Immerse in an ECO-Tour and Experience Southwest Florida Islands by Boat

“Captain Brian Holaway is well versed in the intricacies of our unmatched locale. He can guide to and through a multitude of out-of-the way tidal creeks, bayous, keys and islands. More important is his passionate interest and respect for the region. With unique insights from his many explorations and his studies, not only does he identify the birds and wildlife that inhabit our semi-tropical watery land, but he explains their interconnectedness to their environment and each other. In addition, he shares the fascinating history of rugged people who came long before us: Florida Native Indians, the Calusa, the Spanish, the Cubans, early homesteaders, and the wisdom evident in the growth of their culture.

You will come away with great enjoyment and a new understanding of this beautiful place and its history.”

Historian, Betty Anholt
Author of Sanibel’s Story

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The bird life in Southwest Florida is superb.  Today I enjoyed taking photos of this feisty snowy egret and a great egret. They were uncommonly together for this photo. The photo of the birds over the water are willit's. They went by the dock twice as I was leaving . I  turned back around and took over 20 shots of this large group of willit's. Some time you need to just look right in front of you for the best photos. Today was one of those days. Watching the willits fly low on the water,  I was reminded of an old Willie Nelson song," Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Foggy Day On The Water

The fog was at 100 ft visibility when I left the dock. The week can be summed up how Frank Bama felt when Trevor Kane walked into the Lone Palm Airport. I was glad to be on the water.  The cold front in Kentucky 24 hours ago producing snow was now producing heavy fog in Southwest Florida.  I traveled to Cayo Costa with a client that I have guided around the Islands for over 10 years. She and her family are excellent shellers. They have been shelling for decades on Sanibel and the surrounding islands.  The fog continued to get thicker as we traveled north to our destination. Van Morrison's words "Into The Mystic" carried my boat through the fog once again.  The beach was surreal with the fog sounds amplified, dolphin took short breaths close to the shore. I could hear them but not see them. Overhead my friend the red shouldered hawk looked surprised to see me on this foggy day.  He was sitting on a lower than usual branch in a dead black mangrove tree. My client enjoyed the beach and found the biggest common nutmeg shell I have ever seen. It was the size of a small scotch bonnet. Worm shells, moon snails, albino cockles, baby ears and the largest cockle I have ever held in my hand were found.  It was time to travel back to Captiva Island the fog was still present and appearing not to go anywhere fast.  Van Morrision once again took control of the helm this time his words talked about "Someone Like You''.  The fog never cleared.  Always glad to be on the water, fog or no fog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heavy Sea Fog

The fog rolled in today from the Gulf of Mexico at 9:17.  I was only halfway to my chosen destination, Cayo Costa. When this happens it has a way of increasing all five of your senses. The fog was thick on Cayo Costa and added a new dimension to taking photographs.  I saw a  "fog rainbow" for the first time.  Later in the afternoon the fog was patchy and this pelican felt like posing for a picture.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Starfish and Worm Shells

The worm shells are always satisfying to find. This is my collection for the year 2010. I started this collection February 1st. The day after a four day shelling expedition and camping trip in the Everglades. All of these worm shells were found on Cayo Costa. The larger shells in the photos are horse conchs and one large lighting whelk. These shells were found on Pavilion Key in the Ten Thousand Islands in 2009, on a very fast incoming tide. The starfish were found by my niece on Cayo Costa the week before Christmas all dead from strong winds and cold weather. I have been drying them out to send to her. I look forward to sending her the starfish, starting a new worm shell collection and continuing what has already been the best start to a new year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Last week the baby ear shells were rolling in. Tuesday I found 40 of these hard to spot white shells. The baby ear shells above were all found on Thursday. A few nice worm shells were also found. A beautiful live horse conch was observed and all the beauty around it. I placed the live horse conch in deeper water and continued enjoying the sights and smells on the beach.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sanibel Sunset

Some times the best photos are in your mind. Today was one of those photos. I watched the sun glide into the future on Bowmans Beach, Sanibel Island Florida.