A Quick Trip to Sanibel Island, Florida

Hello everyone! Last week we had a wonderful surprise… some friends who have a timeshare over at Sanibel Island, FL, had their plans change at the last minute and, rather than let it sit empty the rest of the week, offered to let us to stay there a couple of days. Sanibel is one of our favorite spots to relax! So, despite our current health issues, we headed over for a mini vacation. Since many of you are stuck in the cold and snow, I thought you might want to turn up the heat, fix yourselves a warm cuppa and enjoy a brief break in the warm sun for a change. Here we go….

One would think being on the west coast of Florida means sunsets on the water, but we were on the south side of the island and actually had gorgeous SUNRISES.

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In the distance we can see Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs and, maybe a bit of Naples.

It’s fun to watch the skillful cast net fishermen. (If you want to watch, press the play button (the white arrow).):

To see the sunset, we have to go to some of the northern beaches, like here at Blind Pass Beach, which is just before crossing over to Captiva:

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If you watch carefully, you can often see dolphins playing in the gulf waters. Here’s a very short video. Press the ‘play’ button (the white arrow).

(Hint: look in the distance toward the left) To my cat loving friends: There are lots of cat’s paw shells on Sanibel and I usually find the most PAIRS (they’re bivalves) here at Blind Pass. Just sayin’. >^.^<

There’s plenty to do on the island. #1 for me is shelling. It’s addictive and no matter how many shells one has, there’s always one more pretty one that HAS to go home.

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Here are some of the shells you might find. And, yes, one of the rangers at the NWR said there ARE seahorses in the water.

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Of course you have to watch out for the live ones… it’s illegal to take them home!

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This guy looked like he was hoarding his own stash of shells, so I left him alone.

Tip: try finding a single tide day where low tide is just before dawn. The tide is stronger and brings in more shells and if you can get out just before dawn, you’ll be treated to nice shells AND a pretty sunrise.

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You can also do the regular things, like sit in the sun – or shade – and read…

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… or make sand castles or something out of the ordinary like an iguana…

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… or a seahorse.

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Another fun thing to do is drive through the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge – I recommend doing this at low tide as all kinds of birds tend to come in then to feed. As of this writing, the fee is $5 per car and you can drive through as many times as you wish. (If you have the lifetime Senior Pass to the National Parks, you get in free.)

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Here’s a short video of the pelicans coming in… Press the ‘play’ button (the white arrow):

There are white pelicans, spoonbills, sandpipers, egrets, ibis and others. The ranger is talking about the anhinga (commonly known as snake birds) that are often see with their wings spread out. Be sure and look up often as you drive through the park and the island… there are numerous osprey nests and there is even a bald eagle in the area.

Near sunset in the park, you can see flocks and flocks of birds coming in to roost. Watch for the mullets who seem to be jumping for joy! lol!

At the visitors center, they have something fun for the artsy-craftsy folk (Well, I THINK it’s for US, tho there were a lot of KIDS there. hahaha). They have a table with raised etchings of various forms of wildlife and plants in the area and a pile of crayons and blank paper so you can make rubbings. I put several together on a page….

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I may have to try that with some of my embossing folders! : )

As you drive through the park, be sure to stop at the mangrove overlook. As you walk through you will see what look like brown ‘knots’ on the mangrove trees. Look closer!

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They’re crawling with crabs! You may also see what look like strings of pearls – those are actually spider egg sacks. The guide said each one may have some 50,000 inside. Yikes! I think they’re basilica orb weavers. When you get out to the water be sure to look down… you may spot some of those seahorses!

Traveler’s tip: be sure to spray yourself with insect repellent before getting out of your car in the park or going to the beach to protect yourself from no-see-ums… those tiny biting midges or sand fleas are so small and fast you won’t know they’re biting until it’s too late.

Ok, lets leave the creepy critters behind and take a look at some of the pretty and unusual plants on the island:

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This one’s called a Necklace Pod (Sophora tomentosa).

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Well, it’s about time for me to cast off. (See what I did there?!) Wink-wink!

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I hope you enjoyed your little trip to Sanibel Island! I’ll be back soon with some pictures from the Naples Botanical Garden to help you hold on until your spring flowers arrive!

Thanks for stopping by!

~D.Ann

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MFT Camp Create – Awesome Ombre – Amazing Card

Hello and welcome back to the second session from My Favorite Things Camp Create crafting cabin!

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This time the focus was on Awesome Ombre.

