Tag Archives: Beach

Tink’s *~*~* Links: Backstage, beaches and books

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Unique night-time views of the Magic Kingdom

IMG_2621-WDW-MK-Cinderellas-castleWhile watching Tinkerbell fly through the night skies at the opening of the Wishes fireworks show, have you ever wondered how she gets up there? Yes, I know – pixie dust. OK, you got me. Let’s rephrase – suppose YOU wanted to fly through the sky like Tinkerbell, but you were dustless at the moment. How would you get up there? How would you make sure you would not fall?

The Imagineering Disney blog has published a series of photos taken one night while climbing to the very tippy-top of Cinderella’s Castle. The elevator only goes as far as the now-famous Castle Suite, where some lucky guests have had the good fortune to spend the night. To climb beyond that and take in the views, you apparently need a safety harness! If you are the type who thinks a backstage view would “ruin the magic” for you, then don’t CLICK HERE

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Come to the beach!

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While trawling around YouTube, I found some TV commercial videos for tourism in Lee County, Florida. I chose to live in Lee because of the proximity to Sanibel Island, one of the Lee Islands. The video embedded above has an “Awwww!” factor that will leave you hungry for unplugged beach time on the Lee Island Coast. And if you can’t get down here for a while, it will at least sustain you until you can.
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Book Review: Project Future

There’s a breed of Disney fans who can be classified as Disney scholars. Beyond enjoyment of the magic, they want to know who and what makes it tick. George Taylor is one such fan. He’s got a great library of books that deconstruct, analyze or just plain celebrate Disney, and frequently offers book reviews on the websites for which he writes.

This time, George has chosen “Project Future: The Inside Story Behind The Creation Of Disney World”. I’ve been waiting for this book to be published and now I’m waiting some more until August rolls around, hoping that someone will pluck it from my Amazon Wish List and present it to me for my birthday.

I always look forward to George’s reviews, and was especially pleased to see this one. CLICK HERE to visit 2719 Hyperion and read about “Project Future”. You can also find George at Imaginerding Disney

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That’s it for TINK’S *~*~* LINKS this week – hope you’ve enjoyed :)


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Scenes from The Blue Dolphin, Sanibel Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*

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IMG_0563A reader wrote and asked me to opine about The Blue Dolphin, a small, lush resort on West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island. I have visited my friend Christene of Our Vanilla Life when she has lodged there, and stayed overnight one time.

The Blue Dolphin sits on a stretch of West Gulf Drive that has been known for good shelling. About a half-mile down the beach is a place called “The Rocks”, where some wonderful things, including live tulips, have been known to congregate. The two units I’ve been inside were roomy and comfortable. Both had a separate bedroom, and a sleeper sofa in the “great room”.

IMG_5642I liked the front porch area at the unit Chris rents each year. The entire property is lushly landscaped; not only is it beautiful but it helps to provide some privacy. The only drawback is that it isn’t screened-in, so once the noseeums come out for the evening, you must abandon the area and scurry inside.

One of the things I like best about the Blue Dolphin is that some of the units have a back door. Right outside the door is a spigot to wash your feet and a shelf to lay out your shells to dry. And the back door leads right into the bathroom, so you just bring your wet, sandy self/children in that way instead of traipsing through the whole unit.

05082009122 If you don’t feel like lounging by your unit, there’s a covered lounge area facing the Gulf where you can sit and read a book while enjoying the shade and the view. You may see dolphins hunting, or pelicans diving for their dinner, or else shore birds foraging in the surf. Or you may just close your eyes and let the rhythm of the waves lull you into a nice afternoon nap. You may not be able to bear to keep them closed for long, though – this is what your view is from the shady lounge area.

And then, there’s the sunset. Nothing compares!

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The beach at Blind Pass, Captiva Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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Photo taken with my Nokia E71 camera phone at Blind Pass, Captiva Island. It’s a little grainy, because the camera phone needs more light than this to be effective, but I liked the composition and the way the struggling sun seeps through the clouds to reflect on the water. My friend Christene and I stopped to see if the storm was bringing in any good shells, but it was too cold and windy to stay. December 5th, 2009

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Taken

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_7275-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-Competition

Wounded, reproachful
“I trusted in You!”, she cries.
There is no response.

