Dont you remember that old saying… “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes”? Well, it’s the same with shelling in Southwest Florida. We’ve had swirling high winds with rain the past few days so it has changed the shelling on every beach every 10 minutes. Just as the rain stopped at one point, I hurried to Sanibel Lighthouse Beach to see if the weather brought in good shelling conditions yet. I met more die-hard shellers! A little drizzly weather wasn’t going to keep Ann, Doug and Patricia from Minnesota from shelling…
Patricia found her first NUTMEG! And… notice that Patricia made her own necklace out of one of the shells (LADY-IN-WAITING VENUS) she found that already had a hole in it. So cute!
Then yesterday morning I met the cutest family from Indiana at Lighthouse Beach… Sean, Lori, Ellie, Wanda and Karl. Karl is a birder who volunteers at Ding Darling a few months in the winter and answered a few questions I had about some of the birds Ive seen lately. We realized how similar shellers are to birders then told him about Gill and Andy’s “The Big Year”.
If they were competing in The Big Year with shells, I think Sean would probably be the big winner in the family. As soon as he showed us all the great shells he was finding, he was back to his ankles in the water to find more. Love it!
Andrea from Ft Lauderdale said her day was complete since she found a perfect LACE MUREX with a pink nose.
Clark took one scoop with his shelling backhoe at the waters edge and brought a pile of shells to me. I snapped a photo so you could shell with me. CYBERSHELL away!
While I picked out some nice shells, he brought another scoop to me. Wow! Stephanie, this CYERSHELLING is for you (I got the book- Thank you!)…
Did you find these shells and more? Crazy, right? Two scoops of shellicious treasures!
There were lots of empty wonderful shells just at the surf’s edge on the gulf side at the lighthouse then walking west we found oodles of live creatures in the morning at low tide.
So… let’s get back to the “just wait 10 minutes until the weather changes for good shelling” bit. Lots of people ask me how I know which beach to be at for the good shelling all the time. Here’s a secret…. normally, I visit LOTS of beaches to find the best shelling. Yes, I can regularly find good shells or something really interesting EVERY time I walk on a beach here but I do stop by different beaches (Blind Pass, Gulfside City Park, Lighthouse) to assess the conditions on a regular basis and I don’t post on each one. That’s what is fun to me…. seeing the beaches change so much. I want to find the most interesting treasures to learn something and share it with you. So before I found so many shells at the Lighthouse Beach after the rain storm, I visited Blind Pass Captiva where I met Karen, Randy and Stephanie from Orlando…
Stephanie found a CARRIER SHELL and other goodies on the sand bar on the pass side.
It was so much fun to talk to Renee and Charles from Chicago after seeing how excited they were about their finds.
Charles found a WENTLETRAP there! After i took this photo, Renee told me she found a SCOTCH BONNET too. Huh? She told me it had a crack in to though so she didn’t put it in her “faves” pile. LOL I forgot to take a photo of it after she dug it out of her bag to show it to me and … yep! It was a beautiful SCOTCH BONNET with a small crack.
I’ve seen lots of cool BEACH BLING all week but this was my favorite… a CRUCIFIX SHELL. Hmmm… with Easter just around the corner.
If you are trapped in that unseasonably cold, snowy weather up north, I’m hoping the two scoops from Super Sheller Clark will help warm you up. We are wishing you sunshine and seashells!
Ugh! I’m dying here … I have shelling fever! Can’t wait to get back to Sanibel in June!!!
One week from today – love your shots where we can just browse through the shells.
Love the cyber shelling! Forgot about the hail/sleet coming down for a moment!
Thanks so much for posting!
What are those big, open, paired shells in the first picture?
Six more days until Sanibel, I’m so excited!
Those are paired valves of the Disk Dosinia. Pam does not (yet) have the two kinds of Dosinias on the “shell identification” page, but she already showed them and explained about them here:
The Dosinias always seem to wash up after a blow, along with the pen shells.
Oh goodness- I don’t have the elegant dosinias listed yet… or lots more for that matter. Ive kind of fallen down on that job- eeeek! Maybe this will get me inspired to get that done. BTW, Do you know (or anybody else for that matter) what else Im missing on the ID page that Ive talked about? the 3rd pen for sure. :0 Thank you Susan H- hope you had a great time on Nevis this year.
