Cindy Smith News :: Photographing Southwest Florida

Posted: 9/19/2014 12:44:21 AM   Page Views 1816   Comments 0

- A week photographing in Southwest Florida- the top of the Everglades-

My mom lives in Atlanta. I live in Vermont. Several years ago I decided that on my trips down to visit my mom I would take some side photography trips and visit places that we did not visit when I was a child living in the South. On this trip I wanted to spend some time photographing southwest Florida, make a trip to see the world renowned Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, the Venice Rookery and other areas around Fort Myers. My trip was at the beginning of December, which is at the beginning of the optimal winter migration. To prepare for my trip I downloaded to my Ipad a copy of Arthur Morris's Guide to the Florida Southwest. It was worth the $50.00 as it helped me to learn more about locations and the birds that I might see at each spot. His driving directions were helpful as well. I will note some of my additions to the guide as I talk about each location

Florida Overview:

Florida is a strange place to me. It is known for its extensive shorebird life, which it does have, but this wildlife seems to be forever squeezed and sandwiched between six lane roads, hotels, and congestion. It was hard for me to reconcile the beauty with the congestion. However, it is easy to understand people's attraction to 80 degree sunny weather in December.

Ding Darling and Sanibel Island (Day #1):

Ding Darling is considered one of the premier wildlife refuges in the United States. Ding Darling is a 4 mile one-way road that is nestled on the east shore of a section of Sanibel Island. Sanibel Island is a tastefully upscale island, but it was a bit of a surprise to me to see how developed the island was that housed this famous wildlife refuge. To get to Sanibel from Fort Myers you must pay a $6.00 fee to cross the long bridge/ causeway that connects the island to the mainland. To enter Ding Darling, you pay a one day fee of $5.00. So once you are on the island it seems that you want to make

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