Monday, October 25, 2010

Back To The Beach!

Hi Everyone! I've missed you all, but I'm finally settled into my new place and after internet problems and a rushed deadline, I can finally get back to blogging on a regular basis. I'm anxious to see what everyone has been up to and I know I'll be seeing some beautiful Fall headers and photos. Here's mine:

Now I know most of you don't think we really have Fall here in Florida, but I assure you, we do! Here you don't really see the changing of the seasons, but you do feel it. The humidity is down, as are the temperatures. We can open our windows again and more importantly, we can walk across the sand at the beach barefooted without burning the bottoms of our feet and doing that "ouch, ouch, ouch" dance. Yesterday was a perfect day at the beach, the water was refreshing and there was a gentle, cool breeze coming off the ocean.

A friend of mine from the Gulf Coast was in the area with another friend and we decided that a trip to the beach was a good idea, but then again…a trip to the beach is ALWAYS a good idea. Thanks to a dear, sweet reader who recently contacted me, I had a list of places to go other than the crowded, touristy beaches close by. Thanks to Tana, I now know where to go to find shells here on the the Atlantic Ocean. I can't tell you how wonderful she is, but then she's also a sheller and understands the obsession. She not only sent me a detailed email with directions to her "sweet spots" for shelling, she made me a personalized google map with all the locations clearly marked. How sweet is that? Thanks Tana!

One of the places Tana told me about is one that she herself hasn't been to, but she heard the shelling was pretty good. Since this was the closest one to me, this is where we decided to go. Hanna Park is about thirty-five minutes away, and was just what I was looking for — no restaurants, no hotels and no crowds! When I'm in the water and turn towards shore, I don't want to see neon signs and parking lots, I want to see nature and that's just what I saw,

…isn't this relaxing?

Jeanette and I taking a moment to pose for the camera before starting a leisurely walk along the coast.

Theresa was having a great time searching for shells with her grandson.

So how was the shelling? Here's a pic of my take for the day:

I should probably tell you that the day before I tweaked my back and spent the day in bed, so I wasn't doing a lot of bending over and picking up. There were quite a few shells, but most were the same ones I have TONS of in my collection. I knew I could return for those on another day, should I find a shell project I want to create. Nice to know they're available, so I picked up just a few to show you. Lots of gorgeous oyster shells that have been smoothed by the sea and in a variety of colors. I think the specimens here are nicer than on the Gulf Coast.

(Yes Karen, that is a jingle mixed in there!)

You can see I found a couple of mermaid tears (sea glass), but my exciting find of the day is pictured just next to those. Here's a closer look:

And another:

I have never seen these before and I think they are very cool. Ensis directus, the Common Razor Clam, is also called a Jackknife Clam in the United States. They are very fragile, so I was excited to find several intact. I broke the one on the left as I tried to open it further to show you. Always fun to find something new to add to my collection!

There were tons of minis, another reason to return soon. 

I love the patterns formed in the sand by the waves…

We did find augers and a few murex, but they all had hermit crabs living in them and even though it is legal to collect live shells here, I left them behind. The crabs found them first! I must say I have never seen so many hermit crabs before and it was quite funny to see them scurry about with their new homes, especially the augers.

Here is a view of the north end of the beach.…

These are known as "The Poles" and this is supposed to be one of the better surf spots in the Jax area. For me, they mark a good shelling spot that I can't wait to return to in the near future. Thanks again, Tana!

Well, that's it for today, I'm going to be dropping in on all of you in the next few days, but first up is Cindy at Applestone Cottage. I know her grandchild was born during my absence and I can't wait to see pics! As for the rest of you, thank you for your comments, your emails and most of all, your friendship! See you real soon. If I missed anything really exciting, please let me know!

33 Thoughtful Comments:

RottenMom said...

Welcome Back! Love those JackKnife clams, very cool. Everyone should have a Tana in their life, what a great friend! Great post!

Loui♥ said...

Oh Shelle..
I've been thinking really hard about you..and WOW!
here you are..
back better than ever!!
just wanted to say I missed you!
those razorback shells are awesome!!
I've never seen those before!!
Welcome back!!
warm sandy hugs..

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Was I ever glad to see your name roll up on my reader! YEA! Shell Belle is back! Hi, Rhonda!!!

You really did hit the jackpot, and those razor clams are so neat. I think that might beat the area I wanted to take you. We have one of those grabber things that helps if you've hurt your back or whatever. It was the best $13 investment Mr. Magpie and I ever made! LOL! ;-)

Hey, before I forget, I got the recipe from Nancy for that coconut cake she served. I posted it at the bottom of a post I did about my MIL's birthday.

If you get a chance, please email your phone number, okay? I need to put it on my computer where I can find it!


Sheila :-)

Kaybe said...

Yay! She's back. We'll have to come up with a contraption to help with that Sanibel stoop or is it the Jax jacked-up back?

Kristen said...

Welcome back!!! I've missed my daily dose of the Tiki Hut :)

We haven't really had much of a fall up here in Wisconsin this year... it has been very warm. 60s and 70s!!

So glad you're back :)

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Welcome back! I've missed you. I came over to visit you the other day and realized you hadn't posted for awhile.
Glad your settled in too. I love all your great shell finds.


Kat said...

Welcome back! Sounds like the perfect day. The beach is lovely, I'm with you, the last thing I want to see at the beach is neon and asphalt! Great shells, and you found some sea glass too. Lucky day! I love the jackknife clam shells, I've never seen those. So glad to see you back, hope that you are settling in and doing well :) Hugs, Kat

Sue said...

I was so happy to see you were back to blogging! I've never seen those clam shells...really interesting! The beach looks wonderful...I'll be seeing some sand and sea soon myself...can't wait!

I'm glad you are settled...hope the living arrangement is going well.


