Seashells by the Seashore - Naples, Florida

Types of seashells found along the beaches of Naples, Florida.
Types of seashells found along the beaches of Naples, Florida. | Source
Shells from Naples, FL beach.
Shells from Naples, FL beach. | Source
Southern Florida sand dollar.
Southern Florida sand dollar. | Source

Best place to find seashells - Naples, Florida

Do you enjoy long walks along the beach at sunrise, sunset, or any time of the day? Whether the tide is coming in or going out, a leisurely walk along the beach is relaxing and a great way to enjoy what I call "the jewels of the gulf", the seashells.

Right there at our feet are some of the most beautiful and interesting sea animals and shells that the gulf has washed up on the beach for our enjoyment. I love to collect seashells by the sea shore and display them at home. The Naples beaches are a treasure trove for finding so many different types of sea shells, sea urchins, sand dollars, and starfish.

The western gulf side of Florida still offers charming seashell hunting that the east coast Atlantic Ocean side of Florida does not. Naples, Florida is one of the best places for finding unique and different types of shells, along with Sanibel Island and Captiva Island nearby. These three places are the sea shell hunting capital of Florida. So, lets take off at one of the Naples beaches for some seashell hunting right now.

Seashells like the ones pictured above are mollusks. Mollusks have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies for protection as opposed to humans whose skeletons are inside the body. The outside skeleton, which we call the shell, protects the living organism from the gulf (or sea) and other sea animals and is made of hard calcium. Inside the shell lives the soft fleshy slug-like creatures.

As you are walking along collecting your shells, when you find one with the slug-like creature still in the shell, that means the shell is alive. Don't pick it up to save. Leave the live shells on the beach to preserve and conserve the living organisms of the beach.

When hunting shells, only collect the shells that are dead - that means there is no longer a living slug-like creature in the shell. These are perfectly fine to pick up to save as you are not disturbing any live sea life.

Look at the texture and the colors of the seashell. Are they rough, smooth, grainy, or sandy feeling? All this is the result of the water and sand washing on the shell over a period of time. The colors are sometimes formed over many years of sea life and beach life. Each shell is a unique shape, form and color and no two shells are ever the same, just as no two people are ever the same.

Sand dollars are very popular on the Naples beaches and usually wash up on the beach in the month of June. Usually they are found lying in a bed buried under a layer of sand close to the water's edge so you have to look hard and dig for them. The sand dollar has no arms or legs, but moves around by tiny spines on their body that feel like a soft fur covering. If the spines are still on them, they are alive and I leave them in the sand.

They have the five tiny holes that resemble the position of Jesus Christ on the cross, and so the legend has it that when you break open a sand dollar there are five dove-like shaped pieces that fall out.

Therefore, the sand dollar, has become the symbol for Christ and the dove-like pieces, doves who spread good will and peace. But, to me, sand dollars are so beautiful and precious, I have a hard time breaking them open to get to the doves.

Starfish are very popular to the Naples beaches also. They are classified not as fish, but as animals. They are surprisingly quite voracious predators in the sea. We think of starfish that have five legs or points, but there are many variations and many variations in numbers and types of legs: the basket star has legs that resemble the roots of a tree; the brittle star has five thin legs but they are bent and curled; the sea star has nine legs or points; the sunflower star has a of legs or points and really does resemble a sunflower, the reason for its name.

If alive and moving when I find one on the beach I throw it back in the gulf. And, yes, I've heard the story of the man throwing one of many starfish back in the sea. Starfish are cooked and eaten and considered a delicacy. I've eaten starfish and it's not bad; however, I equate it like eating rabbit - it's difficult to eat such a beautiful and lovely creature.

Sea urchins are beautiful and come in a variety of colors. They have long spines rather than arms or legs. The spines are used for camouflage, locomotion, and for defensive purposes. They feed on sea grasses algae and have a close relationship to the starfish and sand dollar. Their underside near the middle has the familiar five pointed star pattern.

Typical sea urchin found along the beaches of Naples, Florida
Typical sea urchin found along the beaches of Naples, Florida | Source

Cleaning and preserving seashells

Seashells not properly cleaned leave a devastatinng order. Properly cleaned, however, they will leave no odor. To properly clean your seashells find an old pot that you no longer use everyday for cooking. Fill the pan with 50/50 solution of bleach and water and boil them for about fifteen to thirty minutes. Be sure the the flaky leathery covering on the shell is gone before you take them out of the pot. Then lay them out on paper towels to dry outside in the sun if possible. They can then be used in the home or in crafts and will never smell again.

Sand dollars when found on the beach are a dark brown color. To clean them, soak them in fresh water first, changing the water frequently as they begin to smell and begin turning the water brown. Then, soak them in a solution of bleach and water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, remove them from the bleach, rinse them thoroughly and let them dry. Sand dollars will crumble if left in bleach for longer than 10 minutes. This is how you get the sand dollars white like the ones you see in the store.

