Friday, June 12, 2009

A Sanibel Friday & Sea Grapes

Today we went to resident access 2 off of West Gulf Dr. We had to go say goodbye to friends from the Netherlands that are heading home after spending 5 weeks on the island. It was very hot today, 92 degrees, and the sea breeze hardly helped to keep us cool. The water temp in the Gulf is 87; very clear and clean looking. Most of the Manatee Grass is gone now and there weren't very many shells on the beach. There were some small shells coming in a few places where we walked.







Going back out the beach access, I noticed that the sea grapes were hanging full of fruit. These grapes are food for some of our native birds and mammals. They also provide a habitat for animals. Sea grapes are also very important to help to stabilize sand dunes and to help protect structures from storms. You see them growing as low bushes or tall hedges. The state of Florida has a statute to protect this plant, because of it's importance. I believe that on the beach area, we are allowed to trim the plants no more than 4 feet from the ground or 25% of the total leaves. If you want to take out a native species plant you have get a permit and also replace it with another native species.

5 comments:

Pam said...

Your photo of the sea grapes is wonderful, Tootie. They look so lush. Have you made a sea grape pie yet? Years ago, a Sanibel friend gave me some of the fruit from her shrubs and I made a pie with them, using a recipe in an old island cookbook. It was a lot of work to prepare and we didn't really care much for the taste, but I'm glad for the experience, anyway.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Sea grape jelly is great on toast.

gpc said...

I think the sea grape plants are so beautiful. I understand that the leaves used to be dried and used for paper, and somewhere I saw some artwork painted or sketched on a sea grape leave. If I were artistic, I would try doing that. I bought some sea grape jelly last year but, as I'm not really a jelly eater, I still haven't tried it. Your blog entry is a good reminder to do that!

Tootie, I am watching (on netflix) the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill -- Lexi might enjoy it!

Mara said...

Just gorgeous pictures!!

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

I've been gone for a week so spent some time reading back through your blogs. Lots of interesting information!! I can't wait to see the turtles. I hope you are able to get some shots of the hatchlings.