Can I please direct your mind back to February? Remember dark, cold days? Sorry, but I’m a little behind in blogging and I’m just now getting caught up.
I acquired a severe bronchitis in late January. I didn’t feel like doing anything, and dining on antibiotics and Robitussin certainly didn’t help. I certainly lacked the will to pack and schlep sixty pounds of cameras and clothes or to hurtle my body through space for our annual Sanibel visit. My Doctor, however, said I should go, and my daughter, Sigrid, offered to pack my bag. What could I do?
Well, it was worth it. This guy welcomed us back.
The next morning we found the beach already crowded.
Well, now, what shall we do today? First, breakfast on the porch, nodding hello to fellow guests as they strolled to and from the beach. Then, some reading and where shall we go for lunch? Depending on the tide, a daily ride on the wildlife drive around the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, a favorite spot. Then it’s time for more reading and a nap. Other after-lunch trips would be to favorite shops to discover what we didn’t need but liked.
We enjoyed a guest for a couple of nights, Clair W., a friend from home who was exploring Florida for the future. On another day there was an annual lunch with our friend, Allyson M., from Beach Haven who winters on the island. Lunch this year was around the Oasis Pool Bar at the Tween Waters Inn, a pleasure. It was accompanied by a Pirate’s Treasure, fruit juice with something added, and you can see how all of this facilitated my recovery.
Our daily trips through Ding Darling were not as productive as in past years but still a delight. Hope springs etc. for the perfect grouping of Roseate Spoonbills but we didn’t see ANY this year. Here’s a typical daily scene. The crowding happens as the tide returns. I have no idea what the two on the left had done to warrant their isolation, nor were they close enough to ask. For a full size version of this, click here.
More reading, more napping. Hey, how about a walk on the beach? There we found this group of Ibises, marching into the sun. (Colleagues: side lighting = more contrast.) The Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells us they’re also seen in Cardinal Red; that would be exciting. The opening image above is of a juvenile version still in browns. Down at Forsythe we’ll see them shiny like an oil slick, and referred to as Iridescent or Glossy.
They were followed by the Wandering Willets.
New to me this year were these Sandwich Terns, so named after the town of Sandwich in County Kent England where they were first discovered. They’re smaller than their Royal Tern cousins and possess the yellow-tipped, black beak compared to their cousins’ stark, orange beak. It is said that they’re rare in Florida, seen after storms and in migration.
Next, if it was Sunday, it was off to the outdoor jazz concert presented by a group of retired musicians: electronic guitars, a clarinet, a keyboard and an accordion, couple of different saxes, a set of traps and a couple of horns. An informal but skilled group playing old music for old people. Then back to the porch for some late afternoon reading interrupted by the tap-tapping of this woodpecker. We’re told that the holes they create will eventually kill the tree. Meanwhile its colors were great.
Well, we killed another day. Time to gather to salute the sunset. Our go-to place, Beachview Cottages, is a collection of twenty-two, old-Florida cottages, spread on either side of a palm-lined drive from West Gulf Drive to the beach. One of the cottages can be seen (red) at left. “New” Florida in contrast can be seen looming behind us. At the beach is this pavilion. Many of the guests are also returnees and it’s a friendly group. We all gather here at the end of the day to savor the day and the sunset.That’s Barbara on her phone at the left, ordering up some more ice. 😉
Sunsets? Oh, yeah. It was on its way when I “saw” this scene which stole my heart. We know there’s a sunset off to the right but this is a softer capture and much more of a statement about life on Sanibel Island.
Finally, the real thing, further enhanced with some Sanderlings and sun-reflecting wavelets and beach. Can you wonder why I reserved for next year before we even left?