The weather conditions and last night’s full moon caused an extreme high tide that washed up lots of live creatures on the beach. Unfortunately for them, an extreme low tide left them with no where to hide. Fortunately for Cory from Cape Coral (and me), he got to see a tiny live SAND DOLLAR with a few mature beauties as well as several live STARFISH at the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach then he put them back in the water.
I saw several live TRUE TULIPS hiding inside a STIFF PEN SHELL.
I did spot one empty bright orange TRUE TULIP hiding under one of those PEN SHELLS. A keeper! Yippee!
Along with a WORMIE and CHESTNUT TURBAN…
Caroline and Jennifer (Atlanta) are long time “wentlers” so they knew just where to look to find dozens of WENTLETRAPS.
Jennifer found all of these WENTLETRAPS within an hour and a half…
Her daughter Caroline has the WENTLE-eye too …and the KING’S CROWN-eye and the BABY’S EAR-eye!
Guess who I met! …. Sanibelle! If you read a lot of my post comments, you might have read one of Sanibelle’s comments. She rocks! …well she “shells” …but you know what I mean. ;) It was a pleasure to me you, Sanibelle! This is miss cutie Sanibelle…
Since there were so many live creatures to ooooh and ahhhh at, it was hard to find many big empty shells besides PEN SHELLS. I talk about PEN SHELLS so often but I rarely ever show them so I found good example of both types that we find here. The one on the left is a STIFF PEN SHELL and the one on the right is a SAW-TOOTH PEN SHELL.
The most unusual shell I saw yesterday was a MANGROVE PERIWINKLE that Clark found yesterday on the gulf side of Lighthouse Beach. We just don’t find many of them at that beach.
He also found this little army man. I think he’ll make good company for my LEGO guy I found in February.
Since there are so many live shells on the beaches right now, I just want to make sure you know that you can’t take any live shells, SAND DOLLARS, STARFISH and such. You should gently put it back where you found it or in deeper waters. Lots of people don’t know how to tell if a sand dollar is alive or not. Here’s the deal… if a SAND DOLLAR is any where near the water and is brownish and looks a little “furry”, that means it is happy and healthy so we need to let it live a long time …..so it can breed! This is what live SAND DOLLARS look like. See that “fur”? Those are his feet AND how he breathes. Cool, huh?
This was the moon rise last night over Fort Myers Beach. I did not change or colorize this photo! It was really that big and colorful! I guess that’s why all the living creatures were stirring yesterday.
There should be more goodies washing in so for now…. Gone Shelling.
I just read yesterday about finds like your army man and Lego man- they are called “sea heroes” according to Blair and Dawn Witherington, authors of “Florida’s Living Beaches- A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber”. This book has tons of cool info concerning everything from shells to, well, sea heroes! :D
Definitely a good find for any sheller’s library!
Doesn’t the arrival of so many penshells mean that better shelling is on the horizon? LOVE that last shot. Spectacular.
Wow, wow and more wow! Let me at that Lighthouse Beach! I bet I could find some more “new” micro shells for Jose’s SW Florida list!
I always have a hard time finding wentletraps. Is there a good place to find them or can anybody give me any tips on where to look??? I’ll be down there in the summer and I sure would love to add some of these beauties to my bag!
I have sooooo much info on wentletraps! Just to make sure you know….. If you look on the left side of this page ( or any page on this blog) you’ll see my categories. Scroll down all of those names or titles and click on them. You will get directed to all of my posts with lots of info about that shell or bird or whatever you click on. I scrolled down the categories list to “videos” then scrolled to “wentletraps”. I have 2 posts that have videos to show you exactly how I found lots of wentletraps. http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/category/video/wentletrap-trapping/
PS- you can also just scroll to “wentletraps” instead of “videos” and you would have found them there too. Have fun wentling!
Thanks Pam! I watched a couple of your videos and was I jealous! Don’t you just love when you get a spot like that loaded with the little candy? We’ve been coming down from St. Louis for over 30 years and I have yet to find my first junonia. I will keep trying though. My best find was when I was down there a year ago in January and found a megalodon tooth on South Seas beach. I met you at Blind Pass and you kindly posted my picture with my find. What fun!!! THANKS FOR YOUR POSTS. I READ THEM EVERY DAY.
Holy cow…I mean holy shell! Tons of goodies to be had on the East end…did youget to Blind Pass? Can,t wait tosee what you find there! That photo of the moon is spectacular, Pam! Forgive the typos, I am using mt Nook tablet to do this for the first time and my fingers are not accurate LOL
Lucky me, I got to meet Pam last night! She’s as cute and sweet in person as she is on the blog.
What an incredible moon rise last night. Can’t say I’ve ever seen one like it before. Great shot, Pam!
Those are great finds!
man I wish I was there!
Wow, so many interesting things!
What a handful of WT’s. Love those full moon – low tides.
I so want to be there! The moon rise picture is so AWESOME!!!!!
That is just so amazing! I’m so glad you are there to photograph and share this with all of us that are so far away. I am in awe!
We watched that moon come up over a lake in Arkansas last night…I thought it was a lighted geodesic dome that had been built in the time since I had visited last…I just saw the top half. Then it kept rising…spectacular! I still wish I had been on Sanibel to see it there. Thanks for letting me see an island moon.
We went to the Lighthouse Beach tonight – so disheartened to see several people digging up live sand dollars and sea stars, and keeping them. We even stopped a couple of them to explain they were alive and it was illegal, no one seemed to care. People dropping them, kicking at them, it was unsettling.
I just cannot imagine raising my children to not care about other living creatures. Thank you for enlightening people, Pam.
Sounds like I need to get down there! Some butts need to be kicked!
Signed, Angela Moore – Critter Saver
( da da dummmmmm!)
I wish you were here! we need some shelling sistah power!
Amazing! ….. The shells, the moon, friends, Sanibel & especially you Pam!! Happy Easter/Passover to you & Clark & our big shelling family ! Wish I was there!!
We too had a 19′ tide in Cholla Bay, Puerto Penasco and a -3′ low tide. BUT you have lots lots more shells than we do. Different coastal waters Also we have been shelled out long ago. CEDO is trying to teach the children about not taking live shells, cutting way back on shrimping season, etc. That way hopefully families will get the message. So it is always a special treat when I find a jewel.
Your emails are special so please keep them coming.
Happy Easter. Janet, AZ
What treasures! Loved seeing that baby sand dollar. Pam, thanks for reminding folks not to take the live shells. When we first started shelling over thirty years ago, the shells were two to three times the size of the shells today.
Would love to read an interview where we can read the secrets of finding Wentletraps!
I love the wentletraps – definitely one of my favorites. And the tiny sand dollar is too cute. Wish I could have been there to see that beautiful moon too!
This is one of the only pictorial pen shell comparisons I have been able to find. Strangely the rigid pen shell is the one with spines and prominent ridges and the smooth surfaced one is the saw tooth pen shell. Is there some internal clue on why the naming goes this way?