For those of us who love to look for mini shells at low tide near the Sanibel pier, last night was a perfect evening.
Gwendolyn, Hailey, Sarah and Viet from the Orlando area found some sweet minis too. I especially loved that little black and white WEST INDIAN FALSE CERITH Viet found.
For shellers who love to explore the water like Anthony, Ryan and Jose from Iowa, different treasures make them happy.
Anthony was amazed by the live LIGHTNING WHELK he found so while showing his family this live creature he made sure he held the shell so the MOLLUSK still had water covering the inside until he walked it back out so return to the sea- so thoughtful! He and Ryan found lots of other loot (including that gorgeous LACE MUREX) while Jose found two SAND DOLLARS that were still grey but without any cilia/fur/hair/breathing apparatus so he knew these were dead. Jose told me he saw hundreds that were still alive so he left them alone but knew these two were ones he could keep.
As the sky opened up and it began to rain (without lightning), I met these three beautiful ladies Christine, Lindsey, and Caren from Connecticut just as we were heading off the beach.
We got to talking while I looked at some of their sweet minis, and I completely lost their names! Ack! So embarrassed! Thanks for reminding me! Yes, I remember so much about y’all (first time finding wentles, watching the vids and even a first time sheller) but names? psh- sometimes they get lost. Sorry!
Notice what unusual colors the changed in all of these photos before and after the rain? Every 15 minutes it seemed as if I had sepia toned glasses on then back to colorama glasses. As I was running off the beach, a rainbow appeared for a few minutes when I saw Holly from Fort Myers again.
I snapped a photo of some of her mini finds since they were waaaay cute. See that BABYS EAR on the right? We had talked about BABYS EARS earlier in the evening… saying we haven’t seen many at the Lighthouse Beach lately… then got on another subject… walked a few feet … I looked down and screamed in mid sentence. A BABYS EAR right at our feet. LOL We both laughed and I told her that happens on the iLoveShelling cruises all the time and I swear people think I plant them. Theres NO WAY! I would NEVER do that. It’s just happens .. and yes, it’s weird but it happens… a lot (but never with JUNONIAS- dang it!).
I was now soaked…and happy… so I decided to just walk instead of run to the beach access ramp to the parking lot. That’s where Ingrid and Pat from Missouri and I laughed at ourselves for hanging out in the rain. Look at that big bag filled with shells! That’s why Ingrid said it was hard to be torn off the beach- Die-Hards!
These are just some of the shells she whipped out of her bag to show me. Fun!
As I was talking with Ingrid and Pat, Clark showed up drenched too but with a pocket full of minis and SAND DOLLARS. Clark found some of those grayish bald SAND DOLLARS too… and more minis- yay!
Just to make sure we don’t confuse the dead SAND DOLLARS with the live ones… we always check to see if there is anything that looks like “fur” or “hair” on them when they are gray-ish like this. Nope! These are all very smooth and bald- not a “hair” in sight.
You can compare them to these live SAND DOLLARS to easily see the cilia/fur/hair on the edges of all four SAND DOLLARS in the next photo. See?
Even after getting drenched, it was a lovely evening at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach.
Oh what fun! Shelling in the rain and singing as well I’m sure when you found the baby’s ear! I didn’t get the email from our trip to Cayo Costa last week. I want you to know, that it was a dream come true meeting you! I purchased a necklace for my beautiful sand dollar charm from Sealife by Congress. Thank you for an adventure I will never forget!
Wonderful finds by you all, Pam. I love seeing all the minis, and it must b
e raining wentletraps, as I’ve never see so many pictures of them as I have in the past few weeks. Love it!
Oh what fun…… Luv the mini shells at lighthouse! Beautiful finds everyone! Shelling in the rain is refreshing & less crowded, heehee. !
East Granby. CT
We had no luck the past 2 days and we went early today to Cayo Costa on the cruise at 9 am and yesterday at the lighthouse beach and blind pass. We could hardly find any shells. Any suggestions? It has been very upsetting for us but I am super happy to keep trying.
Just like the in the post, I suggest you look for minis at the lower tide like we did. This week the low tides are in the morning and in the evening. good luck and happy shelling!
My first trip to Sanibel starts this Sunday and I am so excited!!!!!!! I have a week to find treasures on the beach like these. So looking forward to this trip and walks along the beach.
your emails keep getting better cant wait to get there
Really gorgeous photos Pam! And you know I love all the tiny shells!
That velvety fuzz on live sand dollars is actually spines, believe it or not. Sand dollars are closely related to sea urchins, but instead of having coarse sticking-out spines, sand dollars have huge numbers of tiny spines, so many and so close together that they feel almost like fur. (The spines have soft-tissue cilia on them when the animals is alive, but cilia are way too small to see without a powerful microscope.) Unlike sea urchins, which use their tube feet to move around, the sand dollar moves using the coordinated motion of its velvety covering of spines.
Sand dollars also have tube feet made of soft tissue that they breathe through; this tube feet protrude out of the flower-shaped design on the top of the sand dollar. You may possibly not be able to see the sand dollar’s tube feet unless you are looking at it carefully while it is still in seawater.
Yes, Susan thank you! Each time I post photos of the darker sand dollars I try to explain that they weren’t alive since some people think all sand dollars that aren’t bright white are still alive. I have a video some where that shows them alive and moving but maybe i never published it since I couldn’t find it. i’m doing a page on these so I’d love to use some of your explanation. Thank you!
One time I was at blind pass when it started to rain. The shells were rolling in, so it was hard to leave even though I got soaked. Great shells everyone was finding-esp. the wentletraps. Great info about the sand dollars Susan. Pat
Hi Pam! Those three beautiful ladies are myself, Lindsey, and my mom Caren. All from CT. So awesome to see the pics! Thanks again for chatting!
Christine! Of course! That rain threw me for a loop with my camera and electronics so thanks for commenting, Sweetie. It was so much fun to talk to you and meet you all… and share our mini finds. Lindsey caught on VERY quickly! How could I forget that last name? Paradise. Love.
Pam, I love your last picture of the pier. It’s so serene, just beautiful. The next best thing to actually being there…. thank you.
We will be in Sanibel for 7 days starting this Saturday the 19th. I can hardly wait as this will be our first visit to Sanibel. Are there any recommendations you can make for better shelling in the morning verses shelling in the evening. Excited to check out Blind Pass and Light House Beach but are there any others you recommend. Getting ANTSY : }
It was so nice meeting you! The boys loved seeing their photo on the site. Hope to catch up with you again some time :)