sanibel beach umbrellas

With so many storms in the last week, I’ve been so focused on finding the beaches with the best shells since each day has changed the beaches so drastically. One day the water is rough with shells being piled on the beach.  The next day the water calms with a clear aqua color to snorkel to your hearts content to find lots of shells.  And then the next day, the water isn’t as clear but has a nice shell line strung along the beach which makes for a nice walk. This all happens within days at Blind Pass Sanibel! Sometimes you have to be flexible if you want to find shells. Yesterday was one of the days that there was a nice but little shell line strung along the beach so I walked under the bridge on the Sanibel side. That’s where I saw Megan, Sheila, Cheyenne and Rebekah picking up a few shells…. and lots of SLIPPER SHELLS !

megan sheila cheyenne rebekah sanibel beach

I should pay more attention to SLIPPER SHELLS because I’ve had so many people ask me about them lately. They are one of the most common shells on Sanibel so I see them almost every time I visit any of our beaches. I remember collecting them when I was a child so I should have the same fondness I have for COQUINAS, KITTENS PAWS and SCALLOP shells since they were my first memories as well. Hmmmm. So I got out my SLIPPER SHELLS I’ve collected over the years to reunite with these old friends.

sanibel slipper shells

I’ve always grouped them all together and called them all SLIPPERS but there are a few different ones. Okay, wait…. I’ve not always called them “SLIPPERS”. As a kid, we called them “Toe Nails”. Don’t ask my why but maybe that’s why I don’t give them enough time! But I’ve heard them called “Boats” or “Quarterdecks” too but they really do look like slippers when you turn them over and see where the MOLLUSK lived.

slipper shell inside

The most common SLIPPER is the called the COMMON ATLANTIC SLIPPER SHELL. Look at how many different colors, shades, patterns and sizes they have…

common atlantic slipper shells

The SPOTTED SLIPPER is so cute! I think I can start liking SLIPPERS again after revisiting these cuties…

spotted slipper shells

It’s a little harder to find the SPINY SLIPPER SHELLS.

spiny slipper shells

You can actually see the little spines on these shells. It looks similar to the SPINY JEWELBOX but you can tell the difference by turning it over to see half the “cover” which makes that bedroom slipper look. The SPINY JEWELBOX is a bivalve and the SLIPPER is a univalve (or gastropod).

Spiny slipper shell

We find more of the DEPRESSED SLIPPERS when we go to Cayo Costa…

depressed slipper shell

Look how flat it is!

depressed slipper shell side view

You can see by this aperture view how shallow the “slipper” part is. Haven’t you found one of these and thought it was just a piece of shell? Nope. It’s a funny little shell.

depressed slipper shell side aperture

So I’m still learning not to take the common shells for granted and realize how amazing and beautiful they are too. I love the little things the beach teaches me because I may have missed this beautiful little DAYFLOWER next to the pathway to the parking lot at Blind Pass Sanibel. How many stinkin times have I walked that path and I have never stopped to recognize this little beauty. I’m liking those little SLIPPERS even more for making me stop and shoot the DAYFLOWERS.

sanibel dayflower by beach

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