Sunday, October 18, 2015

Shelling on Sanibel Island

People come from all over the world to shell on Sanibel Island, an island off the west coast of Florida, near Fort Meyers.  I couldn't wait to spend a day there, hoping to find that perfect shell just waiting for me to pick it up.

Shells, instead of sand, on the beach

The day we chose to go to the island was the day after Tropical Storm Erika dumped about 4.5" of rain on the RV resort in which we were staying.  It was still a bit drizzly, but, to be honest, it felt sort of good after all the heat and humidity we had been enduring.  So, off we went.

Standing water on the streets in the resort

Dressed to go shelling

We visited three different beaches while on the island, looking for shells, and all three were as different from each other as could be.  All of them, though, had tons and tons of shells and, surprisingly, most of them were whole.  We spent the day doing the "Sanibel stoop," the hunched over walk of those looking down for shells.

Three different beaches, three different environments

I noticed several interesting signs while on the island.

Parking was $2.00 an hour; not sure if this guy paid or not.

Never heard of a gopher turtle and still have never seen one!

Stingray hop
Is that a new dance?

And the take for the day?  Well, it was better than expected and worse than I had hoped.  Didn't find that huge conch shell I was hoping for, but did find a whole lot of different colored shells.  Pretty common, I know, but not for someone who's never lived by the sea.

Every shell is different.

My prized find of the day
I picked this one up and it had what appeared to be something inside it.  Turns out that it did!

This hermit crab had taken up residence in my perfect shell.  
Sid told me that hermit crabs poach these shells for their homes, plus he looked a little withered, so I didn't feel bad about making him move.  If the shell had been "alive" I wouldn't have been able to keep it.

A type of shore bird I hadn't seen before

We had a great day shelling, eating lunch at a local cafe and enjoying the cooler weather for a change.  I guess I'm just going to have to break down and buy one of those beautiful conch shells after all!

Until next time...

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