Friday, September 30, 2011

Exploring the Inlets and Waterways of the Gulf

A few friends in our art league took time off Wednesday to explore the inlets and waterways of the Caloosahatchee river and the Gulf. It was a mini-vacation of sorts, and allowed all of us to take a breather from painting to explore the wonders of the place where we live.

Some of these photos will be background for future paintings, and some will actually end up as the focal point or center of interest. Cameras were flashing as we enjoyed the sky, the elaborate cloud formations, and the reflections of boats, pilings and piers in the water.

We decided that the reason we all get along so well, is that we’re all weird. Yes, artists are a little weird. Our minds flit from one idea to another focusing on color and form in one moment, and in the next lines and shapes. We’re always envisioning our next painting. We have difficulty focusing on other people’s rants as our mind’s have already digested that thought and moved onto the next. We sometimes exist in our own little world and create fantasies in our heads. We have a comedic response to much of life and so laugh a lot.

       Ken and Adrian at the helm.

It was a great day! Graciela and Glen lived on a boat on one of the small islands for more than a year. They claim it as their own. They knew the channels and the back waters with the best of them.

Ken and Adrienne have been boating together since Ken moved here from Vermont. Ken belongs to a boating club and was kind enough to offer his services to the group. We had fish and chips at Burt's Bar, a salty place near Pine Island. On the way we went past the Sanibel Causeway and the Sanibel lighthouse. The views were irresistible, and we paused to cool off in the water and enjoy the beach.

Many mangrove “starts” were floating in the water. I brought one home that had roots, but don’t know whether it will survive in freshwater. There were also starters of Sea Grape which apparently adapts to both salt and fresh water. Graciela picked up a lovely piece of driftwood that she planned to turn into sculpture. Unfortunately, Annie’s bright pink hat blew off in the water, and we had to turn around and retrieve it with no other than Gracie’s driftwood. A piece broke off in the process, but it still looks artistic.

We all came back sunburned and windblown. We were on the water for five or six hours. We had a marvelous time in spite of the wake from passing boats that caused us to ride the waves like a bucking bronco. I asked Diane how she managed to keep her hat on, and as she started to explain, she nearly lost it in the passing wake.

We did see two dolphins that jumped out of the water and then underneath our boat. It was impossible to photograph, they are so fast. Shots of cormorants, pelicans and terns were plentiful. Fishermen on shore made us smile as we watched them wrestle the egrets for their fish. What a beautiful day! What a wonderful gift from God.

Carol has paintings and drawings of pelicans, egrets, ibis, heron and other water birds on her web site at