We’re still traversing Pine Island Sound (I think – I may be a bit turned around) and we are passing these historic fishing shacks. They’ve got a fascinating story, which I’ll have to google when I get home.
EDITED TO ADD: I found a local news story about the history of the fishing shack –
Historic fishing shacks of bygone days | News-Press.com
Our cruiser is picking up some passengers from Useppa Island before returning us to Captiva. Once a 1920s hangout for the rich and famous, Useppa is now a private club and if you don’t belong, the only way to spend any time here is to get aboard one of these cruisers.
Look who we found digging a hole in the roots of a tree! Another one was seen making his escape over the hill.
As you are waiting for your turn on the gangplank, you look down and see this sign. I like it that Cabbage Key makes water conservation a priority 😉
Cabbage Key is pretty much a giant shell mound, with littler mounds around it. Here’s a really ancient shell from the perimeter of the main mound.
This is worth the climb to the top – 360 degrees of this!
We are done with lunch – delicious mahi mahi! Now for a brief roam around the island.
How’d you like to live here? As long as I had internet (satellite?), I’d be fine. This is the former home of author Mary Roberts Rhinehart – island was purchased for a pittance in the 1920s. Can’t wait to dock!
More dolphin sightings have occurred and the boat is leaning perilously on the side where they are hanging out. We should be at Cabbage Key soon.
Cutting myself off from further adult libations until we get to Cabbage Key. We’re currently chugging by Safety Harbor on North Captiva, and we’ll be passing Cayo Costa in a minute.
The good thing about my empty glass is that it’s Greenware – made from plants, right here in the USA!
We have boarded and we’re sitting on the upper deck. There’s already been at least one dolphin sighting
Waiting now to board the boat. Captiva is pretty!
The rare and endangered FORKLIFT apparently nests here, so be careful driving and don’t mow it down 😉
There is a bar on the lower/dock level of Doc Ford’s on Fort Myers Beach. I walked down there to check it out and found this pretty rainbow stretched over the marina from behind the clouds.
My cousins from up in Cleremont are in town and I’m meeting them for dinner here at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach. I have been to Doc Ford’s on Sanibel Island several times and always liked the food – hope the expwerience this side of the causeway measures up!
Alas, not seeing the moon – I guess there’s too much cloud cover.
Well, there’s always next month for the full
My legs hate me because I not only made them run a couple of miles today but I also made them squat down on the beach forty or fifty times to check out the miniatures that had washed up.
Time for dinner. Goodnight, Sanibel!
As I work my way around he point, the wind picks up, blowing my hair back instead of in my eyes Now I can JUST see to take an artsy shot.
The clouds to the east reflect the Sanibel sunset sometimes more gloriously than the sunset itself. Might not get to see the moon tonight due to these buggers, but this is decent compensation in my book!
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Sunset and moonrise will happen at about the same time tonight – I think I have about a half hour more of this bliss before it grows too dark to be here.
I believe this is the seeed of the black mangrove tree. I saw them all over the beach last week too, only now they are sprouting. Since I am mobile, I cannot look it up easily at the moment but I will when I get home and add a comment to this post to confirm. Dang, I should carry a field guide…
What a different beach from last week! I’ve come to catch a glimpse of the full harvest moon when it rises. There must have been some storm that washed this beach clean immediately after the dunes. The blowing wind creates sandy waves and makes y beer bottle sing. I fully expect a tumbleweed to roll by.
The Sanibel Lighthouse and the amazing Florida sky. This was stuck in the “outbox” of my camera phone since Saturday. Just had to share
The porch wraps ALL the way around the house, and it is seriously wide enough to throw one heck of a party. With the cool breezes blowing and the lovely view, why would the Edisons ever want to leave?
I know I don’t want to go, but it’s now the height of the heat of the day (that’s 3PM here in Southwest Florida) and I need to hydrate and feed myself. It’s been swell – thanks for hanging out with me today
I like the fiery orange variety alittle better but this is still very pretty
It’s September already but these Keitt mangoes (yes, there is an "e" in "mangoes", I’ve discovered) are still ripening. Some of the are so ripe, they split while still in the trees. Others have fallen SPLAT to the walkway, where they feed the bugs and perfume the air.