Starfish are cleaned by soaking them in isopropl alcohol overnight. Then let them dry out on a paper towel, preferably outside in the sun. Be sure to weigh down the legs so they don't curl up as they dry.

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Comments 145 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

What an interesting Hub. Who knew seashells could be so neat? I love to have them around the house. I have a cracked glass vase in the bathroom filled with shells. It looks so lovely. You did a great job putting this together. I appreciate that. Thanks, Hyphen.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hyphenbird: I'm glad you liked this. Yes, I have seashells all around the house, too, and, like you, a vase of them in my bathroom. I think they are beautiful and interesting.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I love the beauty of seashells and love spending time on the seashore collecting them.

One day on the beach we noticed a lot of bird activity and upon investigating, we found hundreds of starfish washed up in the tide, they were absolutely fabulous!

Many thanks for sharing a great hub, voting up.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this was lovely, who knew? I love the story of the Sand Dollars, really interesting, thanks nell


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Movie Master: Thank you so much for commenting. I always marvel a nature's beauty. Each shell so intricate and different. It amazes me.

Nell: Thank you. To think those dove-like pieces are hid inside a sand dollar. Just the beauty of nature.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..you really have to do me a big favor and check out the hubs of my buddy from Michigan, FOSSILLADY, in particular, her nature hubs; she would love this one and it had quite an affect on me my friend. It made me feel like a beachcomber and in reality I am as I take walks everyday along my beach here at lake erie (often with my cat on a leash) and yes you are so right it is a small world isn't it -although I am a natural born Canadian from Hamilton and this cottage by the lake that I live with my two cats was built by my mum and dad back in 1956. Talk about family roots!

Thank you so much for your royal endorsement of my humble little hubspace and coming from such a great hub writer like you - it really means a lot!

lake erie time ontario canada 3:05pm

and your congratulations, believe me, are warmly received.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you. I will definitely check out Fossillady. I'm so glad to hear you enjoy Lake Erie. It is enjoyable here on this side, too. I love to go to Cleveland and eat by the lake or the Cuyahoga River. I'm so glad you enjoyed my seasell hub. I love shell hunting in Florida and I do think they are beautiful. Thanks for telling me that is your cat, because I couldn't quite tell if it was a cat or dog. Is it an angora cat? I think that is what they are called. I love that you leave the time. I do think it is the same as here. With autumn coming and the leaves changing colors, I bet your cottage by the lake and the scenery is just beautiful. Enjoy!


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 5 years ago from Tampa Bay

Wonderful hub! I think shells are so beautiful, and they're really quite amazing. We have been shelling on Sanibel Island and it was so relaxing, and a very zen type experience. We also dove for sand dollars and would let them dry out on the patio. They're very beautiful. My mom used to collect shells and then I also started collecting shells for decorations and I've also used them at school for counting and sorting activities. Children love learning with real things from nature.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. One of the best things about the beaches here in Naples are the shells. I seem to find a new and different one every time I walk the beach. Sanibel is just great for shell hunting - I think even better than, Naples, but I'm loyal to my city. I go up to Sanibel and Captiva Islands usually one or twice a winter to hunt for shells there also. (Sanibel and Captiva Islands are paradise, too, don't you think?) Thanks for reading and your kind comments!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

In our country, we use seashells to make hanging decorations :)

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. To read and vote, click this link please: http://enellelamb.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/The...


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you so much for reading this! Yes, there are so many crafts you can make with seashells. I have decorated boxes, picture frames, etc. with shells and I love to have them sitting around the condo as decorative pieces. What country are you in? I'll have to check the shells in your country some day?


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. I love shells. Living in the arid west of Wyoming, they are few and far between. Looking forward to my next beach vacation, when I can collect some more. Thanks for a great hub.

Namaste.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you so much for reading this and commenting. I appreciate the input. Isn't that funny? And, I would like to see Wyoming having never been there. It has a wild, west mystique too me and I'd love to ride a horse. lol. Anyway, enjoy Wyoming and come to Florida on vacation!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Congratulations on your nomination. Are there really people who collect shells when they are still alive? I wouldn't be surprised. People can be very cruel to nature.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you so much. I was delightfully surprised by the nomination Yes, hard to believe, but if it is a specific shell they want for their collection, they will take the living organism and shell. It makes me shudder to think that they do that. Some people do it on purpose and some peoplejust plain don't realize this about shells, so that is why I included that statement.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago

it was great stumbling into this hub. now i know how to clean sea shells. i was wondering back then why there was a a stench even if i already soaked them. it's been a long time since i walk on the beach and collected seashells... (,")


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

I'm so glad you found this and stopped by. Boiling them in water and bleach does the trick. They never smell again after that. Hunting sea shells is one of my favorite things to do.


