My world has been splashed with so many amazing colors of shells lately! These gorgeous tiny TRUE TULIPS (above) were a combination of both my finds and SS Clark‘s finds over the last few weeks as well as these little HORSE CONCH candies. These are the shell colors we dream about!
Since I just talked about the process I took to clean the big size HORSE CONCHS in my September 5 post, I thought I’d tell you that I only rinsed these shells with fresh water before I photographed them (as well the shells on my last post). None of these shells needed any more cleaning than just a rinse as you will see. I did put mineral oil on the TULIPS to bring out the color but I didn’t on these HORSE CONCHS because… well… I ran out of time. ;)
I’ve showed a few colors of the CALICO SCALLOPS (and even named them!) but here are some rich colors of the ROUGH SCALLOP. I just love this lemon yellow one Clark found…
Even the NUTMEGS have been rich with color.
Not only did we find so many different patterns and colors on LIGHTNING WHELKS, I even found one without color at all… an ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK! See the white one on the bottom row?
I think this ALBINO LIGHTNING WHELK deserves a close up shot. You can see that it still has a shine to the exterior which would be a sign of an albino. Beach worn white shells have a dull matte finish so you can tell that the sun bleached the color out of them.
Hmmm. This photo makes it look blue. Dang it. It really isnt blueish but since it was so bright white against the blue, the lens got tricked and the white balance went wacky. If I get time, I’ll try to retake it but you can see the true color with all of the other LIGHTNING WHELKS but hopefully you can see, this one is in excellent condition with a nice glossy aperture.
Now every where I look I see amazing technicolor I thought were only saved for dreams.
Yes, you & Clark are super shellers but also perfect examples of those who stop the stoop and appreciate the beauty around them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of the elusive junonia & the ginormous horse conch. Thanks for the reminder that their are color, clouds, wind, & waves to sooth the soul as well. xo
Sanibel itself IS the place of dreams…thanks as always Pam!! :)
Beautiful! Love the variety. It’s wonderful you have a hubby who loves to shell. Sometimes, don’t you wish the shells could talk? Tell us where they have been and why they are the colors and shapes they are because some are very unusual. Keep them coming!
Lisa I have said this so many times to Hubby. They have a story we would never believe. Just think how they could tell us where they were born and all about their travels before we find them laying on the sand in Sanibel. I’m with you, keep them coming.
Love this! Me, too!
Super shells! Thanks for sharing the sunset photo. More cyber-shelling, please! :)
Fantastic stuff Pam! Thanks so much! We your audience are really benefitting from your recent shelling bonanza!
Your blog is not only beautiful and entertaining/amusing, but it’s also really very educational!!! :)
For sure! It is the best shelling blog ever!!!! I am here practically every day!
Thank you so much y’all. It’s nice to share all of this “amazingness” and learn along the way. <3
All the rich , vibrant colors of the coast!!….love it !! Nature puts out more color & beauty on things than an artist or designer could ever begin to create!
Shells never cease to amaze me – just like sunsets! Thanks for sharing with us Pam!
Is mineral oil the best thing to use on shells to keep their nice colors. I’ve been using a glossy spray.
Georgia, over time a glossy spray (I assume you mean like acrylic) will yellow, crack and peel. Professional collectors who exhibit do use mineral oil well rubbed into the shell. It won’t change or harm the shell and it won’t turn yellow or crack with age.
Does the mineral oil make dust more likely to stick to the outside of the shell? I have always just left mine bare for fear that they’d get too dusty.
After I rub the shells with an oiled paper towel, I use a clean one to get as much oil off as possible. When I am done they do not feel oily and I really don’t have problem with dust sticking to them any differently that to any other surface in the house. Just blowing on them usually takes care of most of the dust.
To Jean’s comment below about not liking the plastic wrap on the top of containers, If I am displaying them that way, I try and find containers with lids or something I can use as a lid like a pretty glass dish that is just a little bigger than the opening of the container. I have found some nice small glass dishes that are for holding pillar candles at Pier One that work perfectly and don’t look like a “dish” sitting on top.
Thanks Sally for the tips!
Oh no! I lightly laquered my favorites years ago.. Are they going to turn yellow & crack? Or is that just acryllic? Or maybe laquer is acryllic? Shoot, was going to laquer my newest trip ones but am nervous now. I would be devastated if my shells yellowed and cracked!!
Sherri from MN
I miss Sanibel!
I agree with Karen – sometimes we get so caught up with looking for a specific shell that we forget the beauty around us! The colors of those shells and the sunset are amazing! wooooooo!!!
Beautiful albino Pam!!!!
Beautiful colors and shells….i tend to like the darker ones.
Thanks for sharing…love this place.
