Saturday Morning’s all right for Shelling…

As far as temperature and sunshine, it certainly was a perfect beach weekend. It was a bit chilly Saturday morning with a temp hovering around 50 degrees. The Queen and I decided to wait it out until a bit later, since nothing says “let’s go back to bed” like a cold, chilly morning. So we waited a bit and took our time driving to the island. Once we got there, the temp was nice enough to set up shop and get down to business.

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The water was ice cold, but the visibility wasn’t too bad. It was a good day to get into the water and shell, despite the wind. There was a slight smell of Red Tide in the air and with the wind whipping as it was, there was a good chance there would be some remnants to cap off the weekend. There was, as I’m pretty stuffy right now. But, it was worth it because we got some great shells this weekend.

I left the Queen and her Mother on the main strip of BP and made my way North along the beach as usual. I wanted to see how clear the water was, as I’d already made up my mind that I was snorkeling. I had that “feeling” that there were some real treasures in the water….and there were. Like these below – see that fossil Florida Cone on the right?

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I saw the Queen on the Sanibel side of the jetty rocks, where there had gathered a small shell pile. We looked through it together and she was able to find quite a few really nice shells.

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I made my way a little further up, towards the bridge and just started raking and raking, pulling in shell after shell. Soon, the Queen joined me in the same spot. We both knew it was a honey hole, so she grabbed the Queen Mother,  and after a little while I changed into my super hero costume (the wet suit) and jumped in.

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The shells were just laying there, waiting to be snatched up. I could have spent hours raking and raking, diving and diving and come up with probably hundreds upon hundreds of shells – but wet suit and all – the water was just too cold. But here are a few pics of the shells we were able to find.

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I’m already a sucker for colorful scallops, but there were just hundreds of brightly colored ones everywhere. Too many to count. The Queen and I are mainly after the orange and pink variety now.

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The Queen Mother put together this cool little drift wood piece on our counter and I had to snap a pic of it. Here is a closer look:

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As we were warming up in the sun, the ladies began finding tusks – lots of them. 1-26-3wm

Take a look at that Bittersweet Clam there in the middle. As I’ve mentioned before, the Queen loves the Bittersweet. But this one is especially cool. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you – it is pink! Neither of us had ever seen a pink one before, so it made its way onto our coffee table display.

All in all – a great Shelling Saturday. I’m certainly paying for it this morning with a stuffed up nose and headache – thanks to the leftovers of Red Tide. But I’d do it all again if I was out there now.

Hmmm…there’s an idea…..

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Don’t let it pass you by….

ThThunder

Last night, we were cold.

Really, really cold. But does that stop us? Of course not, but we do yap about how cold we are the entire time.

Back to BP for another Thursday Thunder last night. The Queen Mother is in town for a few short days, so we invited her to enjoy a Thunder with us. She and the Queen dug in at the shell pile near the jetty rocks while I grabbed the rake and walked North.

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After about 10 minutes of walking North, I’d realized that I hadn’t reached the rake into the water. I hadn’t put my feet in the water either. I found that I had simply been peacefully daydreaming while walking along the sand….and it got me thinking.

We love to shell. It really is fun, and believe you me even competitive at times. We’re all gunning for that perfect Junonia, or that really brown Alphabet Cone, or maybe some other shell that we can take home and keep on our coffee table or shelf to show to friends and family. But is that all it’s really about? Not to me, it isn’t.

For me, the beach is what psychiatrists refer to as a “safe place” – you know, that secret, special place you go to in your mind where no one can touch you, no one can find you, no one can hurt you. It’s the place that you think about and suddenly, your mind calms down. Your body relaxes. You feel at peace. The beach is that place for me. So I went from planning on snorkeling (too cold) to unconsciously just taking in the peace of the moment. I was mesmerized by the sound of the water hitting the beach as it rolled in.

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Reminds me of something a wise man once said:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I don’t plan on missing little pieces of nature like this anymore.

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The Queen and her mother picked up quite a few colorful shells that had buried themselves in the shell pile. “You gonna dig through that pile that’s been here for 50 years?”, an older man asked the Queen Mother. “Maybe”, she replied. Good thing they did, because they picked up quite a few cool minis and tiny keepers.

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We were also fortunate enough to watch a fisherman reel in a little 2 1/2 foot hammerhead shark last night. This is not a picture of the actual shark (didn’t have my camera handy), but she looked like this, only a little bigger:

hhshIn my scramble to see the thing, I ended up making some slight contact with the jetty rocks.

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So look out for those rocks out there!

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