A storm was brewing off the coast. The wind picked up quickly as we walked back to the condo. So much so that I really had to lean into it to keep moving forward! The crashing surf was loud and powerful. The sky was gray but still beautiful.
We couldn't wait to get out to the beach the next morning to see what the storm had churned up. It was a beautiful morning, cool but calm. We started walking the beach toward Stump Pass, happy as clams. There were shark's teeth & shells everywhere!
It was easy pickings but slow going to our favorite "hot spot" on Stump Pass Beach. One step forward, find a goody, two steps forward, fill a pocket. We moved at a snail's pace for about 1/2 a mile until we reached our hot spot. Holy heaps of shells!! We couldn't believe our eyes!
We spent hours combing through the piles of shells filling our baggies & pockets with shark's teeth, seashells, corals, fossils & sea glass.
"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach,
one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."
Anne Morrow Lindberg
That morning we found more sea treasures on Manasota Key than we had found everywhere else combined. Jason was the big winner of the day. While I was focused on finding shark's teeth he was turning up the BIG finds!
Cockles & Mussels, Alive, Alive, Oh!
Jason found live sea creatures washed ashore too. An Atlantic Giant Cockle & a tiny Hermit Crab. We snapped a quick photo & carefully placed them back into the sea. Mother Nature's helpers, Pillywiggins are always ready to lend a helping hand!
Every Seashell Has A Story
This conch shell belonged to my Grandma Curtis. She kept it on display in her living room. I was a very young girl but I can still remember Grandma holding it to my ear to listen to the ocean. The conch belongs to me now. I too keep it on display and every so often I will still hold it to my ear to listen to the ocean.
This beautiful shell is a Florida Horse Conch. It found its way to our home through our dear friends Jim & June. Horse conchs are saltwater snails. Growing up to 2 feet in length, Horse conchs are the largest gastropod mollusk in North American waters & the second largest in the world. It's also the State Shell of Florida.
If you can't find it...Buy It!
We couldn't leave Florida without a few sea treasures for the kids on our list. We divvied up our findings then headed out to the shell shops to find the shells we hadn't found on the beach. Starfish & sand dollars rounded out our collection.
We purchased these beauties from Sheryl's Shell Shop in Englewood, FL. It's a lovely shop full of beautiful seashells, corals, starfish & sand dollars. Local & exotic. There's also an impressive amount of art made with or inspired by sea life. We purchased a few of the Christmas ornaments below. Sheryl's offers resin art classes several times per week too. When I inquired, I was taken into a back room & shown several works in progress. It was so cool. I wanted to sign up but we only had a few short days left of our Florida adventure. I took a business card instead...there's always next year!
"The sand will brush off, the salt will wash clean, the tan lines will fade,
but the memories will last forever."