“This is the first of the meteorite photos my brother has shared off his electron scanning microscope. I found about twenty on a short walk on the beach at Sanibel dragging a powerful magnet. I collected only about a teaspoon of black dust to bring home. They are prominent there due to the lack of any other magnetic debris on the beach. No nearby industrial incinerators pollute the air. Most meteorites I’ve ever found on one magnet. We always knew the beaches there were special!”
We loved hearing from longtime guest Dorothy P. from Elk Ridge, Maryland, who wrote:
“Here is a picture of my granddaughters on Sanibel. My granddaughter found this seahorse floating on the water in front of Ocean’s Reach. We could not believe the size of this seahorse. It measured approximately 3 to 4 inches. We showed it to several people on the beach and then returned it to the water.”
Thank you for the photo of your beautiful granddaughters, Dorothy! Can’t wait to welcome you back for your next visit … in just a few more days!
If you’ll be on the island this week, be sure to head over to Ding Darling for their 5th annual “Happy Hour Holiday Shopping” event on Wednesday, Nov 29 in the Visitor & Education Center. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) will keep the store open two extra hours after the center closes, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Refuge Nature Store staff has stocked special holiday gift items, and will have gift consultants ready with suggestions and free gift wrapping with recycled paper. Wine and cheese will be served. Shoppers who spend more than will receive a free gift. Nature Store manager Jeanne Walsh will also reveal the 2018 Luc Century wildlife ornament, which will go on sale starting that evening.
“All proceeds from Nature Store purchases go directly to benefiting wildlife and conservation,” said Walsh. “This has been a fun way to get everyone into the holiday spirit with an altruistic twist.”
The Refuge Nature Store carries a complete line of birding and nature books for adults and children, wildlife toys and games, wildlife holiday ornaments, gifts made from recycled materials, nature-themed jewelry and home décor, logo T-shirts and hats, and a wide variety of stocking stuffers and other gifts for men, women and children.
For more information, call 239-472-1100.
Completed in May 1963, the Sanibel Causeway took the place of a ferry that had been in operation since 1904.
While you’re on the Holiday Luminary Trail this year, stop by the Sanibel Historical Village where they will celebrate “A Sanibel ’60s Christmas, Change is on the Way” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 1.
“You can’t look back on Sanibel in the ’60s without focusing on the biggest change the island has ever seen — the causeway,” said executive director Emilie Alfino. “The causeway led Sanibel to another historic change — incorporation as a city in 1974.”
The causeway opened May 26, 1963, and the people of Sanibel said goodbye to the ferries that had been crossing San Carlos Bay for nearly 60 years. The Kinzie Brothers, who had operated the ferry since 1904, conducted a farewell ferry cruise, accompanied by other vessels, even yachts. When the flag was lowered on the ferry, another flag was being raised on the bridge at the same time. The sleepy little island saw 1,200 cars cross the bridge in the first two hours.
Today, more than 3 million vehicles cross the causeway each year.
“Change really was on the way in the 1960s on Sanibel,” Ms. Alfino said. “When the decade started, the population on Sanibel was just 300 people.” In 2016, Sanibel’s population was 6,591.
The Historical Village is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS). Admission is $10 for adults; those under 18 and members are free. There is handicap access at the village. For information, call 1-239-472-4648 during business hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.
We were delighted to receive this photo from Dan F. and Mary D., who made their annual trip to Ocean’s Reach last week from their home in Galesburg, IL.
They called it “Our Favorite Walk” and we can certainly understand why. By visiting us in the fall every year, they know that some of Mother Nature’s most beautful vistas — as well as some of her most beautiful weather — will be on full display!
The Bubble Room on Captiva Island, open Thanksgiving Day 2017
It’s always a special time at Ocean’s Reach when you’re with family and friends, but never more so than on Thanksgiving Day!
Whip up a delectable feast in your condo kitchen, sizzle up one of the gas grills in our Grove, or reserve a table at one of Sanibel-Captiva’s most popular eateries below.
Other Thanksgiving Day options include ordering a complete family feast “to go” from Bailey’s or Jerry’s, our island grocery stores, or heading out on the water aboard the annual Thanksgiving Sunset Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise with Adventures in Paradise.
Whatever you decide to do, may you enjoy the bountiful blessings of the day!
