shells after storm on sanibel

Southwest Florida had some crazy storms plow through our area in the last few days… so I have so much to tell you! I will start by telling you that there were areas of flooding from downpours of rain, high winds, tornados and washed out roads. But we are all safe and sound…. which leaves us with talking about the shelling. Holy Cowrie. We found some shells, folks. Clark scooped for hours yesterday at the lighthouse and this is one of many very cool shells he found- a huge, empty HORSE CONCH. Shellzam!

large empty horse conch

But to me, his best find was the perfect ROSE MUREX he scooped in his shelling backhoe. We rarely find these but when we do, the “tail” (SIPHONAL CANAL) is chipped and beach worn and the color is usually really faded.

rose murex found on sanibel beach-1rose murex found on sanibel beach-1

But not this one…. this one is perfect!

sanibel rose murex aperture

But let back up… There was so much rain that came so fast (we heard reports of 4 inches in 40 minutes) that Friday January 15, the Blind Pass Sanibel parking lot looked like this…

flooding at blind pass sanibel

That same day, the road to the Sanibel Lighthouse just passed the fishing pier was eroding away from the waves pounding the side of the road.

erosion sanibel lighthouse road

By Sunday January 17, that same road was pretty much washed away and the road was closed (that is a police car in the back ground). Most parking lots were closed but by 10am the parking lot on the other side of Lighthouse was re-opened.

road closure sanibel lighthouse road erosion

The beach was littered with CRAB TRAPS pushed up on shore by the strong winds.

crab traps washed on beach after storm

We saw hundreds of live shells (I really think thousands but you’d think I was exaggerating haha ;) ) and probably 25 of those were live HORSE CONCHS washed up on the sand, in the water and stuck to tree roots.

live horse conch on sanibel island

With each wave, there were more shells washing in. Again.. most of these were still alive so everybody oooohhhed and aaahhhed and respectfully left them alone.

shells in the surf

Among all of the excitement, we realized there was an injured BROWN PELICAN on the beach that needed help. Local fisherman (and golfer ;)) Jeffrey, Clark and I tried to dislodge an oversized fish from it’s bill and untangle his wings. After letting him recover for about 15 minutes we knew he needed to get to CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife) on the island. The shells could wait… we found an old towel and a box then took him to the clinic where he’s still recovering. If I get word on his progress, I’ll let you know.

injured pelican at sanibel crow
After that…. back to the beach!

shells at sanibel lighthouse after storm

Oh yeah, baby, Super Sheller Clark was rewarded with a spectacsheller empty LIGHTNING WHELK.

clark found a huge whelk

Everybody’s shell buckets were filled with happiness.

buckets of shell

It’s so cool when special shells like this double SPINY JEWELBOX washes inn too. We normally don’t see the spines so perfect when they are found on the beach- this one is a-mazing.

gprgeous double spiny jewelbox

I just had to catch you up on an amazing weekend and show you a few of these crazy photos. Clark found most of the shells that we kept- but I also met so many happy people with great find so their own so next post I will show you more fabshellous finds and hopefully I can pull together a video of the madness as well.

some shells after sanibel storm

Yep, we are living on the SCALLOPED edge of island life.

scalloped edge of sunset