Bye Bye, 2012.

yossk

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.

SI1

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.

9bcfefff

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.

C7F3F757-2847-44DC-A84F-C74167E1978B-3602-000003A26862CA38

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.

JSQ

We are very blessed to own a handful of these intact shells and pieces.

FSJwm

20121019-211238.jpg

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:

AC1

Alphabet Coneqh2.jpg-large

Juvenile Queen Helmet Cones1

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.

100_2372WM

Here are some of our favorites:

variousWM

paw1wm

albinoconch1WM

lace2wm

dolla3wm

flatsc1WM

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.

IMG_1376wm

IMG_1440wm

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.

1298wm

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.

sky2WM

Too chilly!

ThThunder

12202wm

With the weather fluctuating so much over the last couple of nights, we decided to skip Thursday Thunder last evening and relax over some cheesecake and coffee. No one (at least no one I know) wants to traipse along a beach when it’s 52 degrees outside. Certainly not me. Unless you’re from the North, where they’ve been getting pounded with snow.

However, we’ll have a 2012 recap for you next week. Although our blog has only been up since August, it has definitely been a season to remember and we’ll have pictures to show for it!