January 11, 2008 - Sanibel Island, Florida

We decided it was time to go to Sanibel Island, famous for the shells on the beaches and for the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  It costs $6 to take the bridge from Fort Myers to Sanibel.  We had not been on Sanibel since January 2004.

We drove all the way to the end of the road in Captiva to see what we could see and remember from our previous trip. 

This is a typical street view:

Some monster houses are under construction, like this one:

We stopped at the Darling National Wildlife Refuge visitors center on the way back from Captiva and found out most of the refuge was closed on Friday, which was when we came.  Oh well.  We did enjoy the displays and movie in the visitors center.  We also learned the Bailey Tract was open, a separate part of the Refuge on the south part of the island. 

We found a place to have lunch, which was nothing special, and then we headed to the Bailey Tract.

Sign at the entrance:

Sign at the information kiosk.

We took the red route, the longest.  It was a warm but cloudy day. 

Here is a view of how much of the tract looked.

A great egret, roseate spoonbill and some ducks.

Better photos of the spoonbill and ducks:

A little blue heron:

A turtle:

A couple butterflies let us take photos:

We decided to come back another day, but not a Friday, so we headed home.  This is a photo from the bridge:

Osprey with catch flying away in the photo above:

This is Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach, visible from the bridge.

Wind surfing and shelling:

It looks like Sanibel Island will be getting more toll revenue from us.

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