Captiva Island Osprey

Every year, during the first cool weeks of April, our family leaves Indiana for Captiva Island in Florida. Not only are the years of family memories a draw, but the nature that surrounds the small sandy island is the greatest enhancement to our experience. 

It is true peace on earth. As a family, we have been coming for generations and have learned so much from Sanibel and the Captiva Nature Preserves, particularly the famous Ding Darling Nature Preserve.

For centuries, man has been drawn to the area for the shelling, birding and the full culture and lifestyle of the local preservationist. There is immense respect here for the island’s consistent giving. Season after season! Here, if you are a believer, you toss the live shells back, you pick up the trash that has gotten loose, you dim your outdoor lights for the sea turtles to find their way to nest. You fill in the holes dug during the daytime beach recreations, for the sea turtle nesting season begins around May 1st. The turtles only have flippers that move forward. If a female gets caught in a hole, she has no way out. You respect what Mother Nature provides, she is taking care of you-you take care of her.

Curiosity and observation are the heartbeat of the preservationist learning curve. Why are some shells abandoned? Why do the Sandpipers run away from the rushing waves? Which shells are the most prized finds? Naming all of the shells is a favorite beach chair sport.

As I sit here writing by the ocean, there has been an Osprey sitting high in the large Australian Pine tree, and as my curious observation leads to this blog, she has indicated her purpose by fluffing her wings and preening her breast.

The female Osprey will wait on a branch for the male. If courting her, he will provide a large love gift of fresh Sea Trout. Yet for this large female, I noticed this is the only spot of sun on the large branch ample for her to dry off using the wind and the high noon sun. She stayed perched through the hot noon sun, just long enough for us to become acquainted and her lover to bring lunch!

Onward to Growing a Beautiful Life!

– Gardening Love, Carrie

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