Secret space for wildlife to hide!
One of the great things about the Six Mile Cypress Slough in summer is the opportunity for reflection shots – the Florida sky is mirrored here in the Gator Lake. There’s a big turtle on the platform out there but I am not seeing any gators thus far. I do hear a woodpecker working away industriously at a tree nearby.
Today’s Adventure: Yes, there is water in the Slough, originally uploaded by Erin *~*~*.
A fan of the Conservation 20/20 Facebook page was interested in water levels ’round these parts, so I hopped in the car and headed for my sanctuary, my cathedral, the Six Mile Cypress Slough in Fort Myers. Yep, there’s water! Let’s go further in and see what’s up…
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Don’t you love it when you are working on something, but it barely feels like work, just because you are loving it so much? That was today! I started out meeting up with a “work day” group at Deep Lagoon Preserve, one of my county’s land conservation preserves. The county conservation land stewardship and management entity is called Conservation 20/20, and I’ve been helping them to raise their social media profile by creating and administering a Facebook page to promote interest in the preserves. This particular preserve was once a farm. Gladiolus bulbs were raised here. After that, it was turned into pasture and fenced in so the cows would not wander and cause trouble 😉 Now, it is slowly but surely being restored to it’s natural form, so that it may serve as habitat to native plant and animal species. During the height of the summer rains, this place is ankle-deep or more under water. It therefore also serves an important recharge function. There is a connection to the Caloosahatchee River and Pine Island Sound, which is salt water, and there’s some tidal flooding action that occurs as well. Therefore, the edges of the preserve are actually home to some mangroves, which I’ve recently read are very efficient processors of carbon dioxide. Worth conserving, I’d say!.
There are dozens of native plants and wildflowers growing here. These are a variety of loosestrife. They’re on the “rare” list for this region.
Here’s a closer view; they’re actually called winged loosestrife.
This thistle has a visitor; he barely gave me a glance, and kept his butt in the air the whole time I was watching him.
Thistle sans lunch guest; aren’t they pretty?
After I was done photographing the work day (will publish soon on Facebook!), I decided to check up on a friend on the island, so off I sped, oops I mean off I sedately traveled at a speed no greater than 30 MPH 😉 over the causeway to Sanibel Island.
After having some brunch with my friend, I decided to start at Periwinkle Place and shop my way off the island. This is the butterfly garden out back; there were no butterflies to look at, so I continued on to the little pond across the back parking lot.
There wasn’t any action in the pond, either. There’s actually a tall berm/hill between two ponds that are sort of connected but not really, and I stood up there with a dad and his two kids, watching bubbles rise periodically from one of the ponds. We were hoping that an alligator would emerge, but if he was down there, he was keeping his own counsel and not pandering to the paparazzi this fine day.
Coming back from the pond, I passed this tree, and spied something in one of the cubby holes…
Tree snails live here! Upon further inspection, I saw a few empty snail shells on the ground around the base of the tree. I was reminded of the years before I lived in Southwest Florida, when my niece and I would “go shelling” in my brother’s front garden up north on the Loverly Isle of Long. Now I can just drive to a local beach and go shelling pretty much any time I want. How cool is that? 🙂 I left the snail shells where they lie, smiling to myself.
At last, it was time to leave the island and go home. Yes, those are storm clouds. No, it did not storm. Yes, we’re wondering when it will, too. It’s too dry here!