Self-proclaimed “bird nerd” Noah Stryckerset a worldwide Big Year record in 2015. His book about the experience, Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, A Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World, was released in late 2017.
Strycker starts out the 2018 “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series on Friday, Jan. 19. He will be presenting three free programs at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center Auditorium at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
Oregon birder Strycker became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. Associate editor of Birding magazine, the author has written two other well-regarded books about birds — The Thing With Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human; and Among Penguins: A Bird Man in Antarctica. Strycker is a regular contributor of photography and articles to major birding magazines and other media. He blogs regularly for the American Birding Association.
Strycker will sign copies of his book, available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store, following the lectures. Proceeds from the Nature Store sales directly benefit refuge wildlife, education, and research.
Seating for the lectures will be limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save one extra 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.
As usual, Wildlife Drive closes on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official recreation concession located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.
One of the funniest shows ever is playing at the Strauss Theater now through February 17th. Don’t miss your chance to see “Noises Off” for your first time, your second time, or in Dina’s case, her fourth time — Yep, she loves this show! The whole Ocean’s Reach gang is going to see it tonight and she can’t wait!
“If laughter is the best medicine, this flawless show is capable of curing double pneumonia.” – Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
“Noises Off” is a laugh-out-loud farce surrounding an opening night performance of a play called “Nothing On.” The show is just hours away from opening and the cast stumbles through their final dress rehearsal. Things could not be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling and sardines flying everywhere, it’s complete pandemonium… and we haven’t even reached intermission!
To kick off the new year, the Sanibel Health Club will hold its 5th annual Community Fitness & Health Fair Saturday, Jan. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will feature free demos, fitness evaluations, samples, refreshments and a silent auction.
All proceeds from the silent auction will go towards The Robert V. & Benjamin G. Miller Fund which provides camping experiences for special needs adults in Southwest Florida. Some of the silent auction items include art, taxi rides from Sanibel Taxi, a trip to Breckenridge, Colorado and gift certificates for restaurants, fitness classes and skincare services.
Besides the Sanibel Health Club, Sanibel Dance, Sanibel Pilates and Yoga, Sanibel Skin Spa, Island Ballroom and Tony DiCosta Fitness will also be participating in the event.
Activities at the Community Fitness & Health Fair include: all levels Vinyasa from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. with a free class demo to follow at 9:30 a.m.; Restorative Aerial Yoga from 10 to 11 a.m. with a free class demo to follow at 11 a.m. and a Pilates mat class from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. with a free class demo to follow at 12:45 p.m.
There will also be free samples and chair massage at Sanibel Skin Spa from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with a Thai massage demo from 1 to 2 p.m. Island Ballroom will also do a demo from 2 to 3 p.m.
For more information about the event, call 1-239-395-2639.
We’ve been anxiously waiting to post this, but as a surprise gift for the holidays was involved, we didn’t want to spill the beans!
We hope it’s safe now to share one of our favorite emails ever from guest Nola H. from St. Louis, MO.
My family has been coming to ocean’s reach for the past 6 years. It is a very special place to our family.
I make rugs for a living. I made a rug of Ocean’s Reach. Here is a photo of the google earth image I used for my inspiration.
This is a drawing my sister did of the google earth photo of Ocean’s Reach for the rug I made.
My sister, Linda, is a needlework designer. We work together in the Rug Hooking community and have authored 5 books together.
This is my finished rug. It is traditionally hooked. I used strips of hand dyed wool fabric and novelty fabric. The edge is 20 x 30″.
It will be displayed at Sauder Village in Archbald, Ohio in August, 2018 as part of an exhibit of Google Earth rugs.
I am going to give this rug to my son and his family as a remembrance of our time together at Ocean’s Reach for Christmas.
Thank you for letting me share this with you.
Thank you, Nola, for sharing such an amazing project! We’re honored that your memories here have provided the inspiration for such a wonderful work of art!
For our readers who may be in the Archibald, Ohio area August 14-18, 2018, be sure to check out Nola’s rug at the 22nd Annual Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village! />
One of our guests’ favorite waterview restaurants is the Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel Resort — just “next door” from Ocean’s Reach via a short beach walk.
Earlier this month, the restaurant introduced new brunch options that are sure to please.
On Sundays, in addition to their usual offerings, the restaurant has incorporated five different themed brunch items that will be rotated on a weekly basis.
“The five themes are Floribbean, midwestern, south of the border, New Yorker and southern style,” said Thistle Lodge Executive Chef John Wolff. “(In each theme), we’ve got five different proteins, sauces and mixed vegetables every week. You’ll find everything from catfish to jerk grouper. We’ll have a salad display too. It’s not going to be the same thing every week.”
The restaurant’s Sunday brunch is offered from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $29.95 per person.
“It’s pretty elaborate for the price,” Wolff said. “For a nice Sunday brunch, this one is hard to beat.”
Standard breakfast items on Sunday include homestyle breakfast potatoes with peppers and onions, pastries and even an omelet station.
“We’ll have chef there that will be able to cook eggs any style,” he said.
Wolff said that they are able to do custom orders as well.
“We wanted to give the guests the same kind of value but with a lot more variety,” he said. “You can get pretty much anything you want.”
On Saturdays, Thistle Lodge offers a breakfast buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost is $19.95 per person. Some of the offerings include waffles, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and oatmeal.
One of the first things Geoffrey and Flavia Letendre wanted to do when they purchased the Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place last year was to offer a breakfast option for guests in the middle of the island.
Fast forward a year and guests can now enjoy a full breakfast menu from 7 a.m. to noon. (Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., or close.)
Some of the breakfast items include fried chicken and biscuits, sausage and gravy; fishermen’s benedict, seared salmon with tomato, spinach and a key lime hollandaise sauce and the Charley, scrambled eggs, salsa verde, potatoes, pepper jack cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream served in a tortilla bowl.
“My dog is named Charley, so we wanted to get him on the menu,” said owner Geoffrey Letendre, who grew up on Sanibel before moving to Texas in middle school. He went on to graduate from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in a kitchen ever since.
The restaurant also offers the typical breakfast items, such as pancakes, French toast, stuffed French toast, and strawberry pina colada cakes. In addition, they also serve coffee that is roasted in neighboring Cape Coral, in their efforts to keep items local.
So far, breakfast has been received well with “nice steady regulars.”
“We know it is going to take some time because people have their routines with their vacations. We want to give them a nice open, pet friendly patio, a place to come and have breakfast,” Letendre said. “If we keep serving good food with good service, I think people will show up.”
Blue Giraffe is located in Periwinkle Place, 2075 Periwinkle Way, Unit 14. Letendre said people are welcome to park in the back of the building, due to the proximity to the restaurant.