Often I will pick up interesting pieces of seashells while beach-combing. I’m getting better at identifying the pieces. The more variety of shells I collect, the easier it becomes. If the bit of shell baffles me at the seashore, I search it out in my favorite seashell book, or look through my seashell collection.
Seashells break for many reasons and some shells are more fragile than others. The Channeled duck clam is thin and most of them are broken on top. (It’s the white shell in the left-hand photo below.)
Usually it’s the surf and wave action that tumbles the shell until it breaks. Birds can be the culprits too. Whatever the reason, it can challenge the mind to picture bits as whole shells. Usually I am sorry I missed seeing it as a whole, beautiful specimen.
The sharks eye seashell is easy to identify with it’s round, swirled shape. I have a few of them, but the big ones (they can be up to 3 inches across) are truly gorgeous.
The shell is smooth and usually a gray-brown color. It’s a chunky round shell and I’m always on the lookout for one when I am near the ocean.
While walking along a deserted beach on a little island I found a gorgeous shark’s eye! It was big and so lovely. Then, my excitement lessened as I went to pick it up and it moved. A hermit crab had taken up residence inside. Just like all the other awesome shells I had found that day, it was a home for the spider-like crabs.
Photos were all I could take with me, as I put the shell back on the sand. Darn, it was a beauty! I lightened up the image above so you could see the hermit crab tucked up inside the shell. They usually don’t come out unless left totally alone. Some of them are up inside the shells so far that they can’t be seen at all (which is why I took one home by accident). And almost every shell I find out on the Indian River has a hermit crab inside it!
I only had my cell phone camera and it’s difficult to see anything in the bright sun. I basically have to take the shots blind and hope for the best. This one didn’t come out so great, but I figured I’d share so you can get an idea of that “eye” in the center top.
If it had been empty, I’d have collected it in a minute! I think it would have cleaned up nicely.
While beach-combing in another area I managed to find a tiny shark’s eye shell in the sand. It was broken, but I snatched it up anyway. No crab inside this one!
I also found more interesting seashells that day. If you are interested, go read that post.
Went out on the little boat yesterday and three of us tried our best to catch a keeper. If we wanted to eat a meal of catfish, we could easily have done so. I caught a couple of large cats when we stopped one of the backwater canals for a swim and then fished from the water. We had more room than when we all tried to cast a line from the Gheenoe.
Other than the catfish, I did get a small snook. He was a silver shimmering beauty! It’s snook season right now, and my older son was hoping to reel one in. All he got was a few catfish himself. My younger son got a small redfish, and we certainly saw more than a few “tailing redfish” along the shore.
Yes, I am beginning to learn fisherman talk. When redfish are eating they circle and show their tail. The ones we watched each seemed to be alone, but they can swim in big groups with their tails above the water, and that’s what the fishermen look for. The ones we watched would swim in a circle and make a large ripple in the calm water. These fish are really beautiful and they are delicious to eat. But size is important when you catch one you want to keep.
Because the little “Yea Mon” Gheenoe has a shallow draft, we can get into the backwater channels where most other boats can’t go. We always find shallow water to swim around in and sand islands when the tide is low.
And we have the place all to ourselves! The water was flowing, and we could drift along in the very warm water. Yes, it’s brown, but it usually is in this area.
Other than fishing and enjoying the sunny Florida weather, I also did some shell hunting. Because the tide was just coming in, there were a number of sandy beach areas exposed. I found a large shark’s eye shell with a piece missing. Also picked up a crown conch and pear whelk. Picked them up and then had to put them back down. Every shell was inhabited by a hermit crab.
I really would have liked to keep those shells as they are all favorites of mine. In fact I don’t think I have ever found a pear whelk. I really wanted that one for my seashell collection! The place to go and get great shells is the Gulf Coast. A vacation may be in order – one day.
I took photos with my iPhone, but because of the extremely sunny conditions, it was difficult. Also, I worry about dropping the darn thing. I really need a waterproof case. Shuffling along the uneven sandy bottom of the canal is tricky. I could step into a hole at any time and drop my phone! My nice camera is still packed away, waiting for me to move into a permanent home.
Once we have our newer, bigger boat, it will be so much easier to grab the phone and get video and photos while the boys fish. Not to mention that fishing will be much more fun! So it’s all a waiting game, which is par for the course in my life. But we still had a very nice day out on the water.
I took advice from the research I’ve done about shelling and pocketed some little seashells from my recent trip to New Smyrna Beach.
I found living mollusks inside their shells, like this little shark’s eye shell, which I photographed and left alone. There were only a few shells down by the water, so I did my searching up near the dune line where high tide may have deposited some goodies.
We went onto the beach at the Flagler Ave. entrance and headed north to park the car. I saw a few sea turtle nests roped off with yellow tape, up near the dune area where cars are not allowed. After swimming and boogie boarding for a bit, I took a break from the water and went in search of treasures at the high tide line. Continue reading Shells I Found on New Smyrna Beach→