A Gift From The Sea – Broken Junonia

junonia 3

It counts! It’s broken and beat up, but it’s a junonia! Yay! I was on West Gulf Drive, right behind the Caribe Beach Resort at 11am on a Tuesday. I was gathering a bunch of yellow cockle shells for my mom who I’d just found out was going in for surgery. Before I drove home to the east coast, I wanted to find her favorite shells and bring them to her. So, while I was up at the high tide line gathering cockles, I uncovered this beauty!

I feel it was a gift and this shell will forever remind me of my mom. By the way, her surgery went fine and she is recovering nicely.

yellow cockles

These are the yellow cockles I collected for her. So cheery, don’t you think?

Sanibel Shell Show

Golden olive on display at Sanibel Shell Show.
Golden olive creatively displayed at the Sanibel Shell Show.

The 79th Annual Sanibel Shell Show was held March 3, 4 and 5, 2016. This incredible show is put on by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club. I have attended this event many times over the years and it always leave me in awe.


There are scientific and artistic divisions that shellers can compete in, and there is also an area for purchasing goods, like books, jewelry, and more.

Water lilly created from angel wing shells.
Water lily created from angel wing shells.

The shells you will see at this show are incredible! If you have never been, you should really try to attend next year.

Huge, dark junonia shell at Sanibel Shell Show.
Beautiful junonia at Sanibel Shell Show.

Plus, in the parking lot, there are vendors selling seashells, food, clothing, gifts and crafts.

First place winner: Flat scallop, hinged, and gorgeous!

Check out these true tulip egg casings, did you know what they looked like? I know lightning whelk casings, so this was cool to see.

True tulip egg casings.
True tulip egg casings.


Enormous true tulip found in the Bahamas.
Enormous true tulip found in the Bahamas.


Crown conch found on Sanibel. (Also known as a King's Crown.)
Crown conch found on Sanibel. (Also known as a King’s Crown.)

Aren’t these specimens incredible? I went crazy looking at the displays, I’m sure you will, too! Hope to see you there next year.

My First Junonia, Make That Two

Jill Martin 2 alphies 2 junonias sanibel island
Jill Martin 2 alphies 2 junonias sanibel island

I found my first Junonia this weekend, and it felt as good as I thought it would! My entire family was staying at the West Wind Inn over Thanksgiving and I went for a late-night beach walk and walked right into my first Junonia. It was laying there on the high tide line, still wet. It was 10:43 pm. I cried.

As if I wasn’t already walking on clouds, the next morning we were packing to leave and I walked down to the water one last time to say goodbye to my beloved Sanibel. There were several people on the beach looking for their morning treasures, but I just walked straight to the water to put my feet in one last time. I looked down and BAM! There was a Junonia in about 8″ of water. There was even a guy standing right next me, and he didn’t see it. He was looking out OVER the water, I was looking IN the water!

Pam Rambo of I Love Shelling.com fame took my photo for her blog and it was also published in the Island Sun newspaper that week. How cool is that? I’m still over the moon. Thank you, Pam, for capturing the moment!

Prayers are answered sometimes, this one sure was.