BAILEY TRACT | Niki ButcherJ.N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge © 2020
Photographic Story When Sanibel gets crowded, one of the quiet places to walk in is the Bailey Tract. It’s an easy 2-mile loop trail through various inland ecosystems. Clyde and I had spent a couple of weeks on Sanibel, enjoying the island and doing some photography. I decided to scout out the Bailey Tract to see if there was anything on it that Clyde would enjoy photographing and found opportunities for both of us. The next day we returned and enjoyed the afternoon. Thank you, Ding Darling, for saving this special place! The Bailey Tract is named for its first owner, Frank P. Bailey, the late 1800s Sanibel settler whose descendants owned Bailey’s General Store. Like much of Sanibel’s interior before the 1950s, the parcel was a pristine spartina marsh, full of cordgrass and sawgrass — and wet seven to eight months of the year. As more people moved to Southwest Florida, the marshland started shrinking. The area was saved, and eventually, Ding Darling took the obligation of keeping it safe from development by protecting the land. The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Photographed with a Sony digital camera and instead of oil painting with Q-tips and cotton balls, Niki was able to paint using Photoshop. Changing from the old-fashioned way of doing her art, to the new ‘fashion’ of using technology was challenging, but she’s enjoying getting back to her own personal expression. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.