I learned a valuable lesson last Friday evening as I was crossing the Sanibel Causeway at sunset – a dirty windshield is far more visible when the glare of full sunlight is not present! I turned on the radio and got a funky blues pop tune, which seemed to match the mood of the sky. Enjoy 🙂
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!
It’s been hot and sunny here in Southwest Florida. Late last week, the set-your-watch-by-it afternoon thunderstorm started to make appearances, although it’s not really consistent yet. Sometimes, friends on Sanibel Island say all they got was a lot of rumbling and a little spit; meanwhile, out here on the mainland, it’s pouring so hard, I can’t even see across the pond out back. Other days, they get the deluges and I don’t even get the spit! Well, it will settle in eventually, the sooner the better. I really want to turn off the irrigation system and save some bucks on the monthly utility bill.
Here’s what sunset looked like from one of the causeway islands early last week. Also included below is a shot of one of my plumeria trees in bloom. These beautiful creamy-yellow blooms look good enough to eat and they smell absolutely outrageous. Typically, they will take a short rest and then start blooming again, right through the summer and into about October. Can’t wait for the fuschia-colored tree to bloom again!
I found a nice, shiny, pointy-headed olive glistening on the beach at "Coney Island" (see Foursquare – I’m the Mayor!") – it’s one of the spoil islands that supports the Sanibel Island Causeway. What a treat! I figure a bird had it for an appetizer and left the shell for me to find. Thanks, random bird!
Last Friday, just before the three-day weekend festivities here in the United States, I took myself over to Sanibel Island for the day. I am very lucky to live within easy driving distance of the island (half an hour from driveway to causeway), and I really should do this more often.
As I approached the causeway, I encountered this truck on Summerlin Road. Considering all the “Mickey Mouse In The Wild” encounters I’d already experienced that week, I thought the “Don’t Mess With The Mouse!” slogan on the back of the truck was apropos 😉 click photo to see it bigger
I was a little early for my appointment so I popped into a few shops. This one has a corner where it looks like Vera Bradley threw up!
Finally, it’s time for my massage – can we say, “Ahhhhh!” now? 🙂
After the massage, I poked around in a few more shops and found this wall hanging at “Pandora’s Box”. I liked the sentiment and the presentation, but didn’t think it was worth what they were asking for it. The artist’s name is Anahata Joy Katkin, in case you are interested in looking her up.
My last stop was Gulfside City Park aka Algiers, one of Sanibel Island’s public beaches. I stayed about two hours, hunting the shoreline for treasures. It was mostly “kibbles and bits” shelling, but I did manage to score a couple of macaroni and cheese shells (aka, those little orange juvenile Florida horse conch shells).
It was low tide by time I crossed the causeway again, and the sailboat that had run aground a few weeks back was now visible on that crescent-shaped sand bar just off the south side/”sad lane” (you’re sad cause you’re leaving Sanibel!). I wonder when someone is going to finally remove it – or is it destined to become a relic with all sorts of local legends attached to it?
🙂 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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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 🙂
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Yep, I am making the perilous crossing today over to Sanibel Island. Gonna visit with Tootie for a bit over some hair dye, and then we shall commence bar hopping. Not sure what the cast of Crawlies will be like today, but whomever it is, I’m looking forward to seeing them!
Sanibel is a popular place for this sort of activity. I saw a sign in one location indicating that it was a meeting of single windsurfers. About 20 years ago, that would have been right up my alley 😉
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I stopped on the Sanibel Causeway because I saw a number of wind surfers having fun on Pine Island Sound. Some of the wind surfing kites (it that is what you call them) are these beautiful works of art.
Have Signal, Will Blog! Mobile/photo blogging the Florida lifestyle and vacations