Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Shipley Trail along the Bailey Homestead Preserve

I was delighted to read that the Shipley Trail was opened to the public while the work continues on the Bailey Homestead Preserve - the progress can be seen from the trail - but being a Sunday, the trail was very peaceful with no workers in sight.
This will be a great spot to visit once it is completed, let me take you along the trail so that you can see for yourself.
This project in progress encompasses restoration/refurbishment of the Bailey home, erecting an observation platform adjacent to the pond, and the construction of a native plant nursery and demonstration gardens along the eastern portion of the property.

As we started along the trail, we quickly saw the one acre pond that was completed less than two weeks ago.

 More than 2 dozen SCCF employees and volunteers spent time planting more than 2,200 trees, shrubs, grasses and transitional wetland vegetation around the perimeter of the pond.

The Bailey Homestead Preserve is located near the entrance to the Shipley Trail, a 2.4 mile hiking and biking pathway which connects Sanibel Roadside Park with Pond Apple Park Trail.

This pond will fill up quickly with wildlife - already a river otter was seen frolicking in the new pond a day after it was completed.

This is lovely to see and read these history facts about the lives of the Bailey family - pioneers in their own way.

My husband Tony - always reading and soaking up information. In the background a bench made from a tree log and pieces of metal roofing.

More work in progress.
Now, let us proceed onward - The Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk

A lovely bench is waiting for company.....sit a bit and watch nature unfold in its most beautiful state.

This bench is in memory of Harris Gilbert (1927-2012) I would venture to say that he is smiling from above as he witnesses the earthlings enjoying the view.
The Shipley Trail took us to the City of Sanibel water retention ponds. This is a much sought after spot by the wildlife.

The road leads to the Pond Apple Trail which is currently closed while being filled with shells and boardwalks, from the look of it - it is progressing more soggy/muddy trail.

There were several immature Black-crowned Night Herons along these body of water, sharing the space with many others....

This lady Anhinga was perched high and watched us as we walked by.

The Tricolored Heron was spotted at the last minute - he was very focused on some fish for breakfast - he paid us no attention.

Several Snowy Egrets too.

This Anhinga lady was happy to just be sitting there - cooling off.
We are now returning toward the Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk.

Isn't that the truth! "In nature nothing exists alone".

A Pond Apple Tree with pond apples present. This tropical fruit tree is native to South Florida. It is also known as Alligator Apple and Swamp Apple - aptly named because it grows in wet/swampy area. The fruit is edible, its flesh is at times pungent to aromatic, it is edible
and can be made into jam. Depending who you talk to - some say it has an agreeable flavor and others think it to be insipid.
I was glad to see that they left some of the dead vegetation in place - and as such was being used by the Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers while we were there.

A beautiful Royal Poinciana tree in bloom - a very lush tropical tree which flowers during the month of June and July. It also has large pods that causes a rattling sound when the wind blows.

Here some of the pods can be seen.

A Wild flower bush - sorry, the name eludes me at this point and I will have to return with its proper identity.
A Swallow-tailed Kite soaring above the new pond while snacking on a small frog.

A gazebo by the pond - with much information about SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). As it is stated...they are dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources, it is a pleasure for me to do a little part as being a volunteer for the turtle patrol program.

 Make sure to take time to visit this new gem in Sanibel, I personally look forward to watch it as it grows and I know that I will be delighted when the wildlife finds it and make it their home.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is just awesome. Lots of work sure went into it, but it looks beautiful.