Perfect Lettered Olive Seashell Found at the Inlet

While visiting New Smyrna Beach today, my son did some fishing from shore while I walked north to the Inlet. While there, I found this gorgeous, uninhabited, lettered olive shell! It was such a great find for me.

The shell is brown and very shiny. It was partially buried in a small tide pool and it was just lucky that I noticed it. I never see hermit crabs at this beach, and they can’t live inside the small opening of the olive. So, unless the snail is inside the shell, it will most likely be empty, and this one was. I rinsed out the mud and marveled at my collector’s item.

Perfect gray-brown olive shell

Just before I found this beauty, I had come across a living olive shell and the snail was digging upward out of the sand. I didn’t have my phone with me on my walk, and I missed out on some great photos, but carrying a drink of water was more important than my phone. I watched that living olive and thought how gorgeous it was, never expecting to find an empty olive shell within the next few minutes!

I was so very pleased with the find of this pretty, and perfect, olive shell. Most shells I find, and especially the rare olives, are old and broken. I say rare, because finding olives where I live is not usual.

Other shells I collected today were a worn slipper shell, big (broken) angel wing, ark, cockle, piece of sand dollar, and an ark bivalve attached – both parts.

After I found the special brown olive, I came across this orange olive shell as I walked back to meet my son. It was lying on the edge of a tide pool so I took it. The shell is very worn and has some tiny shells stuffed inside the opening. the very top of the spire is broken off and the shell is turning orange. This is more like the olives I see, when I see them.

I’ve written about why seashells turn black, but I have yet to figure out why they turn orange. I assume it also has to do with the sediment where they are buried.

A Beautiful Day at the Beach

The beach today was not crowded, and the water was clear and blue-green. It was amazingly wonderful. This is a good time of year to head to the beach because the kids are in school, and many people are no longer vacationing. Also, it’s still too hot here for the snowbirds to move south.

The water temperature was in the 80’s, and the rolling waves were perfect for enjoying. This is the Florida I enjoy.

New Smyrna Beach September low tide
New Smyrna Beach in September

My son wanted to fish from the shore, so after a nice swim in the very warm ocean, I took a walk to Ponce Inlet. That is my favorite place to search for shells, but the walk was a long one from where we parked. No one was at the Inlet beach, except for a lady and her dog hanging out under an umbrella. I had the place to myself, so I began looking for shells.

I sat down in a little tide pool and right beside me was a tiny shark’s eye so I picked it up. It was alive so I put it back down, but it was a nice thing to see.

Like I said, I had no camera with me and I surely wish I had. While I searched the low tide beach, I discovered a large sea star – just a bit smaller than my hand – at the bottom of a pool. It would have been a great photo for this blog, but doesn’t that figure?

I’ve only found two sea stars – one very tiny sea star in the wild and one that I think was possibly dead. Both were found at low tide in the backwater areas where we boat. So this one was my third find, and I didn’t get a photo…!

We had a great day and I came home with a fabulous treasure.

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