Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sanibel Island and Steelers

We left the Keys and moved up to the Tamiami RV Park in North Fort Myers. We are in the mode of just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer so we can hit the road. We like this area and think that if you want any chance of staying warm all winter in Florida you can not go much farther north than this line of latitude. Even at that, it can still get pretty cool but it is much better than the area around Tampa and Orlando. We did explore a couple of places in the area but mostly just took it easy. A friend told us we might be able to see Florida panthers at the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, so we drove there one day near dusk. We saw a few birds but no panthers, which we realize are very evasive. The area is still worth a visit for the birds and an up close look at native grasslands and forest. Above are a flock of Sandhill cranes and a white heron.
Another day we drove to Sanibel Island that is famous for the large variety of seashells that can be found there. We were told the best shelling spots change daily depending on the direction of the wind and waves. We found a few neat shells among this huge pile. We will have to be better prepared the next time with a net to fish shells out of the water before they get on shore where everyone gets to pick through them.
A couple of unique trees. The trunk of the palm is totally wrapped up by the other tree.
The Sanibel Lighthouse is typical of many Florida lights with a small round tower in the middle and the super structure of metal on the outside. Look carefully and you can see an osprey near the top.
A must see for birders on Sanibel is the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. You can canoe and kayak, walk the trails or ride your bike or drive the Wildlife Drive. We drove and stopped many times and saw a large variety of wildlife. Top is a roseate spoonbill, a small heron, an anhinga drying its wings and an osprey picking up a fish. Middle is an osprey nest with two birds and another heron. Bottom are white pelicans with several other waders and two horseshoe crabs. We also witnessed several jumping mullet although we were unable to capture a pic.
I know, I say it to much but seeing friends along the road is one of the great things about this lifestyle. I had connected with Janet Scariot, a woman I taught with who now lives on Sanibel with her husband John. We made plans to meet at The Great White Grill, a local Steelers bar, to have dinner and cheer on the Steelers with others from the Steelers Nation. We had a great evening of fun and catching up that was topped off with the Steelers cancelling the Jets flight to Dallas.
Top center I celebrate the win. Top right is Janet's dad.
Bottom left Janet and John, middle the crowd cheers, right Nanc with the Great White Grill owner, John. Sorry I did not get a good picture of Janet and her dad dancing to the Steelers polka to celebrate the win. It's a real Burgh thing. We have seen signs of the Steelers Nation all over the country and it was great watching the game with real Pittsburgh fans.
GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Nancy, Don't let Jim braid his hair like Palumono!

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! It was so fun to see you. This is a fantastic blog! Looking forward to next time. By the way, the tree you posted is called a strangler fig.