Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Final day in Paradise...for now!

Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire. ~Fran├žois VI de la Rochefoucault

We are back home to 'real life' after our great week in paradise and I felt like I had left some of you wondering how the last day went....No, alas, I did not find my alphabet cone.  But there is always next time, and that is just one more thing to look forward to! I did give it a great effort though and the shelling was actually pretty good! 

I had continued shelling to the west, and decided to turn around and head back to Gulfside park as it was producing some nice minis the first time through, and the tide was continuing to drop.  When I turned around and headed that direction, I noticed a group of people I suspected Pam and Clark Rambo were out there, and they are such ambassadors of Sanibel, they visit with everyone they meet and share stories!

Gulfside park had lots of minis and they were obviously rolling in during this tide, as usual, you just needed to be at the right place at the right time!  Clark actually picked up a small alphabet as soon as he got there this same evening, on the same beach I was combing.  It's all about being at the right place at the right time! Look at these amazing finds he picked up in about 30 minutes!

It was a beautiful evening, and I really couldn't have enjoyed it more!

I had noticed these Ibis and wondered about the differences in color from the ordinary white ibis we had seen and after some research I found out that these are just very young white Ibis.  They start out brown with pale orange beaks and legs and will mature into the pure white ibis with the bright pink beaks and feet! How unusual is that? Somehow that seems sort of backwards to me! What do you think?

Here are the young Ibis...
Here is a mature ibis...

Here is the resident Great Egret behind our house in Ft. Myers.....I couldn't resist the opportunity to get a couple more pictures of him!

This adventure is ending, but another one will begin again soon, College Football begins next weekend, so we will switch to tailgating mode!  We will go from the Gulf, to the Blueridge Mountains!  Go Hokies!! 

Stay Tuned!



Friday, August 22, 2014

Shell Games!

The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by. ~Robert Brault

We had another good day shelling yesterday, though we also had a few obstacles thrown our way. Mostly dodging thunderstorms, which required adjustments to our shelling....but you know Shelllady and Hubby will always find a way!

As time goes on this week, the low tides are getting lower, but also later in the afternoon. Yesterday's low tide was to be around 6 pm, which is typically thunderstorm time.  Hubby and I went to the beach about 4 and it was very calm, and the water visibility was good. The tide was going out, I began trying to find the 'honey hole' I found yesterday, but with no luck....that's okay, I found another one, right up close to the shore and began digging. All of a sudden a dark cloud passed over us, and the wind began pushing the water in! No lightning, rain or thunder, but the wind was amazing!  We saw some awesome clouds and even a rainbow! 
 You probably will have to click on the pic to make it larger so you can see the rainbow!

We hung around until the clouds passed over, but the water remained very rough, so we just walked along the shore, and did very well!  Just as we were leaving, we ran into Pam and Clark Rambo from iloveshelling they are such nice people!  After a little visiting, we headed on out.  Shelling was better, but I still would like to find an Alphabet cone before we go home tomorrow!! We haven't even seen one in months!

Much better finds for a days worth of shelling!
My finds 
Hubby's finds
Check out the points on this fighting conch that Hubby picked up!! It even has a sharp point on the top which is so unusual!

End view of the same conch
I found this Apple murex that apparently had been on steroids! It's huge! I don't know if I have ever seen one so big!

One more evening of shelling before we have to head back home....hopefully I will post about my alphie! :)

Stay tuned!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Becoming Locals...

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending. ~Author Unknown

As part of our effort to become "Locals" we tried our second restaurant yesterday.  The first was on Tuesday and it was Salty Papas Shrimp.  It is walking distance from our house.  We both got the garlic pasta with grilled shrimp.  It was okay, a smidge pricey, but just okay, it could have used a little more spice or seasoning, but we will probably give it another chance. Yesterday we tried Kenwood Lane Grill.  It was a very small place, only 12 tables, and if you didn't know it was there, you would definitely miss it!! They pride themselves on hand ground fresh burgers, deli sandwiches with fresh ingredients and homemade fries. Hubby had a burger, and enjoyed it and I had a 'Chubby' Sandwich, Roast beef w/provolone, onions, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers, both sandwiches with the homemade chips. It was very good, and a huge sandwich! This restaurant is definitely on the 'let's try this again' list!