Marina Lester 5 years ago

Happy to book mark this :) and happy to follow you. As much as I love poetry I am also a HUGE lover of the sea. Wish I could see your beaches... one day I shall! :D Great job, haha :P I feel funny telling an english teacher that hehe. Thank you for sharing!


Marina Lester 5 years ago

Happy to book mark this and follow you :) As I am also a fan of poetry I am also a HUGE fan of the sea. I wish I could see your beaches... one day I shall! Great work, haha I feel funny saying that to an english teacher :P


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Don't feel funny. I have just started writing and self-publishing, so I really appreciate the feedback. It is always good to know what all different people in life think of my writing. I think you are a much better poetry writer than I am - your poems are very thoughtful and well-written.

Yes, come to the seaside someday. It is beautiful here in Naples, and the sea life here is amazing.


Hear Me profile image

Hear Me 5 years ago from Somewhere in Florida

I love this not only is it well written but I love shells. I make a point to go over to your side of the coast at least once a year and yes I make a point to go shelling. You have now taught me how to clean sand dollars and now I can't wait to gather some up! Great hub!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you! The sand dollars are here on the Naples beaches in the month of June. Shelling is a wonderful and interesting pasttime.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

When I looked over your hubs so many fascinating places to chose from - Wow! But I just knew this was the one for me to read because I adore the beach and when I go there for vacation I love to comb the shoreline for interesting and lovely seashells, mollusks as you said. I have a bucket full of them in my bathroom which sports a "by the sea" theme. Love this hub! Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting and shared!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Those shells are so beautiful. You made me go back to the time when as a kid I used to comb the beach for sea shells.

I still have some after all those years.

Great informative hub.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Cathleena: What a pretty name you have! I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. This is one of my earliest ones I had written. The beaches here in Naples are unbelieveable and so full of wonderful shells. My bathroom is a "seaside" theme too. I hope you visit here someday so you can shell hunt on the beach. Thanks so much for your comments.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

rajan jolly: Seashells are natures gift to us. We are so fortunate to have been to the beach to collect them. I thank God everyday I am here in Naples, with its beautiful beaches. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment. I appreciate your input. Thank you!


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

very beautiful seashells suzette. i love to collect those when i was still young and have a wide collection. but then when we started to move from house to house, i lose all my interest in everything..but now, im back in business whenever i visit beaches, i bring all the beautiful seashells i could find.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

It makes me so happy that you enjoyed this piece. Collecting shells is so much fun - I never tire of it and my house is filled with them. I can understand your frustration in moving so often, but it sounds as if things have changed for the better for you. Keep collecting shells - there is so much you can do with them! Thanks so much for stopping by to read this. I appreciate your comments!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

We have wonderful memories of our visit to Naples. What I remember most are the sand dollars and the pristine, clear ocean water. Thanks for your explanation on sand and seashells...voted up!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

I am so glad you stopped by to read this, vespawoolf, and that you enjoyed it. Yes, Naples is a beautiful city and the Gulf is still pristine and clear. June is the month for sand dolars at the Naples beaches. They are precious and I love them also. Thanks so much for your comments. Much appreciated!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Enjoyed this hub about seashells picked off of the beaches in Florida. I have quite a few that were harvested from those beautiful beaches. Interesting information about how to clean them. Thank you. This brought back some happy memories of visiting my aunt and uncle who used to have a vacation home down there. Up votes!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed this. The Naples beaches have some beautiful shells just waiting to be collected! I appreciate your visit and comments!


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Wow....ok, the next time I go on a holiday, this is what I'll be saving up for. Thanks for the sharing, Suzette, which I'm sharing!! A beautiful insight into a wonderful find.


Patty Kenyon profile image

Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

I LOVE collecting Sea Shells from the different beaches that I visit!!! It is something the kids and I do together!!! I am still looking for a Sand Dollar to add to my collection...perhaps one day!!! Excellent Job explaining how to properly clean the shells!!

Voted Up, Interesting, and Useful!!! Well Done!!!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

midget: Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed this and yes, Naples is a great place to vacation.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Patty: Thanks you so much and I'm glad you enjoyed this article. Sand dollars wash up on Naples beaches in June. You and your children would love it. Thanks so much for reading anf for your comments. I appreicate your visit.


starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

I enjoyed taking walks on the beach when I was a teen . There is nothing so soothing to me as listening to the waves and looking for interesting sea shells. Your collection reminded me of so many family memories.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

starstream: Thanks so much for your comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece and that it brought back good family memories for you. The waves are indeed so soothing and comforting to me also. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit - most appreciated!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Well what a wonderful hub and I could sense the feelings ;this being so important in a true writer I think.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hi eddy: Glad you enjoyed this one. Collecting seashells is so much fun and I never tire of it. Thanks so much for your visit - much appreciated!


