As we have, for many, many years, my family and I went to visit my in-laws on Sanibel Island, Florida for our winter break. It’s a home away from home. I love the beaches. The restaurants. The kayaking.
And the wildlife.
This year, I got wind of a new place to hang out. Bunche Beach, just over the Sanibel flyway, in North Fort Myers.
The place didn’t disappoint. Pelicans dove for their food as pesky gulls tried to steal it.
A large Great Blue Heron basked on the beach.
While taking a day cruise to Cabbage Key, I was able to see dolphins! They follow the cruise boats daily, without the captain changing course at all. The louder we cheered and clapped, the higher they jumped and the more they rolled.
Even the little ones.
When our time came to an end on the beach, Dave and I folded up our chairs and picked up our bags. I turned to find this guy waddling out from the treeline behind us.
I dropped my chair and raised my camera to get that one shot above. He scurried away so fast, I never got another.
Dave and I laughed. I picked up my chair and we walked along the shoreline toward the entrance and parking lot. A few feet later, a gentleman called to us. “Hey!” he yelled. “Check your bag.”
I looked at my camera bag, but he was pointing to the bag Dave had. In it, we’d brought sunscreen, towels, and books.
The man came closer to show us pictures he’d taken on his phone. “When the two of you took a walk, it came out of the woods.” The picture he showed us, was the raccoon standing on its hind legs, looking into our bag! I wish I’d thought to ask him to e-mail me the picture. It was adorable.
That raccoon, has now inspired a subplot in Book 4.
You never know quite where inspiration will strike.