Tag Archives: southwest florida

The Best of PhotosfromFlorida: Year 1

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.

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Think Pink: Florida Flamingo

An unexpected visitor drew big crowds to San Carlos Bay Preserve/Bunche Beach this week. Birders from around Florida flocked to Fort Myers to catch a glimpse of an American Flamingo in the wild.

(Click “continue reading” for more photos)

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An American Flamingo wades in choppy water off Bunche Beach with the Sanibel Island bridge in the background.

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Visit the Swamp Now & Later

The News Press wrote an article about the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary this weekend. The main idea of the article focuses on the boardwalk tours and after hours events planned at the sanctuary over the next few months. There’s an underlying idea as well – go now, before all the tourists come back.

I say, do both.

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Go Take a Walk (It’s Good For You!)

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.

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Expressions of a Joyful Day at the Beach – Postcards from Florida

Postcards - 8 for $6 on Etsy.
Postcards – 8 for $6 on Etsy.

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

Barefoot in Bonita – America’s Second-Best Beach

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Boaters cruise past Barefoot Beach Preserve as the sun sets on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. Barefoot Beach was recently named America’s second-best beach by DrBeach.org.

The website DrBeach.org has confirmed news that will be no surprise to Southwest Florida residents. The site has named Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs as the second-best beach in America for 2015. The Florida gem trailed only Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii. Here’s how Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a well-known coastal scientist who compiles the list, describes Barefoot Beach:

This beach in Southwest Florida is 8,200 foot long and located in a 342 acre park. The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families. The sand is fine and contains many small shells.

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Florida, Know Your Birds: Black Crowned Night Heron

The black crowned night heron is a very familiar bird in Southwest Florida. This heron nests around the swampy waters and hunts at dusk in inland lakes and pond. In the Southwest Florida area they are common, especially at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve.

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Southwest Florida Pit Stop: Lakes Regional Park

A pit stop in racing is quick. It’s necessary, but a prolonged stay is unwise and unneeded. A Southwest Florida Pit Stop is a quick visit (less than 30 minutes) to a quick, fun, cheap place in the Fort Myers, Sanibel, Naples, Cape Coral area.

A quick trip around Lakes Park fits this description well.

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The Story Behind this Photo

My first visit to the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. was a warm March day. It was part of a string of 90-degree days and I arrived around noon. As I walked through the first mile of the boardwalk I worried animals would be hiding out due to the extreme early spring heat.

When I came to the lettuce lakes I realized there was no need for concern. The lakes, deepened by a few nights of rain, were a cornucopia of egrets, herons, wood storks, snakes, turtles, and gators.

Continue reading The Story Behind this Photo