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Trip to wildlife refuge

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Old Friday 28th February 2003, 14:45   #1
Fab
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Trip to wildlife refuge

Hubby and I are planning to go to Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge in the month of March. Buddies at the camera club tell me it's even better than the Everglades, so I can't wait to be there. It's about two hours from Miami, on a barrier island on the Gulf side of Florida. Including the home page of the place if anybody has the time or desire to check it ot, and will be reporting and posting the results. Anybody here know the place?

http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/index.html

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Old Friday 28th February 2003, 21:03   #2
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I can't say I've ever been to Florida however the name of the Refuge intrigues me, where did the name Ding come from? was it named after somebody?
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Old Friday 28th February 2003, 21:43   #3
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Jay Norwood Ding Darling: A Famous Cartoonist

Jay Norwood Darling was born in Norwood Michigan, in 1876. He spent much of his youth in Sioux City, Iowa, when that Missouri River town was a gateway to unspoiled prairies. He attended college in Wisconsin and South Dakota. .

An affable, dynamic, and talented man, Darling began his cartooning career in 1900 with the Sioux City Journal and retired fifty years later. After joining the Des Moines Register as a cartoonist in 1906, he began signing his cartoons with the nickname Ding - derived by combining the first initial of his last name with the last three letters.

Winner of Pulitzer Prizes

Conservation and politics were Darling s abiding passions. Concerned with pollution and extinction of wildlife, he worked these themes into his cartoons. An avid hunter and fisherman himself, Darling used his cartoons to emphasize that regulations governing these sports should observed. As a conservationist, he believed that people can benefit from nature without damaging it.

Mr. Darling Goes to Washington

In July 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Darling to head the U.S. Biological Survey, the forerunner of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. In this capacity, Darling battled for greater national attention and expenditures for conservation. Darling was responsible for securing some $17 million for wildlife habitat restoration. He established the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and made great strides toward bringing hunter and conservationist together. He also pioneered leadership in the field of proper game management.

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

For many years, Darling had a winter home in Florida on Captiva Island. Through the efforts of his island neighbors and the J.N. Ding Darling Foundation, a refuge was created on Sanibel Island from land donated by concerned citizens and land acquired by the federal government. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge has protected habitat for wildlife since 1945. It was renamed in Jay Norwood Darling s honor and officially dedicated to him in 1978.


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Old Friday 28th February 2003, 22:08   #4
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I've never visited Ding Darling, but it's the granddaddy of national wildlife refuges in the US -- a Holy Grail, so to speak.

A dear friend owns a condo on Sanibel Island (where it's located) only about 10 minutes from the refuge. I've been trying for years to get down and visit her there, but it just hasn't happened yet.

I've heard nothing but raves about the place for years and years.

HOWEVER.....Florida has been suffering from a drought for several years, and it's undoubtedly impacted numbers there. That's not to say that you won't have a wonderful time there.

If you're going to be in the area for very long, another spot you might consider is Corkscrew Swamp, which is southeast of Fort Myers (the city closest to Sanibel, and with the nearest airport). It's roughly 90 minutes from Ding Darling, I'm told. The wildlife there will be more similar to what you would see in the Everglades, but I hear that what you can see from the boardwalk is astounding -- the birds are quite used to humans and don't flush away as easily as they might.

Again, being a swamp, Corkscrew will have been impacted by drought, but I wouldn't let that stop me.

I've even heard several people say they much prefer Corkscrew to Ding Darling.

There's also a terrific wildlife rehab hospital on Sanibel -- I cannot, for the life of me, remember its name at the moment -- but they have hours during the day when the public can stop by and see their work. I've heard it's absolutely terrific.

Sanibel and its sister island, Captiva, also provide some of the finest sea-shelling in North America.

Hope you have a wonderful time -- I'll look forward to your report!
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Old Friday 28th February 2003, 23:53   #5
Fab
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Thank you Beverly, I'll definitively look into Corkscrew. I believe, if they have a boardwalk, birds can get easily used to people. I'll try and post a pic from one boardwalk in Everglades Nat Park, so you see the amount of birds sunbathing next to the boardwalk.
I'm really looking forward to Ding Darling, specially to spoonbills, never had one in front of me, only see them flying in the distance.

Cheers,

Fab
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Old Saturday 1st March 2003, 03:47   #6
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Now, that's a MESS o'cormorants! Neat pic, Fab!
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