Happy Mother’s Day from Photos from Florida! We hope you enjoy your day. Enjoy these photos of animal moms and babies from around Florida.
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.
Southwest Florida is the definition of tropical. It’s the ultimate vacation spot and the spot every couple looks for in a honeymoon. Summer is drenched-in-sweat hot, but for the other nine months of the year it is a paradise. Here’s what we’re looking forward to as fall comes, temperatures moderate, and snowbirds return to Southwest Florida.
1. Long Walks on the beach – Fall and winter are the perfect times to hit the beach in Southwest Florida. While spring and summer feature the bathwater-warm water that some may seek, cooler temperatures in the winter give you a chance to explore. Many beaches in the area – Barefoot Beach Preserve, Bowditch Point, and Lover’s Key come to mind – have nature trails. Some places offer kayak or stand-up paddle board rentals as well.
2. Farmer’s Markets – Farmer’s markets disappear when the weather heats up. The largest in the area is Friday mornings at Lakes Park in Fort Myers. The newest will be Saturday mornings at Florida Southwestern University (Formerly Edison College). Many of the markets include crafts and art as well as fresh fruits and veggies.
3. Migratory Birds Return – Winter in Florida attracts all types of snowbirds – the literal kind. Shallow wetlands come alive and teem with aquatic life, which brings in all kinds of herons, egrets, and other birds. Winter is a great time to catch a glimpse of many birds, like the white pelican at the J.N. Ding Darling preserve on Sanibel, you don’t get a chance to see during the rest of the year.
4. Shows at the Mann – Traveling broadway shows make their homes at the Barbara B. Mann Center in Fort Myers throughout the fall and winter. The 2015-16 series kicks off with the “Sound of Music” in January and features “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda” as well as several other show. Find the complete schedule on the Mann’s website..
I suppose that if you live in or love to visit Florida you know that there’s nothing as refreshing and reinvigorating as a nature walk. The sights, sounds, and smells wake up something in us that is deeply human.
Now, according to the Washington Post, there is scientific evidence these walks make you feel better. Essentially, walking in nature limits inward, negative thinking called “rumination” that can increase the risk of depression. Researchers backed up their claims with brain scans. The big takeaway from the research is to get outside.
Spending time outdoors, in nature, is good for you. The new study just adds — in a new way — to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that.
– Chris Mooney, Washington Post
With that in mind, here’s a few nature walks to take in Southwest Florida.
There are a couple of things that I really like to do. Well, if I think about it, there’s a ton of things I like to do. BUT, two things I like to do are take pictures and send postcards. It started out with postcards to older relatives who weren’t hip to the email, but I realized how much a little piece of paper and a 34-cent (now 35 since May) stamp could mean to anybody.
Not long after I moved down here, about a year ago, I started taking pictures. Lots of pictures. So, I was sitting on a pile of pictures and a pile of bland, boilerplate postcards. So I printed my own postcards.
Then, I figured, “I could sell these.” This is the ultimate betrayal of the mind. It’s the equivalent of “we should buy a bar,” or “we should start a band.” Even if the only musical experience is Rock Band on the Xbox.
So, it’s me, my fiance, the dog, the cat, and a pile of postcards. Pretty postcards. Minimalist expressions of the true joy that only a day on the Southwest Florida beaches can provide. Several dozen minimalist expressions. I have set up an Etsy shop. The postcards come in a neat envelope. If you message me on Etsy and let me know you read about this on photosfromflorida.net or our Facebook page (facebook.com/photosfromflorida) I’ll drop a little something extra into the envelope as well. (Not money!)
Anyway, you get eight postcards for $6 (cheap!). You can find them by clicking the banner below. Thanks for following PhotosfromFlorida. Most importantly, even if you are on the email bandwagon and don’t need postcards, I truley hope you enjoy PhotosfromFlorida as much as I enjoy producing it. Thanks!
– Ben Andersen
The lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island has a rich history (Detailed in Part 1 here). One of the best spots for Southwest Florida birding can also be found on the beach.
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.
The Roseate Spoonbill is one of Sanibel Island’s most famous residents. It’s rares, however to see one outside of the shallow swamps of the island or the shoreline and lagoons. A pair of spoonbills made a surprise appearance at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers – several miles inland.
They weren’t alone. Along with the spoonbills, nearly 20 other birds – great and snowy egrets, little blue herons, tricolored herons, ibises, and black crowned night herons – packed Otter Pond at the slough.
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.
The reddish egret is another of the Florida plume birds that faced extinction early in the 20th Century. During the early 1900s, fashion dictated big hats with fancy plumes. The trade for these feathers endangered many of Florida’s big wading birds, including several types of egrets.