Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wildlife is King on the Island of Sanibel

In an older post,
I wrote about the environment being the school room on Sanibel.

In retrospect, I missed the mark.

The recent and tragic death of a trainer at Sea World made me re-think and re-visit that blog post.

As I wrote in that post, it is true that it is more interesting and more exciting to "study" wild life in the wild. This is easily done on Sanibel through such organizations as the
Sanibel Sea School, the Center for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) and the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation. All of these organizations support Sanibel's wild life without trapping and imprisoning any of it. Their goals are to preserve and protect, and in doing so they hold the wild life close and then let it go. Education is important, but not at the expense of taking wild life out of the wild.

Similarly, in another post I created a little more recently, I spoke about how the residents on Sanibel are so hesitant to report on predator animals like alligators as they don't want to see alligators destroyed. Their feeling was, and to a large extent, is that the alligators were there first and the humans should find a way to live in peace with them.

Contrast these philosophies with the theme parks, circuses, and other so-called entertainment venues where animals are kept in un-natural conditions, some times abused and always denied their instincts to be in the wild. Many of these industries claim that this is the way to learn about wild animal behavior, but is it really? Do we need to entrap dolphins and whales to learn how intelligent they are? Or is all of this "education" just a thinly disguised quest for money using these wild animals as currency for get-rich schemes?

The recent tragedy at Sea World certainly points to the inhumane conditions of the confined whale who just did what he does naturally and ended up taking a human life, tragically, needlessly.

I hope that Sanibel's "live and let live" philosophy might be a good model for a world view on wild life. Let it live free. Let it live in the wild where it belongs. There is no good reason not to do so.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Golfing on Sanibel Island: The Links to Heaven on Earth

Best known for its shelling, beaches, birding and wild life, Sanibel is no slouch when it comes to a good game of golf.

The courses are lovely and offer a range of challenges.

The 18-hole "Dunes" course at the The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, pictured here, features 5,578 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70 . The course rating is 68.0 and it has a slope rating of 123 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Mark McCumber, ASGCA, the Dunes Golf Course opened in 1973. The Dunes course is rated four stars by charges, based on season, a range of $70 to $110 for the 18 courses. The Dunes has a restaurant open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for those looking to add some "meat" to their greens!

The 18-hole "Beachview" course at the Beachview Golf Club facility features 6,400 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71 . The course rating is 70.8 and it has a slope rating of 127 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Ray Fenton, the Beachview golf course opened in 1976. rates Beachview 3.5 stars. Beachview Steakhouse & Seafood Restaurant's in-season hours are now in effect. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days per week from 9:00am til midnight. Relax with your favorite beverage from a fully stocked bar while you enjoy the natural Beachview surroundings.

The 18-hole "Sanctuary" course at the The Sanctuary Golf Club facility in Sanibel, Florida features 6,806 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 . The course rating is 73.0 and it has a slope rating of 138 on Bahia grass. Designed by Arthur Hills, ASGCA, the Sanctuary
Golf Course opened in 2005. The Sanctuary Course has earned 5 stars by The Sanctuary Golf Club is a private golf course and does not offer online tee times to the general public but if you know a member, you will find playing the Sanctuary is as good as it gets!

Both the Dunes and Beachview courses are public and are sanctioned by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of golf. Both courses are set among a beautiful natural, island backdrop.

You just might catch a glimpse of an Eagle or Roseate Spoonbill while shooting your best game.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If I could Make a Commercial on Sanibel.....

Every time I see a tv spot for Key West, Islamorada or the Florida Keys (there are 3 that play consistently in this area), I am both delighted and depressed.

I love the images and the quality of the cinematography. Even if I have never been to any of those places, I would certainly want to go watching the commercials. They are short, sweet and stunning!

But I also feel let down as all the scenes captured could just as easily be on Sanibel Island, and I can't help but feel that the Island is missing a great opportunity in telling the world just how beautiful a little place she is.

Though I may have no ability to persuade the powers that be to spend the necessary monies to create a commercial on Sanibel, quite an expensive undertaking if done correctly, I also run the scenes through my head to envision what the story board would look like.

I would open with a Roseate Spoonbill awakening from a slumber in the first light of dawn. It would take it's head out from under its wing, spread its wings and fly off, a spot of pink in a golden sky. The next scene would show a colorful sail boat also pushing off with sails unfurled and blowing in a gentle breeze. The next segue would be to a family riding their bikes on their way to one of the picturesque eateries where they will have breakfast. Leaping into the following cut will be a school of dolphin, showing off their acrobatic prowess. A late afternoon capture of some gentle waves on the beach washing over a few beautiful shells would be the next order of the day. And the concluding image, though admittedly not very original, will be the iconic Sanibel sunset, skies a collage of purple and orange, a couple clinking glasses of wine to toast the beauty of dusk and the love in their life.

If I could make a commercial on Sanibel.....