Past Tarpon Tournament winning captains sporting their coral tarpon jackets. From left to right: Matt Mitchell, Chasin’ Poon (2016); John Landry, Doc Ford’s and SportFisha (2012 & 2015); Mark Sparrow, YAM (2017); John McDaniel, Boomer Sooners (2014); and Rhett Dixon, Team Teaser (2013).
Thanks once again to Scott Norris for the wonderful photos we’ve been able to share this week.
Of course, we saved the best for last!
“These two are Generation #4 of visitors from our family to Sanibel, including their mother and aunt, their grandparents (Grace and I), and their great-grandmother and great-grandfather (Grace’s mother and father, who started visiting here when the only access was the ferry).”
Photo by Scott Norris
A pair of red-bellied woodpeckers have a nest in one of the palm trees on the southwest corner of the Ocean’s Reach pool. Scott captured this charming photo of one playing “peek-a-boo” with our guests.
Interested in some woodpecker trivia?
- There are more than 180 species of woodpeckers worldwide.
- Most woodpeckers have zygodactyl feet, which means they have two toes facing the front and two toes facing the back to help them strongly grip trees and poles vertically.
- The red-bellied woodpecker often creates “caches” of food by drumming rows upon rows of small holes and wedging a single nut or seed into each one.
- Woodpeckers engage in drumming to attract mates, establish territories and other communicate. They rat-a-tat-tat on resonant objects such as hollow trees, stumps and logs, utility poles, chimneys, rain gutters and trash cans, as well as any object that may echo loudly.
- Between feeding, excavating nest cavities and drumming, woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per second, or a total of 8,000-12,000 pecks per day! (Woodpeckers don’t get headaches from pecking, however. They have reinforced skulls structured to spread the impact force, and their brains are tightly cushioned for added protection.)
Look who popped up in the Ocean’s Reach pond last week!
Longtime guest Scott Norris captured a number of wonderful images on his latest visit here from Indianapolis, so much so that we thought we’d dedicate this week’s blogs to the amazing photos he shared with us.
First up are these “significant otters,” who are just as cute as can be!
Just how lovable are they? Sea otters are known to hold hands while they’re sleeping to keep from drifting away from each other. In addition, a mother and her pup will also wrap themselves up in strands of sea plants that grow from the ocean floor – such as kelp – which they’ll use as anchors so they can sleep without worry of floating out to open ocean.
Another fun fact? Sea otters have the densest fur in the whole animal kingdom — ranging from 250,000 to an amazing one million hairs per square inch. I could comment on some follicle-challenged gentlemen I know being a bit jealous, but actually I’m wondering who in the world does all the counting?
Each spring, creativity blossoms at the annual Art in the Gardens exhibit at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.
Teachers and students from throughout Southwest Florida use their artistic talents — along with recycled and unusual materials — to create spectacularly unique sculptures that are displayed throughout the historic estate gardens.
This year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the program, students will be tasked with creating patriotic-themed outdoor sculptures.
The exhibit will be open through May 6 and there is no charge for admission. For more information, call 239-334-7419.
Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement.
On April 22,1970, more than 20 million Americans took to streets, parks and college campuses in massive coast-to-coast rallies to protest against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife realized they shared common values.
Fast forward 48 years and Earth Day is now a global event each year, with an estimated 1 billion people in 192 countries taking part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.
As you’d probably expect, we’ll have a full weekend of Earth Day activities to enjoy on Sanibel Island.
At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on April 21st, families can enjoy a free, fun-filled day. Guests can grab a free bicycle rental and join a ranger on the Wildlife Drive/Indigo Trail loop to learn about the refuge’s wildlife and ecology. They can meet Bagzilla, a “bag monster” dressed in the average person’s annual plastic bag consumption, enjoy making earth-friendly upcycled crafts to take home, and then watch the award-winning film “STRAWS,” a 30-minute documentary about plastic straw pollution and the effort to curb single-use plastics for the protection of our oceans.
At the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) on April 22nd, they will feature solar ideas for a hurricane preparation box, along with a special presentation from guest speaker Anna Shork, co-founder of LuminAID, who will present a program at 1:30 and 3 p.m. in the Nature Center about her experience lighting the dark corners of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. (It is free, but reservations are suggested as seating is limited. To register, visit “SCCF Earth Day Presentation” online at www.eventbrite.com.)
Ding Darling is located at 1 Wildlife Drive and more information can be found on dingdarlingsociety.org or by calling 239-472-1100. SCCF is at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Drive and more information can be found at www.sccf.org or by calling 239-472-2329.