My earliest childhood memory of shelling is when I would get so excited to find COQUINAS. They look just like butterflies! Maybe that’s why I still love them so much now… but then, another thought would be… maybe because they are just so darn cute! The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was loaded with COQUINAS yesterday evening. Just like being a kid again, I got really excited to find so many variations that look like they have had stripes painted on them. For me, it’s unusual to find this many striped ones all together. While I was picking up these cuties, I also found a few other minis like this KEYHOLE LIMPET…
These Wisconsin visitors were having a great time finding the minis and COQUINAS too…
While we were busy admiring the COQUINAS, these brand-new Fort Myers residents (Ron and Kelli!) found this huge awesome LIGHTNING WHELK…
Look at the color of the spire on this beautiful shell and this one looks like it has painted stripes too. Nature’s miracle and a spectacsheller find!
This mom and daughter shelling team from Orlando were loving the minis and the baby LIGHTNING WHELKS they found in the EGG CHAINS…
Right before the sun went down, I met Kim, Olivia and Zach….
Kim said she saw my post about the brown MACULATED BABY’S EARS last week from Cayo Costa, then found two of them! She said she would have had no idea what it was unless she hadn’t just read about it and saw the pics here. I love that! Here is the one she found last night near the fishing pier. This would have been so easy to mistake it for a SLIPPER SHELL while laying in the sand or mixed in with other shells, right? Wow! Great find!
But hold on, she also found this pretty little shell. I didn’t know what it was until my friend H.L. Schroeder (Lori -heehee- who knows a lot about land snails) identified is as a LINED TREE SNAIL.
It looks like an artist took a brush to a white snail shell and painted the lines on this one too. Just gorgeous. I know it’s rare to find one on the beach since this may be the first one I’ve seen in person but since it’s a land snail, I dont know if its rare on the whole island. Here’s the aperture side of it.
Okay… I’ve got to confess. Maybe you noticed, I didnt give names to some of the folks I met on the beach last night. I have so much happening in this little brain of mine so I have to take notes on my phone since I’m really bad on remembering names. Well, my phone was on overload and couldnt take any more data. I lost the names of these wonderful folks. Ack! I could tell you all about where they live, what they do, and all about our conversations but … names? Lost. Please, Cute Couple- “Well, not St Paul, MN but it’s so close, that’s where we normally tell people we are from”, and Exuberant Couple “We just moved to Ft Myers! Pam, is this a pretty normal find here? No? Waahhhoooooo!” and Mom “I’m mad at you when you don’t post every day- hahaha” and Daughter “We jump in the Avis car any chance we get to drive to Sanibel”…. y’all forgive me! Here is a CYBERSHELLING picture to make up for it. Click on the next image to blow it up to find all of you own shells!
I am in Sanibel from Maine, would love to meet you on the beach. I am a shell and beach fanatic. Hope to see you there. I went down to the lighthouse today, and hope to go tomorrow. I am at the Driftwood Inn on Donax. Love this place, we are on a family vacation. My kids are 28, 26 and 20. They are having fun exploring the island, on bikes and the youngest rented himself a moped. I biked over 4 miles by myself this morning and I am exhausted, but ready to explore some more. I am from Monmouth, Maine and rent a cottage on the beach in Maine in July, I have so many shells from both Maine and Florida.
luvluvluv all the shells with “stripes”! – especially those cute coquinas! The lightning whelk is awesome!
40 more days…..
Coquinas are my favorite, too!
Thank you for finding out the name of the land snail! I just posted Olivia’s find from this evening. Unbelievable!!!!
Love love love your posts! Clicking my heels until July 6th! How can I always find we tales in your pics but never at the beach!!! You are great, thanks!
Argh!!! Supposed to say wentles! Auto spell strikes again!
Those Coquinas are so dang cute! Can’t wait to get out there and find me some! Four days and counting! I’m just so excited. We’re staying about a 1/4 mile from the Lighthouse. Hope we meet up, Pam!
When my niece was a little girl she called the COQUINAS “two ones.” I now live in Tennessee but still have my shell collection from Sanibel/Captiva, including a Junonia.
Pam, you bring so much happiness to so many people around the world. I’m just on the ‘other’ coast, but tune in daily because Sanibel is the home of my heart. Can you imagine, how somehow, some way, all of us feel so connected to one place on planet earth?
And you have become our Sanibel guru, bringing us a moment of peace and happiness in our busy, distracted lives.
Thank you, and the cyber shelling….priceless.
JoJo, LOVE. Thank you!
I love the coquinas and lightning whelk(pretty colors). I found a pink striped one with an overlay of purple-so unusual. Did you pick up the wentletrap?
I didn’t see the Wentletrap when I took the photo! I saw it at home when I was going through the photos I took to decide which one to use for cybershelling. I wish I had seen it to pick it up because it doesn’t look like an angulate…. It looks like one of the different Wentletraps. Darn!
Oh wait… Sorry, I did pick up these 2 Wentletraps and I gave them away. There was one other photo I took that had too much water over it so it blurred the shells too much for a cybershelling shot but I saw a Wentletrap that I missed..
@Jojo – well said!!! Beautiful words and so true. Our hearts are all connected in that special place. Two weeks from Tuesday and I will be there sharing Sanibel with my two BFFs! My Mom used to sift through the shell piles and collect the colorful “butterflies.” Dad would look for tulips. I like the minis and the elusive sand dollar. See you soon, Sanibel and Pam! Thanks for sharing these wonderful stories. XO!
