Friday, April 26, 2013

Florida's wonders - part 2

The second part of our trip was spent on Sanibel Island.  This is a wonderful place (albeit an expensive place to stay) with long sandy beaches and, in my mind, the best part is that 60% of the island is protected within the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge!

In this refuge one can drive slowly through and stop at various viewing locations to see an amazing assortment of birds and other creatures. 

A highlight of one of my visits was seeing two Horseshoe Crabs mating in shallow water (a photo is displayed in my Florida gallery).  I also spent part of an afternoon with a White Ibis (just the two us on a sandy shoreline).  It was magical!

Here are some images from Sanibel Island:

A Reddish Egret.  This bird is said to “dance” and act drunk and it didn’t disappoint!  It is believed to be a fishing technique.

An Osprey
A Fiddler Crab peering out from its home in the sand
Brown Anole lizard
Two Coots in a pond at Bailey Tract on Sanibel Island
Diane photographing a Little Blue Heron at Bailey Tract
Diane at The Windjammer restaurant
Doris at The Windjammer restaurant

Florida's wonders - part 1

In March 2013 my sister Diane and I flew to Fort Myers, Florida and thus began one of the best weeks I’ve ever had!  From Fort Myers we drove to Bonita Springs where we stayed for three nights using it as a base from which to explore some of the natural areas that Florida has to offer.
Other photos (high resolution) of Florida’s magnificent wildlife are at my Florida gallery

This first post shows some of the interesting wildlife and sights at Big Cypress National Preserve (March 14), at Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve (March 15), and at Corkscrew Swamp (March 16).
One of the very first animals we saw at Big Cypress was a Manatee.  I guess I should revise that to say that we saw a Manatee’s nose!

And a trip to Florida would not be complete without seeing an Alligator.  They are truly magnificent!

At Fakahatchee Strand, we saw the following: 

 This is a migratory creature known as Dianeus Marcotteus (aka my sister) :-) 

A hawk (possibly a Red-shouldered Hawk)

Palm leaves with another plant with heart shaped leaves (philodendron?)

 Strangler Fig on tree trunk
Diane on boardwalk
Royal Palm
A Brown Anole lizard displaying its colourful dewlap
Diane and I on boardwalk
A photographer’s paradise
Sights at Corkscrew Swamp
A sign showing the location of a rare Ghost Orchid 
My photo of this orchid plant

A sampling of the wildlife that can be seen from the boardwalk