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Sanibel at Sunrise

Awaiting the Sunrise

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006


I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend a night on Sanibel Island with my daughter. While best known for its long beaches and plentiful seashells, my favorite thing about the island is its sunrises. (The sunsets are beautiful too, but are often plagued by swarms of “no-see-ums” – biting insects almost too small to see).


The south and west sides of the tilted-crescent-shaped island face the normally calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The northeasterly coast is a large nature sanctuary, named for political cartoonist and conservationist J.N. (‘Ding’) Darling.

FireballWe also had an opportunity to cycle through the sanctuary, and kayak across Tarpon Bay. We didn’t go far enough out to see any dolphins or manatees, but we did see plenty of herons and egrets as we paddled in among the mangroves.

Back to the sunrises – while the effect is more pronounced at midsummer, sunrises over the gulf have a languorously slow quality, as the colors shift from black to blue to brilliant red-orange at the moment of dawn. Reflections on the ocean, beach, and tidal strips between the sandbars add to the effect.



Awaiting the Sunrise




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