Beautiful wildlife sightings arrive daily at Ocean’s Reach—rain or shine. To our amazement, recent tropical showers attracted a resplendent guest to our property, the roseate spoonbill. Our spoonbill’s stunning rose petal pink coloration and spoon-shaped bill received star billing in front of the camera as it is one of the most eye-catching among all North American birds. A wader by nature, our first time visitor was “naturally” discovered wading and feeding in our Grove’s overflowing pond.
Observe and photograph more of these exquisite birds at Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. You will be dazzled! Head to the refuge’s Wildlife Drive early morning or early evening to catch the best sightings. Bird watchers all over the world will join you. Or enjoy wading in our Grove with our matchless beauty.
ps. How do you say “roseate”?
Charles Woodrich’s Prothonotary Warbler took first place in the 2014 “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.
Attention Ocean’s Reach amateur photographers! It’s time for you to gather your best wildlife and nature photos taken at “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and be an award winner. Entries for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Photography Contest must be submitted by September 15, 2015 for a chance to win cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25. Award winners and honorable mentions will be formally announced during “Ding” Darling Days—a week-long celebration of the refuge in October.
Judges are looking for your photos that have technical excellence, interesting subject matter, originality and creativity and the ability to be reproduced for publication. Does anything in your photo gallery come to mind? If not, there’s still time for you to come on down and visit us and the refuge. Don’t forget your camera!
Read more about the popular contest including its rules and regulations and entry form. We know that Ocean’s Reach guests and outstanding photography go hand in hand. We encourage all guests to submit their best shot to win!
The tide recedes, but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.
The music stops, yet echoes on
in sweet soulful refrains.
For every joy that passes
Something beautiful remains.
Paddle along the Sanibel coastline and experience how it feels to walk on water. Use a 12’ stock board to stand up and paddle, exercise, form a yoga pose or share the ride with your little ones. At Ocean’s Reach you can ride the wave of paddle board popularity around the waterways of Sanibel by renting a delivery-free paddle board from Finnimore’s and storing it at our newly constructed paddle board racks. The racks are located on our grounds just west and north of Building 4.
Pick up your board at the storage rack and following your ride, just return it to the rack. We make it easy, safe and secure for you. It’s a tropical trend you’ll want to try!
Potluck suppers are the latest craze attracting foodies within our Sanibel community. Enjoy the food and the fun at The Sanibel Community House on Periwinkle Way with fellow visitors and residents who share your passion for delicious, nutritious food, sharing recipes and educating each other about local foods and cooking techniques. Recently Chef Nikki from The Sanibel Sprout offered tastings of the following gluten-free, vegan dishes:
Chilled almond curried noodle salad
Island coconut quinoa salad and
Arugula & fresh fig salad with raspberry and pineapple tangerine vinaigrette
The summer potlucks are free when you bring your favorite dish for six. So bring the gang and gather ‘round the table at 6 p.m. every fourth Wednesday (July 22, August 26). Meet your neighbors and enjoy a freshly made dinner in an “old Sanibel” setting. For reservations, please call 239-472-2155.
It is nesting season for our snowy plovers. We need to be constantly on the watch for these tiny little nests!
This is an endangered bird and protected on our beaches. Snowy Plovers have declined in numbers due to human disturbances, by habitat changes to beach areas and also by the spread of certain beach grasses.
They will build their nest in any shallow scrape on open, bare ground and sometimes it will be near a piece of driftwood or a clump of grass, and they line the nest with bits of shell or whatever they may find on the beach. There are usually 3 eggs laid per nest, and both of the parents take turns sitting, the male at night and the female during the day. Within hours of hatching, the young are able to forage for food on their own. The female only stays with her young for approximately six days before leaving to find a new mate and start another nest.
The Snowy Plover is easily disturbed by human actions, even kite flying. They see the kite as a predator and will leave the nest to protect their young, and occasionally for periods long enough that the young are in jeopardy to the threats of real predators.
The most important thing we can do is learn to share the beach with the Snowy Plovers by giving them as much space as possible, watch out for them and keep our distance from them, but be sure and watch for them. They are incredible little birds
Indulge yourself on vacation and still maintain your diet? It’s amazing how much the beach and bicycles can crunch those calories. And as a result, many guests leave the pounds behind and head home a healthier, slimmer version of themselves.
For those of you that adhere to a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet, you can still “stick to it” by selecting assorted food options from our full-service grocery stores, Jerry’s Foods and Bailey’s General Store, and select island restaurants such as the Sanibel Deli. And they deliver!
Jeff, owner of the Sanibel Deli on Pine Ridge Road, proudly states that 98% of his menu is now available gluten-free. Order any sandwich, panini, wrap or pizza and say “gluten-free please”. Then take a homemade bakery treat or ice cream cone to go. Their desserts are gluten-free good!