On the Best of Sanibel Captiva (BOSC) Message Board, we do what we have named "Cybershelling". For those who are stuck in the ice and snow, those of us who are fortunate enough to be on Sanibel post pictures of shells. Shells on the beach, shells we have collected, shells, shells, and more shells. And strange as it may sound, those of us who are fortunate to be on Sanibel LOVE it when a storm hits and we get a wind out of the Northwest because that means shells, shells, and LOTS more shells!!!
This past week we had a storm. Two days of winds, high surf, and you guessed it--shells, shells, and more shells. I went out Sunday and Monday. The first day mostly what I did was open up about 20 crab traps which had been washed up on shore and release the poor Stone Crabs who were stuck in said traps. I sincerely doubt that the trappers were going to seek out their traps up on the shore and claim their Stone Crabs even though one lady questioned if what I was doing was legal. There were lots of shells but not the kind I generally collect. There were lots of Sea Urchins, Scallops, Giant Cockles, Pen Shells, and Star Fish (I don't think I need to link this since you should all know what a star fish is).
But Monday was a different story! Ok, maybe I was greedy but this is the first time in 15 years of shelling on Sanibel that I filled my bag, went to the car and emptied it and returned to the beach for more. And I didn't even make a dent in the shells out there!!! I can't tell you how many Alphabet Cones, Horse Conchs (my favorites), and Lightning Whelks I had to put back in the water because they were alive. (We have a no live shelling law on Sanibel.)But as you can see by the picture above, I managed to find a lot that weren't alive. I found lost of Lightning Whelks, Tulips, Apple Murex, Lace Murex, Shark's Eyes (the shell not the real thing) , and Olives (again, the shell, not the real thing). And of course there were the usual assortment of scallops, Florida Fighting Conchs etc.
So, today, after I had rinsed them all, I laid them out nicely and took a bunch of pictures and posted them at BOSC for all to cybershell. Then I decided that maybe some of you would like to learn a bit about shells and do your own cybershelling. So, go check out all the links, look at all my pictures and see what you can find. It should help while away the time waiting for the snow and ice to melt!!
Can you spot the broken piece of Junonia? This is the prize shell to find on Sanibel.