I found this odd looking “thing” on the beach a while ago so I brought it home to do some research on it since it was so dang interesting. Sometimes I’m like Shelly May Clampett bringing home parts of “critters” that get washed up on the beach. Hmmmm…. “Hey Paw, which critter ya think this here thang belonged to? Ya think maybe a moose antler? Or some kinda critter lost a hand?” Shelly May may have never thought it looked like an alien’s Jazz Hands but I do! LOL After searching lots of websites without success, I found the answer in my trusty Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas book and learned it was a piece of a SEA TURTLE shell. It’s part of the lower shell called the HYPOPLASTRON.
Two weeks ago, my friend Susan from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba had found a bone similar to this one and asked me if I knew what it was. Yes! A SEA TURTLE BONE! I wanted to show her a photo of mine but I couldn’t find it. Omigosh, where is it? Oh lawd, my SHELLABORATORY still looks like a SHELLNADO hit it. Every time I start organizing our stacks of shells, something else comes along so it stays a crazy mess. Seriously, we look like the Clampetts (CLAMpetts heehee) on the Sanibel Shellbillies. Ack! So back to organizing…
Honestly, it’s like discovering fun things all over again going through these containers and boxes… and then…. I found my SEA TURTLE BONE! Yay! This time, I wanted to find a home for it so I wouldn’t “lose” it again. I’ve been saving glass containers for years to one day organize our shells and bling so I’m making good use of them now. Every SEA TURTLE BONE we find now will go into the large jar on the right. All other bones from bait, fish bones and bird bones will be separated in other jars so that it will be easy and fun to do another post to identify some of the things you might find on the beach other than shells.
I can’t wait until my Shellaboratory is finally organized so at least we won’t be total Sanibel Shellbillies and I can easily find the things I want to share and post about.
… Like these MUREX shells I’m sorting out. I have 9 different species to separate so once I have a chance to photograph the individuals, I’ll have another “the difference between shells” post. I love those!
On a personal note without shells involved, it was a sad day to find out our wonderful palm tree that became an amazing bird condo for WOODPECKERS and SCREECH OWLS with have to be taken down. There’s no way to save it due to disease and it’s become unsafe with any high winds since it’s completely hollow now. We are so bummed! Clark, Dustie, PuppyCat and I have witnessed many nests, babies and families come and go in the tree from our side porch view so we’ve grown to love seeing them every day. We hope to find someone who will build a replacement for our same WOODPECKERS and OWLS for us before next spring so please let me know if you have suggestions. The Sanibel Shellbillies don’t want to lose our critters!
beautiful owl photo. how sad you’re losing the tree. maybe someone can build you a sort of perch (like they make for cats) with different levels and little houses for your critters?!
counting down the days . . . only 8 days until we arrive!
yes! I would loooove to have several different levels – a couple for the pileated woodpeckers, one for the red bellied woodpecker and one for the screech owl. Ive looked online but I think I’ll have to find a local to build something for us. thanks!
good luck and post pics when you have it done!
hope to see you on the beach while we’re there in 7 days!!! saw you the first time we were there in october of 2012. you were talking to a couple of women who didn’t want their photos taken but were happy to show their shells. i didn’t know who you were until after we got home and i found the blog. put two and two together and now your blog is my daily treat! thanks for all that you share.
Pam and Clark you are Shellaholics for sure. No shelling for awhile for us. We are well into be labelled Beachglassaholics.
We must be cut from the same cloth. I have boxes of empty jars for “someday” so I can organize my collection of treasures. I know I’ve lost track of what I have and what I don’t, and I already started to sort “like with like” to get a handle on it. And sorry about your tree. What a cute owl pic! There must be a way to get some sort of safe replacement tree/structure.
I love Amy’s idea. A post with some cute birdhouses made to accommodate the different types of birds you have in the area. Maybe you could attract even more types of birds that way.
I’ve read that woodpeckers need to make their own hole in a tree for nesting and won’t use a bird house unless it is filled with wood chips that they can remove. Not sure if that is true. Maybe another birder can answer that one.
I’m always on the lookout for nice glass vases to put my shell collection in. Right now most are in a tub under the bed. Gack!
The bone – glad Susan found one and that you id’d it for us.
“Say it ain’t so Elly May…” Not the tree – that was such a good home for many birds. Sad to see it go. We had a palm tree similar to yours down here behind the Bayview that was home to woodpeckers and it too had to go…
The Shellabratory is starting look like the Shell shed ;)
I’ve got a long way to go before its as organized as the Shell Shed!LOL
Love the bird condo and the pic of the owl! Sad to see it go. Hopefully you will find a new replacement soon.
Your sea turtle bone is very cool! I love that you have (had) a sort of inn for the birds – I hope you are able find replacement accommodations for them!
I was told that when you retire you would have all this time for projects, reading, photos, etc. What happened?? I to have all these bags,boxes, drawers, etc filled with shells, glass, misc. and there they wait – was hoping to do a wall with shells, then AZ summer hit so they all sit and wait so more. Maybe this fall!!
I have whale bone, turtle, grouper (300#). birds,beach glass, shark purses, bone wings. and undefinable.. One day I promise them…
Janet, Surprise, AZ
Love that owl picture!