Island Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day:
Blue Coyote Supper Club: Offering a special menu featuring a traditional turkey dinner plus a filet option and a fish option. Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Call to reserve. (1100 Par View Drive, Sanibel; 239-472-9222; bluecoyotesupperclub.com)
The Bubble Room: Open 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30-9 p.m. for dinner, serving regular menu plus special turkey dinner. By reservation only. (15001 Captiva Drive, Captiva; 239-472-5558; bubbleroomrestaurant.com)
George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grill: Offering full menu and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 5-10 p.m. Reservations suggested. (2499 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel; 239-395-1263; sanibelseafoodgrille.com)
South Seas Island Resort: Thanksgiving buffet feast includes citrus-poached shrimp, local half-shell oysters, chef’s antipasti table, roasted turkey, prime rib, Jamaican sweet potato souffle and a selection of desserts. Adults $60, children 5-12 $30, 4 and younger free. Reservations currently remaining for 2-4:30 p.m. (5400 Plantation Road, Captiva; 239-472-5111 extension 1483; southseas.com)
Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant: Traditional Thanksgiving buffet includes turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, seasonal vegetables, oven-baked breads, salads, assorted cheeses and shellfish. Adults $49.95, children younger than 10 $19.95. Buffet served 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; call to reserve. (2255 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel; 4239-72-9200; casaybelresort.com)
The annual Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration service will take place on Sunday, November 19 beginning at 6:45 p.m. at The Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way. All are invited to join this celebration of Thanksgiving in words and song. Admission is free.
The mayor, city manager and representatives from all of the island churches will take part. There will be music and song by the BIG ARTS Community Chorus – under the direction of new leader Ellen Whitten – as well as The Sanibel School’s Seahorse Chorale. A sing-along will include songs such as My Country Tis of Thee, America The Beautiful and God Bless America. The non-denominational program will also feature Thanksgiving thoughts by Rev. Dr. John H. Danner and Rev. Deborah Kunkel from Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, Mary Miller from Sanibel Christian Science Church, Rev. Barbara Nave from Sanibel Community Church and Rev. Dr. Ellen Sloan from St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.
Fellowship will follow the celebration, with cookies and apple cider, donated by Bailey’s General Store and Jerry’s Foods.
Mary Bondurant, chair of the celebration, encourages guests to bring food or monetary donations for FISH of SanCap. A member of FISH will speak on the continuing needs of the community.
For more information, call Mary Bondurant at 1-239-839-3633.
Since their reveal last month, the new Learning Lavatories at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlilfe Refuge are impressing their “captive” audiences.
Ding Darling is the first of the 550-plus refuges in the National Refuge System to now feature educational imagery inside the center’s lavatories and on the outdoor wall leading to them.
Outdoor murals immerse visitors in a virtual underwater experience, where they come eye-to-eye with 3-D manatees and look up to see an alligator and other wildlife sculptures swimming overhead. Inside, the lavatories continue the interpretive underwater motif, with a tile mangroves mural and more wildlife sculptures.
And as of last week, nature-art images by well-known photographers — Terry Baldwin, Dick Fortune and Sara Lopez, Sylvia Guarino, Allen Hoffacker, Kent Jager, Lillian Stokes, and Michael Threlkeld — now wrap around bathroom stall doors at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge.
The door wraps portray an anhinga, white pelican, roseate spoonbill, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron, reddish egret, and great blue heron. Inside the doors, guests can learn an assortment of facts about each species.
“The refuge had identified a major missed opportunity for educating visitors,” said Birgie Miller, executive director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), which facilitated the project. “Whereas we see nearly a million visitors to the refuge each year, only about a quarter of those numbers enter the center. We were finding that many came to use the restrooms without ever stepping foot inside to see all of our wonderful hands-on exhibits.”
“We are proud to say we now have the coolest bathrooms in the state of Florida and in the entire national wildlife refuge system,” said Miller.
It was another successful “Taste of the Islands” last weekend as CROW hosted their 36th annual event at the Sanibel Community Park.
Delicious fare was offered by 14 of our most popular island restaurants: the Blue Giraffe, The Bubble Room, The Clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, IL Cielo, La Bella Vita Matzaluna, Rosie’s Cafe & Grill, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Sanibel Sweet Shoppe, Shima Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, Thistle Lodge, and The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.
Attendees also had the opportunity to meet several of CROW’s animal ambassadors, including Bashful, a Virginia opossum, Shelldon, a gopher tortoise, and Violet, an Eastern Indigo snake.
If you ask us, however, our favorite ambassador was Jo F. (featured left in photo above), who greeted guests to the event as she’s done in years past. Jo visits us from Wayzata, MN, both for a month each spring and then again for a month each fall. She volunteers at CROW during her time at Ocean’s Reach and we always love hearing her tales about the care and rehabilitation of our precious island wildlife!