I have to say it was quite an eventful 2012.
The Queen and I started this blog on a whim back in early August. We’ve been shellers for years; the Queen more so than I. She and her mother made weekly jaunts to the island in search of keepers. I mainly tagged along and swam with little to no interest.
But eventually, the bug caught me and I started searching to help her find certain shells. Once I found a few of my own, it was on.
We started the blog shortly before I found my first Junonia shell. It was a juvenile which I posted a picture of on Twitter. The resident Sanibel Island shell expert found out about it and took my picture, which brought a little ridicule from the guys I work with – who quickly dubbed me “The Shell King”. I took it in stride, but eventually the Shell King name took hold and the blog was born.
From there, we decided to make the blog one that would relive our adventures, trips and discovery for our friends and family, as many live up in the cold North. We never imagined it would catch on with so many others who enjoyed the same things we do.
So our many trips to the Island beaches quickly turned from just finding shells for ourselves to finding shells for the readers – a little taste of our experiences extended to those who wished they were experiencing the same thing.
Throughout the remainder of 2012, we found so many of our favorite shells. A juvenile Junonia wasn’t enough at that point. We needed the real deal. The big daddy, which we found ironically on the Queen’s birthday – September 22nd.
We are very blessed to own a handful of these intact shells and pieces.
Thanks to Tropical Storm Debby (which unleashed a boatload of shells before we started the blog) and Hurricane Isaac (who brought us many shell carpets in the following weeks), we were able to collect some very hard to find and valuable (to us at least) shells like these:
Juvenile Queen Helmet
Various Florida Cones
We visited all the old staples like Blind Pass, Bowman’s Beach and Lighthouse Beach and visited ones we’d never visited like Pine Cove and Gulfside City Park, where we found not only shells, but active wildlife.
Here are some of our favorites:
We were also fortunate enough to take a trip to some of the Caribbean islands like St. Marten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, where we found some of the local shells just as exciting as our local shells.
The Queen also hooked me up with a wet suit, as she knows how much I like to dive and snorkel. With the water temperature dropping rapidly here, not being able to get in the water all winter would have been torture. Luckily, I am now able.
It has been a great 2012. We have been very fortunate and blessed to have found so many great shells, met great people and had great visits from family and friends.
We have big plans, big ideas and big trips to take in 2013, and we’re glad to have you along for the ride. Thank you to everyone who has commented, followed and enjoyed our blog this year. We look for an even bigger and blessed year in 2013. Hopefully, the Queen will finally be able to see the Green Flash.