In my August 14, 2011 blog post, I SEE MORE WITH A CAMERA IN MY HAND, I wrote about the details I discovered when photographing macro—things I would ordinarily miss when I am not shooting pictures.  Some people would argue that travel photographers miss what is going on around them while they are shooting photos, but those of us who take the time to study our subjects and compose our shots (rather than carelessly snapping away) would passionately disagree.

Sure, there have been plenty of times I have quickly snapped shots on the go when I didn’t have the time and luxury to stop, but given the opportunity, I thoroughly enjoy taking the time to study my subjects.  Beautifully displayed fruit, photographed for my 2011 blog post are a perfect example.  Having a camera in my hand inspired me to stop, study, and shoot.  I left with a greater appreciation of the beauty of the fruits and vegetables I enjoy eating so much, because I saw them as more than just food.

Today, after dropping Bruce off for kayak fishing, I grabbed my camera and took a stroll along the shoreline near the boat ramp.  The previous day, we had seen hundreds of crabs scurrying about in the sand, but we didn’t pay much attention as we launched our kayaks.  This time, though, with camera in hand, I bent down to study these little creatures and see if I could photograph one before it ran off.

Setting the camera to shoot macro, I was able to fill the frame with this little guy that was perhaps an inch wide.  As he stared at me with his claw open and ready to defend himself, I admired his interesting features.  Who knew a little crab could have such fascinating eyes?


ollowing my short stroll along the Guana Reserve shoreline— there was no way I was going to venture too far off the beaten path and meet up with another alligator—I made my way to the beach to enjoy the sound of the Atlantic Ocean waves crashing on the shore.  The tide was low, so the beach was very wide and full of little shells that had been deposited in the sand by the rolling surf at high tide.  As I gazed out at the waves and reflected back on my kayak surfing days in California, I could hear the crunch of the shells underfoot as I made my way along the beach.  I didn’t give it much thought; the sound was appealing to me, so I continued to absent-mindedly walk across the shells.

I had my camera with me, though, and the mood struck to bend down and take a look at what was creating that crunching sound as I strolled along the beach.  At that moment, I discovered just how beautiful all those tiny shells (most no larger than my smallest fingernail) were that I had previously taken for granted and not given much thought about.  I never knew what I had been missing until then—one of life’s little pleasures.






Our last couple of days in Sanibel were beautiful. Overall, the weather was terrific; sunny and mostly on the drier side. There were a few humid days in the middle, but our friends were right about it being a really nice time of the year to be there. There was more wildlife to see in November, though, so we would opt for a fall visit, next time around.

We spent the first part of our last full day going over to Captiva to have brunch at RC Otter’s and check out the Manatees at Jensen’s Marina. RC Otter’s is a very laid back place with a casual outdoor dining area and killer blueberry pancakes (Bruce’s choice) and delicious crunchy granola with fresh berries (my choice).

As for manatees at Jensen’s Marina, we were told by our RC Otter’s waiter, last November, that they can be spotted there all of the time, as long as the water is warm. And, as promised, we saw them last November and during this visit. There were five “sea cows” feasting on the sea grass, next to the dock and just feet from the shoreline. Here is one of them:



The remainder of our afternoon was spent kayaking at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Refuge (see my November posts for more info.). And, I am happy to report that Bruce caught another fish; a legal-sized speckled trout, this time around (Wooo HOOOO!). But, just as he did with the pompano, he released it immediately after I shot this photo:


To wrap up my Sanibel posts, I will include more of my favorite shots from the last couple of days. Stay tuned for a post about our detour, as we made our way back home…




There were hundreds of these crabs running around all over the shoreline! They were quite amusing to watch.


We finally took the opportunity to walk to the lighthouse in the morning, so I could get a shot of the sun shining on the roots of this dead tree.


This cormorant, resting in the shade under the pier, may have been sick or injured, because he just didn’t seem to have the motivation to move as I got up close to it.


We learned that osprey mate for life and always return to the same nest. After mating season, hubby and wife fly off to take separate vacations, and then meet again at the nest for the next round of baby-making.



Snowy egrets have yellow eyes, black bills, and yellow legs. Great egrets are larger in size and have black eyes, yellow bills, and black legs. Both species can always be seen around Lighthouse Pier snooping around the fishermen’s bait buckets, waiting for a handout.



This cute woodpecker had made a home in a dead tree, in front of a house down the street from our cottages.


These signs can be seen along the roadside in several areas throughout the island. They’re no joke!