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

I was attracted by the title (well, billybuc recommended your hubs first :)) and loved the hub because I find seashells really nice. This hub turned out to be important for me because it gave me ideas and inspiration for certain aspects of the novel I'm writing (it has to do with seas and oceans). Thanks for the great explanations of different seashells! I'll come back!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

vox vocis, I am so happy that this inspired you in some way. That really means a lot to me. These shells are just lying along the beach and are so beautiful that I had to write about them. Thanks so much for visiting and reading this and for your comments. PS I love your avatar!


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

I'm even happier lol My avatar is from the Tango Desktop Project - I love it, too. Looking forward to reading your other hubs.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thanks for the info. I will have to check out the Tango Desktop Project.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

A truly interesting hub. Having grown up in the Southeast coast of India there are so many interesting shells to collect... the craftsmen there make little seashell sculptures and sell them. This hub brought back many memories... excellent! up and tweeted.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Docmo: Thanks you so much for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Seashells are beautiful but I have never seen any from India. I bet they are beautiful too and unusual. You will also find seashell sculptures in Naples, also. So glad this brought back good memories for you. Thanks for visiting and your comments are appreciated!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Your first picture bowled me over. It is a very pretty collection of seashells. I've always been enamored by sea shells having regularly collected them whenever I happened to visit the beach as a child.

Very interesting hub, one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Voted up, interesting and awesome. Sharing it.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you and thank you for reading this! I can't get over the beautiful sea shells in Naples. They are the most beautiful I have seen anywhere. This was so fun to write because I, too, love to collect shells. Thanks for stopping by to visit - most appreciated!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

You're lucky to have a source for free seashells. There's nothing like that here in Southern California. Voting this Up and Interesting.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thanks, alocsin. The seashells here are beautiful. I'm sorry to hear that they aren't on the west coast. Thanks for reading and for your comments - most appreciated!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I love seashells and St Augustine is where I collected most of mine. I still have hordes with big plans, lol. Great hub!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA

Suzette (suzettenaples) - This was an enjoyable article. Shells are really nifty things - lots of colors and plenty of patterns. Your choice of photos brought that out, too. Thanks.

Gus :-)))


tebo profile image

tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

What an interesting article about shells. It sounds like you have a beautiful place to find your shells. I have been to Florida many years ago, but don't recall going to Naples. Nice hub.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

tebo: Thank you for stopping by to read and view this hub. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Naples is particularly beautiful and Sanibel Island is another great place to go 'shelling.'


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

Those shells are a delight to look at, they come in different forms and sizes, and each of them has its own unique beauty. Thanks for posting! :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

FullofLoveSites: Aren't they delightful? I love shells, natures' 'jewels'. I am so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for stopping by to view and read.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

I have always loved looking for seashells--we grew up by the beach in CA--and it was a favorite pastime growing up--great hub!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Audrey: Thank you for reading and commenting. I have enjoyed your visit. I never tire of seashells because each one is unique. I love collecting them. I am so glad you enjoyed this and that it brought back good memories for you.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Oh, suzette - You have written about one of the great loves of my life. :) My father was a great swimmer (Gulf of Mexico, Georgia, Greece, Northern California, and the Philippines). He was always finding and bringing home the discarded shells of sea creatures - soon we learned to do the same.

We always had a "ocean - nature" display somewhere in our house - various kinds of coral, sand dollars, starfish and amazingly colored sea urchins (from the Aegean Sea) and all manner of shells. When I got married I started a collection for my three boys and of course they contributed to it. Eventually, I spread our treasures out across the bottom shelf of a lighted, glass sided china cabinet. They were our pride and joy for years and years.

This is such a great hub, the pictures are wonderful and how terrific that you provided the detailed directions about how to treat them to render them odorless. I can imagine you searching for seashells, the wind blowing and the blue sea in the background -- a lovely image. Theresa


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Theresa: So glad you enjoyed this and that it brought back such lovely memories for you. So your father swam in the Gulf and other seas and oceans. How great is that and I'm so glad you had the 'ocean collection' in your home. Sounds beautiful and then you did that with your sons. What a great mom! You must be a lot of fun. Thanks so much for reading this - actually it is one of my first hubs and one of my favorites!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

LOVE LOVE LOVE going to Naples, Sanibel, and Captiva....have spent many vacas and mini-vacas there. Shelling is so much fun...a new find every day.

Thanks so much for sharing this gem with others.

Angels are on the way :) ps


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

pstraubie48: Isn't this area of Florida the best? I just love all these places and they truly are the best places for shelling. I don't know what happened to the rest of Florida, but the sea animals and shells seem to have gravitated here. So glad you have experienced this bit of Florida and enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for your visit and your comments.


