It was February 28 of last year when I registered the domain photosfromflorida.net. I still haven’t figured out exactly what this blog is yet, and I know that I don’t write nearly enough during the school year, but I’m excited to move forward.
Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the past year with a few behind-the-scenes stories.
The first settlers arrived on Sanibel Island in 1833. Quick growth over the next 50 years sparked calls for a lighthouse to help with commerce. By the late 1870’s travel in the Gulf of Mexico demanded a lighthouse. The tower opened in August 1884. Since 1950, the U.S. Coast Guard property around the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge.
Even on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with highs touching 90 degrees and bathwater blue-green water, there were maybe 100 people on Bowman’s Beach. The birds and dolphins took advantage to enjoy their day at the beach.
Southwest Florida is a haven for finding exotic birds. Here’s a collection of some of the best shots collected in the past few months. Most of these were taken at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve or the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Click below to check out the video.
The white pelican is an frequent visitor to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. This bird, which can have a 9-foot wingspan, comes to the refuge to feed and fuel up during the winter for its yearly migration. The white pelican migrates north toward Canada during the summer months. You won’t see the large white pelican diving into the water. Groups of white pelicans work together to herd fish and scoop them up with their distinctive beak.
The big storms that rolled through last week caused massive beach erosion to Blind Pass Beach on Sanibel. Combined with a higher evening tide it made travel difficult for the dozens of beach goers Thursday night. It was worth it, though, to see the beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.
We almost missed it, though!
Parking is at a premium at the top of Sanibel and Captiva. Lots often fill up by noon and only empty intermittently. The Sanibel sunsets are enough, though, to make me want to get the B parking pass.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is one of the top spots for finding water birds in the United States. Growing up on the East Coast I was familiar with herons, egrets, and the occasional bald eagle, but the variety of them in Florida came as a shock. Check out these shots from the Darling Preserve.
The sunsets in Southwest Florida are a sight to behold. I try to get out at least once a week and watch the sun set over a body of water. Just being out in the col evening watching this giant fireball sink away is relaxing. On of my favorite places is the Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Preserve off of Summerlin in Fort Myers right before the Sanibel Causeway. It’s a great site where you can see both Sanibel and Fort Myers beaches.