Tuesday, June 7, 2016

From the Beach....To the Mountains!

I left Florida last week, flew into the airport at home and immediately jumped in the car and that same evening was at my Daughter's home in the mountains! This time it won't snow on me....I hope! :)

We went on a hike on one of her days off to a place she had never been before, called Falls Ridge Preserve, and boy was it beautiful. It was only a few miles from her house but it was like being in the wilderness! 
Jess and Joseph on our way....can you believe he is 15 months old already?...and she'll be 30 in about a week!!!
 When we got out of the car, the first thing we heard a 'babbling brook'.
We walked along the brook and trees through a long field that led deeper into the woods.

 It was really beautiful!!

We came up on this, obviously manmade feature, not sure what it was for!!?

 Then this huge area that looked like it may have been an old was kind of spooky!

It was a beautiful day, and we had a GREAT time! Of course the pictures don't do it justice!!

Somebody was very tired from the hike and needed a little nap!! <3

Today is my last day babysitting, will be headed back to REAL Life tomorrow!! Why is it fun vacation times always go much faster?!

::Shelllady Hugs::

Monday, May 30, 2016

Last Day in Paradise

First let me say that I am sitting here at my dining room table with this wonderful view through our wall of windows! Have I mentioned lately that I just love it here?
The shelling hasn't been that great this trip, but it doesn't make me wish for a minute that I was anywhere else.

I got out early this morning, just before the sun came up. It never disappoints...doesn't it make you just say ahhhhhhh?

The first thing I noticed was the addition of tulip and murex whelk cases.
Tulip egg cases 
murex egg cases
There are usually lightning whelk cases in abundance, but not many of these, this morning there were several! That's a good thing....more shells on the way!

There were so many shells on the beach, I call them 'white shells' good for crafting, but I usually don't collect them, they were all the way down the beach.

The water was just crystal clear, absolutely gorgeous! It felt like you could see forever...just not very many shells...

There were however, large areas where there were many broken sand dollars...the brown 'bits' are small chunks of them, washing up in the surf.
Not sure what happened, but it was sad to see.

I did have a little excitement when a dolphin came up behind me and was obviously fishing for the hundreds of minnows that were along the shore...

 Cue the jaws theme here, I was zoomed in, obviously too much and almost missed him!
He finally stopped after 5 or 10 minutes and headed on down the beach.
I bet he wasn't 15 feet away, it was so awesome!

Here are the few shells I did pick up.

(Top left) Pear whelks, Olive
I always have to grab a few Kitten's Paws!
(Middle left) Juvenile fighting conchs, no 2 alike!
(Bottom) Apple Murex and of course more beautiful scallops
I had a wonderful time as usual, and it always ends much too quickly! I'm flying/driving to my Daughter's tomorrow to spend some time with her and my Grandson Joseph for a week. More fun for this Gammaw!! :)

Stay tuned, I'm hope to be a better blogger and post updates more regularly!

::Shelllady Hugs::

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Catching Up!

First, let me show you the horse conch before cleaning and after...

It has a hole in it, but it still has good color, so it is proudly displayed on our front porch!

The shelling the last couple of days (Thursday & Friday) has not been very good, but the weather and the beaches have been awesome!

I ran across 3 more turtle crawls, these appeared to be successful!

I think this is so awesome, would love to be a 'turtle' person one day, and follow them!
The shelling at Sanibel wasn't so great so I decided to try Bowditch Beach, which is the far west end of Ft. Myers Beach. It was a nice park, with all the amenities....

...and it was beautiful, with very clear water...

...but there were no shells to found here either, and it is VERY touristy!

I got up on Friday, back to my favorite beach at Sanibel (Gulfside City Park). Still beautiful, but no shells on this day either!

I did spy a live sea star...
..and a slow moving dolphin... I left and went to Blind Pass to give it a go. It too was beautiful, and there were LOTS of people snorkeling.

...and there I saw 2 manatees!
But alas, I left there with a nearly empty shell bag.

Saturday I went back to Sanibel, and it was a MUCH better shelling day!
I did find an Alphabet cone, but still not worth checking it off my list, it was a perfect size, but the color was sadly lacking....I did keep it anyway! :)

I can always find beautiful Scallops & Cockles...
and the apple murex (top) and juvenile fighting conchs made an appearance...
found a mini very dark calico clam, kittens paws and a pretty jewel box...
 I also found this Green Mussel shell, it was the largest I had ever found and it was in perfect shape! I love the 'mother of pearl' interior of these shells!

...and last but not least, a small very lightly colored Florida cone...
So I only have one more day of shelling, I will be back out to Sanibel at morning light tomorrow, hopefully I will find something really awesome, if not, I know it will still be a perfect day here in paradise! Stay tuned!!

::Shelllady Hugs::