Monday, February 28, 2022

A Busy Week and Shelling 'round the Clock

 This past week has been pretty busy for us, so I will try to update you with as few words as possible, but I do have lots of pictures! Believe it or not, I've cut those WAY back, but hopefully have enough for you to enjoy the experiences with us! Jimmy's daughter and her 4 kids (our grandkids) came into town on Monday and Tuesday. It was such a pleasure to see them, and they had a whirlwind trip, so we tried to do as much as possible! We took them to the lighthouse to do some shelling....the tides weren't great, but you know, ANY time on the beach is great! I tried to get them all AND the lighthouse in the picture....!

Here they are with Hubby at the picnic area! Isn't that a beautiful family?!

Ava found 2 live starfish (Sea Stars) almost as her first steps on the beach!

Her twin, Dylan found all sorts of cool stuff...including this pen shell...
Dylan and Ava seemed to find all kinds of interesting stuff and had lots of cool questions....
Hubby and April, did a lot of walking and talking, catching up and enjoying the day!!

Hailey seemed to have a great eye for the minis....
Chloe struck a pose for us with the lighthouse in the background....
Everyone got a small bag of treasures....

Hailey...check out all those minis!



and Ava

I so wished I could have led them to some really cool shells, but everyone seemed happy with what they found!

After a nice lunch, Ava, Dylan and Hailey wanted to paint some we got home,  setup and they jumped right in!
Check these out!! such talent!!
 Dylan and Ava decided to do a combination scene...Dylan was doing a beach scene.....

and Ava's would compliment his, by doing an underwater scene....a mermaid!

Hailey decided to also do a mermaid....but she did it on the INSIDE of the Whelk!

They all did an AMAZING job and we had a GREAT time! But just like that, the time ran out! We're hoping to see them again in April! Fingers crossed!!

Since then, I have been diligently painting shells for the Sanibel Shellcrafters to sell at the Shell Show this week....and I set a pretty steep goal for myself....I was getting it accomplished, on a good schedule. Jolene sent me a message and wanted to do some night know after midnight, when the high tide is heading to a negative low tide! What the heck, I needed a break, right...from painting shells to looking for shells!!! The night was wonderful....light breeze, No one on the beach, and we could just walk, talk and look!!! We saw lots of life out there...Many live Sand Dollars...

Starfish (Sea Stars) This guy lost a leg, and looked to be F-A-L-L-I-N-G ! :) he actually wasn't was just making his way to a small tidal pool. Did you know that Sea Stars actually grow a replacement arm?? They do!!

I actually found my first Live Pen shell!....if you look closely, he's in looks a lot like an oyster on the inside!

and my goodness, there were a lot of Crabs...of every size and type!

Have you ever heard of a 'wedding shell?' A wedding shell is a shell that is not native to this area, but are frequently found here, what happens is someone has a wedding on the beach and they purchase a bag of shells for decoration around the arbor where they get married, or they are given to wedding attendees and they end up on the beach.  This long explanation is to tell you I believe I found a wedding shell, it isn't one I'm familiar with and spent a lot of time researching it, with little to no luck.  It could be a juvenile Hawkwing Conch, they are native to the keys so it may not be an actual wedding shell....but I really don't know....Maybe there is an expert reading this that could help me figure this out!?

Jolene and I didn't have much luck, but it was a beautiful night....and we got a long walk in!
 This was my favorite find of the night and it was one of the last things I found....a Beautiful Orange True perfect condition!
these were my finds for the night...
From the top CW...the wedding shell, a couple Gaudy Nautica, Sharks Eyes, Nutmegs, Sm, med & Large Horse Conchs, the True Tulip, a Lace Murex, a couple nice Florida Cones and an orange scallop.

So after a couple nights of catch up sleep, and completing my goal of painting shells for the show. Liz and I decided to hit the negative Low tide this was very still and the shells were covered in a light coat of sand under the water, so you had to check out shapes and look closely! I looked down and saw this guy.....I think I actually said out loud to That a Cone??? It's huge!!! Sure was!!
The Biggest cone I have Ever found!!!

It actually measures 3 inches!!!
I don't have to tell you I was tickled with this find!!!

We also found this beauty!! a Nice huge Horse Conch....he wasn't alive, but still had a lot of it's body still in it....I did my best to shake out the insides, but it wasn't smelling real good at this point! Liz took it home and will have it all prettied up in no time!! It should be a beauty when it's all cleaned up!

For some reason I didn't take many pictures until after sunrise.... We saw so many Live Cockles out there...

This is a crab pot that washed up, it's underwater, but check out all the sea urchins who have attached themselves to it! It looks almost like a treasure chest doesn't it?? My Dad use to find these and spend lots of time searching in and around them for treasures (shells) he usually found a few keepers!
You can see the 'silty' bottom with this hermit crab in a lightning Whelk running around under the water! I love these guys!!

Several Dolphin came out to play (& feed) just before sunrise...

Boats started fishing....what could be prettier than this??
It was a BEAUTIFUL sunrise...

doesn't it make you say Ahhhhhh.....?

We had a Flame box crab watching it with us!!

and these Ibis in their mating neon pink plumage were enjoying it as well!!
Liz and I even saw Cindy, (another Shell Raiser) out there enjoying the beautiful day!! (I forgot to get a picture!)

Liz sent me a picture of her finds she picked up 8 alphabet Cones!! SCORE!! and some pretty Gaudy Nautica, Horse Conchs, Shark's eyes and Olives!!  

I, once again, forgot to take a picture until they were in their Bleach Bath!

You can see how big that cone is....compared to those 'normal' size ones!! I found a kings crown a couple Gaudy Nautica, Shark's eyes! 
Ok, you're all caught up!! I'm not sure if there will be any more shelling this week because of the show as I'm working setup, all three days and tear down, and we will be heading back North the first of next week! So Stay Tuned, maybe I'll post about the shell show!!

::Shelllady Hugs::

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