Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Keewaydin Trip!!

A little bit north of Marco Island is a long narrow island called Keewaydin. It is only accessible by boat & has become a favorite shelling spot for me!! 

Yesterday I met 3/4 of the Shell Raisers in Marco  to take the Hemingway Shuttle to Keewaydin! Jolene and Cindy came down from Tampa/St. Pete and of course, I came from Fort Myers (about an hour drive). 

The 4th member of the Shell Raisers, Liz, is home in Oregon in the snow!!! She should have felt like she was there, as we 'carried' her with us, even gave her a call and talked with her! We tried to face-time from the island but it wouldn't work!

The weather was a bit chilly for us Floridians ;) about 52 degrees with a light wind, so the trip over was a bit cool, but pretty quickly, I forgot that I was cold....we hit the beach at low tide and there were immediately treasures galore!

2 Alphabet Cones, and a nice juvenile Horse Conch....

followed pretty quickly by a sunray venus pair (for painting) and 4 more little Alphabet Cones, notice the one to the far right, we call that a 'Chocolate Cone'! It just means the coloring is much darker.

A few more steps and I have a Shark's eye for my dad, another Alphie, and a pretty big Lace Murex....Ok, I feel like I've been on this island only a little while, and I'm already satisfied, anything else would just be amazing! 

At this point I decided to stop taking pictures and do some serious shelling!  Cindy, Jolene and I all kind of went our separate ways while shelling for a little while, I found Jolene walking along the surf line to see how she was doing and she showed my this MASSIVE Alphabet cone and a beautiful Albino Fighting Conch, 2 of her favorites!

Notice the vertical line on the cone, it's a growth line, it began making it's shell bigger and the color and pattern changed, I believe it means it was on a different diet at that point.....

After we finished shelling, Jolene showed me more of her favorites...

a pretty Florida Cone, a True Tulip, A Flat (zig-zag scallop) and a beautiful Lace Murex. We have found very few Flats on Keewaydin...this is definitely a special find!!

She also found a nice sized Gaudy Nautica! Beautiful colors and pattern on it too!

Cindy had some special treasures too!! The find of the day for her was this Baby's ear, (far left) I don't recall ever hearing of them on Keewaydin, in fact, the owners of the Hemingway Shuttle had never seen one, so they were in awe of it! She also found a nice cone, a tiny spiny Jewel box, Nutmeg, she also found some beautiful Gaudy Nautica and a Turkey Wing. 

We brought chairs and hung out at the beach after we were tuckered out from our beach walk, and just throughly enjoyed chatting and the beautiful view!

Jolene and Cindy have Matching hats....

The boat we came in on is directly behind me, with the blue sides....

Jolene is just Chillin'!

It ended up warming up to the 70s or low 80s and was just perfect weather! 

We reluctantly said goodbye to Keewaydin until next time....

We went to the island of Capri on the way back toward the interstate, Captain Matt recommended checking out the Island Gypsy restaurant for lunch on our last trip. Jolene and I tried it and enjoyed it so we took's an outdoor restaurant with GREAT food!!! The lunch afterward is just another part of the adventure!!

Here are Jolene's finds for the day!

Here are my finds...I went crazy....found quite a few shells for painting/crafting...but I'd say it was a good day, wouldn't you??

Of course the Alphies were my favorite...19 of them this time!! (Notice a few Chocolates in there)

and I also found a few beautiful Gaudy Nautica!! Don't you love that pattern??
We had a great day, if you're down here, look up Hemingway Water Shuttle and take a trip to Keewaydin....they are an awesome, family owned business and you will not be disappointed! 

Stay Tuned!!

::Shelllady Hugs::

Monday, March 20, 2023

Trip Summaries!

 I have to apologize once again for not posting updates, so I will make this a  summary. I spend 3 days a week or so at the Community House helping out, cleaning/sorting shells for crafting/selling.  Sanibel is improving daily, but much work is yet to be done, everywhere there is someone doing just that! 