Gosh… The shells are amazing! It is really baffling that just one species of shell can have so many variations, it’s what makes shelling so fun and exciting! :) gorgeous shells that you have got there! Thks for sharing and wish you luck the next time you visit the beach! :) people like me depend on your blogpost to survive through the examination period. :)
Either the actual shells or the beautiful photos will make wonderful entries into the special “colors of shells” categories at the Shell Show next winter! Love your fun photography. And the sunset is gorgeous!!
Heading to Sanibel today to do some shelling!!!! Hope you left some for me!!!!
Best shelling site I have encountered!!! thanks… What ‘do’ you do with your years of accumulated shells? I need hints,,,, Usually I make a display and give it to a teacher for a classroom .. I have found out I prefer the juviniles ..easier to display..
More cyber-shelling, please!
What beautiful shells!
I arrange my shells in tall narrow glass containers that show off each shell as much as possible. I’ve used wider round containers but the shells in the middle get lost. When were were in Sanibel last February (my first trip there), I bought a very long tweezers at the flea market in Ft Myers which I use to arrange the shells in the vase. I set the containers on my kitchen counter so I can look at them every day, turning them around every once in a while. I always say that no human can make anything as beautiful as a shell.
I’ve used acrylic spray but will now try oil. To keep the dust off I stretch saran wrap over the top of the vase, changing it as needed. I think I learned about that technique in this blog. I’d rather not use the wrap but it’s better than dust.
I will be on Sanibel this weekend for my 4 days of solitary shelling. Can’t wait!
Pam the different colors are beautiful. It reminds me that God put variety in all of His creation. I find myself excitedly waiting for your blog. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope to pass you on the beach when we’re there in October.
Pam, my favorite recurring dream is realizing somehow I’ve ended up near Sanibel and there are so many beautiful shells at the beach everywhere I look. Anybody into dream interpretation? Or is it just wishful dreaming?!!
I love the rough scallops. In January 2010 we were there just after you had the frost. I found several whole rough scallops inbedded in sponges. The scallops are very rough when they haven’t been tossed around in the water. I’ve never found a yellow one. Good hunting. Can’t wait untill next year.
Pat, I enjoyed reading your post. Murex Alice and I were on Sanibel Island the same time that you were in 2010. We also found some of the Rough scallops in sponge. I reported these on Trip Advisor, since I did not know of Pam’s blog at that time. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g34616-i231-k3358254-Sanibel_Island_Shelling_Report-Sanibel_Island_Florida.html (post #8) On the BMSM website, http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=193 the picture of the yellow scallop and the one in sponge are ones that we found in January 2010. That was an exceptionally productive time of shelling on Sanibel. Glad you also enjoyed it.
Since I am fairly new to the site what is the deal with finding the JUNONIA?? What is considered the rare shells on the island?? I have read about the Sanibel six, are they the most common? Thanks to Pam for the best site ever!!!
We always appreciate your tips on cleaning different types of shells. I collected about 50 double dosinias which I’d like to display in a bowl and I’d like to try to remove a thin yellowish layer of what looks like a “varnish” layer – on the outside of some of the shells, but still preserve the hinge. Do you have any ideas? Will an acid be too harsh? I hesitate to bother you with such a question, but it’s been on my mind for several months, and maybe there are others who have the same question. :) Thank you.
Janet, that “thin yellowish layer” on the outside of the Dosinias is called the periostricum. It is the outside, proteinaceous layer of the shell. Both bleach and the “A” word (acid) will remove the periostricum, but will also dissolve the proteinaceous hinge. Once the hinge dries, it becomes fairly brittle and will crack/break fairly easily. Most shell collectors are not that concerned about keeping the hinge intact. However, if that is important to you and you have plenty of time, you can use a small paint brush (model airplane size) and paint the bleach on the surface of the bivalves being sure to keep the bleach away from the hinge (and your clothes). Once you have removed the periostricum from the shell, you can place the Dosinia back into water to hydrate the hinge. Once the hinge is flexible, apply glycerin (available at pharmacies) to the hinge to keep it pliable. Frankly, most of the time, the hinge breaks, despite one’s best efforts, but this is what I would try to do, if keeping the hinge intact was important to me. As for “Acid”, please remember that it is a four letter word, which most ladies do not use. Pam, please take note. Hope this helps.
Thank you for your advice. I understand why you would want to stay away from using “acid” on a shell. I’m not a fan of having harsh chemicals around the house because I’m hypersensitive to them and for environmental reasons of course. Then there’s the problem that they will have to be disposed of eventually! I’ll try your suggestion and let you know how it goes. I love your posts on trip advisor. It’s so nice of you to take time to post when you are on vacation! Happy shelling!
Thoses shells are beautiful. Looks like the shelling is still good after Isaac. I hope it last till we get there on 9/21. I’ll be looking for Pam, Super Sheller Clark and now Donnie “The Shellinator” on the beach.
opps that’s Barbara not arbara lol
One time i found a wondeful florida fighting conch that his colour was red, green and a little bit of yellow.