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 3 years ago from Florida

We love visiting the west coast. We usually visit Ft. Myers Beach and stay on the gulf of Mexico once a summer (were not to, to far).

The sandbars, seashells, starfish and sunsets (Oh my) seem to trump the east coast tremendously.

Thanks for sharing. We love it there.

~Becky


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Rfordin: I know, isn't it beautiful on the west coast? It has a whole different feel and atmosphere from the east coast. I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Most appreciated.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I really enjoyed this Hub. I live on the other coast of Fl. and we can find some beautiful shells here too, if we are lucky.

I think my favorite is the sand dollar....

BTW: I am delighted to see my Hub on the Python Roundup in the Everglades is a related one to this one of yours.

Voted UP and shared.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

mary: Glad you enjoyed this. I must say the shells are better on the west than the east coast of Florida. I don't know why that is except that maybe because the ocean is on the east and the Gulf is on the west. I love sand dollars too. I have seen some but not a lot of those. It is a real treasure to find a sand dollar I think. Forgive me please, but I won't be reading your hub on the python roundup - I just can't stand snakes and seeing or reading about them will give me snake nightmares. I hope you understand. Thank you so much for reading and for your comments - most appreciated.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

What an interesting hub! I really enjoyed this and learned something new too! I didn't know that if the sand dollar has "hairs" on it that it is still alive. Very good to know as I wouldn't want to take a living sand dollar. I have only been to a beach a few times, but I loved collecting shells. You have a lot of really good information here! Voted up, useful, interesting and pinning! :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Whata wonderful hub;I loved it and vote up.Enjoy your weekend Suzette.

Eddy.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

sgbrown: Yes, I believe in leaving the live shellfish alone and letting them live out their natural lives. I only condone taking the empty or dead shells off the beach. That way we conserve the sea life. The shells are particularly beautiful on the west coast of Florida and it is fun to collect them - there are so many varieties out there. Thank you so much for reading this and for your comments. Most appreciated.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Eddy: Hi, I haven't seen you lately and have missed you. Glad to see your are back. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. This is one of my favorite hubs! Thanks so much for your interest. Most appreciated.


bookandetccritic profile image

bookandetccritic 3 years ago from statesville

Yes, I enjoy long walks along the beach and it doesn't matter what time of day, because long walks along the beach are relaxing.

Now, you have my interest. I'd like to see a starfish in Naples, F.L.

Your article has made me intrigued to find seashells, without snails in them.

I have never seen a sand dollar. Aint that funny? Being that I am from Florida?

Wow, now, I want a sand dollar!

I'm saddened to hear that starfishes are cook and eaten :(


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

bookandetccritic: Glad you also enjoy long walks along the beach. I have seen both starfish and sand dollars on the Naples beaches. Probably because I hang out there so much. Which coast are you on? I have found the west coast to be the best for shelling. The sand dollars don't hit the beach until June and that is the best month for finding sand dollars. So by next week sometime, they should be coming out on the beaches on the west coast. And, yes, starfish can be cooked and eaten or they can be collected for your home. Which ever you prefer. Thanks so much for visiting and for your comments. Most appreciated.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Thank you for a lovely, educational Hub.They are fascinating, are they not, with their shapes, colours, textures and myriad designs?

They captured my imagination in childhood, as my baby sister and I strolled along the beaches of the east-coast of England, with bucket and spade, ambling through what seemed to be, never-ending summer days, collecting these gems, relinquished by a generous sea, and loved to see them ornately dress little storage boxes, that made the ordinary look magical, as they were glued all around the outside, transforming the functional, into a wonderful looking treasure chest that begged to be opened.

Have a marvelous weekend.

Yours Sincerely,

Romeo's Quill


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Romeo: I just love shelling in the Naples/Sanibel Island region of Florida. The shells there are just exquisite. So you grew up by the ocean also. You and your sister must have had quite the shell collections by the sounds of it. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well and thanks so much for your visit - most appreciated.


SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

SANJAY LAKHANPAL 3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

There is a tongue twister, which my daughter loves, i. e.,

" She sells sea shells at the seashore."

Excellent hub.


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you Sanjay. Yes, it is a tongue twister in English all right. Thank you so much for reading this and for your kind comments. I appreciate your visits.


HarrietteS profile image

HarrietteS 3 years ago from Fresno

Suzettennaples I am quite new to Hubpages but was attracted to the lovely photos of shells and your post..an excellent and informative piece. Thanks for this post. Harriette


creativeaqua profile image

creativeaqua 3 years ago from India

Beautiful shells. I love to collect seashells and go hunting for them when near the oceans. They have such a positive vibe to them. I also beleive them to be lucky.


