Just Chillin’ in Ft. Myers

Ft. Myers, FL

It seems that it’s been a while since our last post, but we’ve just been sitting in Ft. Myers enjoying the weather.  OK, maybe we haven’t been enjoying the weather, as it has been mostly cloudy and cool (for southwest Florida) with a bit of rain and wind mixed in.  So our outdoor activities have been a bit limited during the past few weeks.

We did manage some time with friends we have made in our travels.  We met Steve and Esther on our recent cruise.  They were staying at the family condo in Bonita Springs Beach so one afternoon we drove down for a nice lunch and visit.  They are now headed to Southeast Asia for a tour of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, and we are looking to meet up with them in the future to hear about their exciting adventures.

We also had a great visit with fellow full-timers Steve and Monaliza (The Lowe’s RV Adventure) who are also in Bonita Springs.  They came up to our park for lunch one day and we shared cruise adventures as they had also recently taken a cruise in the Caribbean.

About seven miles from our site at Cypress Woods is a wetland preserve called Six Mile Cypress Slough (pronounced “slew”).  The Slough is a 2,500 acre wetland that is approximately 9 miles long and 1/3 mile wide.  This linear ecosystem is home to a diverse population  of plants and animals, including a few considered to be endangered.

An “Endangered Species” spotted on the trail

While the visitor center was closed (it was Monday), we enjoyed walking the mile and a half boardwalk through the slough.

Birds and turtles (on the left) share a raft

Turtle seating is limited

At one point we stopped to look around and spotted the little guy in the picture below taking a rest in a sunny spot.

Florida Cottonmouth

Further down the walkway we could hear something coming toward us through the brush.  Soon the two young feral pigs appeared.

Soon two more young ones appeared followed by an adult.  None of them appeared bothered by our presence, they were too busy acting like, well, pigs!  A park volunteer we met later said that the pigs are a problem and are trapped and removed from the area when caught.

Bird enthusiasts seem to really enjoy the slough as there are a number of small lakes where a variety of species can be seen.

An Anhinga dries his (her?) wings

One day the weather warmed up sufficiently for a bike outing, so we loaded our bikes into the back of the Jeep and headed for Captiva Island.   After paying a toll ($6) we crossed a bridge and causeway on to Sanibel Island.

The causeway to Sanibel

We then drove about eight miles and parked next to the small strip of water that separates Sanibel from Captiva.  From there we rode the bikes a couple of miles to the end of the island where we knew a small coffee shop was located (its name begins with an “S”).

Captiva island, the Gulf of Mexico on the left

After returning to the Jeep, we spend a little time walking along the shore.  It was a little cool and breezy so the beach was deserted, except for the birds.

Two weeks ago Pam’s mother, Fran, was scheduled to arrive for a visit from her home in northern New York.  But with the below zero temperatures scheduled for that area she didn’t want to leave her house empty and, since the forecast was for cold weather here, we moved her flight reservation to this week.  She was scheduled to arrive today (Sunday) but we got a message last night from the airlines that the first leg of her flight (Watertown to Chicago) was cancelled due to bad weather.  Since there is only one flight out of Watertown each morning, she has been re-scheduled for tomorrow.  Hopefully, she’ll be able to get out of the frozen tundra safely and warm up a bit here for a few days!

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18 Responses to Just Chillin’ in Ft. Myers

  1. pmbweaver says:

    I that “Endangered Species” protected or is it hunting season. Paul wants to know?

    Our friends spend two months on Sanibel Island every year. They never take photos. Thanks for showing me what they see each year. It looks so lovely.

    Great photo of you two, but my favorite is the last one. I like the way you captured the birds in flight, Pam. Great job!

    Enjoy mom!!!

  2. Dave says:

    Oh, I hate Cottonmouths….give me the creeps. Had them in Arkansas. Hope you enjoy your visit with “mom”, if it thaws out enough for her to get down here. –Dave

  3. The snake sighting would give me the jitters for a while! Have fun with mom!

  4. heyduke50 says:

    we were at Captiva just before the colder weather… we are staying in Bonita Springs till the end of January and then moving slowly north…

  5. Sherry says:

    Scary looking snake that’s for sure. I have to wonder where all the feral hogs come from. They seem to be in every undeveloped piece of land just tearing it up. They have done a lot of damage in the state parks I know. Love your selfie. Sure wish I could spend a couple of months on Sanibel or Captiva. Perhaps one day I’ll at least be able to take a bike trip to your coffee shop beginning with S. 🙂 Thanks for the idea. Hope Pam’s mother has a safe trip and the temps warm up for her although if you come from zero degrees even 50 seems like summer.

  6. Gay says:

    What a nice post…..love that kind of “chillin”!
    Our biggest pup Wrecks was bitten by a cottonmouth…he almost died. We lived close to Auburn and rushed him there. He had 2 vials of anti-venom and spent a week in ICU. Be careful!
    What a nice treat to meet up with Steve and MonaLiza!
    Hope your mom arrives safely, the weather cooperates and you all have a great time!

  7. Sanibel and Captiva are so pretty, if you get a chance check out the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, lots of birds! The cottonmouth is quite scary, I’ve never seen one.
    Brenda

  8. Same here just “chill in” with projects in between. Sanibel is on our list too to visit and hopefully we can do it in between our long “to do ” list. Steve’s project # 1 just wrapped up this evening. And we will be happy to show it off to you. Yeah!
    Hope Pam’s mom will have a better weather when she arrives.

  9. Lisa Young says:

    Hoping Pam’s mother arrives safe and sound and the weather warms up for her. It will be wondetful to be together. Enjoy!

  10. Erin says:

    Snake … shudder!!! Those feral bigs are a problem everywhere it seems. When we were in the Smokies, there was a sample trap and informative signage explaining the damage they cause. Have fun with mom when she arrives.

  11. Sue says:

    Sorry that you are literally “chill in” here Florida. Its supposed to be warm isn’t it? All in all we can’t complain, its way better than lots of other places, but still…. Oh and John….thanks soooo much for adding the really close up picture of the snake. I know we all enjoyed it (shudder).
    Looking forward to seeing you soon.
    Sue

  12. Sad to say we lived in FL for 30 years and never visited Sanibel. Maybe one of these years….

  13. Allison says:

    Such a beautiful area. We’re going to have to go there one year and spend some time. It’s incredibly lush. Thanks for showing us Sanibel.

  14. Ingrid says:

    Snakes always scare me when they are coiled up….strike position. When they slither they can’t strike thus I’m not bothered by them. Aren’t you glad you’re not living up in that frozen land any more? Hope mom makes to FL ok and you all have awesome weather 🙂

  15. Cottonmouths….. oooh! They can be very aggresive.
    Hope it’s not too crowded down there in Florida!

  16. Pam says:

    We can sure relate to the “just chillin'” state of mind. Glad to see you are getting in some beach time and biking in spite of the chilly temperatures.

    Don’t forget to check out the World Famous Buckingham Blues Bar near you. They have a blues jam outside in their large backyard patio area every Sunday. Bring your own chairs.

    Enjoy the visit with Mom!

  17. LuAnn says:

    I do not like snakes but I am thinking we may see our fair share when we head to the Everglades.

    We were told by some folks here in Cedar Key that we should go to Sanibel Island and Captiva so your post is timely. Thanks!

    I certainly hope your mom makes it to Florida, particularly given the effort you have all put in to get her there. Even though it has been unseasonably cool here, it sounds like she needs a break from the frigid tundra.

    Hope to meet the two of you. 🙂

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