Are you looking for something unusual to do on your next visit to Sanibel Island? How about checking out an aerial yoga class?
At Sanibel Dance, Pilates and Yoga, they’re taking yoga to a whole new level. Aerial Yoga is one of the newest blends of yoga and aerial circus arts, utlizing a silk hammock to aid the student in traditional postures that may be difficult to achieve due to minimal flexibiliity, strength or physical injuries. Their Restorative Aerial Yoga classes include slower poses to help relieve stress and relax.
For more information, call 484-459-3971 to talk with owner Debbie Sheme. Her studio is located at 975 Rabbit Road on Sanibel Island.
GOOSEHUG: The Blue Goose, a refuge system icon designed by “Ding” Darling himself, appears in the “flesh” at Family Fun Day.
Live wildlife presentations, demos, crafts highlights of free ‘Ding’ Family Fun Day 2017
Sunday Family Fun Day kicks off the weeklong “Ding” Darling Days at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, on Oct. 15, 2017.
The refuge, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), and Tarpon Bay Explorers (TBE) have planned a free day packed with activities for all ages from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Following the 9:45 a.m. flag-raising ceremony presented by local Boy Scouts, the refuge will debut its new #LearningLav exhibits with a “toilet paper-cutting ceremony,” followed by a reusable goodie bag giveaway for kids in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center, while supplies last.
All-new presentations this year will take place outside under the tent and inside the center. They include a live birds of prey program by CROW outdoors and a concurrent story and fish craft inside, a People & Panthers program by Florida Wildlife Commission, and another CROW live wildlife program titled Do’s and Don’t’s of Animal Rescue. While it runs outside, Ambu Yoga and supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland will lead a Kids Animal Yoga program inside.
Also new this year, WaterVentures Traveling Lab touring, photo ops with the Shell Love Bug, and fly fishing demos by Sanibel Fly Club will be available throughout the day. “Ding” Darling’s Monofilament Busters will also be exchanging environmentally friendly fishing weights for toxic lead weights that participants can bring that day.
Other Sunday highlights include all-free narrated TBE tram tours of Wildlife Drive (based on availability), archery skills clinics (for ages 10 and older), a butterfly house, face painting, hot dogs, and music by the Sanibel School Steel Drumming Band and the 97.7 Latino Hits Van.
“We estimate the value of this free event to be up to $75 for a family of four,” said “Ding” Days Committee co-chair, Ranger Toni Westland. “But the value of family- and nature-bonding? You can’t put a price tag on that.”
Continuous free shuttle service will run from the refuge’s Tram Parking Lot on Sanibel-Captiva Road (look for signs).
For a full schedule of all of the amazing events in store during the upcoming “Ding” Darling Days week, Oct. 15-21, click here!
Can you believe this is actually a cake? And quite a delicious one, too, from what we’ve heard!
One of our wonderful owners, Alison W., has an amazing hidden talent that we just found out about. Her husband sent us the photo, along with the following:
“Here are the secrets:
(1) Alison baked three deep 6 inch carrot cakes. Then she cut each one in half. She stacked the cake layers with cream cheese frosting so then she had a six layer cake.
(2) Then she put the cake into the freezer until it was hard.
(3) I then carved the cake into a pumpkin shape, then back in the freezer.
(4) Alison covered the carved cake with more cream cheese frosting, and then covered the entire thing with orange fondant. I assisted at this point and went back over the creases, and top to make the fondant look more like a real pumpkin.
(5) My job is always the painting. I use special food dust (made especially for cake decorating) in several shades of yellow, red, and orange which gives the finished cake more depth in terms of colors.
(6) We made the stem and leaves with gum paste and fondant (both sold at Walmart). Then I painted them with the food dust.
(7) The stem was attached with a tooth-pick inserted into its base, and the leaves were glued on with heated liquid fondant.
(8) Then Alison steamed the entire cake with a steamer (just like you use to get wrinkles our of clothing) and this gives the food dust a shimmer.
(9) She kept the cake in the freezer until about 4 hours before she served it. By that time it was room temperature and delicious to eat!!
This was one of the easier ones she has made. Some of them are quite elaborate!“
Three North American river otters experienced a taste of freedom after nearly eight months at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife when they were released successfully in Punta Gorda on September 27.
The first North American river otter arrived at CROW in February, with others following through March. One was transferred from a rehabilitation facility in Fort Lauderdale and the other two were transferred from rehabilitation facilities near Tampa.
The otters spent the better part of the year at CROW to replicate the amount of time they would spend with their parent learning how to hunt for prey on their own. Due to these otters being orphaned at a young age, the staff of CROW made sure they duplicated those efforts through enrichment items and live prey offered on a regular basis.