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

creativeaqua: I am lucky you have stopped by to read this! Thanks so much for your comments - they are much appreciated. This area of SW Florida is great for shell hunting. I have found so many different kinds and they are in large quantities.


LeslieOutlaw profile image

LeslieOutlaw 3 years ago from South Carolina

Like many of the others, I love picking up seashells. My family and I live close to Myrtle Beach, SC and we make several trips each summer...my favorite thing to do is walk on the beach in the mornings and collect shells. I really enjoyed the hub :)


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Leslie: You and me both! Early morning is my favorite time for walking the beach and collecting shells. So glad you get to Myrtle Beach - so nice that you live close. Thanks so much for reading this and for your comments. Most appreciated.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Awesome hub, Suzette. I love shells and beach combing for them. In fact, I wrote a hub about them and will link yours to mine. Rated UP/U/I/A and shared.


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Denise: Thank you so much for reading this and for your comments. I love shelling and never tire of the unique shells found on the beaches of Naples. Thanks for the link also. I will read your hub and link yours to mine.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 3 years ago from Northam Western Australia

I love collecting seashells and making things with them like picture frames and wreaths etc. Plus collecting them gets you out walking in the fresh air.


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Eileen: Thank you so much for reading this and I am glad you enjoyed it. I love to hunt for sea shells and Naples is the perfect place for it. You are much craftier than I am with the shells but I also enjoy walking along the beach. Great exercise and you never know what you will find.


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rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I love combing the beach for stuff. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, a unique hub!


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suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM Author

rebecca: Glad you enjoyed this. Yes, beach combing is fun and you can sometimes find more than shells! LOL Thanks so much for reading and your comments.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

Naples, Florida must be lovely. I'd like to visit someday.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

ologsinquito: It is beautiful. I hope you get there too soon. Thanks so much for your visit and for reading this.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Seashells by the Seashore - Naples, Florida is a beautifully presented hub and I like picking shells.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

DDE: Thanks so much for reading this and commenting. I appreciate your comments.


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 2 years ago from California

You're making me want to go to sunny Florida. I never knew how to get the smell out of the shells. One more thing bleach is good for. Thanks!


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Availiasvision: I never get bored looking at and for shells on the Naples beaches. They are beautiful and unique. Each one different - like snowflakes. Bleach works for me and does get the smell out of the shells. I never have them around the house until I have bleached them. So glad you enjoyed reading this and I appreciate your visit.


jtrader profile image

jtrader 2 years ago

Thanks for the tips- I love collecting seashells and making jewelry with them too.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Happy Birthday! lol! thought we had forgotten? oh no!


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

jtrader: So glad this was helpful to you and you enjoyed reading it. I love collecting shells to display around the house. They are beautiful aren't they? Thanks so much for your comments.. Most appreciated.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Thanks so much, Nell! I like to keep a low profile when it comes to birthdays. I am getting up there and I'm at the point of wanting to forget them. I remember the birthday but not the number! LOL!


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Went to Florida Gulf Coast University and I can say driving down to Naples I saw some of the most beautiful shells I'd ever seen. The beach there is very calm and relaxing. I collected shells with my nephew and found him some great ones.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

joedolphin88: Cool! I hope you enjoyed your time at FGCU! Yes, the Naples Beaches are beautiful and the shelling is terrific. But, being in north Miami isn't bad either. LOL! Thanks so much for your input and taking the time to read this.


Torrs13 profile image

Torrs13 2 years ago from California

I haven't been to the beach in awhile but I enjoy picking up seashells and looking at all the different patterns, textures, and colors. I remember getting a sand dollar as a child and seeing the doves that were inside. Nature is a beautiful thing!


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Torrs13: Isn't nature wonderful and can be such a mystery. So you broke open a sand dollar and saw the doves. Wonderful! I love the shells on the Naples' beaches - they are the best. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this and that makes me happy. Thanks so much for your visit and comments.


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Absolutely, and yes Miami definitely wins overall but to visit Naples is wonderful.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

joedolpin: Yes, Miami is a much hipper place than Naples! I have been to South Beach. Naples is laid-back and mellow. Great for retirement!


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Yes, I can absolutely see retiring there.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

joedolphin88: Yes, Miami has a little more spark and pep to it!


susi10 profile image

susi10 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

Sea shells are beautiful and this hub really captured their spirit. They are so natural and picking one up always guarantees satisfaction! The sea shells in Naples look very nice indeed, I have never seen the sand dollar before. Great hub, and educational too! Shared and voted beautiful.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

susi10: Thank you so much for your lovely comments and I agree with all of them! LOL! I love shelling on the Naples beaches because of the variety of shells found there. And there are so many. June is the month for sand dollars. They are all over the beaches right now and are fun to find and bleach to white. (They are originally brown) Thanks so much for your visit and comments. Most appreciated.


