Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunrise Shelling....

Low tides are especially low during a full moon, and the pull of the moon was just too much for me!  We got up at the butt-crack of dawn and headed to Sanibel.  It was a beautiful morning, and with my McDonalds coffee in hand, I began walking at the water line.  I was finding lots of pretty shells, but what I really wanted to find was an alphabet cone. 

Now my mother passed away in 2009, and I talk to her all the time in my head, but never before had I gotten an answer.  But as I was walking along, I whispered to myself "come on mom, help me find an alphabet cone".  I took ONE step forward, and there, rolling in the surf, was a perfect ALPHABET CONE!  Mind you all the other shells were kind of smushed into the sand, but this one just rolled to me!  Bazinga!  Thanks mom!

I found tons of shells and Noel and I were having a great time looking at all the live star fish, fighting conchs and roosting pelicans.

Low tide pools had lots of live critters, and all those brown lumps you see on the right, are live fighting conchs!  So funny to watch them scoot themselves along!
I let Noel hold the camera for a while so I wouldn't get it wet, but this is why he usually isn't trusted with the camera!!  Not my best side!!  Gee thanks honey!
 We found three different kinds of starfish!

see the tracks it makes in the sand?

Then Noel spotted something large on the sandbar.  OMG - that is a huge horse conch!  I had to get to it before someone else spied it!  (and there were lots of other hard core shellers out this morning).  I RAN, through the knee deep ice cold water out to the sandbar, and sure enough, it was a giant horse conch.  But, wha-wha, he was alive!  So I took some pictures of him and then put him back into deeper water.

We continued walking along and finding more shells, and I saw something dark buried under the sand.  I tried to uncover it, but soon realized whatever it was, it was big.  So I kept digging, and found another giant horse conch - but this time it was empty!  Bazinga!!  He has a lot of barnacles on him, which I knocked off with our metal grill spatula (hey, being able to improvise and use tools is what separates us from other mammals! LOL)  A little muratic acid and he will be as beautiful as can be!

The trees along the beach front were filled with roosting pelicans, waiting for the sun to warm things up just a bit more before they started their daily task of fishing.

The sun was strong by the time we left, so I'll leave with a photo you can meditate to while its snowing outside!


ps said...

Just visiting Sanibel for a few days from Southeast Alaska. Do you mind sharing where the sandbar is located where you found your wonderful horse conch?
Patty W

b and bb cole said...

OHHH Anna!!! I just loved this blog update! The starfish, the huge conch, the sun to meditate to!! BUTT[hahah good pun eh?]...
Best of ALL.... Your Mom found you just what you were looking for! IN more ways than one! Merry Christmas!!!
XOX Beth

ps said...

Loving the sunshine - not finding many shells
Anyone have any suggestions?

Anna Lemons said...

Patty - the sandbar was near the beach access called Gulfside City Park on Algiers, which is off Casa Ybel. The area where Sanibel and Captiva meet usually has good shelling, but parking is limited. Lighthouse beach usually is a good place to find miniatures. Unfortunately, shelling, like fishing, is hit or miss, depending on the tides, winds, etc. I was in the cold water, looking near the waterline and just beyond. Just before peak low tide until about an hour after it starts coming back in is usually when I have the best luck.