Friday , September 19 2014
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Florida’s Swallowtail Butterflies

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] My “Butterfly Gardening in Florida” series rolls on with this third installment in which I will focus on swallowtail butterflies. Florida is home to 10 swallowtail butterflies — more than any other state. They are very easy to identify due to their strikingly large size and their ability to glide long distances between wing flaps. Much larger than other Florida butterflies, most swallowtails have distinctive tails on their hind wings. I remember the first time I saw one. Actually, there were two, and they were mating. I’ll never forget it! I still thoroughly enjoy watching ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida

Monarch butterflies. photoS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] It’s summer in Florida. It’s hot, and the butterflies are in full swing. Florida has a year-round butterfly season because of the usually warm weather, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here in Southwest Florida. Some migrate in the winter like Sulfurs (yellow butterflies) and monarchs, but many stay here and flourish. I am going to write a six-part series on the butterflies of Florida. Starting with the Monarchs — probably the most recognized butterfly in the country. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers, all are in the Danas genius, and their ... Read More »

Summer Fun, Island Style

A pelican perches on a post. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] It’s September, statistically the slowest month before the inevitable up-swing into another season, and finding fun things to do locally is getting more challenging. Thus, despite last weeks of record-breaking heat, my best friend, Alicia Cameron, and I set out on our first Goodland kayak journey; no small feat for a couple of full-time moms with full-time jobs. A long-term shortage of recreation time has made me an unwilling indoor-girl — something I’ve always fought by taking last-minute adventures, often throwing caution to the wind. I once found myself clinging to the side of a ... Read More »

MIHS Alley Proposal – Part III

Painting of Cushing inside the Silver Spray painted by Wells Sawyer

By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig Woodward During its Aug. 1 regular meeting, the city of Marco Island Planning Board approved a proposal from the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) to name 11 currently unnamed alleys around the island after major players in Marco’s history. With a vote of 6-1, the proposal was passed onto City Council, but council has yet to set a date to review and consider the proposal. An initiative of the MIHS, the proposal will help mark the 50th anniversary of modern Marco, which begins January 2015. Society members believe it is a good time to ... Read More »

Relay For Life Turns 30!

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig The American Cancer Society of Marco Island is excited to announce that Relay For Life of Marco Island is scheduled for April 18-19 at Mackle Park. Relay for Life is the single largest fundraising event in the world, and in 2015, we are recognizing 30 years of raising funds so that researchers can find treatments, preventative measures and cures for cancer. For Relayers around the world, this anniversary is particularly meaningful as the founder of Relay For Life, Dr. Gordy Klatt, passed away last month from heart failure after a long struggle with cancer ... Read More »

Goodland Gator

‘Ray the Trapper’ attempts to snag the Goodland gator, who made no appearance that day.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] There’s a new predator in town, and he’s causing quite a stir. An alligator rumored to be at least eight feet long has been trolling the canals and causing unease amongst Goodland residents. Buzz about frequent sightings has been swirling for a few weeks now, but following a recent uncomfortably close encounter, a call notifying the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was placed. On Aug. 4, Ray Simonsen Sr., one of Collier County’s four nuisance alligator trappers, came down to assess the situation. “With the influx of fresh water sheeting, and the end of ... Read More »

MIHS Alley Proposal – Part II

Lostman’s Key

By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig Woodward During its Aug. 1 regular meeting, the city of Marco Island Planning Board approved a proposal from the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) to name 11 currently unnamed alleys around the island after major players in Marco’s history. With a vote of 6-1, the proposal was passed onto City Council for review and approval. The proposal is the brainchild of Marco Island historian and attorney Craig Woodward, who worked with several members of the MIHS to come up with local historical figures who were not already recognized in some way around the island. ... Read More »

Succulents in South Florida

Century Plant

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] The average rain fall in South Florida is about 60 inches a year, amazing especially when it mostly arrives in just a few months of the year during our rainy season which runs from June to September. This has not stopped South Florida gardeners from creating cactus, agave and succulent gardens. The interest in these plants are on the rise in the past few years as water prices have increased and water restrictions have been implemented. Usually succulents and cacti are found in hot and sunny locations with poor soil conditions. Well, we have all ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

