orange chestnut turban

 Through cloudy skies and and patchy rain, I was thrilled to find this bright beam of sunshine called a CHESTNUT TURBAN colored brilliant orange. I know it doesn’t look at all “chestnutty” but believe it or not that’s what it is.

orange chestnut turban aperture

 My second fave find in the last few days is another ray of sunshine…. a COLORFUL MOON SHELL (or also called a GAUDY NATICA). This one seemed exceptionally colorful AND gaudy…

gaudy natica

 Clark and I were convinced that the out islands would be loaded with shells still from Tropical Storm Debby and the weather the last then so we hopped on our boat with some friends and headed out to Cayo Costa. I found more sunshine with a little HORSE CONCH candy!

cayo costa seashell

 Daron, Jacob and Berringer donned the snorkeling gear…

snorkel cayo costa

 …And found a FLORIDA CONE!

Florida cone cayo costa

There were pockets of seashells hidden around the tree roots in the high tide wrack line where we found some BABY’S EARS.

shell pocket cayo costa

 Everybody loves these tree roots! Susan and her son Berringer were no exception. It’s the perfect backdrop for photos.

susan berr cayo costa florida

 Clark was busy working his magic with the shelling backhoe and pulled up lots of LETTERED OLIVES and a few TRUE TULIPS…

Clark banded tulip

All in all, it was a really fun trip on the boat but it wasn’t at all “loaded with shells” like we thought. So after our boat ride, we stopped at Blind Pass Sanibel….where it was “loaded”. I found my 2 fave shells of the weekend (the orange TURBAN and the MOON above) within 10 minutes.

Shelling Blind Pass Sanibel

I was also fortunate to have met EJ who is a research associate with Department Of Environmental Sciences at UVA (where my nephew just graduated…with distinction!) , Hannah (an educator at UVA as well) and her mom Crystal (AL). It was fascinating to hear about EJ’s project to map the mangrove ecosystems of Sanibel and research the soils and sea grass beds along SouthWest Florida. What a fun job! Well he must have mapped out where the ALPHABET CONES would wash up because they were plucking them out right when I walked by…

EJ, Hannah, Crystal shelling bp

 Crystal showed me her fave find which was an unusual cluster of shells. It is a double CORRUGATE JEWLBOX, double KITTEN’S PAW, BARNACLES and a few sprouts of CORAL that cemented together to make a beautiful little shell bouquet.

corrugate jewelbox kittens paw

 While dodging the storm clouds for 3 days, here’s an assortment of the shells we kept (Clarkis saving the LETTERED OLIVES for next year’s 4th of July parade already). Need help identifying all of these shells? Check out my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page!

Cayo Costa seashell collection