Monday, February 25, 2013

Marcy's Travel Blog- "Ding Darling" Wildlife Refuge!

We woke in the morning to a beautiful blue and pink sky, with grey clouds disappearing with every passing hour! The rain was gone! The temperature was climbing! We were back to "playing outdoors" weather!

Jan wanted to show me the J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge, located on Sanibel Island, Florida.

It seems that J.N. "Ding" Darling was quite the nature lover

This is where he sat, drawing his cartoons.

This Wildlife Refuge is 2,800 acres of designated wilderness area! There are many ways to go through the Wildlife Refuge. A person can kayak, bike, take a tram, tour bus, walk, or take their car. There are three basic trails of different lengths. It was still a bit chilly when we started out, so decided taking the car was the best choice.

I was astounded with the many species of shore birds, waders, and those who took flight!  I struggled to identify each I took pictures of!  I finally gave myself permission to just aim the camera, and enjoy the beauty. So, for those of you who need to know species and names, I beg forgiveness! For now, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, with perhaps a caption or two. So, sit back, and let the nature lover in you enjoy!

This is a cheat! Alligators live here, but since I didn't see any, this is a picture of a picture!

An Egret nest sits high on a platform, built by the Refuge. So many tall trees had been cut down in the past, the Egret needed a high, safe haven for their home!

A flock of white pelicans!

A brown pelican making it's landing!

Tarpon Bay is part of the Wildlife Refuge

Tarpon Bay

The main bush that seems to line most of the roads here are called "Mangrove".  They root in water, sending little pods (shoots) out to root and make more Mangrove. Fish spawn here, and tadpoles swim safely among the roots. There are alligators that live amongst the bushes, but I missed seeing those this time.

As this large bird soared overhead, my spirit soared with it! What a beautiful sight! My day at J.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge left me with a sense of awe, a quiet spot within myself that was a hush of natures rhythms and beauty!

Wednesday is the last day of sunshine and ocean breezes! Join me for my final farewell to Florida!

Until then, remember that life is an adventure! And Mother Nature reminds us that beauty is a wonderful part of it!

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