Wow guys, you won’t believe what happened yesterday. On Wednesday night at 9ish we saw a post on Facebook saying that Lido Beach, Which as on the west coast of Florida, was being dredged and that a ton of rare shells were on the beach. Dredging is when big equipment sucks up sand and shells from the ocean floor of shore and then pumps it onto the beach.
So we immediately made plans to go the next day. It was a struck of luck that me and my parents schedule lined up perfectly so we could all go together yesterday. We left at 6am and drove about 2.5 hours to the beach. We got 10 minutes away and then realized we went to the wrong Lido Beach! Luckily, the right Lido Beach was only an hour away so we continued on. Once we got there, my dad dropped us off and we headed straight to the big equipment and the pile of shells near it. We sat down right in the middle of a long pile of shells 5 ft. tall and 25 ft. wide and started shifting and digging through the shells. We were finding so many amazing shells! We found 9 Alphabet Cones just out in the open on top of the shell pile and so much coral!
To our left was a group of 5 or 6 shellers that were finding great shells too. They found multiple true tulips and one guy even found four junonia cobs! A Junonia cob is the shell that the middle area has been broken apart. It looks like someone ate the middle piece of corn on the cob. Also the lady next too him found a whole junonia. It was so cool. She even let us hold it! The Junonian is one of the rarest shells in Florida and one of the most well know. In some places if you find a whole one you get your photo in the newspaper. My mom and I had the middle area of the big shell pile mostly to our selves but we hung out with a nice couple for a couple hours talking and exchanging shell stories. That was when I found my favorite find of the day, drum roll …. a Junonian cob! I was so thrilled to find it! Finding a junonia has been on my bucket list for so long and I was so happy to find such a big part of it. This was one of the best shelling experiences in my life!
Over the course of the day we found so many shells in perfect shape, including horse conchs, bright orange whelks and so many shark eye’s and olives. Fun fact: There are false shark eye shells and true shark eye shells. You can tell the difference by looking at their spiral. The false shark’s eye has a spiral that pokes out and is more to the top rights/left of the shell. The true shark eye shell has a spiral that is almost completely flat and is center in the middle.
The way we were looking for shell was by slowly scraping shells away from an area and looking through them as we went. My mom’s pile at the end of the day was huge! I liked moving around more, so I was digging medium size holes and then I would slowly scrape new shells in while looking at them. I found a huge tulip by doing that. I was digging pretty far down in one hole and just saw part of it. I quickly managed to dig the rest out before the sides of the hole collapse and was rewarded with the biggest banded tulip I have ever seen! We were also finding tons of worm shells and Nutmegs.
We stayed there for four hours in temperatures that felt like 117 degrees but it was so worth it! The drive home was spent gazing at our finds and sharing funny stories about our day with each other. We are trying to go again this Thursday but we heard that red-tide is starting to affect areas near by it so we are going to play it by ear. As always, if you are a new reader feel free to leave a comment below saying “hi”.