I enjoy searching for shells on the beach.
After Ike hit Texas, we went to Matagorda Beach in search of treasures. Though hurricanes are never welcomed, they do bring lots of shells to the coast. In the short time we searched we found a number of nice Lightning Whelks, the state shell of Texas. It's different from other whelks in that the opening is distinctively "left-handed"--it invites your left hand in when you hold it tail down. It is considered a good find on Texas beaches.
Another good find is the Sundial. It's one of my favorites and I've adopted it as my signature shell. I've collected hundreds of them which I display in a wooden bowl on our dining room table. Normally I find light-colored Sundials, but this day I was lucky to find two black ones.
The Lettered Olive shells below are considered common finds, but they are the first I've found at Matagorda Beach, so I was really excited.
But not nearly as excited as I was when I found the shell below.
This rare treasure is a Mitchell's Wentletrap! It's not a perfect specimen and it's a little smaller than normal, but I'm convinced that I've identified it correctly. This highly sought after shell was first discovered by Texas naturalist J.D. Mitchell. It's such an uncommon find that I never really believed I would ever find one, though I hoped so.
Additional Source: Shells of the Texas Gulf Coast