Say hello to the Snowy Plover! This beautiful Snowy Plover was captured on film by Stan Rubin.Â Did you know that Snowy Plovers are found along the West Coast from Washington State to Baja, California and along the Gulf Coast from Florida to the Yucatan Peninsula. Their preferred habitats include sandy coastal beaches and shallow alkaline lakes. They are also on the endangered species list as a result of predators like animals, larger birds, humans, construction along the beach areas, and even kite flying. The reason for this is that they build their nests on the sandy beaches and when anyone is near they leave their nests to draw attention away from the eggs or young. This allows the eggs to get too cold to hatch and the process must start all over again. So if possible keep an eye open for the beautiful Snowy Plover.
The Estero River Outfitters
As I left the Koreshan Unity Settlement, I traveled north and pulled into the Estero River Outfitters. The rental company is on the east side of US 41. Every weekend they have races and rides. The proprietor is noted to have the best selection of paddling equipment, kayaks and canoes of any company in the area. I am looking forward to getting my paddling companions, Sam, Bill and Drew, to spend a Sunday afternoon paddling the river. Just another day trip from Ocean’s Reach on beautiful Sanibel Island.
Another excursion with Andy. See you next Sunday!
The Great Egret is the symbol for the National Audubon Society and was almost extinct as a result of the beautiful feathers they produced. These feathers were in such demand for ladies hats that the population of these birds plunged almost 95%. Thanks to the legal protection status over the last century, their numbers are increasing, and they are becoming a fairly common sight on Sanibel.
A beacon in the night from our faithful Sanibel Lighthouse. It is one of the few working lighthouses in the country, and was first lit in 1884. In 1972 the U. S. Coast Guard announced it was going to close the lighthouse, and the residents of the surrounding areas pled with them to not abandon it. In 1982 the City of Sanibel assumed control of the property with the exception of the tower which is still maintained by the Coast Guard.
This is a Sanibel-destination must! Accessible by car, foot or bicycle, it is located on the east end of Sanibel Island.
Part II of the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero.
Last Sunday we visited the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero. This Sunday we will explore it a little more.
The Koreshan Community was a religious community developed in 1894 with the hopes of their leader that they would become a settlement of 10 million people. This was just not to happen. When the leader Cyrus Teed died in 1904, the membership died quite rapidly and the remainng four members donated the land and buildings to the State of Florida in 1961.
This was a dedicated group who believed in hard work, education, the arts and music, security, order and a sense of achievement. The Koreshan followers also believed that our entire universe existed in a huge hollow sphere where we all lived and Teed even did extensive studies to prove that the beaches in the area actually curved upward to support his theory. They also prayed to a mother-father God.
The buildings on the property are furnished and in some they have put up glass so that you look in and see each one. Some of them you can walk through. You can wander around and see many different species of trees and plants such as the beautiful bamboo gardens and a Monkey Puzzle tree, which drops football-sized seeds, and a number of Sausage trees which were among the numerous exotic plants that the Koreshans imported to Florida.
There is an area where you can canoe, kayak, fish and even camp. Canoe and Kayak rentals are available. The one photo above is what I saw as a regular occurance from the wooden, riverfront decks of the Koreshan Settlement. As you can see, some of my co-visitors camped out for the afternoon with deck chairs and a picnic lunch. Many of the kayakers were racers but some of the paddlers were just out for a Sunday afternoon drive.
See you next sunday!
Rachael Chilcote, daughter of Bob and Judy Groninger bikes early in the morning every day for between two and three hours. She ships to Ocean’s Reach her bike pedals and seat and then has Billy’s Rentals attach her equipment to one of his high performance bikes.
A great way to stay fit and enjoy the sights and winter on Sanibel.
Billy Kirkland, owner of Billy’s Rentals, seems to have a new toy! Whoa…. and does it look like fun! Just don’t get your hopes up yet for Sanibel super speed bicycling as they are not yet available to the public.
Charlie had a blast with this new high powered bicycle Billy brought by to demonstrate. We’ve never seen Charlie on a bike so you know this new toy had to be something special.
Watch for them in your home town. They are fast and incredibly fun!
Diligently, Ann Bumgarner is keeping up with our Osprey residents and following are the newest updates from Ann’s Osprey Diary:
This is what we have so far.
January 11th – Today it is chilly, 56 for the high. The female has spent most of her time on the nest, we assume she is keeping her eggs warm.
January 20th – Have noticed on the very cold days, the male is on the nest as well. Real team work!!
January 24th â€“ 4:30 pm, the male just returned to the nest with a fish for dinner!!
January 26th â€“ Very windy today. The female has changed her position, she is now facing the direction that the wind is coming from.
February 1st â€“ The male is nearby in a tree, keeping an eye on things
February 9th â€“ Lots of noise at the nest, but no change in the motherâ€™s position. As incubation of the eggs usually lasts about 5 weeks, perhaps we are getting close to hatching. Stay tuned.
On Sunday, December 27, 2009, the lights were twinkling and all eyes were sparkling with merriment as 80 fellow Sanibel neighbors and guests joined together for a holiday musical performance sponsored by Broadway vocalists James Dalfonso, Deborah Jenkins and Mark Malachesky and the owners of Oceanâ€™s Reach.
Our special musical guests have had extensive touring and single engagement performances with national symphonies, opera companies and musical theatre productions. These famous musicians joined us on Sanibel from the East Coast to present a festive Christmas presentation just for us. Oceanâ€™s Reach has been able to present this concert only due to the gift of these musicians who have made Oceanâ€™s Reach their â€śhome away from homeâ€ť for numerous years.
Delicious beverages and desserts were enjoyed by all before and after the performance.
Our heartfelt thanks goes out once again to James, Deborah and Mark!
This last Sunday, I visited the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero. It is easy to get to from the corner of US 41 and Corkscrew Road–less than a 45 minute drive from Sanibel.
For a vehicle fee of $5.00, I spent an amazing afternoon visiting restored buildings from the 1890’s, an art collection and walking the beautiful grounds and trailways alongside the Estero River. What I had previously thought was a historic marker on undeveloped land turned into an almost 4 hour visit. It is definitely worth several trips as musical concerts are held every Sunday afternoon in the Art Hall. You can also sit and watch the kayakers and canoers racing down the River. There is also an introductory video to watch in the Founders House.
Dr. Teed and his small legion of followers left the privileged south side of Chicago and became a vital part of the Estero community. The last remaining relatives of the community bequeathed the property to the sate of Florida. Florida has done an excellent job of maintaining the community, educating the visitors with a wealth of docents and also providing camp and recreational facilities on the property.
I know you will be wonderfully surprised to learn more about this communal society and the wonderful assets they left behind.
To be continued next Sunday!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY