The Art of Parallel Purposes

Photo from Sanibel-Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce


“The island lives of two very different artists can teach us a few things about the commonalities worth conserving in America.”

So begins an interesting article in the National Review by writer Daniel Lee entitled “The Art of Parallel Purposes” which spotlights the differences — and commonalities — of two of the island’s most famous artists:  Robert Rauschenberg and Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling.  » Read more

Limited Edition Keepsake Boxes


In celebration of J.N. “Ding” Darling Refuge’s 75th anniversary, nationally acclaimed island artist Patty Sprankle has partnered with The Nature Store to release a limited series of hand-painted porcelain songbird keepsake boxes.

These exquisite boxes have been individually painted in the artist’s signature style and embellished with gold accents.  The bottom of each box bears her signature and limited-edition number, and a special Sanibel surprise has been painted on the inside of each box.  » Read more

Seventh Heaven

The Beach at Ocean’s Reach


Numbers don’t lie.  And when it comes to Florida and the beachalicious relaxation it offers, the numbers speak for themselves.

Did you know that Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, measuring 1,197 statute miles?

And of that, visitors can enjoy 825 miles of accessible beaches?

In fact, wherever you are in The Sunshine State,  » Read more

A Relic of the Space Race Era


Now this is something you don’t hear of every day …

While the Everglades National Park is a beautiful and beloved nature preserve in Southwest Florida, not many people know that there’s a massive and abandoned rocket testing site nearby. The facility once churned out rockets and missiles for the military, but is now one of the most impressive decaying sites in the state.

Aerojet Dade is an abandoned rocket testing and manufacturing facility located right on the edge of the Florida Everglades.   » Read more

The Mangrove Cuckoo

Photo by Jim Bennight


The Mangrove Cuckoo is the most elusive bird species on the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Mangrove cuckoos, who inhabit dense vegetation, are very still and very quiet. While many bird species found foraging in the treetops are constantly flying with quick motion, the mangrove cuckoo is known to sit in one spot for long periods of time as it only moves its head to spot its prey.  » Read more

BIG ARTS’ 2021 Season


It is a tough, challenging time for all cultural arts organizations around the country, and BIG ARTS on Sanibel is no exception.

The staff has done a remarkable job of anticipating changes, assessing risks and ensuring that best practices, science-based safety and sanitation measures are in place.

And according to Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder, “We are fully ready to go with one of the best seasons in BIG ART’s history.”  » Read more

Odd But Interesting


Now this is a rather odd — but interesting — story behind the creation of Koreshan State Park in nearby Estero, Florida:

Cyrus Reed Teed was an eclectic physician whose experiments in alchemy often involved dangerously high levels of electricity.  In one such experiment in 1869, Teed was shocked so badly that he blacked out.  It was during this period of unconsciousness that Teed insists a “divine illumination” occurred.  » Read more

Ambassador Armadillo


Since 2012, CROW has instituted an animal ambassador program to provide an educational home for animals who are unable to be released into the wild. These animals are used during presentations and programs on campus and off-site for an up close experience with wildlife. The rehabilitation staff spends countless hours training and building trust with these animals so that they can remain relaxed around crowds.

Meet Billy,  » Read more

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