Blondie's Journal said...

Welcome back, Rhonda!! I've missed you. Hope you have been doing well. I love seeing you back at the beach, shelling.'ve added nicely to your collection. Mermaid the sound of that. I also love the cool picture the waves made on the sand. I haven't seen anything like that in my life!

Hope your back is okay...I have definitely been there!


Jane said...

So glad you're back, Rhonda!!! I've missed you. Love the razor clam shells (I never knew what they were.)
Hope your new home is good for you...looking forward to seeing you soon (tea in Plant City with the other bloggers?).
Jane (artfully graced)

Beach House Living said...

Welcome back. Nice to see you.
Those razor clam shells are very interesting.

Completely Coastal said...

Oh, hello there. Glad you're back and all well..., and on the beach again!!!!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Rhonda
Welcome back.. you sound so happy and upbeat the change must have been good for you.. I've been wondering where you were but been having my own internet issues off and on..

Glad to see you back on the beach doing what you love best.. shelling!!! Have a fabulous week xxx Julie

Low Tide High Style said...

Welcome back, I wondered where you had run off too! It looks like to a beautiful place full of gorgeous seashells...and you know that's my kind of place!

Glad you found a new spot and have finally settled in.

Kat :)

Magdalena said...

YAY our Shellbelle is back!! Oh how we have missed you. Oliver said hi earlier when I told him you left a comment, he loves you! I am so happy you are near the ocean getting your seashells and spending time with those who make you happy. You deserve happiness, ocean breezes, sunshine and wonderful days.

jmac said...

I've got one thing to say.....


Desert Dreaming said...

Welcome Back...really missed your posts! Glad you are all settled in and enjoying yourself. Love the pictures! Take care.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Welcome back Rhonda!
We missed you and your posts! Thanks for coming by and your sweet comments too!
I love the beach pics and what a bounty of shells you have collected!
I know I would be a sheller too if I only lived near the ocean!
Well my dear, I am so happy you are back and I am happy to hear you are getting settled in your new digs!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hey, sugar... I'm back today to say, "Hi." Yes, I will be happy to introduce you to Foghorn Leghorn provided he is not in someone's deep fryer. ;-)

There's also a log house. Not kidding a log house... a house carved out of the center of a huge log! You won't believe it. It reminds me of something Snow White and Dwarfs would have called home.

Catch up when I return!

Love you...


Sheila :-)

solamar7 said...

Nice to have you back! I always love your "Beachy" posts!

The Florida Blogger said...

Welcome back to the best state in the Union!

iLoveShelling said...

Welcome "home"! So nice to have you back... and with the shelling fever all stirred up. Awww- Those razors remind me of shelling in the Carolinas with my family when I was a kid. Love them!

Ms. Bake-it said...

YAY you are back!!! I missed you and am so glad you are back. Love your beach pics and what a great cache of shells!

~ Tracy

rjerdee said...

Hey Rhonda! Glad you're back, missed you! Hope you're finding your new home comfortable and we'll look forward to seeing pics of your new digs.
Meanwhile, congrats on those razorbacks and I love the idea that sea glass is called "mermaid tears"!

gayle said...

Glad your back! I'm a little confused ....didn't you just move awhile back and now have you move again or am I just lost?

CHERI said...

Hallelujah! You're back. I was beginning to get worried about you. Can't wait to hear all the details about your move and where you are living. Hope it will be all you want it to be. Now I have a bad case of beach-itis...sure wish I were there with you. Sure doesn't feel like fall here! Again, so glad you are back!

Anonymous said...

I have a thing about oyster shells. I look at them and see characters-- sometimes ghostlike, sometimes elfish, sometimes a wise man. Sometimes I paint them--minimally--to let the character show himself. :)

I love finding sea glass. Red is supposed to be the luckiest to find.

butterfli78 said...

So glad that you had a good day shelling. I have a bad back as well, and after seeing someone at the beach with a grabber thing I went to Wal-mart & got one for myself. The Gopher is $10.00 & I love it. It has changed my total shelling experience & I can actually walk the rest of the day! I would love to go shelling with you one day, so let me know when you want to get together!


The Fajdich Times said...

So glad you are back:) Love the pictures!

Jen Beaudet Z said...

Hi Rhonda! So great to see you back on here. I noticed you hadn't been posting and figured you must be moving. Hope it went well. It looks like you're doing great! It's so important to be near good friends. This place looks so relaxing! Take care! Jennifer:)

Just Us said...

You're back hooray! I was beginning to worry about how I was going to get my dose of seaglass, seashells, and sunshine when the white stuff hits. Our mountains are already getting their frosting of white and I am in need of the sea! So glad you are alive and well and back in the Hut!

CrazyCris said...

She's BAAAAAAAAACK!!!! :o)

How did the move go? Where are you now? Details!!! ;o)

Even though I've been a bit inattentive of the blogosphere these past several months, I keep popping back in here to see if you're active again, and today... YAY!!!

Now I've got an extra-special incentive to re-launch Fishy Fridays (I have a post almost done, just have to do some video editing)... I feel inspired enough to get it out and start up again tomorrow! :o)

On my blog it's been quiet. Am back in Belgium teaching again for 3 months so work doesn't leave much time for blogging. And I'm spending as much of my weekends as possible out and about discovering places I missed during previous stays, visiting friends or out hiking (am putting up a hiking post almost every week). I do have 2 particular posts I think you'll enjoy! A send-off for Paul the Octopus, and a tale by my Aunt (in Fl!) who went up with her family to the Rally to Restore Sanity in DC last week.

Am looking forward to seeing/reading more of you around here! WELCOME BACK!!! :*

Drawn to The Sea said...

So glad you're back :-) How wonderful to return to the ocean... it really is home, isn't it?

Hugs from Texas :-)

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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