Monday, December 27, 2010

“May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.” - an Irish Blessing

Remember the movie "Grumpy Old Men" where they go ice fishing?  Watching those old guys trudge out on the frozen lake to a little shack to go fishing makes you want to  start shivering.  What kind of nutcase goes fishing in zero degree temperatures? The same kinda of nutcase  enthusiastic person pursuing their passion of shelling that dones mittens, a hooded sweatshirt, winter windbreaker jacket, scarf wrapped around the neck to keep the  hood from filling with 20 degree wind & blowing back and heads out into the night with a flashlight to see what the NW winds blew up on the beach from the  late night low tide.

 It is really cold for SW Florida but I'm not complaining. I don't have to dig my car out before I drive it. Heck, I had to cover up a few plants is all. I haven't even run the heat yet. I love this NW wind that is blowing up shell pile after shell pile on the beaches from Casey Key to the north all the way south to to Stump Pass. The cold weather keeps the beach traffic to a minimum and I get those lovely shell piles almost all to myself. Every so often I'll pass another bundled up sheller on the beach.  We smile the smile only shared by people that don't think it's odd to set their alarm clocks before the sun rises to head to the beach in the freezing cold. It's a minus 0.9 low tide for goodness sakes. I have to fight off the temptation call in sick to work. (Can I speak to the manager on duty....cough cough...this is Karen cough cough....I'm not feeling so good...I'm a little under the weather....  the NW windy, low tide shelling weather)

The video was taken with my iPhone. The wind was blowing sand into my eyes and I had to watch the waves  washing up because I was on my lunch hour and did not want wet shoes.

Beach comber's love the winter winds and here's why
Perfect Whelk
More Lion's Paw chunks to the right
Half of a flat scallop to the left
It just needs a hood & pockets for shells


  1. I. Am. So. Envious. Seriously. Dang.
    You should take shoes to change into, then change back...

  2. I've never seen shells like those.... I can (slightly) understand your zeal for this wonderful pursuit.

  3. Haha! I would look so much better on the beach in a snuggie!
    Oh to get to go shelling on your lunch hour! I "ain't" never!

  4. It must be wonderful to go shelling on your lunch hour and bring in a haul like that.
    You must use iron hairspray or either return to work looking a little tattered!!!! :)

  5. Wow - that perfect whelk is a major score. Love all your findings. Wish I was there. Take a picture of yourself shelling in the snuggie. I would love to see that!!! Happy New Year my friend. XOXO

  6. are so hilarious!!! The Snuggie, I mean. And, wow, what a score of treasures! I can't believe it but my grandson and daughter have suddenly gotten into shelling and have landed some pretty wonderful things in just a couple days of grinding through the wind. I sit on the beach and "watch their stuff" while they go out for more...I took them to the Shell Factory last Sunday and they've been shelling every since.
    Today, they are planning to head out to Stump Pass to see what's happening (I've been rereading your posts to learn a bit more...1.3 miles of walking to get there from the car park? We've never been to the southernmost point of Manasota Key so this will be an adventure. :)

  7. Are you telling me that cold weather shellers are "Grumpy Old Women." I can relate to that. My friend Tana on the East coast has been finding all kinds of goodies too, nice to know the Atlantic gives it up sometimes.

    That whelk is AWESOME! And I read Becky's comment — I knew it wouldn't take long before the shell bug bit her!

    Happy New Year!

  8. Oh my gosh, that IS cold for Florida! It was in the 40's here today in Michigan, which felt like a heat wave for us! Your shells are amazing! I love the giant whelk. What a die hard sheller you are! And that snuggie just might come in handy:) Have a Happy New Year!!

  9. First of all the shell's are beautiful and yes I would probably do the same. When you are passionate about what you collect you do what it takes. Secondly......I know it is just a night, like any other night, but it is New Year's eve and it does make us stop to think and reflect on the past. Good or bad, it is the past and the future is before us. Here is to having a new year of hope renewed, faith restored and a sunny economy. Have a happy and healthy New Year. Thanks for being a friend.

  10. Hi There!! I am sitting here in Madison, Wisconsin and it was 45 yesterday which is WAY warmer that is normal! I would bundle myself up and walk the beach if is were 20 degrees for sure! I love the ocean so much and am SO thankful for blogs like yours! It was so nice to hear the ocean from your phone which you recorded on your beach walk! What a perfect way to ring in the new year! Thanks for giving me a little bit of the ocean, while I am land locked up north! Happy New Year and keep on going to beach, no matter what the weather! Well, as long as it is safe weather! Maybe I should send you a pair of my mittens for your cold weather shelling days! Take care! Shannon :)


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