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Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina

Had to return to this hub, Suzanne. I just finished a visit to Nags Head, NC with my daughter and her family. My granddaughter and I spent sometime beach combing and had a good time. This is a great hub to help someone who is new to the seashell selection.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Denise, I am so glad you returned here and enjoyed it so. I bet you had fun collecting shells with your granddaughter. What a fun activity to share with her. Living near the ocean, I am sure you have known for a while how to take care of shells. LOL! Yes, this is a beginner's guide to shell collecting. Thanks so much and I am pleased you have enjoyed this more than once. What wonderful memories you have given your granddaughter.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I absolutely love sea shells and all things made from them. I have so many souvenirs made from them. I love the earrings especially and just can never find those tiny delicate ones! Great article!


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jackie: I just love sea shells also for the same reasons. So much can be done and made with them. They are such a pleasant reminder of the sea to have around the house. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for your input.


lisln profile image

lisln 2 years ago from Denver Colorado

I love seas shells they are beautiful to collect. I have never had the chance to collect them in Florida but I have some that I would put under a glass table top that would make a nice touch to any room. What an interesting topic to share with all of us thank you.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

lilsln: Shell hunting is one of my favorite past times. You cannot imagine how many sea shells I have from the Naples/Sanibel region. They are particularly beautiful and there are so many of them for the picking. That idea of putting them under a glass top table is such a great way to show them off and a wonderful idea. Thanks so much for your visit.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

I like collecting seashells whenever I have had a chance to visit the ocean. I have been to Padre Island, north and south and along the Gulf Coast and all the way to Key West. They are not as easy to find as I thought. If I am ever near Naples I will look for them.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

PhoenixV: I am sure you have found some lovely shells along the Gulf Coast. Naples and Sanibel Island have the best in my opinion. I have been to Key West but I can't remember the seashells there right now. I love the shells and there are so much to do with them!


Easy Exercise profile image

Easy Exercise 2 years ago from United States

Suzette,

There are so many miracles in the world - from exotic fish to exotic birds to colorful fall leaves not to mention magical sun sets. Yet, a sea shell is a tiny miracle, a miracle of various shapes, textures and colors and a miracle we can hold in our hand. Truly a celebration of love of the sea and a tribute to the many wonders of God.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Easy Exercise: Thank you so much for reading this and for your insightful comments. I agree, nature is a wondrous miracle. The intricacy of seashells is amazing to me also and the number of different shells is almost infinite. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this and thanks so much for your visit.


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 2 years ago from Australia

What a cool topic! And great to be able to compare to our shells here in Australia.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

stricktlydating: Thank you so much and I am pleased you enjoyed reading this. Yes, do tell us about the shells in Australia. A hub about this, maybe? Thanks so much for stopping by and for your enthusiasm.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

I have never seen more sea shells than in the south , here on the new England shores its the rocky shorelines I guess , that tend to pulverize the incoming shells , generally ground to bits ! I am always surprised to see so many people just exploring the shell life on the southern beaches . Keep on searching for the perfect shell !....Ed


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

ahorseback (Ed) - thank you so much for reading this. I,too, was so surprised at the amounts of shells in Naples, Fl. and then on Sanibel Island. I have been to the New England shores, and you are so right about that. I think like you that shells must get pulvarized on the rocky shore. I grew up going to the Jersey shore and there are not many shells there either. I will say the the shells in FL. are on the Gulf side of the state. There are few shells on the east coast of Florida. I appreciate your visit and thanks for your visit.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

suzette -

Wonderful 18 months ago. Still wonderful today. It snowed last night, October 31st, in North Georgia!! Clearly the world is coming to an end. lol Blessings!

Theresa


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi great hub, I'll be down to Naples to look for shells as soon as it warms up a little , so I can camp. Naples is the best spot.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Theresa, thank you so much for reading this yet again. I am glad you enjoyed it and that it has lasting appeal. Snow in Georgia? You've got Ohio beat! LOL! We have had a lovey and warm fall, but today it did get cold, not enough to snow, but it was cold and rainy today. I think winter is not far behind. Thanks so much for your visit.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

ladyguitarpicker: Naples is a great place to seek shells. There is such a variety to choose from. Naples is very warm right now and therefore, anytime to camp there is a good time. It is far south enough that it remains warm in the winter. Summers, of course, are steamy. It is a beautiful city with seven miles of beautiful beaches. And, the shells are to die for. Thanks so much for your visit and comments. Most appreciated.


cinderella14 profile image

cinderella14 2 years ago from Philippines

Thank you for sharing the proper way of cleaning shells. It is really helpful as I wanted to collect shells once we visit some beaches this coming summer. Have a great day!


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

cinderella: I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. Unless shells are cleaned they give off an awful stench. Happy holiday at the beach this summer and enjoy! Thanks so much for your comments. Most appreciated.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

So very awesome to read! When I was little, I use to collect sea shells!