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Catch a wave on Fort Myers Beach

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Sand sculpture of a surfer dude catching a wave. Just trying to be a little clever for Watery Wednesday 😉 Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 2008

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Fort Myers Beach Sand Sculpting Festival no longer free

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_7208-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-CompetitionThis is the 23rd year of the Sand Sculpting Festival on Fort Myers Beach here in Lee County, Florida. It is also the year that unemployment in Lee County has climbed to within spitting distance of 14% and may rise well beyond that by year end. So, naturally it makes perfect sense that this is the year that Fort Myers Beach decided to levy a per-head charge of $3-$5 on spectators.

IMG_7212-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-Competition Because, you see, they aren’t going to pay enough for the outrageously over priced hot dogs, burgers and ice cream cones to feed their kids. And they’re certainly not going to make any purchases at the vast open air market, nor are any of them going to belly up to any number of pool bars and fork over ten bucks for something fruity with a little pink umbrella thrown in. And hey, the people who come and cheer and support this festival can certainly make that unemployment check stretch just a wee bit further, so that they can get beyond the barriers that FMB allows the hotels to put in place at the tide line – even though NO ONE OWNS THE BEACHES, DAMMIT.

The whole thing just kind of made me ill, so I skipped it this year. Here are some pics from last year that I never quite got around to publishing. You will note there is a red water sprayer in the first picture, qualifying this post for Ruby Tuesday, where I’m sure Mary will chuckle in appreciation of my righteous indignation. The artists do an amazing job; standing there to watch them, even in the hot sun, is a real treat. Last year, each sculptor had their immediate work area roped off but otherwise, spectators could walk around freely between sites and get as close as perhaps 6-10 feet to any given sculpture.

It’s a damned shame that the people had to PAY to get this close to the sculptures this year. I bet I’m not the only one who stayed away. Fort Myers Beach, in this of all years, you should have figured out another way.

Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr
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If you dig it, they will come – “Santiva”, Florida

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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083020091022-bridge-view-Blind-Pass-Captiva

Flowing through Blind Pass
it’s water under the bridge –
lots of fishes, too!

Florida’s fabulous cloud formations float above the newly-dredged Blind Pass, a waterway between the islands of Sanibel and Captiva in Southwest Florida. The area is sometimes affectionately referred to as “Santiva”. The Pass is something of a marvel to my eyes. Before moving to Southwest Florida in 2006, I had been vacationing on Sanibel annually for several years and never saw more than puddles under the bridge.

Now, thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, a swift current swirls through the Pass, and the local news is currently reporting abundances of mackerel, kingfish – and sharks! If you look closely, you can see several heads bobbing out there in the mouth of the pass. I’m betting they haven’t read the local news lately… 😯

Some of you with sharp eyes may also have noticed that in addition to fishes, the Pass also attracts a species known as “militant shellers”. Bonus points if you know who they are! ;o)

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Lovely, now where’s my pot of gold? ;)

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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:) I was driving through a sudden shower, on my way over the causeway to a birthday dinner celebration for my friend Cheryl, when I happened to glance to my left and saw this rainbow hanging out near Fort Myers Beach. I pulled over at the first opportunity. If you look closely, you can see that it’s actually a double, which had started to fade by time I found a place to stop. This is one of the BEST things about living in Southwest Florida. The skies are so big and dramatic, with towering clouds and beautiful rainbows :)

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The spirit of generosity on Sanibel Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_1760-Sanibel-Island-Sunset

:)

Stalking seagulls on
the causeway beach at sunset
a young woman said,

“Come and look through here!”
and standing aside, she then
let me take this shot.

People can be so nice. A young woman on the beach really DID call me over to show me the “frame” she’d found for the sunset, and invited me to help myself to a shot or two. I guess she was just so excited, she had to share :)

Friday Meme Trifecta QUADfecta!

