Sunday, January 8, 2012

Southwest Florida Trip

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.


  1. Oh how nice to be able to nip down to Florida! Love the photos such an interesting mix however the one of the alligator freaks me as I am scared of these creatures for no reason that is reasonable as I have only ever seen them in a zoo. The wading bird is so elegant.

  2. Beautiful photos! Your alligator info and post pic reminded me that I don't miss all!!! We were 17 years in Florida and my children 'grew up' around those nasty creatures. I don't like them and they are almost everywhere on the southern gulf coast. We once walked within 15 feet past a HUGE alligator in Flamingo State park (on level ground) that we thought was sleeping. When we came back on the path about 1 hour later; he was gone! They can trick you and I wouldn't want to get in a situation where I had to mess with one. Of course, I was a 'northerner' before I moved to Florida so I had no idea of their 'ways.' I have seen very BIG alligators...Almost hit one with my car crossing "Alligator Alley" at night from Miami to Naples.....

  3. I will have to remember to make a quick turn if a gator is after me.. We are on our way to Florida soon.
    Cant wait to go to Corkscrew and other Birdie places. Your bird looks like a Willet

  4. Lovely shots. I lived in SW FL for ten years before coming to NC. Corkscrew was one of my favorite places for hiking! You are quite safe on the boardwalks. Alligators move very quickly but in short distances. The old lady who got attacked must not have seen him next to her - I hope she is OK! When we lived there an old woman was getting water in her pond and got pulled in by a gator and survived. She lost an arm but managed to go to the house and call 911- pretty tough folks live in this area!

  5. the cuby poet--gators are scary aren't they? thanks for the visit.

    Louvregirl--People tell me there are more alligators but I wouldn't know. Gators are one reason I would hesitate to move down there or get a winter place there.

    dAwN--Thanks for the id of the Willet. I didn't get time to even look it up while I was down there. I was afraid my husband wasn't going to like Corkscrew but he did, mainly because there weren't that many people there. We did see lots of birds toward the end of the walk--same as when I was there before.

    Carolina Mts--yes, you would have to be pretty tough to fight off an alligator. I too was wondering if the alligator attacked the lady because she was slow or wasn't paying attention. They seem to attack birds that are unsuspecting.

  6. Glad y'all had a great trip to Florida despite the gators. That's a beautiful sunset photo!

  7. Marvin--thanks for the visit. We did have a nice trip.

  8. Oh, that sunset is awesome!! Beautiful birdies too :)

  9. I left a huge part of my heart in Ft.Myers back in the 80's. Thank you for the beautiful revisit. ,,,and as far as taking one of those sunsets home with did my dear, you did.