I was fortunate to briefly visit the N.Fort Myers Fla area one time.

I brought home a huge jar full of sea shells. Interesting read and useful to know how to clean them. And I appreciate what a blessing it is to read about how to preserve them! I just might have to start my sea shell collection again! Thank you. Shared and definitly up she goes! :-)


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

i thought star fish couldn't be eaten. But your sea shell collection was awesome.


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suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Jo: Thank you so much for reading this hub and I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the Naples, Ft. Meyers, Sanibel Island area is the best place to find shells in all of Florida. The shells here are plentiful and with so many varieties. In Naples, I have shells all over the place - here in Ohio my bathroom is done in shells. LOL! I love the intricacy of nature that shells represent.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

peachpurple: Yes, starfish can be eaten. I ate starfish in Istanbul, Turkey and what an experience that was. I, like you, did not think one could eat starfish. I have to admit they are quite tasty but it is hard to eat them when thinking how beautiful they are in the sea. I do love collecting shells and the most beautiful of shells are in the Naples area. Thanks so much for reading and I am glad you enjoyed this.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

Naples is one of my most favorite places in Florida. I try to get down at least once a year. The shelling is amazing. I have many many unique ones from those beaches.

Venice Beach is great too for shark teeth.

Angels are on the way to you. ps


PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 22 months ago from Fresno CA

I love the practical advice here about leaving the live ones. I live in California and love to walk the beach (when I can get there) and collect shells but we hardly ever see live ones. This was and awesome walk on a new beach to me.


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suzettenaples 22 months ago from Taos, NM Author

pstraubie48: I love Naples and it is such a beautiful spot. Every beach is so lovely and full of shells. I love shelling also and have seashells all around the house. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this and enjoy Naples also. Perhaps we can meet some year in Naples.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 22 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Paintdrips: I am a nature conservationist and do urge everyone to leave live shells on the beach or carefully put them back in the Gulf. I love the California coastline and have been fortunate to visit there several times. The California beaches are so lovely and beautiful.

So glad you enjoyed this virtual tour of Naples beaches.


EsJam profile image

EsJam 18 months ago from Southern California

Oh my goodness, I had no idea! I've lived in California most of my life and never had a clue about the proper care. I'm glad I saw this! Nice hub!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 18 months ago from Taos, NM Author

EsJam, So glad you enjoyed reading this. How are we the shells on the CA coastline? So glad to hear you found this helpful.


EsJam profile image

EsJam 18 months ago from Southern California

I don't really know much about shells, such as names, types, etc. I don't know about the beaches in San Diego county, it was the Orange county beaches I grew up with and am mostly familiar with. So Cal beaches have tons of pieces of shells in the sand. Mostly of the ones that look like a fan. The closer you are to the water, the more likely you will find whole mussel shells and lots of tulip type shells.

I recently moved closer to the central coast and have not had much of a chance to explore the shores yet. I'm planning on going this summer, I will get back to you on that!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 18 months ago from Taos, NM Author

EsJam: I have been to the CA beaches, but couldn't remember shells. That is why I inquired. Sounds like there area lot of conkel shells. I love the CA beaches and you are fortunate to live near them.


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 13 months ago

a nice beach walk


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 13 months ago from Taos, NM Author

So glad you enjoyed my virtual beach walk! Thanks so much for reading!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 12 months ago from TEXAS

This is wonderful, Suzette. I love sea shells, but have never collected them myself in all my nearly 84 years! I've never walked on the beaches. Large bodies of water sort of terrify me. I'm more of a desert rat who's collected lots of great rocks and fossils. But shells are so beautiful, amazing and tell such stories! I've individual shells and bowls of them in my bathroom.

Are you familiar with Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea"? I'd guess that you likely are. I love the way she explores the beach, and sometimes with her daughter, they pick up shells together. She finds life lessons, relaxation, escape from the furious pace of life and even finds herself as she examines the shells and relates what she learns from each shell - in the loveliest, almost poetic ways.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 12 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Nellieanna: I am so glad you enjoyed reading this and thank you for stopping by. I guess I am a beach person and not a desert one. Actually, no I have not read Lindbergh's book so thank you for the recommendation. I am always looking for good books to read and this one sounds right up my alley.


JoyLevine profile image

JoyLevine 4 months ago

So beautiful the pictures of those shells! I remember working at a Science Center up north before moving down here and we had a book on seashells that was so interesting. Not only did it identify them, but explained a lot of the mathematical structure in them, Fibonacci and the like, and the importance it played in their structure and strength. Fascinating!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Thank you for reading this, Joy, and I am glad you enjoyed it. Your work at the Science Center sounds so interesting and you have left some very interesting comments. The study of shells and their inhabitants are of never ending interest.

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