Friday, March 20, 2015

First Sunrise of Spring!

Let me start out with showing the tally of shells this week, this is Monday through Thursday. Good shells, but not nearly as abundant as our usual shelling.

 Very Large Sunray Venus Clams I found at Bunche Beach yesterday,
Sunray Venus Clams, coquina (butterflies), kitten paws and jingles
This is a Kings Crown I got yesterday at Bunche Beach, It will take a miracle to get all of these organisms and stuff off.....but I'm going to try....I can see the points on all three rows! Stay tuned for how this turns out! I will work on it when we get home...

Small coral bits found on Sanibel

Mini sand dollars from Bunche Beach yesterday.

We got to Sanibel early this morning, and there was a bit of a chill to the air....even the sand felt a little bit cool under my feet. It was by no means cold, and the Gulf didn't even have any 'shock' to it when you walked in it.  We were so early we beat most of the birds there this morning! These guys came flying in just before I snapped this!
I took this just has these guys ran in from the park, and took flight....hunting for breakfast!
...As the sun appeared, so did the birds! It just looks like spring doesn't it?....Pinks, yellows, oranges, lavendars....

It was another beautiful morning, Spring has Sprung..... 

The stars were out....

Even this Brittle star was dancing a jig...
Check out this HUGE piece of coral!
I noticed a little bit of spring orange color in the sand, see it?.....could it be????

YESSSSS! Score!! One of my favorites, a Horse Conch! 
From this moment on, the shelling was SO much better than the days previous! Our last day was a success, and so much fun!!

Remember the pic at the beginning of this post, shells from the last 4 days?.....Here is just today's finds!
Now that's more like it!!!! 

Here is the Horse Conch all cleaned up, notice the 'repairs' he has done over his growing!
Notice Hubby's Horse Conch on the left of the ruler in that awesome deep orange, and I got an angel wing too!
Seems purple or pink was the scallop color of the day!
I found this Florida Cone in it's Springy colors....
...and this small King's Crown!
I'd call today a success, wouldn't you??? It was a welcome change!! 

We head back North was 84 here today, and a high of 48 at home in Virginia, not looking forward to that, but that's why we call this paradise...right?? I will have some more posts in a few days....! Stay tuned, and thanks so much for tagging along with us!


Sunset at Bunche Beach.

This will be a fairly short post, as I opted to stay in bed this morning so I wasn't at Sanibel for the sunrise.  I did however get my beach fix and the sunset at Bunche Beach in Ft. Myers.  It's about 5 minutes or so from our house.  Bunche is on a mud flat, so the shells we find here are different then most of the ones on Sanibel. I usually see lots of live shells, crabs....and a lot of neat stuff!!

This is a tiny horseshoe crab, they were everywhere, moving about in the mud.  Most of them were covered in the mud and you could just see the trail they would leave when they moved. This one is a little larger than a quarter and very colorful!
 Kings Crowns are another thing you see lots of on the mud flats, These 4 kings crowns seem to be feasting on this minnow?! Not sure what the story is here....

This beautiful Kings Crown is live, you can see his black 'tail' sticking out the end of the shell.  I love these, they are beautiful when they have their spines intact!

As promised I got sunset pics, it happened so fast! I am always amazed how rapidly it 'falls' from the sky! It is equally as beautiful as the sunrise.  The bridge you see in the pic is the causeway bridge to Sanibel!

....and just like that, this day is done.  

Shelling at Bunche was very thin as it has been on Sanibel. Tomorrow is our last day, I will post the pics of this weeks shells, and hopefully have some new adventures to share.   Stay tuned!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sanibel Morn

Another beautiful morning in paradise.  Hubby decided to sleep in so I went to Sanibel solo this morning, the shelling was ok, but the views continued to impress.  I will clean the shells we have tomorrow just to show you what we have.

Love the colors this morning....notice the bright crescent moon, looks almost like a typical Florida postcard, don't you think?

This morning's greeting came from a squadron of pelicans in nearly perfect formation...
The sunrise was once again beautiful and nearly on fire!

Live was the theme again this morning, like this bright sea star....
 Lightning Whelk egg cases were all over the beach this morning, quite a few more than yesterday.
 These ibis were very bold in their mating colors....they almost look painted!

We spent a lot of time today working on projects at home, and when we sat down for lunch we got to see 'Big Bubba' ! I would guess he was 5 or 6 feet long. He was in the pond behind our house.....Lily, our chihuahua will not be spending time out back!!

I went and checked on our owl neighbors, and the 'babies' were still hanging out together on a different branch.....
....While Mom or Dad watched from the next tree....
I have to say, this trip has shown us so much wildlife! I love it!!!

Hopefully I will have some shell pics for you tomorrow along with all the wildlife!! Stay tuned!

For now, come along on the stroll with me this morning, sit back and just relax.....


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Although the shelling has not produced a full bounty, the beauty, wildlife and activity on the Beach at Sunrise has been amazing. If you click on these pics to enlarge them, you will see dozens of birds flying along the water!

We were greeted first thing by a dolphin right up at the shore, slowly swimming along, obviously fishing and being very successful at it. We saw him as we crossed the bridge to the beach, and were not close enough to catch a pic of it.  There obviously was an abundance of fish, and food as there were birds EVERYWHERE and they were very busy!

For the first time, I saw seagulls grabbing up the live cockles, flying high and dropping them onto the beach below to break them and get the meat! How ingenious is that?! I saw this at least 3 times! I became a little nervous as the last time the shell landed just 50 feet or so away from where we were combing the beach.

This guy opted to fish for his food...
I spent so much time watching the sunrise and all the activities going on around me, that I didn't do much actual shelling at first.... Dolphins would slowly swim along, then suddenly turn and slap their tales and race under the water....playing with their food I could only assume!

Once again there were many live cockles and fighting conchs....
Banded tulip egg cases, were attached to this ark shell, a sign that spring is coming...
This sea urchin was protecting himself with these shells attached to his spines as he sunned on the beach...
The highlight of the day for me were these pelicans....they would attack the fish without any thought of how close to the beach or us he was getting.....notice how full his bill is as he scooped up his catch! We had a 'bird's eye view' of his breakfast! It was great!

He flew right up to us, so close I had to back off with my camera and was not sure I got the shot! Notice how huge his bill is under the water!!

 He almost looked embarrassed here as he swam on down the beach!
I thought this guy was interesting with his 'racing stripe' as he watched us leaving the beach, he even tilted his head to us as to say 'Good Morning'!  

We got home with a small handful of small shells, I will eventually have enough to clean and will post pics of them when I do. 

We headed on back, worked on our new project (another post) and then dressed in our green shirts, went to  an early St Patricks Day dinner with 2 other couples from our neighborhood to a local Irish restaurant.  What fun it was, we feel more and more at home here all the time! We have been wanting advice on the local restaurants and got all kinds of information of places to try.  

We also found out that there is a family of Owls that have joined our neighborhood, very close to our house.  The babies are now perched on a limb and are expected to fly any time stay tuned for updates about them also.  I did get a couple of pretty good pics of one of them, as he peeked around a limb. The Talons of the other one is to his left, could never get a good pic of him because of the tree limbs, they are VERY high up and had to use my maximum zoom lens, so it's a little grainy.

Another day in paradise is done, and it has not disappointed....stay tuned for more tomorrow! I can't wait, and am enjoying sharing it!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!