spongy. I thought he was dying, so I picked him up and took him home. I hope I’m not a Starfish killer.
Ooohh- I’m so sorry. For him and you! It is really hard to tell some times but here’s the trick…. Turn the starfish over and look at the pattern of his orange legs and how much orange (most of the time their little feet are orangish) is showing. Then gently run your finger along the orangish part to see if his feet move or the feet close up a bit. It’s hard to explain. Maybe I need to do a little video, don’t I? Hmmm. I just got a video of a live starfish that I’ll show tomorrow but I didnt pick him up- darn. Okay, next time.
So if his feet move is he fully alive? I assume if his feet close up, he is dying? If he is dying, should I put him back in the water? He was washed up on shore, so maybe he was drying out? I feel so bad for that little guy. Sometimes learning is painful. Thanks Pam.
Thank you for all the pixs. Oh, I can’t wait to get there. Less than a month and I will be filling my shell bag. I had so many from our last time there when the dredging was happening at Blind Pass. I’ve kept the nicest ones but I still had many to given away to the kids at the school I work at. I’m a lunch/recess mom…best job ever. It’s been priceless to see the smiles and hear the ooohs and aaahs they give me when I let them choose some shells.
I am almost there!
Love reading your posts!!!
L-O-V-E the picture of the tidal pool !! Hoping to get some awesome pics like that to hang on my Sanibel wall in 60 days ! Have a question Pam . Is it ok to keep egg casings ? I found 1 last year while we were there , it was all dried up , and had lots of tiny welk shells in it . None of the tiny shells had occupants and were also dried up . Hope I didn’t do anything wrong !!Thanks for all you do for all of us sand lovers !!!!
Good question about the egg casings as I was wondering that myself. Pam, you are out-doing yourself on photos lately! 2 more days to go!!
All of those Pen Shells, you know I would be digging under those shells. Nice cone and angel wing.
Beautiful photos! I want to go back…..! :)
Gorgeous photos Pam!
The best thing you can do with the egg casings is to put them in a bucket of seawater and transport them to the bay. Once there find someplace to “plant” them; wedge them under a rock or between the mangrove roots further out than the low tide mark. The JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge there would probably be a great location for this. That would be my best guess. They have no chance of survival on shore and unless you can find a place to secure them offshore, they’ll just end up drifting back onto the beach.
I’ve been doing this on my secret beach here. It’s on the bay and the only time I find egg casings washed ashore is after a big storm. I take them to another part of the island and find an area to secure them.
Thanks for saving those starfish, you’re awesome!!!!
Yes! Shellebelle, good for you by putting them back if the eggs are healthy. We need them to survive! On our beaches this week, most of the eggs were either dehydrated or already opened. Click on the photo of the close up of the tulip egg case (the 8th photo down) and you will see the holes on the outer edge of the egg segments, that means they already “hatched”. If they were still healthy and might be able to survive, that hole would still be plugged and it would be filled with a gooey substance around the babies. If there isnt any fluid but salt water in the there, most likely they are dead and okay to take them for show and tell. Again, I’m not a scientist but this is what I’ve heard/read and it makes perfectly good sense to me.
If the “hatch holes” are present, that’s always a good thing and a sign that our sea critters are surviving despite all we’ve done to harm our oceans.
There has been independent research done where seemingly dry egg cases found above the high tide zone were put in saltwater and went on to hatch. The babies were later released into Lemon Bay down in Englewood. So, for me, if the hatch holes aren’t present, I always return them to the water on the off chance that they may go on to hatch and provide future generations with the chance to do what we all love — shelling! :)
I think what you do here in teaching our tourists how to tell if a starfish or a sand dollar is still living is a great contribution to ocean conservancy. I hope you’ll add this info on shell casings to that list.
Thanks Pam for a real education about how to identify and handle live sea life. I know shellers are so careful NOT to harm live critters inhabiting shells and other sea life. I think your info makes me a more responsible sheller and I am truly grateful.
Great post today! Love the tidal pool! And all those starfish…. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! So glad that you saved them. …. P.s. My I love shelling t-shirt arrived today…. 9 more days till I can beach comb in it! Can’t wait!
Did that lucky Clark find a double angel wing???? That is another on my list of “gotta have”. Nice cone!! I bet Clark was jealous!! The full moon even brought a few shells to the Jupiter area but would rather be back on the island. Hope to see you in the fall.
I love the sea stars!!! You know I’m totally biased! ;)
That first picture is stunning but um yeah, back to the sea stars.
I can’t wait!!!
Your pictures and writings of Sanibel shelling are the next best thing to being there…I cant thank you enough. Hope to be there in Aug or Sept. I am so in love with that place!!
Oooh- that cone is beautiful! And I love the flip flop shot; glue ’em on and hang it on the wall :D
Hi Pam, I’m so glad you received my shells! I can’t believe they arrived with no problems. And I think that’s a brilliant idea about how to store them. I was so lucky to have met Sibella and do her workshop. I’m back blogging. I just was so over the look of my blog I’ve spent some time giving it a ‘face lift’. I feel energised! Now, you are a true champion and this post proves it. And how’s that angel wing find!! I’m so planning something special with mine. Do those egg casings dry out? Are they similar to the port jackson shark eggs we find over here?? Were my shells different from the ones you find? Pruxxxxxxxxx