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Of sand, surf and skateboards on Sanibel Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_2037-Captiva-Blind-Pass-equipment

:) On Sunday, I drove out to Sanibel Island to hang out with my friends Gary and Tootie. Shortly after I arrived, we proceeded to “Santiva”, as the the area near the bridge between Sanibel and Captiva is known. We had lunch at the Sunset Grill, and then we went to look at Blind Pass. The pass between Sanibel and Captiva had filled itself in years ago, but a recent dredging project opened it up again. It is hoped that the flow of salt and brine through the pass will improve the health of the estuaries on the bay side of the islands, and also improve fishing in the area. Tootie said that it’s been reported that sharks are using the pass quite a bit already. 😯

IMG_2038-Captiva-Blind-Pass-skateboard

As we stood on the bridge watching the water swirl under the bridge and break on the newly carved shores, Gary and I realized that one of our prime shelling beaches had in fact been removed by the dredging! You can click here to see all the gifts from Gustav (one year ago on September 1st 2008), and then if you want to see more, click here to see what came later in the month when Ike passed through (September 22nd, 2008). The place where we’d scored great hauls of shells after storms last year was now gone, and the swirling waters were in it’s place. We contemplated this for a moment, and then we saw the skateboard. Tootie observed that you’re supposed to bring a surfboard, not a skateboard! We were there for another ten minutes or so, but the owner never showed up, and the mystery of the skateboard in the sand remains unsolved.

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Big brother is watching YOU, on Sanibel Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG00265-Sanibel-Island-beach-video-monitored 😯 I believe the reason for the video camera is that someone was murdered on this beach several years ago. The victim’s body was hidden underneath the boardwalk, and was not discovered until it became obvious that something was decomposing under there. 😯

So, how’d you like to have THIS job? It’s a beach – a person assigned to monitor this camera stands an excellent chance of watching attractive people in swimwear strolling by all day. Unless, of course, you’re assigned the night shift – in which case, you will see mostly darkness and the occasional militant sheller, sneaking stealthily onto the beach when low tide happens in the middle of the night. 😆

This Way Thurs-WayVisit the other players in this unique Thursday photo meme all about signs and the road.

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“There once was a man from Nantucket…”

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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05-04-08_1511-Sanibel-Island-Man-From-Nantucket

😉 Found this guy on the beach on Sanibel Island and just HAD to photograph his t-shirt, which proclaims him to be “The Man From Nantucket”. There was a very popular and very dirty limerick regarding such a man that made the rounds when I was in grade school… might be you must have grown up in the American public school system to “get” this one. 😉

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Rules, rules, rules! on the Sanibel causeway beaches

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG01542-Sanibel-Causeway-Signage

:roll: Good grief, they might as well have added, “No Breathing!”

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A little beach readong on Sanibel Island



A little beach readong on Sanibel Island, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*. 16 Jul ’09, 9.34am EDT PST

Part of the allure of this particular vacation is the "we’ve got no plans" aspect. So, The Child aka Niece No. 2 slumbers on while I sit on the porch and read the morning away, glancing up on occasion to gaze upon the tropical, tranquil beauty of the Gulf of Mexico.

The White Ibis on Sanibel Island

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_0556-white-ibis-family :) The American white ibis is found from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States all the way south into the tropics. They are colonial by nature, and can be found roosting among quantities of other types of wading birds, such as herons and egrets. The two genders are virtually identical in appearance, but they do have different calls – the male is more of a grunter, while the female is more of a squealer. Doesn’t THAT just make you want to be around while they’re rockin’ the rookery? 😉

Getting back to their appearance – the feathers of the adults are actually not completely white. When an ibis takes flight, you can see that the tips of their unfurled wings are black. Juveniles have a sort of mottled appearance, like this one I photographed a few weeks ago on Sanibel Island here in Southwest Florida.

IMG_0563-whilte-ibis-family-wading You can often find an ibis or 5 patrolling the beaches here for their dinner. They use their long, curved, red beaks as a probe to find tasty morsels amongst the piles of marine debris brought in on waves from the Gulf of Mexico. The ibis will eat fish and other marine animals, insects, small reptiles and frogs. In addition to being found at the shore, the ibis can often be found hunting for insects on people’s lawns. Since I’ve had cinch bugs destroy parts of my lawn on more than one occasion, I don’t think I’d mind if a flock of them decided to drop by now and then!

