A Sand Dolla makes me Holla

Let me get right it the point.
The water is officially cold (at least for me, it is) here in Southwest Florida. I walked to the shore line early Sunday morning and stepped in up to my knees, as is normal practice. I immediately turned to SQ and said, “The water is no longer warm.” I looked around the beach. Nope. No one in the water (that should have been my first clue). “Oh well, I’ll give it a shot,” my dumb self said to my smart self.

You know how when you get exposed to cold water – maybe the water in the shower isn’t warm enough when you get in, or maybe you get splashed at the pool when you’re not looking – yeah, it was that kinda cold. Take your breath away cold. Breathe really fast cold.

Ok, maybe I’m a wimp and it’s really not that cold (NOAA said the water temp was 79 degrees). But when I see tourist children stop dead in their tracks at the water line and scream every time the water touches them? Yeah, maybe not so much. That and the bonnethead shark pups. Bonnethead Sharks don’t really bother humans, but the idea of swimming around sharks without a dive cage seems a bit ummmm, looney?

For the record, where there is water, there are sharks. BP has them and I ain’t scurred. Well, maybe just a little bit. No, I’m cautious. Yeah, that’s it. I’m cauuuuuuutious.

Anyway, time to get that wetsuit shorty that the Queen has on her Amazon Wish List. Because I don’t think I can go the whole winter without getting into the water (and swimming with sharks).

That being said, it meant shelling would need to be on the shell piles (SQ) and raking/stooping along the shore, water no higher than mid-thigh (Me). The day turned into a mini-shell hunt and SQ found quite a few, like the mini Horse Conchs, Drills, Fighting Conchs and Whelks in the above picture.

As I traversed up the shore line I met a very nice couple, Tom and Anne Marie who had a great shelling set-up along the shore. I won’t reveal their M.O. here (since we all have our secret ways to get some of those hard to find, super collectible shells) but it was a great idea and one I hadn’t seen before. Tom and Anne Marie, it was nice to meet you!

Although the water was cold, there were definitely some prizes washing ashore. The Coral coming up and embedding itself in the sand and shell piles is always something the Shell Queen and I enjoy finding, especially the younger coral (which is more yellow than white).
Although they’re common to find around here at different beaches, I seldom find any Sand Dollars. That is, until yesterday, when I picked up this guy (Rest in Peace):

Just amazing.

So, be careful now out at BP. The water is certainly cold and before long you’re going to need some sort of 2-3mm suit to keep you warm out there if you decide to get into the water. But the view is still peaceful, the aura is still relaxing and the shells are still there, waiting to come home with you.

See you Thursday for some Thunder.

P.S. – The Shell Art page will be updated later this week with some great crafts made by “Sand-N-Shells”. So keep an eye out, because they are fantastic!

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