Off the Beaten Path Beach-combing Treasures to Photograph

Dosinia clam shells shiny white

My son is a creature of habit and whenever we go boating we usually end up in the same places. However, the other day we stopped the boat at a new little island which was off the beaten path. The tide was going out so the beach area got bigger and bigger as the day went on, and I discovered many treasures to photograph.

As is always the case, there were many seashells inhabited by hermit crabs of all sizes. This island also contained lots of living mollusks in comparison to what I usually see.

crown conch, low tide, mud, beach, florida, mud flats, beach combing
Some hermit crabs tip their shells up like this crown conch shell in the sand.

Sometimes hermit crabs will be buried down under the sand inside a shell. Other times they are gathered in clumps just under the water. And recently I’ve noticed that some hermits tip the shell up, like the crown conch in my photo above. I did see lots of hermits, but I’ll save that for another post.

A Promising View From the Boat

As soon as we docked the boat, I could see shells scattered across the sand and two large whitish shells in the water. They turned out to be a Quahog clam and Elegant dosinia. Further down the beach I found a whole, live quahog clam which was big! I usually find these shells already broken open so finding that whole clam was a treat.

The side of the clam that had been sitting in the mud was turning black. I’ve written a post about why seashells turn black. The Dosinia nearly fooled me as I thought it was the other half of the clam – it was so large. Then I found another just under the water. These are the only two shells I brought home with me.

More Random and Interesting Shells Found on the Island

This Shark’s Eye had some nice coloring with a very blue “eye”. A hermit crab was inside.

Beautiful sharks eye moon shell

This lightning whelk was a beautiful and unique pink color with a gray top.

lightning whelk seashell in the wild
Pinkish lightning whelk

This little muddy island was home to many tulips, both banded and true varieties. They were stunning shells in the most gorgeous colors, and always home to a hermit crab.

In the photo below two hermit crabs meet up. One has a crown conch for a home and the other owns a banded tulip shell.

banded tulip shell crown conch hermit crabs

I will be writing a whole page about the beautiful tulip shells I saw on this island. Later in the day we stopped at Three Sisters where I found more awesome wildlife. The following day we did some boating near Ponce Inlet which is also a place to find islands to explore. Those islands are made of hard packed sand without the variety of shells and wildlife, but they are beautiful in other ways.

Once I get home and begin to go through my photos I always wish I’d paid closer attention to each shell. I’m getting into the habit of taking more photos, but it’s hard to tell out on the water how they look. I need to be better about conveying sizes. I’ve packed a pencil to use next time I get photos.

Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell my work, with a lot of ocean themes, on the site.

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