Honeymoon Bounty

It’s getting busy at Honeymoon Island!  Lots of Northern license plates.  By the time I left at noon there was a lot of traffic heading towards the beach.  Today I got out around 10 am and headed right for the Oasis parking on the north end of the island.  We had some rainy and windy weather on St. Patrick’s so hopefully it churned up some great treasures!

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There were huge shell piles all the way down the beach!  The shelling is amazing right now.  If you like Turbans, it is Turban heaven!

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Lots of live shells on the beach, this fighting conch was snuggled in.  I put him back in the water after I took a picture of his beautiful coloring.

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These are my picks of the day!  Juvenile Fighting Conchs, Olives, Sunray Venus!  My treasures were a Shark’sEye, an Alphabet Cone, a Pear Whelk, a Lightning Whelk and a King’s Crown!  My first King’s Crown.  After I wash and oil the shells I’ll post close ups!!

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A Mini Trip to the Beach

Monday afternoon we took a mini trip to Honeymoon Island, Yay Spring Break!IMG_1390

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We parked on the South Beach, or what we call “the sandy” beach…

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There were lots of mini shells to be found in the sea weed and tide pools.  Juvenile Fighting Conch, mini Turban, mini cockle, mini venus, mini scallops and mini operculum.  Operculum are the little “trap doors” that protect the animal inside the shell.  These probably came from Turban shells.

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Lots of minis hiding in the surf line…

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My Tiny Collection

Since my shelling eye has started to get a little sharper I have cleaned out my shell collection, only keeping my favorites.  Here is my collection as it stands:

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I Love Augers!

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Fossilized Coral

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How I organize, at least until the collection grows…

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I keep a tiny jar of mini shells on my desk and my largest shell on my porch!

Honeymoon Beach

And that brings us up to today on the beach.  Today I found 4 new shells for my list: Ribbed Cantharus, Florida Cone, Apple Murex and Banded Tulip.  They are all small and I will take ’em!  Banded Tulip, pretty close to perfect!

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The windy weather brings out the Sheller!IMG_4749

Coquina Beach

Shells from Coquina Beach on Longboat Key February.23.2014.  We took a long drive to Longboat key for a tiny Wentletrap.  What I love about Longboat key are the darker shells than on Honeymoon.  Little black scallops and beautiful colored coquinas.  I found lots of minis and even a purple sea whip.  But the best is the smallest, a tiny Wentletrap (the bottom of the second picture.)  Great day for tiny shells! 

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The Problem with the 9-incher

So the Whelk shell I found was a amazing, but the problem it created was a doozy.  A short time after that I went back to the beach with the family to shell.  Unfortunately my phone was in the car so I could not document the situation.  My son and I were looking for shells (which to him means throwing rocks into the ocean) when I spotted a HUGE dark shell half buried in the sand.  Could I hit the jackpot again?  So I commandeered my son’s small net and proceeded to pull the shell out the sand with my new found shell digging bravery.  What happened next was terrifying.  It was a live horse conch, which proceeded to writhe and spit water a foot up into the air.  My son started screaming, “What is THAT THING?  AGGGHHH,” and go running for the dunes.  I had no idea what to do, so I tried to push it out into the waves as best I could without puking.  If you have not seen one, they are a huge coral colored muscle…I cannot even think about it.