“This is the first of the meteorite photos my brother has shared off his electron scanning microscope. I found about twenty on a short walk on the beach at Sanibel dragging a powerful magnet. I collected only about a teaspoon of black dust to bring home. They are prominent there due to the lack of any other magnetic debris on the beach. No nearby industrial incinerators pollute the air. Most meteorites I’ve ever found on one magnet. We always knew the beaches there were special!”
Look who showed up as leftover turkey on the beaches of Sanibel!
Guest Renee H. from North Grafton, MA, sent us this photo, saying that “I knew there’d be a Sand Turkey somewhere in sight of Ocean’s Reach! Thank for another wonderful Thanksgiving!!”
Thank you, Renee, for the great photo! We look forward to your return visit!
We loved hearing from longtime guest Dorothy P. from Elk Ridge, Maryland, who wrote:
“Here is a picture of my granddaughters on Sanibel. My granddaughter found this seahorse floating on the water in front of Ocean’s Reach. We could not believe the size of this seahorse. It measured approximately 3 to 4 inches. We showed it to several people on the beach and then returned it to the water.”
Thank you for the photo of your beautiful granddaughters, Dorothy! Can’t wait to welcome you back for your next visit … in just a few more days!
If you’ll be on the island this week, be sure to head over to Ding Darling for their 5th annual “Happy Hour Holiday Shopping” event on Wednesday, Nov 29 in the Visitor & Education Center. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) will keep the store open two extra hours after the center closes, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Refuge Nature Store staff has stocked special holiday gift items, and will have gift consultants ready with suggestions and free gift wrapping with recycled paper. Wine and cheese will be served. Shoppers who spend more than will receive a free gift. Nature Store manager Jeanne Walsh will also reveal the 2018 Luc Century wildlife ornament, which will go on sale starting that evening.
“All proceeds from Nature Store purchases go directly to benefiting wildlife and conservation,” said Walsh. “This has been a fun way to get everyone into the holiday spirit with an altruistic twist.”
The Refuge Nature Store carries a complete line of birding and nature books for adults and children, wildlife toys and games, wildlife holiday ornaments, gifts made from recycled materials, nature-themed jewelry and home décor, logo T-shirts and hats, and a wide variety of stocking stuffers and other gifts for men, women and children.
For more information, call 239-472-1100.
Completed in May 1963, the Sanibel Causeway took the place of a ferry that had been in operation since 1904.
While you’re on the Holiday Luminary Trail this year, stop by the Sanibel Historical Village where they will celebrate “A Sanibel ’60s Christmas, Change is on the Way” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 1.
“You can’t look back on Sanibel in the ’60s without focusing on the biggest change the island has ever seen — the causeway,” said executive director Emilie Alfino. “The causeway led Sanibel to another historic change — incorporation as a city in 1974.”
The causeway opened May 26, 1963, and the people of Sanibel said goodbye to the ferries that had been crossing San Carlos Bay for nearly 60 years. The Kinzie Brothers, who had operated the ferry since 1904, conducted a farewell ferry cruise, accompanied by other vessels, even yachts. When the flag was lowered on the ferry, another flag was being raised on the bridge at the same time. The sleepy little island saw 1,200 cars cross the bridge in the first two hours.
Today, more than 3 million vehicles cross the causeway each year.
“Change really was on the way in the 1960s on Sanibel,” Ms. Alfino said. “When the decade started, the population on Sanibel was just 300 people.” In 2016, Sanibel’s population was 6,591.
The Historical Village is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and is located at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS). Admission is $10 for adults; those under 18 and members are free. There is handicap access at the village. For information, call 1-239-472-4648 during business hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.
We were delighted to receive this photo from Dan F. and Mary D., who made their annual trip to Ocean’s Reach last week from their home in Galesburg, IL.
They called it “Our Favorite Walk” and we can certainly understand why. By visiting us in the fall every year, they know that some of Mother Nature’s most beautful vistas — as well as some of her most beautiful weather — will be on full display!
We recently heard from guest Allen Sparks from Cordova, Tennnessee, who delighted us with a copy of his gorgeous photo of a Reddish Egret that won an honorable mention in this year’s “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.
“Thanks so much for your hospitality! It was a great trip and I look forward to visiting Sanibel and Ocean’s Reach again soon. Your property is great for taking photos, too – both the beach and the freshwater pond!”
Thank you, Allen, for thinking of us — We look forward to enjoying more incredible photos from your next visit to Ocean’s Reach!
The Bubble Room on Captiva Island, open Thanksgiving Day 2017
It’s always a special time at Ocean’s Reach when you’re with family and friends, but never more so than on Thanksgiving Day!
Whip up a delectable feast in your condo kitchen, sizzle up one of the gas grills in our Grove, or reserve a table at one of Sanibel-Captiva’s most popular eateries below.
Other Thanksgiving Day options include ordering a complete family feast “to go” from Bailey’s or Jerry’s, our island grocery stores, or heading out on the water aboard the annual Thanksgiving Sunset Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise with Adventures in Paradise.
Whatever you decide to do, may you enjoy the bountiful blessings of the day!
Island Restaurants Open Thanksgiving Day:
Blue Coyote Supper Club: Offering a special menu featuring a traditional turkey dinner plus a filet option and a fish option. Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Call to reserve. (1100 Par View Drive, Sanibel; 239-472-9222; bluecoyotesupperclub.com)
The Bubble Room: Open 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30-9 p.m. for dinner, serving regular menu plus special turkey dinner. By reservation only. (15001 Captiva Drive, Captiva; 239-472-5558; bubbleroomrestaurant.com)
George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grill: Offering full menu and a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 5-10 p.m. Reservations suggested. (2499 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel; 239-395-1263; sanibelseafoodgrille.com)
South Seas Island Resort: Thanksgiving buffet feast includes citrus-poached shrimp, local half-shell oysters, chef’s antipasti table, roasted turkey, prime rib, Jamaican sweet potato souffle and a selection of desserts. Adults $60, children 5-12 $30, 4 and younger free. Reservations currently remaining for 2-4:30 p.m. (5400 Plantation Road, Captiva; 239-472-5111 extension 1483; southseas.com)
Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant: Traditional Thanksgiving buffet includes turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, seasonal vegetables, oven-baked breads, salads, assorted cheeses and shellfish. Adults $49.95, children younger than 10 $19.95. Buffet served 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; call to reserve. (2255 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel; 4239-72-9200; casaybelresort.com)