Tropical Storm Chantal may have fizzled out in the Caribbean thank goodness, but she sure has left Southwest Florida with rain, rain, rain. That’s made it difficult for our regular beach combing but we did sneak out to Blind Pass Sanibel in between rain storms this weekend where we found hundreds of double COQUINAS in every color of the rainbow. I love these little Butterflies!
It made me think of some cool COQUINAS I saw last month on Fort Myers Beach but never got a chance to show you. I saw a colony of live COQUINAS in a tidal pool totally hanging out of their shells. It was such a wild site! I’m not sure if they were feeding or breeding or what…
But I did get a video so you can see for yourself. It is such a unusual site … Butterfly Kisses!
We walked back down to the pass under the bridge to find Denise from Georgia holding an ANGEL WING she found in one of the shell piles there.
I was thrilled for her that she said it washed up right at her feet and it was still in one piece. She said she didn’t find bags of shells but finding this one made for a perfect day. So nice to meet you Denise!
Join Us For SHELLABALOO 3 !!!!
Coquinas can really colorful…and congrats to Denise on a great find.
I know right! I recently saw one that was dark purple at the “hinge” and then blue, green, yellow, red, and pink from purply bit to edge. Absolutely gorgeous!
Denise is my mom and she told me this story today when they got home. She was so excited to meet you…again. You took a picture of her and my dad last year shelling. Next year will be my first year going with them….cant wait. Maybe we will stubble into you again!
Glad that Chantal ended up being only rain for you!
Beautiful images Pam! And really nice live coquinas!
Love me some coquinas! :)
Cool angel wing find, Denise. I’ve only ever found pieces but have two perfect ones ’cause they were given to me. Can’t wait to find one of my own.
We visited Sanibel a lot when my niece was little. She called coquinas “two ones.” We now live in Tennessee and hope to visit next summer for an entire month! I have a big shell collection including intact angel wings and a junonia that I found in 1980 below the Sanibel side of the bridge. I treasure that one.
Pam, would you please consider designing a line of SPF 50+ beachwear with your logo? Like the aqua t-shirts I see in your photos…
Honestly, I don’t care for most of shirts or many of the pants with the built~in sun protection, but I wear them instead of reapplying sunblock every two hours… and isn’t that a pain? I just bet you’re designs would be so cute and sporty… I mean, beach lovers like myself, with skin cancer/surgeries still need to be out there shelling and lovin’ the seashore… yet we need a stylish way to cover our once bronzy skin for goodness sake… I would be first in line to buy a lightweight, yet s un UVA-UVB beachcombing outfit with a little pizazz by Pam :)
Great idea, Charlotte. I too need to wear the UVA-UVB blocking clothing and I agree – what’s available now isn’t very stylish at all. I would love to wear something with Pam’s logo!
Lisa, I hear ya’… being SUN~SMART shouldn’t always look like you’re about to go sport fishing and land a large tarpon !!
U r cracking me up!!!! You have no idea how this hits home for me…. Or maybe I guess u do. Lol.
Charlotte, I would loooove to have better options for shelling wear too! It’s even hard to find bathing suits that are cute but not made for a “hard body” teenager. I have looked and looked for cute stuff but I’m no designer. :( Hmmm,m but you just gave me an idea… I have a friend…. Hmmmm I’ll put a bug in her ear.
Pam, I am so pleased with this possibility. Although the fabrics with SPF protection are pricey, but one outfit is way less costly than a copay at the surgery center. Please consult me about details of high collars, extra long sleeves and the hood~hat combo that works well in ARIZONA… the nations’ skin cancer capitol. And, in your corporate colors, outfits would sell like hotcakes. We are all about turquoise out west =)
OMG, great ideas! I would also be first in line to buy! I have never had cancer yet but being a red head, I am always applying sunscreen every hour to be safe & get spots I might have missed, & it is a pain! Sherri from MN
Now Pam, I’m sure that’s an orgy going on in that tide pool. Never seen anything like it, but timing is sometime all it takes. And your’s has never let us down.
Similar to catching the very moment the Pygmy Octopus babies hatch or the most recent Kings Crowns break out (slowly) of their egg casing. Your luck is our good luck too.
Those hot colors knock my socks off, and then the seriously blue stripe and the dark purple. Or the stripes and plaids? Hoping to find some pretties on the beaches around Beaufort nc this week.
So so colofrful! Found many just like you did at Island Inn beach in May but not alive. I brought them home and have a big jar of these awesome little guys.Just like snowflakes,all are unique!
MurexAlice especially likes the colorful Coquinas or Butterfly Clams, and I also think that they are a lot of fun. Coquinas are often present near the tide line and, to some extent, travel up and down the beach with the tide. Coquinas may congregate in colonies not only for reproduction, but also for feeding. It is great to see the current healthy population of Coquinas on Sanibel Island. Coquinas tend to be an indicator or beach health. Since Coquinas are filter feeders, poor water quality can dramatically reduce their numbers on the beach. In addition, dredging and beach renourishment can kill millions of these cute little bivalves and devastate entire populations. Although Coquinas can reproduce year round, peak spawning usually occurs in the early spring and decreases during the summer and fall. With an average life cycle of about eight months, they usually live about a year with a maximum lifespan of two years. Small wonder!
Very interesting, MurexKen! Love your wealth of info! I found tons in the first week of April and they are so pretty, kind of like old-fashioned candies! Sherri from MN
Is the weather going to clear up? We come tomorrow for two weeks! I would be pretty devastated to be there for a tropical storm! But, it is the risk we take coming in the summer, I guess! Would love to meet you , Pam! :) Hope everyone stayed safe from Chantal! Sherri from MN
What a neat coquina encounter! Never seen anything like that. Thanks for the great vid.
That’s funny a out the butterfly coquinas. When I was shelling there in April, on a no worthy shell day, I started picking up a bunch of coquinas. It’s nice because both sides are usually still attached. After washing them off and laying them on paper towels I thought, sayyy, this would make a neat butterfly collage. I haven’t done any art projects yet, so I don’t know if they could be mounted and stay put, but I’ll have to give it a try. I have a collection of mounted butterflies in my office, so I thought it would fit in with the FL theme nicely!
Has anyone else ever tried this?
As an aside, it was nice to read MurexKen’s comment about the coquinas being an indication of a healthy beach.
My great-aunt has a recipie for coquina stew… they made it during our family trip this year. I didn’t eat any because I had been reading about the nervous systems of seashells and that would have just grossed me out. Good thing, too– later they found out that even getting live coquinas for stew is illegal! That made us LOL. Also have you ever noticed how if you stomp in one spot of sand for a while then there will be about a bajillion coquinas on the surface? It is a beautiful sight!