I have however been out on beach walks the last 3 days! The tides are super low, super early in the morning...but you know me, I'm out there!! ;)

Saturday, I went solo, another public beach opened at of my favorites! The beach has completely changed since Hurricane Ian made his appearance, it has always been a pretty flat beach, this time it was a sloped beach which makes it a little more difficult to walk and see into the water. I'm still leary of getting in the water, I wear scuba boots, and tend to stay pretty shallow! They've done a great job of cleaning up and providing a nice path to the beach from the parking lot....but it is very different and not all the paths are open yet due to the beach being washed away....

The beach looks great, and as usual the sunrises are still amazing!

There was signs of this big Florida Horse Conch!!!

...and the dolphin were playing in the Gulf...

I didn't find much, but I did find a few keepers...

This Alphabet Cone (Score!!) and a nice Lightning Whelk...which I find hard to resist even though I have so many!

Pretty quickly after that I found ANOTHER Alphie!!

....and ANOTHER, with this beautiful Juvenile Horse Conch! These 2 are some of my very favorites! The color on that horse conch is a beautiful will clean up very nicely! We call them a Pony at this size....Perfect!!

This pen shell says it all....had to snap a pic!

Sunday, I went with Teresa & Lynne, Teresa says she hasn't been on a beach walk in the dark in years, and we all three throughly enjoyed the day!

My very first find, as soon as we walked onto the beach!!! A Beautiful Alphabet!!
Lynne immediately noticed the 'knobs' of a be Horse Conch sticking up in the sand....and begin to dig it out...
But was in bad shape....
I found a small one sticking out.....
Yay!! it was empty and in tact!
Lynne...or was it Teresa...? found this beauty...check out that beautiful color, it went home in one of their bags!
Teresa was finding quite a few Apple Murex ....
One of them also found this BEAUTIFUL True Tulip!

I found some 'knobs' sticking up....I hope...I hope.... was also in bad shape....

I did also find a pretty little True Tulip....

and a pretty nice Lightning Whelk...

and another Alphabet Cone!!
and Teresa and I both spotted this Alphie at the same time!! (sorry for the out-of- focus Pic!)
We saw lots of Live, Banded and True Tulips, Cockles and Fighting Conchs up on the sand bar, which is always nice to see! 

There was also a little Hanky Panky going on with these two Horse Conchs...
Something we found to be a little strange were Pelicans hanging out on the beach with these Terns and Seagulls....they don't normally stand on the beach in a crowd like this....
We had a great time getting some beach therapy and seeing lots of life on the beach, and just chit chatting about any and everything! Lynne left with at least 4 bags of shells she collected for the Community House!! I did pretty well myself....good times, and treasures too!

This morning I went solo again...(I gotta go when the tides are low!!)
I walked a long time along the gulf, and found little to nothing for quite a while....then low and behold, in a favorite tidal pool...this beauty was just laying there looking all ready to go home with me!
He'll need some cleaning up, but it has a good point on the top, and should look great after a little TLC!!
Not far up the beach I found this beauty soaking in the tidal pool sticking up out of the sand about half way!
I also started finding some nice Sharks eyes and some smaller Lightning Whelks that I couldn't resist....again...for some reason I didn't remember to snap a pic!! By now, the sun started up and was adding light and a little bit of warmth to this chilly & windy 50 degree morning...
My back pack was feeling pretty heavy, which was just fine....and then I spotted this beauty, the edge just barely sticking out of the sand... Look at that beautiful color on that inside edge!!!
I also found this beautiful True Tulip....
and then another....alongside this worm shell...
The morning was a complete success, and my back pack weighed a ton...I ended up with 4 biggies & I didn't get over to the Community House to go to work until almost 9:00....but oh was it fun!! Here's the final count for the day! I'll have to post the big guys after they are all cleaned up!!!

Tomorrow....Keewaydin trip with Jolene and Cindy...

Stay Tuned!!

::Shelllady Hugs::