I love it when you post a picture of a shell pile and I can go shelling in the comfort of my home. However, I wish I could click my heel three times and join you!
Thanks for the cybershelling…I need that! I’m in withdrawal! haha! Love your photos and the friendly people you meet! Enjoy your week!
Its so nice of you to meet so many shelling folks, how could we ever be upset at you for forgetting a name here and there! You are so generous and we all appreciate all you do very much :)
Thanx for the cybershelling pic, Pam. Did you slip that wentletrap in there to make me crazy!! I visited Lighthouse Beach almost every day of my three weeks on Sanibel this winter and never came up with one. It is my favorite shell and I admire the few that I have every day that I am not there.
TY so much for the cybershelling! Among all of the usual suspects and the darling coquinas I found 2 Wentletraps, what looks like an oyster drill(?) with a gorgeous blue & gold coquina at it’s tip and is that an Atlantic Slipper or Baby’s Ear at the top right? Happy Shelling!
***sorry…top left on the slipper/baby’s ear.
Hmmmm. I had assumed it was a slipper but now I wish I had picked it up just to make sure!
The cybershelling posts are my favorites! I feel like I’m honing my skills for the real thing in 38 more days!
Hi Pam! Thank you so much from the two of us for all the great information you provided Kelli and I with on Sat. night! The Lightning Whelk that Kelli found was so beautiful and she was so excited about it. She is hooked on shelling now! We look forward to seeing you and all the awesome other Shell seekers in the very near future on beautiful Sanibel . R&K :-)
Ron and Kelli! Of course! It was MY pleasure meeting yall and seeing Kelli get so excited about that awesome lightning whelk. Thank you so much for commenting so I can put your names with your faces!
Love, love, love the cybershelling thanks Pam! I found a lined tree snail washing in at the LIght House last year but it took me FOREVER to figure out what it was. Would love to find a maculated babes ear, but I still have difficulty spotting the white ones!
Coquinas are one of my favorite shells too. :-) Anyone have any creative ideas on how to display these little shells? I have a small box of them in all different colors.
What do you do with all the shells you collect? I was in Sanibel in January and picked up lots of shells. My friends made fun of me, but every shell is beautiful to me. I have filled several containers and can’t wait to come back and walk on the beach.
Thanks for the cybershelling pic. I feel like I found my first wentletrap of 2013. Will be on Sanibel this time next month. Can’t come soon enough–We had 6 inches of snow fall last night.
Hi Pam, I doubt that you understand the importance of your blog to people who visit Sanibel. I just met a mother and daughter birding team in Parvin State Park viewing a rare Tufted Duck. They mentioned that they had been birding in Sanibel. When I said that I go there too to said that a few years ago they made an arrow out of Pen Shells to tell their grandmother what direction they went shelling. You used it on your post saying “shells this way”. I remember it!
Shelling sisters always find each other, no matter where they are and you are our compass. You direct us to each other. Thanks, Marilyn
MEM, I remember it too! And I remembered them commented saying they were the ones who had made the arrow. It is a small world… and you are quite a good compass too! Just think about that day at the lighthouse when “Shelling Worlds Collided”. Thank you so much for your comment, Marilyn.
Beautifully said Marilyn, we couldn’t agree with you more.
Beautiful images Pam!! And what a gorgeous maculated baby’s ear, the nicest one I ever saw. :)
I so love this site. Even though I don’t respond to as many as I wish I could
and I open every single one) It just makes my day. The first baby’s ear I ever found was on Cayo Costa. I too love the cyber shelling pic. My honey Mike and I will be tehr end of next month. I can hardly wait!
Pam next really low tide if you and Clark make it to Sarasota I would love to show you where my shelling haven. No real comparison but incredible too.
I can’t thank you enough for your fantastic blog! I just spent a wonderful week on Sanibel at the invitation of a friend who has been going there for several weeks a year since 1978 …….
I always said that I would love to “pull the plug” on the ocean or gulf & see what lives in the water …..Just happens that I arrived with the red tide, …… sad that so many fascinating creatures were victims, but it was so amazing to see the incredible variety of sealife !! I took many photos of unusual fish, eels, crabs, rays as well as a few as yet “unidentified” beautiful creatures ….. interestingly enough, many fish & others were upright & looked very much alive in the photos.
(My six grandchildren now have photos of perfect pufferfish, rays, crabs, starfish, etc. that they plan to take to their classes here in Maryland to share with their Maryland friends ………..)
I planned to take more photos the next day, but I went to the beach, almost all of the evidence of the red tide was gone! Nature is incredible! I spent the next few days collecting gorgeous shells that I will always treasure!
I have been reading your wonderful blog ever since I returned home ….. it’s the next best thing to being there …I look forward to it every day!!.THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you Joanie! I felt the same way when I saw all of those creatures washed up on the beach. As first I was sad to see it but then… it was like a looking glass into the bottom of the Gulf!
I love the coquinas! When I first started shelling as a little girl they were my favorite shell. I loved watching them bury back into the sand after a wave. I just visited Sanibel in February and can’t wait to come back. I have been organizing my shells and comparing my finds from different trips and this year was the best yet! And I got to meet Pam!!