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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge ---------- Sanibel, Florida

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is named after tenacious political cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling. Darling, a two time pulitzer prize winning cartoonist waged war on what he saw as the destruction of Florida. He was a lifelong conservationist politically active during the first part of the 20th century. Darling served as chief of the Biological Survey during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Darling fought relentlessly against game hogs and for the expansion of the federal wildlife refuge system. In later life, Darling formed the National Wildlife Federation and was its first president.  The Sanibel refuge is an appropriate epitaph to the man and his cartoons.
White Egret
Blue Heron
White Pelicans
Green Heron
Sea Grape
There is fishing in Ding Darling if you have a license. In an intertidal zone you can catch such delicacies as redfish, flounder, sheepshead, blue crab ... an unbelievable abundance. A Brazilian woman caught the fish above as I happened to pass by.

Florida Keys Album February 2012

Thinking about Florida and the future. What is my home state like now? It is barely recognizable to me. Growth is evident throughout the state, so much so, that the state provides a radio station to report on road conditions. Congestion and accidents can bring any road to an instant standstill as the roads are so heavily populated. While travelling along I 75 on the west coast of Florida I instantly understood the congestion issue. If any state in the country needs rapid transit-- it is Florida.
In spite of the crowding, there are still spectacular areas for birding and wildlife. You just have to get up really early to get there.
 The Florida Keys.   T                                                                               
 The Florida Keys - Still Spectacular
Florida Keys Devil Ray 7 Mile Bridge
Bahia Honda Trestle Bridge Old Florida East Coast RR
Old 7 Mile RR Bridge juxtaposed against 1970's concrete span (left).
Banded Brown Pelican, Marathon Florida
 Pelican Head Studies. Marathon, Florida.
 Pelican Footsies.
 Key West Iguana sitting on coquina rock sunbathing.
 Marathon Mural
Old 7 Mile Bridge Sequential Sunsets