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Sanibel Seagull Smiles

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IMG_0371-contortionist-seagull-Sanibel

There’s an attention ho in every flock; Dave was theirs.

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HAPPY CRITTURDAY!

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March winds on the Sanibel Island Causeway

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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On Wednesday, i showed you a calm, peaceful sunset as viewed from a Sanibel Island causeway beach. Here’s what that same beach looks like when March blows in like a lion – complete with haiku!

IMG_0346-windy-Sanibel-Island-Causeway
After seeing friends,
I stop along the causeway
beaches, reluctant

to leave the island
just yet. The punishing wind
rips through pines and palms.


IMG_0347-windy-Sanibel-Island-causeway-beach
Whitecaps advance and
break in rapid succession
on the sandy shore.

I get my shots and
quickly get back in the car,
bones profoundly chilled.


 

 

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Sanibel Island, pre-Charlie

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_0642-Lighthouse-Beach-2004-Sanibel
Thirteen days before
a storm of such cruelty
struck our paradise

IMG_0645-Fishing-Pier-2004-Sanibel
I stood on the pier
ignorant of things to come
and took these pictures

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Hurricane Charlie struck Southwest Florida on August 13th 2004

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Ring-billed gulls, and “the circle of life”

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Ring-billed gulls, and “the circle of life”

(a Camera Critters post)

click any photo to see the bigger version in Flickr
IMG_0101-ring-bille-gull-marchingEarlier this week, I posted a photo of shore birds feasting upon some scallops that had been stranded by the tide. I realized that I didn’t know what the birds were called, so I went through some recent photos to see if I could find a close up. Here’s a shot from early in January, and according to my National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida, this is a ring-billed gull. You can see that there is, indeed, a ring around his yellow bill. According to Audubon, this bird migrates north for the summer, but non-breeders will probably stick around here.
IMG_0204-Ring-billed-gulls-feastingLast week, when my friend Kim and I were at the beach, we encountered a pile of shells that had been tossed up onto the shore by the tide. As we pawed through the pile for treasures, we found many scallops had been stranded with the empties. Some were still alive, as evidenced by their nervous chattering as we came near. Yes, they do that thing that you see them do in the old cartoons – they open and shut rapidly, trying to scare us away with the clatter, I guess. Usually, when I find a live one, I will endeavor to place it back in the water. But then I began to notice that humans aren’t the only ones interested in a pile of shells.
IMG_0207-ring-billed-gull-tasty-scallopThe ring-billed gulls were feasting! And here I thought, with all the hubris and inflated sense of importance that a human can muster, that we were doing the scallops a favor by giving them a “second chance”. It’s not really a carnage that humans need to “fix” (oh, we are such fixers, we humans, aren’t we?). As often happens, it dawned upon me in the lyrics:

Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life…


Yeah, I did. I burst into song. I think Kim laughed at me, but I don’t mind. If you’re embarrassed 😳 by people who are prone to bursting into song, don’t go shelling with me 😆 . The point is, the scallops had found “their place on the path unwinding”. It was right there, on the beach, waiting for a ring-billed gull to come along and decide it looked tasty.
The scallops, they have their purpose. They don’t have to think about it, or struggle to discover what it is they are meant to do. The Circle Of Life just kind of takes care of that for them. Not so much for us humans. We often struggle to find our place. For many of us, it’s not all that clear what we are meant to do with our lives.
Sometimes, I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be when I grow up. If “when I grow up” should ever happen, I’ll be sure to let y’all know.
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The Remains Wash Ashore on Sanibel Island

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The Remains Wash Ashore on Sanibel Island

(a Wordless Wednesday post)
(also a Watery Wednesday post)
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IMG_0106-remains-of-a-shell

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Twin Reflections In The Sky

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Twin Reflections In The Sky

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IMG_0082-Full-Moon-Blind-Pass-Sanibel-Island-Florida-01-10-2009

Twin reflections shine
Tide pool bright and sand bar dark
Luna on the Gulf

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Sunset at Algiers, Sanibel Island, Florida

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Sunset at Algiers, Sanibel Island, Florida

(a Wordless Wednesday post)
(also a Watery Wednesday post)

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IMG_0117-Sanibel-Island-sunset-01-10-2009-Algiers

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