After our big lunch had settled a bit, we headed out to Gulfside City Park at Sanibel yesterday about 2 hours before low tide, which was about 3:00. The gulf was very calm, and visibility in the water was good.  We headed West and once again, were finding little to nothing against the shore, we decided to venture a little deeper in search of a place to dig.  I ran across an area right in front of Oceans Reach that appeared to have buried treasure! I began digging and soon found pen shells! Pen Shells tend to trap shells in them, and pile up together as they are washed in, causing many treasures to be hidden in and around them! It looked like it was going to pay off this time! 

(Here is a pic of some penshells from a previous trip, you can see how they would tend to trap shells in them, especially underwater as the waves wash the sand over them.)

Hubby went out a little deeper and found hundreds of live sand dollars on the sandbar! So many he said he couldn't walk without stepping on them, so he came on back in and decided to sit under the umbrella and chill some.  

I continued to dig in the pen shells, I was pretty comfortable, sitting in the water it was a little deeper than waist deep, couldn't see, but could feel the shells.  Unfortunately as Florida afternoons usually do, thunderstorms began to move in, and I got chased out before too long!! I think I found a place that would have brought some amazing treasures too!! :( But I did get some nice things in the short time I had!

All our finds for the day
My finds
Hubby's finds, Olives, fighting conchs, a lightning whelk, and scallops
I found lots of Olives, a well worn King's crown, a beautiful orange true tulip, a Florida Cone and a Horse Conch, and even 2 top shells!!
Both sides of a mussel cleaned up well!
A gaudy nautica (we call them Cat's eyes) and a tiny shark's eye.

We decided it was time to head back, Man! I would have liked to stayed around to see what other treasures I could find!! I would like to find an alphabet's been months since we found one!!

It was moving in pretty rapidly as we headed back home across the causeway!
It hit just before we got home! rained a lot, but stopped after a half hour or so, and then as Florida weather does, it cleared up and was a beautiful evening! Don't you know I thought about going back out there?! But low tide had passed...there is tomorrow! :)

Stay tuned!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Homework Day!

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. ~Thomas Foxwell Buxton

We spent the day today just chillin' at the condo.  We didn't even go to Sanibel to do any shelling! But it is just 5:30, who's to say I won't take a quick trip before it gets the lighthouse or maybe Bunche Beach! After all, it's only 15 minutes to Sanibel from here, and about 10 to Bunche Beach.... :D  We'll see! 

When we bought our condo, it was partially furnished. The main den was done in oranges, orange curtains, all the pillows and lampshades were red or orange. Since we have been coming down, I have changed everything over to ivory with punches of teal.  The only thing that I didn't know what to do about was this chair....

Even the back had orange fabric on it! I stuck an ivory and teal pillow in it, and kind of ignored it...but no more!! Yesterday I went into town and found some teal material, I read up on how to upholster on the internet, and proceeded to (carefully) take the chair apart. I figured if I mess it up, oh well, I sort of inherited it anyway!

Slowly, but surely I began putting it together.....making it our own! :)

One step at a time...

What do you think? I am very pleased! It almost looks like a professional did it!! The color in the pics isn't so accurate, lets just say that it looks a whole lot better with that pillow now! It matches! 

My next project is this cabinet....

Can't you see it distressed and painted sort of 'Old Florida' with seahorses, shells and coral?? I can!! I won't attempt it this trip....but stay tuned!

While we were at our 'other home' I took an opportunity to play with some shells and make a couple of things for my Mom's upcoming birthday in September.  I have always wanted to try the shell flowers, so I stole borrowed this idea from a facebook friend.  

Whatcha think?

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a post on what awesome shells we will find! I have been collecting all the jingles I could find....I still have some more creating to do!!

Stay tuned!