Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sanibel Wild Flowers ...


     The entire island now being a sanctuary, they've worked real hard to reestablish a native species setting. So ... there are native wild flowers all around.

      My camera's macro setting got a bit of a work out ... I love flowers. The 3rd one above is the flower of a Red Mangrove.   


     Pretty N Purple, right?


     It's not easy being green ...


     Put your lips together and blow ... don't forget to make a wish.

Sanibel continued ...

     Living on the South East Coast of Florida we see the sun rise here, it's actually a real challenge to find a place to see any kind of sunset at all.

    So, when on the West Coast ... it's a real treat to head to the beach to watch the magical colors dance across the sky and the water. For an instant, the world seems to stand still and nothing else matters much.



    The steady flow of traffic on the island moves at top speeds of 35 MPH and no one seems to mind. It's as if time has no real meaning there other than to mark sunrise, sunset or low tide.

    Speaking of low tide ... not only is it the best time for bird watching, it's also the best time to find shells. Sanibel/Captiva Islands are known for some of the best shelling in the world.

      This trip, I was focused on the birds and my beach visits were usually near sunset. So, I had to dredge through the piles of left over shells like the ones in the photo above to find a few diamonds in the dust.


How many is to many?


 The Roseate Spoonbills are a site to see all dressed up in pink, and herons galore. Are they not gorgeous? 


    The White Pelicans come in at low tide by the hundreds. The little guy on the right is a Night Heron.


     Feathered friends everywhere you look on the island, even woodstorks (below) in the ditches on the side of the road. Maybe they don't have the cutest face you've ever seen but they are the only storks found naturally in North America.


     Ok, maybe this was enough feathers for one blog, I'll stop now. But ... there are so many other things besides birds on Sanibel.

More Birds ...





Friday, December 30, 2005

Sanibel Island ...

     One of my favorite places on earth. While I was visiting Brittney in Ft. Myers, I spent as much time as possible on Sanibel/Captiva Islands. The beaches, the sunsets, the seashells, the birds and other wildlife ... there's just no place else quite like it.

     If ever you find yourself in South Florida, it is so worth the drive through the Everglades to visit Sanibel at least once. The entire island is a sanctuary and the delicate ecosystem is protected by the locals and visitors alike. This was the perfect place to break in my new camera.   



     These birds were the greeters ... they were the first thing I saw when I got to the island with the exception of "The Sign." Ha :)                                         

This is my Niece Brittney ...

She lives in this house ...

Near this school ...


In Ft Myers Florida ...


With her two college roommates and their dogs, Toby and Bocephus ...


The house is decorated real cute, sure beats living in a dorm.


Love the colors in her bathroom ...

I just spent a week there, she's been away for a year and a half now and this was my first visit. I had a great time even though she was working double shifts nearly every day, we still found some time to hang out together a bit.

I had no problem keeping myself busy the rest of the time ... there is so much to do on Florida's South West Coast. My intentions were to break in my new car and my new camera while I was there. After driving across the Everglades and photographing every single bird I could find, I consider both sufficiently broken in. (Except for those darn low light photos I'm still having trouble with.) 

Expect the next few entries to be entirely for the birds!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

An Italian Christmas ...

     With my family away, I spent Christmas with some friends that I've known forever ... well it feels like forever anyway.



    Their family (Italian) and ours (Southern) often spend time together at holidays, sometimes we laughingly refer to these get togethers as "Dinner With The Clampits and the Gambinos."




The kids played a little pool, a little living room football and a little fetch with Bella ...


     The food was Italian, very Italian ... YUM!



     Thanks you guys for letting me be part of your family this Christmas while mine was away.



     Really, I was having fun although you sure can't tell from this photo, ugh!

     Oh ... I did gain a new work out partner out of the deal, Denise is going to start going to the gym with me before work in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting Jan. 2nd YAY! 

     Hoping Sheila will want to start again too, she and I haven't been since Hurricane Wilma.  Ever notice how easy it is to get distracted form an exercise routine and how difficult it can be to get back on track?


     Oh say hello to Pauly ... can't forget about "Pauly the Parrot." 

     I knew this was going to be a different kind of Christmas for me and my goal this year was to indulge myself in the presence of friends that are like family ... looking back on December's entries in Rain I can say without a doubt, "mission accomplished."