“Around the World in 80 Shells”

Sanibel Shell Festival 3

The Sanibel Shell Festival will celebrate its 80th year on March 2, 3 and 4 at the newly-renovated Sanibel Community House.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Around the World in 80 Shells.” There will be a special class of competition in both the Scientific Exhibit Division and the Artistic Exhibit Division where each entry must contain exactly 80 shells. This year’s exhibitors are expected from around the United States,  » Read more

Is It A Beanstalk?

Amaryllis plant 2

Several guests have been wondering recently if Ocean’s Reach now has it’s very own beanstalk. But no, it’s an Amaryllis plant that has been growing like crazy.

At the time this photo was taken, the first stem had grown to over 39″ tall, and was almost touching the ceiling when we had it displayed on our front desk!

Once again, we need to thank our gracious owner Nancy G.  » Read more

“CSI” for Wildlife

CSI for Wildlife

Human and wildlife forensics both use science to link a suspect to a crime scene and victim. Yet while human forensic scientists deal with just one species of victim — homo sapiens — wildlife forensic scientists deal with thousands.

Using real life stories from around the world, Dr. Laurel Neme, author of Animal Investigators: How the World’s First Forensic Lab Is Solving Crimes & Saving Endangered Species, will explain how innovative science uses a variety of techniques —  » Read more

Wildlife Watchers

Wildlife watchers

Our guests love the respite of Sanibel and its emphasis on natural surroundings versus commercial development.

Ocean’s Reach is a microcosm of the island. With almost eight acres of wildlife habitat and beachfront property, there is ample space for us humans to share with our indigenous and migratory neighbors. What a delight to have both call Ocean’s Reach “home”!

Make the most of your stay by bringing binoculars,  » Read more

Croquet Anyone?

croquet court 1

croquet court 2

Watch the transformation of our grassy Grove as it’s made into a fabulous croquet court!  A few short hours and a passion for the sport is all that owner Bob B. needed to lay out the court, measuring and marking, to meet the official size requirements.

Bob, a croquet advocate and avid player, not only set up the game for our guests,  » Read more

A Rare Great White Pelican


A female great white pelican spreading its wings among other white pelicans on February 1. Photo by Roberta Schuldenfrei.

Courtesy of the Island Sun:

Hundreds of visitors descended upon the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge one morning earlier this month in hopes of spotting the rare great white pelican, a native of Africa, Europe and Asia who was previously seen visiting Sanibel last February.  » Read more

Get Ready for Spaghetti!

Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner 7

Kiwanis Past President Eric Pfeifer is a veteran at serving up meatballs!

For almost 40 years, the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner has been one of Sanibel’s favorite events.

This year’s event — to be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 4 to 8 pm — will be the first to be held at the newly-renovated Sanibel Community House.

Guests enjoy all-you-can-eat pasta,  » Read more

Welcome to Florida??

Florida, MA

This photo of Florida, Massachusetts, was recently sent to us by guest Ken F. of Chicopee, MA, giving us quite a chuckle.

Ken wrote us: “Makes you want to leave immediately to Ocean’s Reach instead of waiting until May. This is Florida, MA located in the northwestern part of MA. off of RT.2 called the Mohawk Trail. Doesn’t look too warm and inviting!!!”

We may be a bit biased,  » Read more

The Wildest Woman in America

Will Harlan

Carol Ruckdeschel may be the wildest woman in America. She wrestles alligators, eats roadkill, rides horses bareback, and lives in a ramshackle cabin that she built by hand in an island wilderness. A self-taught scientist, Ruckdeschel has become a tireless defender of sea turtles on Cumberland Island, a national park off the coast of Georgia, just across the Florida line.

On Friday, Feb. 24, Will Harlan, author of Untamed: The Biography of Carol Ruckdeschel,  » Read more

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