Calm after the storm. . .

Rainbow After the Storm
Rainbow After the Storm (Photo: Alex Masella)
We are incredibly thankful that as damaging as Hurricane Irma was, it was not as devastating a storm as most feared.
Being so near the water, we feared that the storm surge would bring flooding. No flooding, minimal rain and wind damage! We are still without electricity, but expect that on soon.
We have a few minor repairs, and then the Sleepy Sandpiper will be open for reservations again!
Thank you to our friends and previous guests who reached out to us during this storm!
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Least Sandpiper, by Celia Thaxter

Sleepy Sandpiper, Nokomis Beach, 2016

Least Sandpiper

Across the narrow beach we flit,–
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.

The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white light-houses high.

Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,–
One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Or flash of fluttering drapery.

He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?

I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

 

I was delighted to come across this lovely little poem by Celia Thaxter today.  I read it aloud to my children from the 1908 classic Birds Every Child Should Know (affiliate link, free on Kindle.)  It reminded me of all the times they’ve chased little sandpipers up and down the beach.

Reason #1 We Don’t Have A Pool

Alligator in the Pool

SARASOTA CO., FL (WWSB) – The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office responded to call involving an alligator in a family’s swimming pool.

Deputies say, “Luckily, these homeowners took a second look this morning before jumping in to kick off their Memorial Day.”

The 7-8 foot alligator was at the bottom of the swimming pool at the home in a Plantation neighborhood.

We love the water at the Sleepy Sandpiper — and are just a 10 minute walk to the beach. But this is exactly why we don’t have a pool!

#OnlyInFlorida

Can You Spot the Sea Turtle Nests?

The first loggerhead sea turtle nests of the season were spotted on Anna Maria Island, just north of Casey Key and the Sleepy Sandpiper beach house.

Sea Turtle nests are quite common on Nokomis Public Beach. According to Mote Marine Aquarium and Research Laboratory, here are some do’s and don’ts. . .

Here are some “do and don’t” tips to keep our beaches turtle-friendly:

  • DO stay away from sea turtle nests marked with yellow stakes and tape, and seabird nesting zones that are bounded by ropes.
  • DO remain quiet and observe from a distance if you encounter a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings.
  • DO shield or turn off outdoor lights that are visible on the beach from May through October.
  • DO close drapes after dark and stack beach furniture at the dune line or, ideally, remove it from the beach
  • DO fill in holes that may entrap hatchlings on their way to the water.
  • DON’T approach nesting turtles or hatchlings, make noise, or shine lights at turtles.
  • DON’T use flashlights, head lamps or fishing lamps on the beach.
  • DON’T encourage a turtle to move while nesting or pick up hatchlings that have emerged and are heading for the water.
  • DON’T use fireworks on the beach.
  • DON’T walk dogs on any Sarasota County beach other than Brohard Paw Park in Venice. There, dogs must be leashed or under voice control, according to county ordinances.

 

Anna Maria Island Sea Turtles 2017

Learn and Love Where You Are

Learning Phonics
Practicing phonics and letter formation on the beach.

Worldschooling is on the rise.  Families packing up and traveling, kids learning as they go.  Not all of us desire to uproot our lives completely, and yet we can adapt worldschool ideas to our own families, right where we are.

When you visit the Sleepy Sandpiper, there is so much to explore.  Natural history and science can be experienced through the rhythms of the tides, collecting sharks’ teeth, scouting out turtle nests, visiting Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, exploring the Legacy Trail, and observing the birds in the backyard.

Local history can be experienced during the summer camps at Historic Spanish Point and celebrating the Venice 90th Anniversary.

Look at your hometown, right where you are, through the eyes of a worldschool family.  What can you do to embrace learning and exploring right where you are?

 

Collecting Sea Shells

I love walking up and down the sea shore,  inhaling the fresh sea salt breeze. I hear the gentle rhythm of the waves and watch the sunset.

Sometimes I keep my eyes on the sand, letting them follow the tide line, looking for shells.  This article from Travel for Wildlife will equip you to determine whether the sea treasures you find are alive (give them back to the Gulf!) or dead (bring home as a reminder of peaceful beach days.)

(Some of the photos in the article are from Sanibal Island, just an hour and a half south of the Sleepy Sandpiper!)

 

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Seeking Shells, Nokomis Beach October 2016