Saturday, February 18, 2017

Loving Alabama in the Little RV

I'm slowly adjusting to life without vast piles of seashells but oh how I miss those walks on the Sanibel Island beaches and the volume and variety of shells they brought. 
   My Banded and True Tulip Shells found on Sanibel Island
   My Lightening Whelk shells found on Sanibel Island

Orange Beach (Alabama)

Shelling here is a completely different process. Over the years there has been so much beach erosion from storms and such the beaches were slowly disappearing. In recent years the beaches in this area of the Gulf of Mexico have been renourished. 

Put simply, because I'm a simple girl, they take big machines and pump sand from way out in the ocean onto the beaches to widen them. If you want to know more about beach renourishment click here.
Photo credit,
What does that have to do with shelling? EVERYTHING!  I this area of the Gulf many people dig for their shells.  When the sand is being shot onto the beach those lovely shells are brought right along with it. Bonus!  

My first experience with digging for shells was last week. I drove over to Pensacola Beach with my trusty blue plastic toy shovel and my shelling bag. 

The drive to Pensacola Beach is about 40 miles. 

Let the digging begin!  Um, this is a big beach. Where do I start?  Look at the center of the photo.  See where the beach begins to slope downward? People seem to start digging on that slope. Also if there is an eroded shelf area or vertical wall of sand like the one in the photo below that is a great place to dig, especially if you can see shells in the wall.
Photo credit, Pensacola Beach Blogger
I set out to find a place to dig and got lucky on my first attempt.

I dug down about 18" and carefully sifted through the sand with my hands because the shells are covered with sand and they are hard to find. You can see some of the shells I dug up in my fancy red shelling bag. When you finish digging be sure to fill in the hole you made so nobody gets hurt!

I moved a couple more times and tried again but I didn't have any luck. On my way back to the car I saw a woman digging very near where I dug the first time. I walked over to talk to her and we ended up becoming friends. Her name is Janet and she digs with gusto. She tends to go down to a depth of about four feet. This woman has some energy. Check out the results. 
Go Janet!

That shell is called a murex. I also dug up a murex but it's not nearly that big. Mine is about 2.5 inches long but it's in great shape.
Cabrit's Murex - dug up on Pensacola Beach, Florida
I have to say I really enjoyed digging up shells. I plan to give it another try next week. Wish me luck! 


  1. It has been a long, long time since I have done that, but I just love digging for sea shells. Keep on a digging, gal.

  2. Dizzy, I do love a good treasure hunt!