I see tadpoles wiggling around down there, and I ws not fast enough to capture a snake that swam by. That’s a pond apple tree. It has a cousin nearby (behind me) which has littered the ground with ripened fruits whose seeds look remarkably like those of a pumpkin. this pond is right behind Edison’s pool complex.
There must be mangroves nearby, for the river is tinted a rusty red near Edison’s Pier. This was the very first structure built on the estate.
This is an orchid labeled "cattleya", found growling on a strangler fig (ficos aurea, S. florida and West Indies).
While I was standing her taking the photo, a giant, spent palm frond liberated itself from a nearby tree and plunged (some things just don’t waft!) SPLOOSH into the river. As it bobbed around, a huge beetle crawled frantically all over it, trying to figure out what to do. I hope he escaped, but I wasn’t about to risk a dunk in the river to assist. No, let’s let Darwin have his way with the beetles!
This tree is the monkey flower, also called guacamayo. I wonder how that relates to guacamole? Wish I knew some Spanish!
While peering through the branches, twice I spied me a flash of silver "wings" – yes, fish can fly on the Caloosahatchee!
Barnebydendron riedelii, Central and South America
Both the Edison House "Seminole Lodge" and the Ford house "The Mangos" enjoy wide porches that catch wonderful breezes as they travel to and from the Caloosahatchee River. Resting in the shade of the porch outside Ford’s house, the breeze lets you know what the wide-open home smells like – wood and furniture polish and a bit of musty mildew, that hallmark of all old wooden houses everywhere. It must be a real chore keeping the mildew at bay in this particular climate, especially in the summer. I reckon the breezes help with that!
(why does "mangos" look wrong – is there supposed to be a e in there before the s? I’m moile ad can’t look it up easily!)
I ambled down to the Caloosahatchee River from Ford’s caretaker’s-cottage-turned-gift-shop and sat on a bench. Immediately, the wind coaxed a song from the giant stands of bamboo that paint a lacy pattern on the sky.
Feeling for all the world like Forest Gump waitin’ on the bus, I watched with held breath as a feather wafted down from somewhere above and gently deposited itself in the river.
Safe journey, little wafter.
An egret glided in and claimed a spot on one of the pilings of Ford’s old dock. Without his black-beaked profile, he blended with the clouds behind him.
I raised the camera and whispered, "Turn sideways, please".
He turned and I took the shot. He turned again and looked right at me. I grinned at him and whispered again. "Thanks, dude."
Give me one good reason why I should ever rise from this bench!
Do you see what I see?
Leading up to Edison’s front door from the gate at McGregor Blvd, there are a number of stones lining the path that bear the names of friends and benefactors. They generally all bear the year as well.
This one is inscribed with an additional feature that makes me curious as to what sort of "friends" these people might have been.
Do you see it? I will google this when I get home….
I can barely see it myself, since I’m looking at is via a small cell phone screen in the mid-day sun! let me know if you can see her (him?).
Here’s a tin mug found in the gift shop near the Ford side of the property.
When I was growing up in NYC, our electric power company was called Consolidated Edison, aka "Con Ed". I somehow doubt that ANY of the power they supplied to the city was solar-generated.
Many years ago, I visited my grandparents in their home in Maspeth, Queens (New York City) and my grandmother gave me her cookie jar. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was part of the Watts Appleware collection. All I knew was that I had fond memories of the treats it had contained over the years and the pleasant sights and smells of my grandmother and her kitchen were somehow infused within the pottery.
Here, we see that the Henry Fords had similar taste to that of my Italian, sainted grandmother, so far away in New York – a far, FAR cry from Fort Myers!
An orchid finds itself a host in the lofty fig tree (ficus altissima Moraceae, S.E. asia)
I’m touring the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL today. I bought a Groupon a few months back, which I’d clean forgot about. I decided to use it today, before it expires.
This is the place where Edison continued his research during the winter months. He was looking for a cheap, locally-produced source for making rubber. The estates are therefore populated with all sorts of exotic botanical candidates for rubber production. the sub-tropical climate of Southwest Florida proved ideal for growing many of the plants Edison needed to study.