Tag Archives: Coquina Beach

Shelling on Florida Gulf Coast

Shells on Anna Maria Island beaches

Shells on Anna Maria Island beaches

Every evening we walk several blocks across Anna Maria Island to the Gulf Beach, where we walk along the water’s edge as the sun approaches the horizon. It’s always interesting to notice what kinds of shells are on the beach at certain times. There are some “regulars,” which are almost always there. And there are some very unusual ones that show up only every once in awhile. But even the unusual ones tend to come in groups. In other words, if there is one, there are many. This happened one evening several years ago when there were beautiful shark’s eyes suddenly on the beach in large numbers.

The shells that usually wash ashore on the beaches of Anna Maria Island include spiny jewelboxes, which are white with spikes protruding. They look like bivalves, but are, in fact gastropods. Another fairly common gastropod shell is the lettered olive, which usually measures almost 2 inches long. We also come across Florida augers quite often, which are small cone-shaped shells.

A wide variety of bivalve shells is also seen at all times. One of the most interesting and charming is the little coquina, which comes in a wide range of pastels and earth tones. There is nothing more enchanting than seeing the live creatures in tidal pools, where they move with the inflow and outflow of the water. Little cat’s paws or kitten’s paws, range in color from white to black to orange. Jingles are translucent shells that come in these same three colors. About the size of a quarter, these round shells look like they’re made of mica.

There are several bivalves with remarkable patterns on them. Although it’s not unusual to see these shells, it is unusual to find one that is not worn. The sunray Venus may be the most beautiful of these shells, with a pattern that really does give the impression of sunrays. Both calico clams and calico scallops are quite common, too. The buttercup has an appealing smooth round shape, and is the color of butter. Less beautiful but more remarkable is the turkey wing, with one very straight edge and an otherwise roughly shaped surface, striped with brown.

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Low Speed Vehicles and Golf Carts On Streets

Low speed vehicles, golf cartsGolf carts and LSV on Anna Maria streets or golf cars, are becoming more appealing these days for the short errands and neighborhood trips we often do, going to the beach, the golf course, the school bus stop, and the local stores.

Holmes Beach has allowed limited on road use of LSV and golf carts for the last year over city streets. The limitation is at the intersection of State-controlled Manatee Ave SH64, and Gulf Drive where Department of Highways prohibits their use. Officials are in the process of finding ways to allow passage to the Publix supermarket on East Bay Drive.

Bradenton Beach will discuss the use of LSV in its meeting Thursday, July 17, for transporting people from Coquina Beach to the Bridge Street historic commercial district. Previously the city rejected extending the trolley bus service to include Bridge Street.

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