Great Blue Heron

 
This once endangered bird, the great blue heron, was warily watching Elizabeth from the surf at the public beach on the north end of Sanibel Island, Florida. February, 2001. Photo by Brian Larkin
Photo by Brian J. Larkin. February 2001

Sanibel Island

While Sanibel Island and Captiva Island bill themselves collectively as the "Islands of the Arts," Sanibel struck me as much more the Island of Upscale Resorts. We liked the Sanibel Island Holiday Inn where we stayed for three days. It has a delightfully funky restaurant with surprisingly good food.

Sanibel is one of the rare barrier islands of the world that has an east-west orientation (most lie north-south). One result is sandy beaches and an abundance of shells, which are the source of it reputation as the finest sea shelling spot in North America. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum - the only seashell museum in the U.S. -- is located there.