Recently I decided to clean up my seashells. Honestly, I’ve never made a big production out of cleaning my seashells – just rinsed them well in fresh water and let them dry. I have collected a few good ones while out on the Gheenoe and the few times I’ve been over to the beach.
Finally I got my Florida driver’s license… which was a bigger ordeal than it needed to be, but it means I can buy a beach pass and get a fishing license. Hallelujah! It’s a little thing, but it means I can go to the beach whenever I want as a resident and pay one low fee for the rest of the year.
Okay, back to the shells. After soaking my seashells in a bleach and water solution – I didn’t measure it, but just added a little bleach to a pail full of water – over night, they are looking clean. They also look a bit duller. The next time I get to Lowe’s I will get some mineral oil which is supposed to make them brighter again.
I have two pretty crown conchs, which are hard to find without a hermit crab living inside, and one had a tiny shell wedged in the opening. I was trying to figure out what type of shell the tiny one was, when I decided to take it out for a better look.
My best guess is that it’s a broken horse conch. The Florida horse conch has a long spire like this little guy, but the tiny shell is missing the bottom half. In fact I have a large horse conch shell which I found out on the Indian River which I am in the process of cleaning. I don’t know if I will ever get all the black stuff off it, but I’m trying.
Not too long ago I was going through my seashell collection and came across this little shell again. The one pictured on the right in this picture to the left.
I never knew what it was and then suddenly it hit me – a juvenile lightning whelk! I knew because I finally looked long enough to realize that the opening is on the left side – it’s a sinistral shell! Then I looked at the lines and little bumps forming at the top and when compared to a more mature lightning whelk it’s easy to see that this one is just a baby – called a juvenile lightning whelk. So I have a mom and baby – but I highly doubt they are really related!! It’s just kinda cute.
Photo below shows the two together. Sorry but I have to add my blog name because some unscrupulous people like to help themselves to my photos. So all my pictures are uploaded at a very low resolution and they are only good to use like this – for a blog. Please do not use photos that do not belong to you! Add Zemanta to your blog – it’s a great photo archive.
I still don’t know what the other shell is in the photo above. Anyone? I think it’s a rock snail.
Sanibel Island is located on the west coast, the Gulf coast of Florida.
It is well known as an excellent location for collecting seashells. On the shores of Sanibel Island and neighboring Captiva, a wide variety of sea life and various types of shells wash up on shore. I visited and stayed there twice in the 25 years I lived in central Florida, but it would have been nice to go without kids so I could have strolled the beach leisurely…but I have NEVER been without kids…so I enjoyed the area from a kids view, which meant standing close by as they swam.
Nevertheless I did collect some nice little bivalves, like the spine jewel box shells in my photo below.
The gulf area is perfect for young children because the water is generally calmer than the Atlantic water and therefore not much of an undertow. It’s perfect for anyone because it’s just so beautiful. We watched gorgeous sunsets through the palm trees and were up early every morning to scour the beach for good shells. I’m lucky that I got to visit before it became so full of people.
One of the pretty shells found along the beaches is the jingle shell. They are pretty colors when collected on the West coast. On the East side of the state I often find black shells.
We’d see Stingrays gliding along just off shore. Beach shoes of some kind were necessary because the beach is made up of shells which are crushed and whole. We were afflicted with the “Sanibel Stoop” just like everyone else vacationing there! It happens when there is so much to view close up on the beach that you are in a constant stooping position.
I have large jar of shells that mostly came from the beaches there (in 1990 or 91) and I have recently been trying to identify them. Some of the shells in the image above are called “kitten’s paw” shells. I photographed them alongside a daisy flower to show how small they are.