We just got back from a quick trip to the Fort Myers area of Florida. Once again, I visited the Corkscrew Audubon Sanctuary.
Red-bellied Woodpecker December 29, 2011
The red-bellied woodpeckers down in Florida are smaller than ours up north. This one appears to be a fledgling, maybe waiting for a meal. I saw the woodpeckers feeding on pine cones (no wonder birds liked my pine cone feeders) and berries.
American Alligator Decmber 30, 2011
This alligator was in Big Cypress Swamp Sanctuary but it was one of many I saw on the trip. I am very afraid of them even though the ranger told me I shouldn't be. She said you are ok if you don't get between alligators and the water or their babies. But, I had read in the paper the day we arrived about a 90 year old lady who was just standing in her yard when an alligator attacked her. A guy with a gun saved her but not before she lost her leg. After I got back from my trip, a friend old me that if an alligator chases you, make a sharp turn since alligators can't turn well.
Naples Botanical Gardens was a nice surprise, very well designed with lots of interesting things for kids and adults. You can barely see the ceramic wall...
Here is a close up with my husband sitting there for scale as always. This makes me want to make a ceramic wall in my yard. I love the vibrant colors.
In contrast, this foliage had a softer color scheme.
Our last couple days, we spent on Sanibel Island at Island Inn. This is a view from the sun deck from our guest lodge. I really liked the old beach feel of this place.
The beach wasn't too crowded with many shore birds. I don't know what kind of bird this is or what he's eating. I had watched him pluck it out of the water and then wade ashore. I hope it wasn't plastic. While I was on the island, I chased a plastic bag down to discard it. Plastic bags are so very bad around the water. Birds, turtles, and fishes mistake them for food, sometimes with tragic results.
One advantage of of the gulf side of Florida is the great sunsets. There's even a pelican that was flying if you look very close. I wish I could have taken one of these sunsets home with me.