Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spectacular Sightings on Sanibel: The Story of Great Egrets

In addition to the snow bird influx in February, it sometimes seems that we get many winged and four legged visitors over winter.

Of course, we do not blame any of our guests for choosing the Island as their home.  When considering the alternatives, especially locales north and west, our climate must seem a dream come true.

One of the special sights in February is the mating of our Great Egrets.

With their plumes in full display, their courting dance is a spectacular demonstration of beauty in motion.  They stretch their necks up.  They crane their necks down.  They spread their tail feathers and fluff up their crests. 

Great Egrets communicate through elaborate courtship rituals, and with vocalizations that are a harsh low “corr”. Much of the way these birds communicate is illustrated by their comely and coordinated dances, and territoriality. When defending their territory they may squawk harshly, leap at, or jab their beak at the intruder.

Prior to the 20th century, the population of great egrets was nearly decimated by the demand for their lacey plumage for women’s hats and other fashionable wear. With great concern for the welfare of great egrets, legal restrictions were placed on the harvesting of this animal. Great egrets were placed under the protection of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918.

By the mid 1900's populations of great egrets were steadily on the rise. Today, populations are doing well. However, there are still many human-induced threats to the survival of great egrets. Loss of habitat, water pollution, and various air pollutants all contribute to the dangers faced by great egrets. Hydrocarbons are especially problematic because they cause great egrets to lay thinner eggs that are more susceptible to cracking or damage before the young hatch.

 Mercury has been found at high levels in the feathers of numerous avian species including great egrets. The amount of mercury found depends on age, sex, geographic location, and mercury concentrations in the habitat around them including the air, soil and organisms they consume. These contaminations have also been found to negatively effect behavior, physiology, and reproduction.

While we recognize this is a lot of information on just one of our Sanibel feathered friends, we hope the next time you see a Great Egret you will remember a little about them.  Knowing who shares the Island with you, makes for a better time!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Health Care on Sanibel Island: Always Good to Know!

Any one traveling out of their own area needs to know essentials of where they are going.

This is especially true of health care.

On vacation, we never think of the worse and often believe bad weather is the cloud hanging over our heads.

Generally and most usually that is the case.

We go to a beautiful natural island, swim and sail , enjoy nature, collect shells and discover the tropical delights.

But even the best laid plans can go astray.  A bad cold, a nasty cut with knife while slicing cheese or a fall off a bike can lead us down a different path.

And though Sanibel is a tiny island, it is not necessary to leave paradise to find good care for what ever ails us.

On Sanibel Island there are several family practice physicians/medical clinics, but no hospitals. Dr. Edward Lamotta, Dr. Bill Fulk (Sanibel Medical Clinic) and Dr. P. Denis Kuehner (San-Cap Medical Center) are the family practice physicians.

You can Google these names and Sanibel Island and obtain their office locations and telephone numbers. These easily accessible offices/clinics are open five days a week (M-F) 8-4/5. The San-Cap Medical Center is also open on Saturday. During the day these physicians can probably handle most uncomplicated medical problems.

During the evenings/nights, on Sundays and for true emergencies, you probably need to go directly to the HealthPark Medical Center which is just over the causeway off Summerlin Road and is less than 15 minutes from Sanibel Island.

We trust your time on Island will be special with no worries, but isn't it nice to know that you will be fully covered if a health issue does arise?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

When Hearts are Young: Valentine's Day Options on Sanibel

Although Sanibel is a family place, full of activities for adults and children alike, it is also a very romantic spot.

The tropical vegetation, sounds of the Gulf, clear star lit skies, beckon those in love to see and experience the Island in a special way.

And there are dozens of Sanibel choices that will kindle the romance in couples of every age.

Sanibel by land is easy enough to do.

Can anything be sweeter then touring on a bicycle built for two?

And if you don't feel that steady or sure, you can rent a surrey, where any question of balance can be addressed in comfort and convenience.

But biking together is only one way to enjoy a holiday designed for romantic inclinations.

There is also boating.

Dozens of boat charters await your beck and call from the smallest to the largest of vessels.

Rent a canoe or kayak and see our back waters from a unique vantage point.

Or charter a larger boat to sail our Gulf, especially enjoyable at sun set.

One of our most enjoyable boat excursions is the one to Useppa Island.   Feel the breeze in your hair and sunshine on your face as your boat navigates the water with a school of dolphin frolicking at the side. On Useppa, enjoy lunch in a delightfully charming inn, guaranteed to take you back to another special time.

Begin or end your day with total relaxation, a couples massage at one of our day spas. 

And for dinner, make it a true moment to remember at one of the delightful and romantic restaurants on island.  Our top choices would be The Thistle Lodge, Traditions, The Mad Hatter and Sweet Melissa's.