I love the owl! How sad to lose the tree they all use! I hope you find a replacement, too! Good luck! Love your posts! My husband and I came back from Sanibel a week ago last Tuesday & I’m missing it sooo much already! Back to school (teacher workshops) for me. Our students start Monday already! I hope it isn’t another year before I return!! :( Sherri from MN
Is the palm tree too diseased to be recycled? Cut the parts that the owl and woodpeckers like and reuse them. Do you have other trees in your yard that you can hang bird houses? Can’t wait for your post about the murexes. I didn’t know there were 9 different ones on Sanibel. Great post . Pat
Pam, How about cutting the palm down to about an eight foot height and using what’s left to attach different size birdhouses?
Pat and Sally, Awwww… thank you so much for the suggestion of recycling the tree parts BUT yes, it’s too diseased. About 6 years ago, I had somebody in the yard helping with a project and he saw a shelf looking mushroom on the bottom of the tree. He looked at me and told me that type of fungus and we will lose the tree in a few years. Of course i thought he was crazy but I scraped off the ‘mushroom”, threw it in the trash and forgot about it. Fast forward to this week…. Since the tree is very dead and was split from top to bottom (I’ve had a strap on the tree to help keep it in place), I had all kinds of plans to cut segments out of the tree to save to build bird houses to be erected on a tall wooden light pole… until I talked to a friend about our tree (just by chance) and after he asked a couple of questions, he told us our tree had Ganoderma zonatum. aka- BUTT ROT Yikes! LOL
Using any part of the tree could spread to other trees in the yard- you even have to clean the tools after cutting it. So I had someone come out yesterday late afternoon to cut it, he took the strap off, stood at the base and with one shove, he pushed the whole tree over with his hands without breaking a sweat. I wish I had videoed it!!! Wild! The tree is now gone -boooohooo
FYI- Watch out for Butt Rot, y’all! ;)
At least it happened while the bird condos weren’t occupied! You have my sympathies…. that’s a loss…
Butt rot?! Yuck!-)
If y’all need a “shell-lab” assistant, you know who to call.”
Oooooooo if only i had a shell-lab assistant.
If I lived in the neighborhood I would be glad to help you sort. And I am sure there would be many other volunteers too. :)
Pam …..remember sea turtles are endangered and you should check to see if you can legally keep part of their skeleton.
Thanks Kathy, but I actually didn’t know it was part of a sea turtle when i brought it home. it was just that piece on the beach- nothing else. :|
What an interesting post Pam. I have seen various sea turtle parts on Nevis.
Glad you are getting your jars organized; that’s a lot of work, but totally worth it. I see you have a whole handful of rose murexes!
So sorry to hear the old palm tree came down, but that happens to all of them eventually — better to have it pushed down deliberately than the wind blow it down and perhaps damage the house. I am figuring that those birds probably won’t use nesting boxes, maybe only a tree will do for them, or something very similar to a tree. Old dead palm trees are ideal because the wood is not too hard and easy for them to excavate. Maybe the Audubon society could tell you if you could make something for them?
another great post,i never thought about bones of any kind but they are from the sea so I guess its alright but being a newbie I need to add to my shell collection and if I see bones I will save them for you pam .the owl needs to be painted on a canvas its so beautiful,hate to lose the bird home but it will be safer for all after its gone and the birds will find a new home that’s much safer.my collection is only about two hundred but not enough variety and they need to be in containers and marked so I know what I have and what I need but that will come with time.cant wait to be shellin in the morning,shelling in the noontime and shelling at dinner time a good wholesome fun time for al–l I love shellingsincerely R.G.STEIN
The piece of sea turtle shell is very cool! I have a large old bone I found on the beach years ago that I still haven’t identified. I’ll have to find it or a photo of it to post to see if you might know! Love your shell collections. Oh and I came over to visit by way of Kim at Snug Harbor Bay :)
Very cool! You inspired me to go back and try to identify a bone I found a few years ago on Honeymoon Island. I’m now 99% sure it’s about half of a turtle pelvis.
Hope you find a way to give your critters a new home. The condo post sounds like a great idea!
I don’t know what the Pileated Woodpecker would prefer but I have Screech Owls nesting in my Wood Duck houses each Spring. How about a sturdy pole with a number of Wood Duck type houses on it, like a Florida condo?
Ooooo I’ll google wood duck houses for my screech owl- thanks MEM!!
Well Miss Clampett you really made my day with this post. So nice to know there are other crazies out there that love shelling as much as I do (I knew that all the time ’cause I get your posts). And you love to organize them too! I’m truly not alone. My daughter says, “ya, like you need another shell!” hahahahaha. It’s not need, it is love. I have never found a piece of a sea turtle shell but will keep looking. It’s always a high seas treasure hunt :) Happy shelling kiddo.
Wow that bone is pretty amazing!
I just loved your sea stuff and shell collection !I loveeeeeeee shelling but here in brazil we dont have a place such sanibel full of different shells! Wish i could visit there !Lovely blog ! Congratulations my new friend ! Hugs from brazil ! Miss Nilbe.
I saw the post I sent to you in 2014 when I had 200 shells well because I love shelling because of you I now have over 5,000 shells of which I make shell art and give away many 8″ x !5″ crosses I,ve made over he years and other pieces of animas and table ornaments ,but I miss you and clark because of your posts and feelings bout shelling you are not replaceable