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 !
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.
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.
The most common SLIPPER is the called the COMMON ATLANTIC SLIPPER SHELL. Look at how many different colors, shades, patterns and sizes they have…
The SPOTTED SLIPPER is so cute! I think I can start liking SLIPPERS again after revisiting these cuties…
It’s a little harder to find the 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).
We find more of the DEPRESSED SLIPPERS when we go to Cayo Costa…
Look how flat it is!
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.
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.
You only have a little time left to enter to win a Sanibel Shelling vacation package! So hurry and CLICK HERE!
Love your updates on shelling ….. hope to get there again someday soon!!!
OK, I ‘m ready to come down and enjoy life some more!!
Sitting on beach in front of Mitchell’s Sand Castles. Shelling thin but found two olive beauties hiding in a pile. So happy to be in paradise for nine more days!!
Enjoy your time at Mitchell’s. It is where we always stay. Is the little “cliff” still there to get down to the lower beach and water? It was a little difficult to get up and down back in February, but, I sure wish I was there with you.
Hi, I was on West Gulf in late Jan. early Feb. and there was a huge cliff there. I am also wondering if the cliffs are still there.
I had no idea there were different kinds of Slipper shells! I usually overlook them but now I’ll have to have a closer look next time I’m on Sanibel. The Depresed Slipper at first glance looked like an operculum to me. And then the last picture reminded me of a Baby’s Ear! Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful? Such variety, almost as if God couldn’t decide on just one design so made multiples! LOL
I love your blog, Pam. I learn so much from your posted pictures and dialog. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing of yourself and your time and talent to satisfy the Shelling Obsession many of us have that cannot avail ourselves of a daily walk on the beach! Love to you and Clark.
Pam, I love the first picture. The umbrellas look like they were “planted” there just for the picture and the Dayflowers are so pretty. Between your photos and the webcams, I feel like I am almost there (Well, not really but as good as it can get until we get back there. :) ) Thanks.
Really great slipper pictures! I totally agree that the spotted slipper shells are very, very pretty indeed!
Even the common Atlantic slipper shells are surprisingly pretty on Sanibel, the ones that have all those nice dark parallel lines. Up here in the north they are not as nicely marked as that.
I was surprised to find slipper shells at East Point Light in Cumberland Co. New Jersey. I have lived in South Jersey all of my life and never found them before. I wondered if they came in with Sandy beach replenishment sand. East Point is on the Del. Bay. What do you think?
That first photo is great!! I want to shell so badly. I’ve entered the giveaways each day. Or at least I think I have. And I am probably the last entry at 11:57 for the trip. Fingers crossed, toes, and eyes and harms and thumbs and…… Lol
Very informative, thank you. Collecting seashells is my favorite active when I’m on vacation :)
OMG! That is so funny! I was reading your “slipper” story going to myself you mean toe nails, only to go further down and see you used to call them toe nails! Just thought that was funny. My husband laughs at me when I call them that.
As a beginner, I am soooo confused! is there a rule of thumb to tell the difference between a Trochidae (top shell) and a umbonium (button shell) ????
I’m excited to learn more about these. We’ve picked up a lot here on Canaveral National seashore and I always wondered what the depressed slipper was! They are so white and delicate! A favorite find! Enjoy your weekend!!!
Pam, how nice that you find the beauty in the smallest of shells. That is wonderful, it gives me a whole new way to think about when I go to the beach.
I loved finding so many slipper shells on Sanibel’s beaches when we were there three weeks ago, so I was very interested to read your informative article with the great photos of the varieties to be found. Besides all the common Atlantic slippers, I was lucky to find one beautiful large white slipper shell, indeed flat but not concave. Also found two dark brown, high-arched slippers with wavy white shelves, which after much research I’ve identified as onyx slipper shells (Crepidula onyx Sowerby) … not sure how common or rare they are on Sanibel. —- How pretty are those little blue Dayflowers!!! Really enjoy your wonderful photos of all Nature’s bounty in Sanibel!
Crepidula onyx is a west coast shell….so it shouldnt be on sanibel at all, its possible that your shells are not correctly identified. slippers can be tough.
I so loved learning about the varieties of Slipper Shells! As adults we called them toe nails ,lol! I think a shelling trip is in order for me and time to fish for my hubby!I so enjoy all your posts&amazing photos,THANK-YOU Pam for all you share!I am going to check out motels right now!!
Happy Fathers Day to all you wonderful shellers.
FUNNY THING JUST HAPPENED I RECEVIVED A WHOLE JAN THRU APRIL 2012 EMAILS FROM KIRBYRAMBO. DONT KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED BUT IT IS ALLWAYS FUN TO RE=READ COMMENTS.
We’re off to Rocky Point again for 4th (blooming HOT) but grandson in Navy and is coming to visit us-how can we say NO.
Janet in AZ
When I was a kid any slipper we called a Lady’s Slipper.
Ahhh, the Lady slipper is the Minnesota state flower, a type of orchid!
I collected several slippers last nov. and now I’m coming back in nov again. Hope to find those I didn’t find from last years list. Love your blog and your island and shells
I found out the other day doing research for my day of “shell teaching”, that all slipper shell mollusks are born male. They can change into females later. As they stack themselves, if there is a female on the bottom of the “stack”, it can not live. Just thought this was interesting to share.
Ha! Yes! It’s true they change sexes. I’ve taken photos of them stacked up but I couldn’t find any of those photos for this post so when I see them again or If i find those pics, I’ll post about them again and that interesting fact. Thank you so much for commenting!!!
Thanks for the slipper post! I picked up a few slippers this April, something I don’t normally collect, but these were unusual to me because they were very shallow, but not flat. The two that I just looked at are old and bleached, so I can’t see the original coloring, but the mollusk would have to have a skinny foot to fit in there. :)
Thank you for another look at slipper shells. We get them alot at the NJ Shore and also call them “toenails” which is why I think I did not appreciate them. Now seeing your collection, I will look at them differently
I used to find them up in Rhode Island and we called them sailor’s boats. Happy shelling.
We always called them ” babies cradles”.
They do look like babies cradles! How cute!
Pam, I loved this post about slipper shells. They’ve always frustrated me because they often fool me, looking like some other kind of shell. On our last trip I found some pretty ones that helped me look at them differently. Now I need to go back through them to see what different kinds of slipper shells I might have. Thanks, as always, for keeping us there on Sanibel in spirit!
I love these little shells. My mother always called them babies cradle – she was a sheller from the Atlantic Coast from way back! Thank you for your posts, I look forward to them every day! bonnie