Oh, thank you! I love using dosinias for pendants. 2 more days, soooo excited!
Thank you so much Pam (and Clark too!) – for the very nice post and the 2 scoops of cybershelling photos :D It definitely brought some warmth to my day here in Nova Scotia :)
What a lovely lace murex! And I always love the carrier shells!
And wasn’t that an exceptionally large calico scallop that Renee found? Or does she just have small hands?
Loving the photos- where to find a shell backhoe like Clark’s?
I have seen them at Bailey’s General Store and at the gift shop at the front of Jerry’s grocery store plaza. I’m sure they are at other places on Sanibel too.
oh gosh! i didn’t see your question until sweet katherine answered you. You can find them on Sanibel at Sanibel Surf Shop (by jerrys), whitney’s bait shop, baileys and ace hardware. on captiva- yolo.
thank you so much for the wonderful post I really hope to come back this October
Alas, we were at South Seas this past weekend (you gave me some great tips on FB) but I had very little luck at Redfish Pass/Sunset Beach. Just a few small goodies — flat scallops, wormies, some gorgeous mini scallops in lovely colors but that was about it. That wind and the waves were insane!
Looking forward to a week in July for redemption :) Until then, I’ll comb my Jupiter beaches for the occasional goody!
Thank you again Pam :)
That was a very nice lace murex that Andrea found. Looks like everyone was enjoying the great shelling. It snowed for a couple of hours here, but thank goodness it disapeared. As far as ID pictures-boring turret, cross-barred venus, thorny oyster and some minis. Have you ever found a grey pygmy venus? Loved the cybershelling-I think I saw a chestnut turban. Hope the shelling continues. Pat
thank you Pat! this will help me to get them listed on the page. I’ve got to get back to organizing this blog- I’m so far behind so any help like this is appreciated so much. :)
I’m LOVING these pictures! I go to your site every day to “eat up” every bit of adventure you post!!! I get so greedy looking at this site. We go to Cape San Blas, FL each year (sometimes twice), and will be there next week. The shelling is great there, but NOTHING like Sanibel. I would love to join you sometime on a shelling adventure!
I tell children’s stories in church – each one related to a shell. Last year, I found several Crucifix bones at Indian Pass on my trip in April and was thrilled to add it to my Easter story! The bones come from the inside of the cranium of the Sail Catfish. I was so excited to see your picture.
Tell Super Sheller Clark to send a couple scoops our way! :)
Talked to “Karen from Orlando” this afternoon and she was pleased to have met you, Pam.
So nice to cyber-shell….I had to force myself to slow down cause I was going to run out of shells….ahhh…wishing for the real thing! Thanks Pam & Clark!
I sure hope all of these wonderful shells stay for awhile! I’ll be there in a few weeks to see what I can find – hope to meet you on a beach, Pam. Thanks for allowing us to shell vicariously through your photos, messages and videos!
Thanks for the cyber shelling….I think it could be also used for training to get our eyes ready for the big trip down :)
I’ll be there Friday on our annual girls’ getaway for a whole wondrous week! Keep the shelling tips coming and I’ll hope to see you on the beach, Pam!
Lots of live critters on the west end of the island last night. Lots of shell egg casings (I make it my job to toss them back into the water each time I see them), a few sea urchins last night (Please someone explain to me how to tell if they are “live” or “collectible”). Some pretty cool little crabs and even a washed up shrimp that was about 4″ long. I watched a lady find 3 (yes, I said THREE!) huge live shells close to the sandbar last night. The longest one we estimated was over 14″ long! Bright orange mollusks inside them. It was amazing! Also, we stumbled upon a gopher turtle today as we were coming back from the beach. Lots of exciting stuff to see. Oh, and did I mention how beautiful the sunset was last night? Looks like we are in for another gorgeous one again this evening. :) Love, love, LOVE Sanibel! <3
I love your shelling update Diane!
What is a carrier shell?
There is a good shell identification list on the left of this site.. Look at the ones for carrier shells. Such a useful list…thanks, Pam.