A close encounter of the natural kind can yield magic on your soul. On Sanibel it can be as near as a manatee’s nose lying on your paddleboard! A frequent Ocean’s Reach guest recently discovered this gentle, playful creature at Tarpon Bay Explorers. Even though the manatee’s nose was on top of the paddleboard, our guest was careful not to touch. The naturalists at Tarpon Bay Explorers recommend allowing the manatees to play and roam as they please without human interference.
It was a manatee magical moment!
Learn “How To Hike the Florida Trail” from the authors of The Florida Trail Guide, Sandra Friend and John Keatley. The authors, both life members of the Florida Trail Association, will present two programs beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2016, in the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.
The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the statewide Florida Trail. The husband-wife team of Friend and Keatley have updated their guidebook to the trail for the occasion, building on a strong, award-winning first edition.
“Florida is different,” says Friend. “Stretching 1,400 miles from the edge of the Everglades to Pensacola Beach, the Florida Trail is Florida’s own National Scenic Trail and one of only 11 National Scenic Trails across America. It starts in a swamp, and ends on a beach. What you’ll see in between will give you a new appreciation for natural Florida.”
Join the authors for this visual journey on how to prepare for hiking in Florida and what you’ll see along the Florida Trail, followed by an open discussion on planning your next day hike or backpacking trip.
For five years, avid hiker Friend served as communications director for the Florida Trail Association and continues to volunteer as an activity leader. Keatley’s earliest 50-mile backpacking trip was on the Florida Trail in the 1970s.
Following their presentations, the authors will sign copies of their book, which is available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store, all proceeds of which benefit refuge wildlife and conservation and education programs.
Admission is free. Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Arrive one hour early to assure seating. Early arrivals can save one seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk reassigning.
As usual, Wildlife Drive is closed on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official concessionaire located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.
The Sanibel-Captiva Art League held its March plein-air Paint-Out at RS Walsh’s In The Garden, the island’s retail garden center and outdoor showroom.
The group meets monthly at different locations around the islands.
“In The Garden is a favorite spot for our painters,” said Marcy Calkins, president of the Sanibel-Captiva Art League. “It is truly a tropical oasis with wandering paths and an amazing variety of display gardens. We find new subjects for our paintings each time we visit.”
The Sanibel-Captiva Art League artists offer their work for sale at the Bailey’s Veranda at Bailey’s General Store on the second Saturday of the month. The next exhibit and sale will be held on Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Join in the fun! The Sanibel-Captiva Art League, established more than 50 years ago, is a friendly group of people who share an interest in and appreciation for the fine arts. Membership is $30 per year and open to all who are interested in art. For more information on the Art League’s upcoming schedule of Paint-Outs, click here.
Easter Weekend Church Services
Chapel by the Sea
Maundy Thursday(includes Holy Communion) 4:00pm
Good Friday 12:00pm
Easter Sunday 11:00am
Saint Isabel Catholic Church
Holy Thursday 5:00pm
Good Friday 3:00pm
Holy Saturday 8:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:00am 9:00am 11:00am
Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ
Good Friday 1:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:45am 9:00am 11:00am
Sanibel Community Church
Easter Sunday 6:30am (on the causeway next to bridge closest to Fort Myers)
At Sanibel Community Church Periwinkle Way 8:00am 9:00am 11:00am
Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal
Good Friday 12:00pm
Holy Saturday 5:00pm
Easter Saturday Vigil 10:00pm
Easter Sunday 7:30am 9:30am 11:30am
First Church of Christ, Scientist
Easter Sunday 10:30am
Easter Events on the Islands
It’s campaign season and we’re asking for your vote!
Crown Bowman’s Beach a winner of the “Best East Coast Beaches in America” contest sponsored by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice.
They’ve chosen 20 of their favorite beaches along the Gulf and Atlantic from Maine to Florida. Now we need your help! Please vote once per day until Monday, March 14 at noon.
We think you’ll agree that this tranquil, pristine, white-sanded beach is worth a click and a thumb’s up!
It’s the perfect day trip! Guests will experience the simplicity of the Caloosahatchee River, the flare of world-renowned artist Leoma Lovegrove, and the uniqueness of the town’s vibrant shops, galleries and restaurants.
Guests depart from The Marina at Edison Ford in Fort Myers. While cruising the Caloosahatchee River on the Edison Explorer, they’ll enjoy narration from a Master Naturalist detailing the surrounding native wildlife. Once docked, guests will embark on the Taste of Matlacha Island Walking Tour, guided by True Tours. The tour will highlight the island’s history and a sampling of their signature delicacies. Upon the tour’s conclusion, guests may enjoy lunch at their leisure and visit nearby shops and galleries. They may also visit the famous Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens to send a “Coconut Postcard,” tour the whimsical garden and meet owner/artist Leoma Lovegrove.
This special cruise and tour of Matlacha (pronounced “matt-la-shay”) is being offered by Pure Florida on Feb 6, Mar 5 and Apr 2, from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. Price is $64 per person (lunch is not included). For reservations and more information, call 239-919-2965.
Today, Tuesday, January 19, head to the grounds of The Mound House on Fort Myers Beach, where the Caloosa Carvers are scheduled to host woodcarving demonstrations from 9:30 a.m. – noon, featuring several replica artifacts from the Calusa culture.
Stay for the day and explore all that The Mound House has to offer! This unique archaeological and historical site located on Estero Bay is a one-of-a-kind museum that sits atop a 2,000 year old Calusa Island Shell Mound.
Estero Island’s oldest standing structure has recently been restored to its 1921 grandeur and is now open as a cultural and environmental learning center, offering a variety of programs for adults and children alike.
For more information, call 239-765-0865, or watch their video below!
From the cold north………. enjoy!
Bird in “pane”
I heard a noise
But nothing there
‘ just snow, cold air
A finch in the snow
Hit the window
He sat in a daze
Not moving his wings
His head, inside
Was hearing rings
I went outside
He didn’t move
Cradled in my hand
He seemed to approve
Once in the house
‘ looked right at home
Pooped on my finger
I said “shalom”
He seemed alert
‘ couldn’t tell
He’d been hurt
He gave me a wink
And flew away
‘ twas a happy sight
It made my day!
don payne, 2016, Bird in “pane”…. J