Sanibel, Florida wildlife at the Ding Darling Refuge is shown in a CBS video

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian, there were many dark days and weeks for Sanibel Island, a place with a global reputation for wildlife, plant life, sunsets, and seashells.

But now, more than eight months since the Category 4 storm struck Sanibel and elsewhere in southwest Florida, there are signs that better days and further ahead are ahead, including the reopening of the Sanibel Islands Visitor Center and Captiva on June 6 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

That would be considered a huge win for the island along with progress being made rebuilding the causeway, some shops and restaurants opening again, the post office back up and running, and people posting photos of the seashells they’ve found on the picturesque beaches that have made Sanibel world famous.

A small but notable victory came on Sunday (June 4) when CBS Sunday Morning, a television newsmagazine that has run on CBS since 1979 and traditionally ends the broadcast with a video showing nature in different parts of the US, arrived at Sanibel.

NBC News anchor visits SWFL: NBC’s Lester Holt Returns to SWFL for Hurricane Ian Series

Sunday’s broadcast ended with a 3-minute, 4-second video taken at the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, one of the top attractions that draws visitors from around the world to Sanibel. The video is a series of sounds and images of wildlife on the refuge filmed by videographer Charles Schultz.

The video description says: “Sunday Morning” visits the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida, where nature is recovering after the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian last year.”

  • One clip shows a newborn bird in its nest near the eggshells and the mother caring for the young.
  • Another clip captures a bobcat preening itself, looking at the camera as it licks its paws.
  • There is also a view of an Anhinga bird drying its wings in the mangroves.
  • And of course a rather lazy looking alligator.

It goes without saying that this is the kind of boost a community recovering from a major hurricane can use. There are no brighter days ahead. They are already here.

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