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Finding Old Florida

Photo by David Mintz, AJC

 

SANIBEL ISLAND, FLA. —

While admiring the reflection of a brilliant sunset on the water, a roseate spoonbill with a glorious fan of pink and crimson plumage swept in from nowhere and scooped up a wiggling flash of silver in its long bill. After gulping the fish down, the long-legged wading bird stood basking in the fading orange-pink glow, watching me watching him.

The scene was so enchanting, I didn’t even bother photographing it, choosing instead to simply enjoy this rare moment of connecting with wildlife. I was at the 6,400-acre J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Fla., and I had come to the southwestern coast of the peninsula in search of “Old Florida,” a place far removed from the theme park mayhem, kitschy mermaid shows and towering Lego figures in other parts of the state.

Was it possible to return to a time when the Sunshine State was a blissful, unspoiled paradise?

I was starting to think so.

So begins the recently published Atlanta Journal Constitution article entitled “Sanibel Island: A Nature Lover’s Paradise.” It touches upon many of our favorite things about the island, and we hope you enjoy it, as well.

To read the full article, click here.

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