The Periwinkle Park and Campground on Sanibel Island hosts an incredible bird presentation most days by Libby, the Bird Lady. Robert and Judy Groninger sent these pictures to share from their trip in February. The two young men accompanying them are their grandsons, Evan and Liam Chilcote, and it looks like the boys really enjoyed their close interactions with the birds. Robert writes, “The Bird Lady has been doing this presentation for many years.Â You park outside the welcome gate and walk in, and anyone can ride their bike inside to see the birds and caged area, anytime.Â We take the kids there almost every year! The Bird Lady tells the history of each bird, habits, and a lot of information about wild birds in general.Â She also makes dvds available of presentation and facts about birds.We think everyone should see this wonderful presentation!!! In the summer months it may not be every day, so it might be wise to call first before going. Robert and Judy followed the bird show with the “Grand Finale”, DQ, located just across the street.Â Don’t forget when you are visiting Ocean’s Reach that the Periwinkle Park and Campground is one of the favorite all time Sanibel activities.
This tree in Andy’s front yard on Sanibel Island is covered with the blossoms of the Night Blooming Cereus Vine. This cactus family vine blooms for only one night and by morning the blossoms are long gone, spending the rest of the 364 days of the year recharging. The Cereus Vine is slow to start the blooming process, sometimes taking two plus years before beginning to produce the 8 to 12 inch flowers, putting out more blooms each year. The flower is said to smell like vanilla and develops a fruit where the flower once was, about six inches long and tasting similar to a Kiwi, but sweeter.
It is said that many gardeners watch the budding process very carefully to be able to determine the exact evening it will flower, and by late afternoon it will be obvious. The Owner then hosts an impromtu party and all guests bring their chairs, cameras, party food and beverages to spend the night watching this mysterious flower unfold.
Andy visited the Corkscrew Swamp just north of Naples, FL on Monday.
Run by the National Audubon Society, it contains the largest uncut strand of cypress trees in the United States. You can view the beauty of this pristine wilderness in the Sanctuary by walking on over 2.25 miles of boardwalk. The park is open every day except for violent weather.
Andy traveled there to photo the Ghost Orchid, which is a very, very rare orchid only found in parts of Florida and Cuba. Two years ago it was seen in the preserve for the first time in 38 years. The Fort Myers News press did a big article on it a few days ago. It is estimated that this plant is over thirty years old and at this time at least nine buds have been seen with a spotting scope. Andy suggests this is a great day trip for all.
Also shown is a barred owl.
Ken Alvey is the talented photographer from Indiana who presented us with the blog photos the last three days. He captured these while staying at Ocean Reach with his family and writes, “Sanibel and the area around Ocean’s Reach is like an outdoor photo studio…So much to shoot. I have one more but my daughter Leslie took this one.
It is of myself and the big schnook I caught fishing from the Ocean’s Reach Beach. This place is fantastic. We really do hate to leave. We are already talking about the next trip here to Ocean’s Reach. This is a truly perfect vacation”.
Ken also wrote a wonderful review of Ocean’s Reach on Trip Advisor, where he says, “I’m as cynical as one can be regarding vacations; lodging, parking, location, etc…
But as hard as I try I cannot report anything negative regarding Ocean’s Reach Condos. I have finally experienced a perfect vacation”.
We at Ocean’s Reach would like to express our sincere thanks to Ken and his family for the wonderful review, and look forward to their next visit. How about a big “Thumbs Up” for Ken!!
The last three posts (two quick refreshers below) need to give credit to an amazing photographer named Ken Alvey. Ken is a professional who does wedding and event photography in Indiana. The beautiful child who gave the big “Thumbs Up” is his grandson, Akira, posing in front of Ocean’s Reach, and the photos of all the shells on the beach, shows the enormous quantity of shells that are frequently deposited in front of Ocean’s Reach. We will post a picture of Ken tomorrow, so be sure to check back. Our thanks to Ken and his family, wife Deb Alvey, daughter Leslie Singer and her son, Akira Singer.
Recently, while visiting Ocean’s Reach on Sanibel Island, Ryan Paravate entered a coloring contest sponsored by the Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum. And guess what? He won! We are including a picture of Ryan and also a picture of his winning entry. Ocean’s Reach is extremely proud of Ryan’s efforts, and send a big “Congratulations” to Ryan and his family. Following is the announcement issued by Kathleen Hoover of the museum:
“Shell Museum Announces Coloring Contest Winner
Sanibel, Florida, July 7, 2009. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum announced that Ryan Paravate of Cumming, Georgia was the winner of the childrenâs coloring contest recently sponsored by the Museum.
Several weeks ago Ryan visited Sanibel as a guest at Oceanâs Reach. When contacted about winning the Museumâs contest Ryan reported, âWhat I like to do most of all is draw and color animals, fish, and landscapes like the ocean, mountains, and lakes.â He added, âMy favorite activity while visiting Sanibel was shelling and fishing.â
Ryanâs entry included several of his favorite subjects, fish and a junonia. The contest template was taken from the Museumâs coloring book which was released last year. The book features original art work by Kimberly Nealon and is dedicated in memory of Betty Farnum, a dedicated Museum volunteer.
Ryan will receive 6 Museum passes so he can bring his entire family to the Museum during their next visit to the island as well as a Museum Store.”