I have been looooving my long walks on the Sanibel beaches this week with warm, sunny days. Yesterday at the Lighthouse Beach, I enjoyed finding WENTLETRAPS and other sweet minis on the Gulf Of Mexico side instead of on the pier side where they used to be.
It feels so good to find the minis again.
Jim from Buffalo, NY found four times the WENTLETRAPS I found but I was most jealous of this crazy big WENTLE. Wow! Thats a whopping wentle to wet your whistle!
A few days ago I walked Blind Pass beach on the Sanibel side and met Deb from Minnesota…
She had such a beautiful variety of shells she mostly found at the water’s edge. Very nice BANDED TULIPS, FIGHTING CONCHS, LIGHTNING WHELKS, SCALLOPS and of course that sweet candy in the middle- a juvie HORSE CONCH.
Lokks like I’ve got some catching you up to do because I got lost in time looking through all of those PEN SHELLS, BEACH BLING and researching those DOSINIAS earlier this week. I also went to Tarpon Beach a couple of days ago and found this big shell pile.
Just a short walk from that big shell pile there are still nice low tide pools with fun stuff to explore too. This one is only about 50 yards in front of the entrance (on the left) to the public beach access.
To show you how many shell and wrack lines there are at Tarpon Beach, I tried (its a little blurry- sorry!) to take a photo of me holding a WENTLETRAP in one of the high tide lines so you could see how far I was from that shell pile and the water. There are so many fun areas to search.
Every beach I’ve been to in the past few days, has been so much fun to explore. If I didn’t find the bigger shells like Deb, I started to search for my fave minis. But then… finding shells is just icing on the cake sometimes. Sometimes I just want to feel the sunshine on my skin and breath in the sea. So I hope you can CyberSink your toes on this sandy, shelly beach and enjoy the blue skies, sunshine and warm weather to enjoy it with me. Sending sunshine and cybershells.
PS- I’m thrilled I’ve gotten some feedback and some of y’all are enjoying my “the differences between shells” posts. I have lots of different little minis in the top photos of my Lighthouse finds so until I can get to photographing the DRILLS and such, check out these posts … Similar Small Sanibel Seashells and… Seashells Open Your Eyes. That will help you identify most of these shells along with the SPARSE DOVE that’s in this post… I Spy Seashells And Beach Bling. Dont forget, you can always go to my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page… CLICK HERE.
Thanks again for some “virtual shelling!”
Thank-you! We are expecting a blizzard this afternoon, so really need that sunshine and warm weather you speak of. I’ve forgotten what it feels like!
OMG Connie! Be safe and warm …..and think shelling!
Thanks for the cypershelling! I know it’s all about the shells, but what are the purple flowers? we saw some in Nov. when we were there and they seem to spring up out of nowhere. thanks!
Hi Erin, the purple flowers are morning glories! They DO spring up out of nowhere and they disappear just as quickly. I like that you asked… Because I don’t think it’s always about the shells when shelling, I think I love shelling because of the whole experience when u r On the beach…. Shells, flowers, birds, sky, shellers, bling, grasses, smells, sounds… Everything! It’s utopia.
Yes, loved the morning glories – those are Heavenly Blue types – easy to grow and they spread like wildfire…… which leads to wonderful blue fences (or wherever you plant them!) :)
Used to work in a garden centre for 6 years so I love flowers too ;)
Pam, your thoughts on the beach experience is “spot on”! That is exactly how I feel. It also has healing powers I believe. At least for me I feel more alive and thankful.
Thanks for all your posts.
Oh my… every time I think I’ve got my mind made up where to go on vacation I find one of your updates and lean towards Sanibel again.
Heeheehee Sanibel is addictive!
It sure is! My hubby wants to go hiking in CO for spring break, but I want Sanibel!!
Gorgeous! Every one of your posts is like a “mini-escape” for me as we are also having a very rough winter here in Nova Scotia with snowstorm after snowstorm. I can ‘almost’ feel the warmth right through your photos ;D
WOW! You cleaned up on the Wentletraps! They’re my favorite shell to find! I’m always looking carefully by the Lighthouse, my self-proclaimed best place to find them! Can’t wait to return in May…
We just returned back to NJ after a week in Sanibel/Captiva – what a wonderful time we had shelling in the sun. Disappointed that we didn’t find any wentletraps. However… after the colder and windy “angry waves” of last week, my husband Ken and the kids (Christian and Sydney) dug out a perfect JUNONIA at Tarpon Beach in the low tide sand, just after sunrise on Sat. the 15th!! We also saw all the beach bling including the long-spined sea urchin, crab traps, egg casings, and even a pygmy octopus (Go Red Wings)!!
Millie, I’m so happy that you saw an octo. My encounter was on 1-19 at the locals beach west of The Island Inn, and it will be a special memory for me. As I was walking along the shell line, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement on the shell pile that my mammalian instinct told me DID NOT belong there. As I turned to look, I saw an octo rolling out of a heart cockle pair. I video’d a few seconds but the movement that was normal for his species looked too much like writhing to my human brain (and heart). My plan to rescue little Billy Bob (8 limbs, 8 letters) was not to his liking. Little BB headed inland, and he was already above the out-going tide. I tried gently nudging him toward the waves. We squared off — him facing inland and me facing the sea. I tried to explain to BB that he had NO CHANCE in that direction. The seagulls were already circling! He spit at me! His inky squirt only went about 2 inches, but I’ll remember it. That squirt took a lot of spunk for a 3″ high critter, so he needed a more distinguished name — Billy Bob Octavius. (still 8 limbs, 8 letters). I finally managed to roll BBO down to the drop-off. When I passed that spot again about 30 mins later, he had not beached again, and no seagulls were licking their chops, so I choose to believe that he made it safely home. And it gave me a great story to tell to anyone who will listen.
