Monday, February 29, 2016

Day 31 Post 2 White Pelicans

At DDNWR today, we saw a great many White Pelicans and had fun watching many in flight, feeding  and sunning on the mud flats.   Even though we did not actually see the Great White Pelican, she was there at the same time we were but we did not spot her in time.  I do want to share some of our photographs:
 Sky was filled with flying White Pelicans.
 Island was crowded with White Pelicans.
 Pelicans were busy flying on and off the islands.

 Coming in for a landing.

 And then taking off to other places.


Day 31 on Captiva

Today was another trip to Ding Darling Wildlife Reserve to do some birding.  We arrive shortly after 9am on a beautiful sunny morning.  There were throngs of people today mostly Camera Clubs (with huge lenses on their cameras)  and a lot of "true" birders who we learned were there to see the African White Pelican or  also called Great White Pelican who was spotted Sunday with the White Pelican residents on the drive.  Among the birders were the Stokes.....Lillian called out when she saw the African visitor but he flew off before Al or I saw him.  You can check this pelican out on posts on these blogs Bird Tweets and Stokes Birding Blog.

I am going to add another post of all the Pelican photos from today's outing.
 There were also many other sights and birds on the drive today and here are some of our photographs:
Immature Ibis

 Pair of Tri-colored Herons at the Dike
Mix of Shore Birds
Reddish Egret in Breeding Colors

Tri-colored Heron
 Snowy Egret Eating a Shrimp
This Anhinga was sunning behind the next picture.
Alligator Sunning by the Drive
 Closer Look of the Alligator-What sharp teeth you have!

Now it was time for our lunch.....not to be around when the alligator starts looking for his lunch.  We went back to our spot for sandwiches and chips.  And then an afternoon of sunning ourselves like alligators but at the beach.   Beautiful day of sun and fun.
Tonight the Grill Master prepared Harry's Rib Eye Steak on the Barbie and we enjoyed with Baked Potatoes, fresh Green Beans with Basil, Caprese Salad and glasses of wine.  And we had dessert again...more Tiramisu.
Stay tuned for our photos of White Pelicans.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day 30 on Captiva

The day began early with our weekly trip to the Farmers Market for our fix of more tomatoes and other produce items.  Al bought me a beautiful flower bouquet.  The market was even busier than the past few weeks with more tourists than locals this Sunday. 
We had breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Sanibel Café with unique  table arrangements of Fossilized Seashells under glass.   Below is the table where we sat. 
We were lucky  to be seated almost at once on this busy Sunday morning.
I had Eggs Benedict served with Grilled Parmesan Tomatoes and Al had Lox and Bagel Platter.  We made a brief stop at Bailey's for some provisions and headed back to the beach  with sunny skies.   I finished another book NAKED GREED by Stuart Woods.  An easy read but a lot of violence and sex.
Tonight I prepared Steamed Mussels with a light Italian sauce of Roma Tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and wine.   This was served over pasta with Arugula salad and Italian Bread.  Dessert was Tiramisu from Bailey's Bakery. 
Al tried a new to him California wine -Edna Valley Vineyard Merlot 2013.   The wine is described as "aromas of cocoa powder, anise and black cherry, complemented by hints of leather and humidor. Fine tannins and a bright acidity create a rich, balanced mouth  feel."   Or another review says "The palate offers a complex combination of flavors—mocha, espresso, blackberry and anise."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Day 29 on Captiva

Another Saturday has arrived.  Another week gone.  After the usual start to our day with coffee and pastries, we spent the more relaxing.  We lunched at Doc Ford's in Captiva served by a lady from Rhode Island with a heavy Northeastern accent.  Al ordered a cup of Clam Chowder with an order of Fried Calamari-the best crunchy Calamari on the islands.  I opted for a bowl of the Chowder...great on a  cool day.  But I also enjoyed some of his Calamari.

Al then had an appointment for a massage at the Spa.  I spent time reading while I waited for him.
He said he felt like a new man after the therapeutic massage.  Melissa, the masseur, really worked deep on his injured leg muscles.

The rest of  the afternoon was spent sunning and reading on the beach.  I took a nap (which I never do) before dinner as I have not felt very well....had a sleepless night in Captiva.   Al volunteered to fetch dinner from Lazy Flamingo so I did not have to cook.   He brought home Mesquite-Grilled Ribs with Fries and Coleslaw.   We had a delicious meal  and a good ending for the evening.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 28 on Captiva

Not too much to write not too great so it was an "inside day".   I worked on some cards and Al spent time reading and on the computer.  I made sandwiches for lunch.  We  walked to beach but too windy to one was there including the shore birds.

For dinner I made fresh tomato sauce and served with pasta and sautéed Chicken and Arugula salad.
Simple dinner for a simple day.

That's all, folks!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Day 27 on Captiva

After very heavy rain and winds yesterday,  I knew this morning would be a good time for shelling.  Just as the sun rose, I headed to the beach to collect shells and I was the first on the beach so I got first dibs.  There were a lot of Fighting Conch but many were live so one has to be careful to only pick up the dead ones.  Also a lot of Lightning Whelks, scallops, cockles, olives, sunray venus, and turkey wings were found to mention a few.  I found an Alphabet Cone but it has a stink so not sure if I will be able to remove the odor. I think I saw almost every Florida shell on the beach where I walked except for Junonia, Starfish, Sand Dollar, and Scotch Bonnet.

It was extremely windy on the beach and I felt that I was going to be blown away at times but only my hat was blown off.   The surfers had just begun to arrive as I left and more shell collectors began to show up.  I spent the rest of the day inside working on this blog and editing pictures.   Not much else to report.

I heated up some Tomato with Basil soup for lunch and made Deluxe Grilled Cheese (that's with a slice of tomato) sandwich which we ate inside.

Dinner was Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya made with a recipe that I have used for years.   Served with salad and hot rolls.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 26 on Captiva

I have been wanting to explore some new to us birding spots and I have been wanting to check out the Shipley Trail at the Bailey Homestead which has been opened only a few years.  It joins up with Pond Apple Park Trail to which we have never been.  So this morning we left about 10AM to explore.
Some Photos at the Bailey Homestead:
Back of the Bailey House
Rebuilt Windmill

Bench made from old tree and roof shingles.

Anhinga Hanging out in the Manmade Pond

Turtles Hanging out in the Pond with the Anhinga

Wildflowers on the Shipley Trail

Things became very exciting as we approached the Pond Apple Trail retention ponds.  We spotted to our delight a lot of wildlife including a group of Wood Storks, Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons, Ibis, Anhingas, and more.




The Wood Storks were used to people....this one walked over to the bench where we sat.
Immature Wood Stork
Great White Heron
 As we were leaving a nice lady pointed out a Great White Heron ( similar to the Great Egret) which I was able to snap a picture after he flew away and landed on the other side of the pool.   Lillian Stokes says "This is actually a subspecies of the Great Blue Heron, not a separate species. and unusual for this location as it is usually found more south of here in Florida."  From her blog post go here.
Here are some videos of Pond Apple and the Wood Storks .
Remember to go to my blog and click on the arrows on the video to view.

I must say our birding experiences were great and we must return to this spot again.
We lunched at Jerry's Cafe....Al had a Reuben Sandwich with fries and I had a Seafood Salad served with tomato, eggs, olives and cucumber.   We did some shopping and then headed back to the house just as it began to rain.  No beach today but our timing was perfect for the morning activities.
For dinner, Grill Master Al cooked Pork Chops perfectly seasoned.  We served the chops with yummy baked Sweet Potatoes and a salad of mixed greens.