Last week, good friends from our summer boat home (Duncan Bay Boat Club), flew to Florida for a reprieve from the snow and cold of Michigan. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for more Florida-like weather this winter. The weather did not cooperate during their long weekend in Key West with heavy rains and gale force winds. When the Key West ferry cancelled on the day they were to return, they rented a car to get back to Fort Myers Beach in time for the Super Bowl game. We had a great time with them, but we didn’t spend much time sitting atop the fly bridge, watching the world around us in the mooring field. We were mostly huddled in the main cabin, doors and windows closed, wrapped in fleece and stocking caps for warmth. Really?
Traveling by water may seem exotic, but without a vehicle we’re restricted to sites we can explore within walking distance. We don’t get inland, to really explore and learn about the area. One place I’ve always wanted to visit is the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. We’ve anchored off the refuge on a couple different occasions, but you don’t see a whole lot from the water:
Last Friday, Amy, Missy and I left Ron aboard Prairie Dog and we took their rented car over to Sanibel Island to spend some time exploring the wildlife refuge. It was a beautiful day for a change. We thought we’d start by driving the Wildlife Drive, then walk the Indigo Trail. We didn’t discover until that morning that the Wildlife Drive is closed EVERY Friday (to give wildlife a break from all of us). And so, we walked the Indigo Trail: 2 miles in, then 2 miles back.
This little screech owl was our first sighting. (He had to be pointed out to me; I would never have seen him, blending in so well with the bark of the tree.)
Minnows in the creek are great for snacking. The egrets were making quite the meal of them!
I wanted to see a roseate spoonbill. I was not disappointed:
This is a reflection in the water of the trees and leaves above me. Beautiful…
Following our 4 mile walk along the Indigo Trail, we made a stop for sustenance (ice cream at Zebra’s), then for a shorter trail at Bailey Tract. We heard we might see an alligator.
Our afternoon ended at the Sanibel lighthouse. Beautiful day!