“River otters are a very special species and rely on their family group to learn skills needed for survival,” CROW’s Hospital Director Dr. Heather Barron said in a prepared statement. “Often times, when a rehab center gets in one otter, other centers will send otters to them, so they can be raised together.”
The four otters had a soft release before Hurricane Irma touched Southwest Florida, resulting in them sticking around the property. The soft release entailed them opening the doors to the enclosure for shelter, and providing food within.
“They didn’t want to eat anything. They took shelter underneath the stairwell. When we were allowed on the island we found them just hanging out. They really didn’t eat,” CROW Rehabber Yvette Carrasco said. “They were distracted and they really didn’t eat when they were out and about.”
CROW staff ended up recapturing them, which Carrasco explained to be a stress free event because they walked into the crate.
Although four were recaptured, one remains at the hospital under a treatment plan due to a wound on the pad of one of its feet.
CROW had six otters under their care this season. Two had already been released at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Thank you to Meghan McCoy at the Island Reporter for this excerpt from her article.
A new interpretive kiosk has been unveiled at Perry Tract, the only shoreline property that belongs to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex on Sanibel Island.
The 4-plus-acre Perry Tract lies adjacent to Gulfside City Park, located right next door to Ocean’s Reach.
It is named for ophthalmologist and malacologist Dr. Louise Perry. Upon her passing in 1962, she donated her winter home property to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to maintain as a safe haven for wildlife.
With support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge and a grant from the Lee County Tourist Development Council, and in partnership with the City of Sanibel, the interpretive kiosk’s three panels pay homage to Dr. Perry and identifies wildlife, shorebirds, and seashells found on the beach and around the property’s pond, which is closed to the public. Shell castings and a replicated sea turtle nest add a hands-on element to the exhibit.
“We are so grateful to our partners and Dr. Perry’s family for making possible this opportunity to educate beachgoers about seaside ecology and the importance of conserving it,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland.
Legend holds that St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment and animals, had a special gift for communication with all creatures great and small.
Whether true or not, the 12th-Century monk’s talents as animal whisperer will be commemorated at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church with its annual Blessing of the Animals on October 7 at 10 a.m. on the church grounds.
Island residents and visitors are invited to bring their pets, of any size and shape — dog, cat, bird, turtle — to the church’s front porch. The morning’s festivities will include a get-acquainted gathering for animal lovers, a brief, responsorial service ending with the well-known Prayer of St. Francis, and individual blessings for each pet.
St. Michael’s Rector Ellen Sloan will perform the ancient, traditional blessing, with the help of her beloved dog, Zak. Snacks will be provided for both people and pets.
It’s time, me mateys, for the Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival!
Join jolly pirates, wenches, corsairs and beauties as they make camp and prepare for battle on the edge of the Historic Seaport District of Old San Carlos. Admission is free for the swashbuckling fun that won’t stop for a moment from October 6 – 8.
Named the #2 Pirate Festival in the Country by USA Today, this family-friendly event attracts thousands of people that come to enjoy the pirate bazaar, themed live music and performances, exhilarating live ship battles, children’s activities and the jolly pub quest (21+ event).
Pirates and landlubbers both young and old are sure to walk away with memories to treasure.
Fair winds, me mateys, and see ye thar…
ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING WONDERFUL IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN
… LIKE FINALLY FINDING THAT RARE JUNONIA!
We’re so delighted for Donna R., one of our favorite long-term guests
– and often chef extraordinairre to a hungry Ocean’s Reach staff –
who couldn’t wait to share her long-awaited treasure with us.
Congratulations, Donna — It couldn’t happen to a nicer person!
Sanibel’s sea turtle nests fared well during Hurricane Irma with nests still hatching post storm.
SCCF Sea Turtle Coordinator Kelly Sloan said since sea turtles have evolved over millions of years, they know to lay many nests in one season. She said they have documented some of the turtles laying four nests, so if one was lost during Hurricane Irma it was not detrimental.
The east end of the island fared the best during Hurricane Irma with only 13 nests lost. The west end lost 36 nests and had 33 nests left as of last Thursday.
So far this season, 41,000 hatchlings have emerged on Sanibel, an increase from last year’s 25,000.
“There’s still nest hatching every day,” Sloan said.
After the bridge was cleared following Hurricane Irma, Sloan said SCCF Technician Andrew Glinsky came out to the island to see how the turtle nests fared.
“We were all pleasantly surprised,” she said.
Glinsky and a few interns have been using a GPS unit that helps them find where the nests were located, due to some of the stakes being washed away. Sloan said they are digging where the nests should have been and have found some of the egg chambers.
“It’s always exciting when you think you lost a nest and find viable eggs,” she said.
The remaining nests on the island are staked and daily surveys are being conducted.
Thanks to our friends at the Island Reporter for the update!