3/7-3/9 Lots to do in a quiet place; best of both worlds. Activities during the day including shopping and shell collecting; beach walking; cocktails in Bill and Karen’s room (they unpacked and put things away, so their room was neat); then a great meal. The Green Flash and Doc Ford’s (named after the retired NSA agent in the Randy Wayne White novels) were the highlights on the food side, although breakfast in the restaurant in the inn was consistently very good. View from our side of the island (the inlet side) was great.
Spent one afternoon at Ft. Myers dog track where Bill and Karen did some handicapping and won a few $$, while my risk-adverse friend, Carolyn, picked a bunch of winners, but didn’t bet any real money. Me, I played poker for a few hours and broke even (+$5).
The big highlight was a visit to J. N. “Ding” Darling wildlife refuge. From their brochure:
Jay Norwood Darling was instrumental in the effort to block the sale of a parcel of environmentally valuable land to developers on Sanibel Island. At Darling’s urging, President Harry S. Truman signed an Executive Order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945.
The refuge was renamed in 1967 in honor of the pioneer conservationist. The refuge consists of over 6,400 acres of mangrove forest, submerged seagrass beds, cordgrass marshes, and West Indian hardwood hammocks. Approximately 2,800 acres of the refuge are designated by Congress as a Federal Wilderness Area.
The refuge was created to safeguard and enhance the pristine wildlife habitat of Sanibel Island, to protect endangered and threatened species, and to provide feeding, nesting, and roosting areas for migratory birds. Today, the refuge provides important habitat to over 245 species of birds.
Oh, and nice sunsets in the Gulf.
The tragedy is that there is so much more incentive – money – to destroy the ecology than there is to preserve it. – Paul Watson