Posts Tagged ‘Ding Darling National Wildlif Refuge. Jay Norwood Darling’

A flock of roseate spoonbills won the color award of the day when I visited Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. — Wikimedia photo

“I want my children and my grandchildren to live in a world with clean air, pure drinking water, and an abundance of wildlife, so I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to wildlife conservation so I can make the world just a little bit better.” – Bindi Irwin

Cormorants and turtles were also plentiful on the island sanctuary. — Photo by Pat Bean

Favorite Places: Ding Dong, I Thought

The name Ding Darling for a national wildlife refuge fascinated my wandering-wondering brain. So. of course I had to research its origin while visiting Florida’s Sanibel Island sanctuary in 2008.

D’ing Darling in 1918. — Wikimedia photo

The refuge, which is home to a mangrove forest, submerged sea-grass beds and a multitude of birds and other wildlife, was simply named after the island on which it is located when it was created in 1945. It wasn’t until 1987 that the refuge was renamed after Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who used a contraction of his last name — D’ing — to sign his work. The name stuck.

D’ing, as everyone called him, got involved with the refuge when he worked to help keep developers from taking over some environmentally valuable land on Sanibel Island. He also penned conservation cartoons, initiated the Federal Duck Stamp, which supports wildlife habitation, and designed its first stamp. In addition, he was instrumental in founding the National Wildlife Federation in 1936. Lake Darling, a 9,600-acre lake in the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa is also named in his in honor.

All of which makes me a bit embarrassed that my first thought of the refuge was that it must be a “ding dong” place to visit.

The first Duck Stamp, designed by D’ing Darling.

One had to take a ferry to get to the refuge before a causeway was built to the island in 1963. But that old bridge was replaced in 2007, just a year before I visited, with a flyover span tall enough for sailboats to pass beneath. The scenic view from the top was awesome.

I remember the refuge as a place where I got two birds for my life list, a prairie warbler, and a Bahama mockingbird, which at first, I thought, was simply a familiar northern mockingbird. I could have seen the warbler is many other places in the southeastern United States, but the Bahama mockingbird is a rare vagrant that only occasionally can be seen is southern Florida.

But it was the roseate spoonbill flock that impressed me most. I’m a fan of color.

Bean Pat: Daily Echo https://scvincent.com/2018/03/13/wishes-flashfiction/?wref=pil Flash fiction in 99 words.

Pat Bean: is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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