Signs of summer have been showing up early on the islands lately. The late afternoon billowy clouds have been rolling in on the horizon causing afternoon showers and gorgeous sunsets. I finally made it back to Bowman’s Beach the other evening to watch the sky show at sunset and to see what types of shells have been washing upon that shore.
I mostly found the common bivalves, but I was happy enough with collecting a WORM in a BUTTERCUP topped with an OLIVE and a pinch of NUTMEG.
Summer might be right around the corner, but the animals on the island know it’s still Spring. It’s been so much fun watching the wildlife in the last few weeks now that the island isn’t as busy. My friend Diane has been watching a family of NIGHT HERONS nest in her back yard so I had to go pay them a visit. Oh My! There are three young chicks in the nest with the Mamma. So sweet!
Clark and I watch this ALLIGATOR cross the road right in front of us in our car last week. Yikes! It’s still mating season for them so he was moving pretty quickly from one pond to another (thank goodness). This was the best photo I could get with such short notice. LOL
Last night by the Sanibel Pier, I couldn’t peel myself away from watching this awesome OSPREY catch and feed on a nice size POMPANO fish. Clark and I watched him eat this fish dinner for maybe 20 minutes all while his family screeched and yelled at him to bring fish dinner back to the nest only 20 yards away.
As we started to walk away from the OSPREY show, a Mother DOLPHIN and her baby splashed out of the water next to the pier then a MANATEE swam by. Magical. Since the wildlife was the life of the party last night, the only shell I collected to bring home was this BABY’S EAR.
That one shell was well worth an evening’s walk on the beach to witness more wild wonders of life on Sanibel.
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A mama ALLIGATOR with her 16 babies was photographed at J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge last week by my friend Suzie Carroll. Let me repeat…. this was at Ding Darling NOT anywhere near the beach.
This really has nothing to do with shelling but I could not help but share this since it was so wild… literally. Thank you Suzi for showing your amazing photos with us! We all love to see babies of any kind but this one is really kinda cute with a little creepiness around the edges.
Do you see the mother giving piggy back rides to the kids? Crazy! That doesn’t seem so cold blooded to me but these reptiles are nothing to mess with. Always stay as far a possible from these creatures and NEVER EVER feed them. Hmmmm, maybe this is why I like to hang out on the beach… no ALLIGATORS!
UPDATE: 11-13-11 We’ve had such interesting comments about these alligators and their habitat- I love it! One of the conversations led to the question of how many of these babies will survive since we all know in nature, all things have predators. I had remembered seeing another cool picture with an alligator that yall might like to see to0. I found it! This photo was taken on September 24 at 9am on the Ding Darling trail camera. Now we know for sure what keeps the alligator population in check……. A BOBCAT eats gator bites for breakfast!