The City of Sanibel and the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will conduct our annual Veterans Day ceremony on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall beginning at 11 a.m.
When our owners were in town last week for their annual meeting, several of them opted to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had with a relaxing game of croquet.
It was a fun way to reconnect and everyone agreed that this should become an annual “tournament.”
Especially when a nice bottle of wine is up for top prize. Congrats, Robert, on winning the inaugural event!
Nationally acclaimed bird authors, TV personalities, and longtime Sanibel Island winter residents Don and Lillian Stokes will again contribute their time and expertise to lead two fundraising birders tram tours of the “Ding” Darling Refuge on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Visitor & Education Center doors open at 7 a.m. for continental breakfast, and trams depart at 7:30 a.m.
Wildlife Drive is normally closed on Fridays, meaning tour participants will have the birds and the Stokes to themselves. Lillian Stokes will speak about and demonstrate bird photography on one of the trams, while her husband, Don, on a second tram, will focus on the principles of bird identification.
Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official recreation concession, will be donating the use of two trams. Together, they accommodate 60 passengers, so interested persons are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible, because the Stokes’ past tram tours have filled up quickly.
Don and Lillian Stokes have authored more than 30 books in their Stokes Field Guides series and once hosted a birding television show for PBS.
“The Stokes are veteran birding experts recognized throughout the country, and they have a huge following,” said Birgie Miller, executive director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), which is organizing the tours. “This is the sixth consecutive year we have offered the Stokes private birding tours, and they are immensely popular.
“Thanks to their generosity and our partnership with Tarpon Bay Explorers, 100 percent of the proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit wildlife and education programs at the refuge.”
Cost for tour tickets are $100 each for a half-day tour that includes coffee and continental breakfast and use of spotting scopes on the drive. Full, nonrefundable payment is required for reservations.
We’re delighted to have so many bookworms around here, especially of the younger variety!
For the past five years, children who have participated in the Summer Reading Program at the Sanibel Public Library have been helping “earn” books for pediatric patients at our local hospital.
This year, 244 participants read, tracked their time and activities, and attended library programs to earn books. Local readers as well as visiting readers from all over the world participated, and families also had the option to participate online.
The Sanibel Public Library Foundation matched each book earned with a book for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. This past summer, participants “earned” 1,808 books for young readers staying in the hospital.
During the past five years, children who have participated in the program have helped to contribute more than 6,000 books for pediatric patients at the hospital. What a great way to carry on the wonderful spirit of giving that we see on Sanibel!
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife has announced the 14 restaurants that will participate in the 36th Taste of the Islands on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park.
The restaurants include 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, Sanibel Fish House, Sanibel’s Sweet Shoppe, Shima at Sundial, Thistle Lodge and The Timbers.
“We have an amazing line-up of restaurants this year,” said Linda Estep, executive director of CROW. “There will be some very delicious dishes being served.”
The restaurants will offer a mouth-watering array of menu items for six CROW Bucks, or less, while competing for honors in a variety of categories including “Best Appetizer,” “Best Seafood,” and “Taste of the Taste.” Attendees can cast ballots to decide the winner of the coveted “People’s Choice” award.
Admission to Taste of the Islands, which can be purchased online, or at the event, is $7 for adults, and free for children less than 12 years of age.
For more information, click here.
First Place: Ben Vanos’ “Green Heron Raising its Crest”
Second Place: Paul Brook’s “Mangrove Cuckoo with iO Moth Caterpillar”
Third Place: Linda Kruleski’s “Hawk with Snake”
“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) recently announced the winners of its annual “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.
Judges selected three winners and 10 honorable mentions out of 90 entries from 19 states and one foreign country. All photograph entries were shot at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex on Sanibel Island.
First place went to Ben Vanos of Traverse City, Mich., for his green heron portrait titled “Green Heron Raising its Crest.” Contest judge Janet Kirk, a local professional photographer, commented: “It’s not an unusual bird, but they have such personalities. I love how it’s perched on that stump. And the focal point is perfect.”
Paul Brooke from Ames, Iowa, took second place with his photo of a mangrove cuckoo munching a worm. Judge David Moore, a “Ding” Darling law enforcement officer, liked “the colors, the lighting, just the intimacy of the shot. Obviously it was a difficult shot to get.”
In third place was Linda Kruleski from Beverly Hills, Fla., with her hawk and snake shot. “The timing was perfect!” said Millie Ford, the third judge and a DDWS emeritus board member. “If it were shot a second earlier or later, he’s not going to get that snake.”
“We always choose three judges for the contest,” said Terry Baldwin, contest coordinator. “A refuge staff member, a professional photographer, and a member of the Sanibel community.”
The winning photographs and honorable mention award entries will be on display in the Refuge Education Center throughout the year.
To view the other top-ranking entries, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/photo-contests.
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in alphabetical order):
Frank Brinker, Oberageri, Switzerland – roseate spoonbills
Ronald Clarke, Millburn, NJ – roseate spoonbill
Rebecca Clemens, Sanibel, Fla. – black-crowned night-heron
Beverly Henson, Sanibel, Fla. – black-necked stilt
James Lotstein, Canton, Conn. – reddish egret
Douglas McRae, Pierrepont Manor, NY – reddish egret
Liz Noffsinger, Fort Myers, Fla. – reddish egret and white ibis
Ellen Maas Pratt, White Bear Lake, Minn. – double-crested cormorant and sheepshead
Allen Sparks, Cordova, Tenn. – reddish egret
Charles Woodrich, Glen Allen, Va. – green heron
It was like a Royal Tern convention came to town when Andy shot this photo last week!
It was a rather bizarre scene seeing this many birds together and we’re so glad Andy was able to capture the gathering.
Royal terns are shorebirds, rarely straying far inland. When winter weather approaches, they can be found on Florida beaches and along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts as far north as North Carolina.
Many associate the royal tern with a “male pattern baldness” look. For a short time during breeding season, an adult royal tern sports a black skull cap that covers the top of the head. During the rest of the year, however, the black feathers recede to the back and sides of the head, leaving the top sheer white. Come the next breeding season, the full black skull cap returns, showing us that they’re not as “follicle challenged” as we might think!