Florida - nmarkley

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In 2001 we took a short winter trip to Sanibel Island off the coast from Fort Myers, Florida, and have gone back every year since then.  The trips have gotten longer; we now spend 10 days on Sanibel.  There are no traffic lights, no three lane highways, no tall buildings, and refuges cover two thirds of the island.  It is the home of the famous and large Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling was both a Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist and significant conservationist in the first half of the twentieth century.  His biography by David L. Lendt is a good read.   


Our winter sojourn now usually includes a day in  the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary of the National Audubon Society near Naples and a week on Merritt Island visiting friends.  With them we spend our days in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Viera Wetlands south of Merritt Island.  The Merritt Island NWR is a wonderful byproduct of the Space Program.   When rockets are not being sent into outer space, binoculars, cameras and bird books are the order of the day in a beautiful large section of the Kennedy Space Center north of the launch pads.