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I love those fun summer colors! Here’s the inside:

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You can tell I’m starting to do a LITTLE inside some of my cards. Some day I’ll start decorating them up proper. : )

Supplies:

  • My Favorite Things Concentric Circles stencil, Doubly Amazing Die-namic die, and Simply Fabulous Sayings stamp set
  • Papertrey Ink cardstock: Hawaiian Shores
  • Papertrey Ink dye inks: Aqua Mist & Hawaiian Shores; Hibiscus Burst & Raspberry Fizz
  • Coredinations white cardsstock
  • Misc. adhesives

I’m joining the fun in the following challenges. Click on them for more information:

Thus I’ve earned my second badge:

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I’m off to supper. If I don’t get back tonight, I’ll see you tomorrow with the next session. Thanks for stopping by!

~D.Ann

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p.s. any ads on this page are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.

Oh — I almost forgot I wanted to share the gorgeous sunrise at the beach this morning…

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Yes, a cloud must’ve blocked the rays so it cut off a straight edge like that on the upper right. Pretty cool! If you follow that line straight down to the horizon, you can see three points of light in a semi-circle that are actually the sun trying to peek through the clouds. It’s not often I make it up early enough to enjoy this. Usually it’s when I’m in pain and can’t sleep. I grab a frap at Starbucks and go watch the glorious show and meditate on some scriptures and it helps distract me. So, if you’re not close to a beach, at least you can grab a cuppa and sit and enjoy the view – perhaps it’ll distract you, too! : )

 

 

 

The Smallest Things Can Make Your Day: Green Tea Frap, Sunrise & Sundials

Goood morning sweet coffee, tea and cocoa loving fiends… I mean friends! : ) Since some of you are experiencing nasty winter weather, I thought I’d send you a bit of balmy Florida 74 degree sunshine to warm you up and brighten your morning. Now you know why I still consider a Frappuccino a winter card!
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At our southeast Florida beach, you will mostly find small white and cream colored shells… tellins, arks, clams, broken cockles, and occasionally coral bits and cat’s paws. Not the plethora you find over at Sanibel, but just a few hither, thither and yon. Today, instead of drinking my green tea Frappuccino (In case you’re wondering why it’s brown, it’s made with raspberry syrup, YUM!) while comfortably sitting in my car with the windows down and enjoying the sunrise, like usual, I actually got my feet in the sand now that it’s cooled down enough to walk on it without scorching them. I just went down to the went down to the tide line for a couple of minutes to take this picture of the card on some coral rocks with the ocean and sunrise in the background and I happened to look down and found my first sundial ever in decades (not saying how many!) of beach combing! What a pleasant surprise!!
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Ahhh…. a green tea frap, a glorious sunrise and a rare shell… Yep, sometimes it’s truly small things in life that can make your day a whole lot better!!
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The sundial is in the left corner, closest to the purple and beside the amazing neon yellow little shell. What gorgeous creations!
I CASE’d this CAS card from Unity Stamp Company’s quick tip video by Angeline Choo, which you can see at this link that you can copy and past because if I link it, it puts the video in my post and blocks half my post. Some day I’ll get this!Meanwhile, here’s the link:(www.facebook.com/unitystampco/videos/1093341690700443/?theater)
In case you were wondering, the acronyms are for: Clean And Simple (CAS)and CASE, which means Copy And Share Everything, including credit for the person whose card you copied.
I knew it was going to be a frappy day when I finished coloring my card and pulled off the new-to-me 3M Micropore tape that was a gift to me for DIY washi tape. I thought I’d use it to mask the inking and get some inked tape to boot. It didn’t take the distress ink too well and it ripped the top layer of the cardstock. YIKES!
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Fortunately there are fixes for minor disasters such as this, like covering it up with just a pinch of lace!  I daresay that at a first glance you didn’t notice the tear, although now if you go back and enlarge it, you can still see it’s still there, but at least anchored at the top under the lace. I’m sure my friend who often brings me my favorite frap for a treat won’t mind the little imperfection. Life goes on.
Materials used:
  • Core’dinations white cardstock
  • Lil’ Inker Designs Coffee Talk stamp set
  • Memento Tuxedo Black and Rose Bud dye inks
  • Inkadinkado Stamping Mask paper
  • 3M Micropore tape
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Inks: Festive Berries, Picked Raspberry, Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord
  • Tombow mono permanent adhesive
  • Misc. lace

I’m playing along in the following hops and challenges:

Edited to add: Thank you, Lil’ Inker Designs for featuring this card in your You Made It Monday blog feature! (HERE)

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Wishing you a warm (at least in your cup!) and sunny day!

**** Edited to add:

Thank you for the honor of being featured in Lil’ Inkers Designs You Made it Monday! ****

Featured On You Made It Monday Badge

-D.Ann

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