Where and when was your encounter?
What an entertaining story!! I love saving the little critters I find…… I’m probably one of the few people on our beach (well, the one we visit every year) who searches out and throws back those big “pen shells” when they’re full (yes, I looked it up using Pam’s handy shell identification page! http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/seashell-identification/ )
We found a tiny tiny tiny tiny octopus (not even sure if he still counted, he was probably smaller than a quarter even fully extended!!) and put him back in the water this past trip. SO TINY! Hahahah
A Pen Shell pinched me hard last time I visited Sanibel. Ouch.
Loved your Octo Adventure, both of you. It’s so much fun to read everybody’s stories when I can’t be there.
Ouch!! Sorry to hear. They’ve never been that fast when I’ve handled them haha….. They could be dead by the time I get to them, but that won’t stop me from trying to “save” them!!
I wish I had more shelling friends I could talk to in person – it’d be fun testing the knowledge we learn here!!
Between this blog and my new HappyLight, I think I’ll make it through winter ;)
Laura, make some local shelling friends. I bring extra shells home to share with friends, provide a shell identifier sheet, and point my friends to Pam. We have fun discussions as we look at details and differences in the shells like Pam does in her blog. The discoveries are an even better gift than the shells themselves…like a book club!
Millie, congrats to Ken on his Junonia! Just down the beach at Gulfside City Park, same day, same exact time, I saw a man with his mother do the same exact thing! He plucked a perfect Junonia out of the water on the low tide line. He said it was right next to an Alphabet cone. Exciting morning for sure!
What beautiful images Pam!
The world record size for the angulate wentletrap is a little less than one and a half inches, so the shell that Jim from Buffalo found looks as if it is starting to get up towards that size range…
Hahaha I told him he should look into the world record! He rolled his eyes
It’s so nice to look at warm sunny beaches-miss them. I only found one wentletrap at blind pass and it was alive! Loved the dosinia post- now I have to check what I found. Good shelling. Pat
Time to look up old posts to study up on how to find wentletraps! Adding them to my wish list for my visit in a few weeks. I get so caught up in the moment looking for the large prize I forget how awesome minis are! Wentletraps have such an interesting shape. And I agree, the flowers, birds, smells and everything else the island has to offer should not be overlooked! It’s magic!
Oh I needed Sunshine, Shells and Sanibel. Today in KC area, we had rain am, hail mid morn, snow early aft and then ended with a warm up to 40. The old “wait 5 minutes and it will change”!!!
I have been wanting to visit Sanibel for years!! Finally getting my wish for our 20th Anniversary! I’m hoping I can find at least one Wentletrap. My question though is how do you not get carried away and pick up every shell you see? What do you pick up and what or how do you decide what to leave?
Hey Sandy, at first you probably WILL want to pick up every shell you see, but there are so many millions of shells on Sanibel that even after one day, if you look at your first day’s haul of shells after you wash them off and set them out to dry, you will say, “this one is a bit broken; this other one is nicer” and so on.
A lot of people walking along the beach let their eyes just pick out the colors that stand out, or the more interesting shapes. Whatever strikes you as the most pretty.
I pick up quite a lot, but I always end up putting much of it back or giving it away towards the end of my stay; I just keep what seems to me to be the “best stuff”.
If you pick up one of Pam’s laminated identification sheets and use her blog, you will be able to gradually learn what you have found.
Sandy, Susan H is right–you will pick up everything! And that’s okay! Sometimes I look back at some of the shells I saved on my earlier trips and wonder why. But each time I’ve learned more and recognized more. That doesn’t stop me from picking up anything that is pretty or interesting. Some of my favorites are the scallops, which are very common but can be found in amazing and beautiful colors and patterns. Hope you have a wonderful time!
Pam you seem able to answer my question without me asking them, maybe you are receiving my thought waves. Have been going crazy trying to sort these little guys out. I hope your info will help me figure them out.
Love the flowers, blue sky, sun, ocean and shells! Love all your pics! Minneapolis Public Schools just closed again! It’s the 6th time this year which is weird since in 16 years they’ve only had one snow day! We just had a big snowstorm. Glare ice on the roads w lots of snow. It’s been quite a winter! Wish I was there!
Sherri from MN
This is nice. My kids love collecting too especially when they find shark’s teeth.
Dear Pam – Thank you so much for your post and pictures. I feel so knowledgeable about shells now, and I am impressing my friends.
You and Sanibel help keep me sane through the dark days of February.
Your comments are all so much fun to read!
Alison Hagerup sound like a beach I would love to visit, say’s Elna Jelstrup. I looked it up on googlemaps and I don’t see where to park. Can anyone advise?
Check out my parking page at http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/parking/ . I had the Alison Hagerup parking lot a little off but I just fixed it. Now you can find it easily when you click the first map on this page and zoom in. good luck!
Thank you so much, Pam. All is made clear.
Pam, I first came to Captiva almost 30 years with my parents and couldn’t wait to return with my kids. We’ve been twice to Sanibel and between shelling and fishing for sharks (14 year old’s obsession) can’t wait to return again. I read your blog through the winter and dream of a beach condo, warm sand, the smell of the gulf, and shells! Thanks for being a bright spot in my winter! (We still pick up sooo many shells!!)
Thank you so much for your posts, my shelling eye is getting much better after I found your site. I went to Long Boat Key with finding a Wentletrap in mind, I haven’t been able to find any at my Honeymoon Beach. I found the tiniest little guy and now I can check that off my list! Thinking about a trip to Sanibel next weekend! Happy shelling!