Autumn in the Gulf

Day One

An overcast start to the day got sunny and hot.

This was my first close-up look at a Royal Tern. [Identified thanks to a handy guide purchased locally.] A large group of them would occupy a stretch of beach just out of reach of the waves. Passing humans were largely ignored and they seemed determined to establish ownership of the beach.

The pelicans engaged in what seems to be synchronized diving. Reviewing the images I notice how ungainly they often appear as they dive in to the water. To quote a famous toy cowboy: “That’s not flying, that’s falling with style.”

Day Two

Morning and evening trips to the beach. Made a new photo friend, John. His knowledge of the birds and local wildlife is extensive and he described an eagle that frequents a corner of one of the properties on the beach.

Fortunately I had my phone when he alerted me in the afternoon: The eagle has landed. I made a quick jog over and managed to capture the spectacular bird surveying the beach and then taking off.

Sunset was full of color and had distinct lines coming up from the horizon – they were not artifacts in the camera.

Day Three

On the town with a 40 all day! (40mm lens, that is.)

Some very random things that interested me, and photos for an upcoming gallery. At the beach, the 40mm lens was a nice change of pace, much easier to handle the camera. The fixed focal length was wide enough for a good view of the threatening clouds and late afternoon sun on the horizon.

Day Four

Another day out on the town, then finishing on the beach for sunset. This did not result in any real images of the town! Once again the beach was the star of the day. The sand castle (or beach art?) in the gallery is not mine; we saw it on the way in from sunset and the beach was empty.

My Tuesday afternoon haul of shells!

The beach at Sanibel is famous for its sea shells. My wife is the dedicated ‘sheller’; she finds all manner of fine specimens, hundreds at a visit. I usually find one or two per trip. This time I finally acquired some bragging rights.

Day Five

Another day on the town, and another gallery of very random and unconnected images. I was looking for some specific things for a future gallery and many other sights happened along the way.

After a few years of visits here I began to think I knew my way around pretty well. Just a short walk between places and I found out I know nothing at all!

I walked past a small covered area on the bike path on Periwinkle Way, and stopped to look around. (Know about the Rutland house? Better study up!) I was on my way to meet my wife at a shell shop and saw small footpath.

Dense vegetation, and a lone white bench. As the path emerged into the parking lot of the shell shop, I saw a low rock wall. Turns out it’s a grave marker for settlers who died in 1890. History where you never expect it!

And while my bird ignorance has been slightly improved thanks to the handy folding guide, my plant and flower knowledge is in the negatives. Whatever the pink brush-like flowers are, they’re pretty neat.

Also made a stop at the Sanibel Marina, where the Thriller speedboat resides. All kinds of neat things there I never noticed before.

Great day of shop-crawling and finished out on the beach with a great haul of shells – and took a break from beach photos.

Day Six

More island exploration today with a trip to the Sanibel Lighthouse. Had been there before but we only parked for an hour, and made a quick exploration of a nature trail and came face to face with a turtle. He was eating and not terribly excited to have anyone around. They move faster than I thought.

Made a last trip to the beach for shelling (no camera!) and had to say goodbye to the island until next time.