Volunteer Leaders Make a Difference

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Cancer never sleeps, and at the Marco Island American Cancer Society, we never forget that we are here to finish the fight. We had an amazingly successful 2014 and are actively gearing up for a new season. I have written on several occasions about how we would not exist nor would we even have local events if it weren’t for our volunteers who give their time, talent and treasure to help men, women and children survive cancer and live longer, healthier lives. I am so grateful to our volunteer leaders, and I’d like to ... Read More »

Sweet Victory

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GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] In my experience, especially as a writer, learning about any new place always begins with getting to know its people. I love listening to the local stories, and I’m always eager to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the people that make their town great. I’ve written once before about Goodland’s own, Nick Lemke, and his Shima Dojo at the Greater Marco Family YMCA. To this day, it ranks as one of my most favorite stories. So of course, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do an update on all of the exciting things ... Read More »

Hiking with Henry Lowe: Part Two North of the Isles of Capri

Henry Lowe holds the top part of an old carbide light.
PHOTOS BY CRAIG WOODWARD

COASTAL HISTORY Craig Woodward [email protected] Heading north of Isles of Capri on the hiking trail that was formerly the old Marco Road, I was joined by Henry Lowe and Steve Purcell in an expedition to locate and explore Henry’s former home site, which his family occupied starting in 1939. The old Marco Road began from its intersection with U.S. 41, in the location of today’s Hitching Post, and ended at a ferry crossing in the current Isles of Capri. The road was built around 1912 as part of the Naples-Marco segment of the developing Tamiami Trail which by 1915 was ... Read More »

Surviving Year-Round in a Seasonal Town

Blue sky to the north and a mean storm rolling in from the south came together to pose for a beautiful picture.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] Doldrums – a state of inactivity or stagnation; a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits. The term “summer doldrums” is new to me, but apparently it describes what I’ve been experiencing but successfully fighting off. How does a person of modest means ensure survival when home is a place that lives and dies by the season? I admit, I’m no expert, but this Ohio girl is trying to quickly acclimate to her new home, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. When I think of survival, I think of basic necessities: food, clothing ... Read More »

Butterfly Time of the Year

Zebra longwing Florida state butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] July is here. What does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida, we have a year round butterfly season. While numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here. In spring, summer and fall, the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it ... Read More »

Hiking with Henry Lowe: North of the Isles of Capri

PHOTO BY ALVIN LEDERER

COASTAL HISTORY Craig Woodward [email protected] A conversation led to my taking a walk in the woods with Henry Lowe accompanied by Steve Purcell. We were on an expedition to hike the 1912 old Marco Road and seek out the location where Henry had lived as a child. Armed with bug spray, we headed north of Capri Boulevard and followed a hiking trail into the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Preserve. We quickly found that the trail was not used much as we were forced to climb over fallen trees, push through dense brush and fight heavy vines. Henry pointed out ... Read More »

Home Remedies, Myths or Facts?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy [email protected] There is a saying that insects will inherit the earth. Well, in Florida they already have so we better just get over it. You aren’t the only one looking forward to harvest time in your flower and vegetable gardens, so are your neighbors. I’m referring to insects, of course. And, you don’t want to be hosting a veggie buffet for all the bugs in your neighborhood. Sure, there are effective pesticides that will quickly rid your garden of these hungry invaders, but before resorting to harsh chemicals, why not give some of these popular home remedies ... Read More »

Independence Day

Birds of a feather!! Goodland's favorite winged-resident, Pirate, and his feathered friend, this year's Buzzard Queen. Pretty ladies got a "hello" and a wave.

GOODLAND LIFE  Melinda Gray  [email protected] Living in a seasonal town is still very new to me. Though I am trying to acclimate quickly, many unfamiliar things about my home continue to surprise me. My July 4th memories have always been made of Hallmark staples: red, white, blue, family, fireworks and food. But, they also were tainted by the woes of over-planning and stress. I expected this year to follow that time-tested recipe, sprinkled with a touch of homesickness. The sheer distance from my son, family and friends all but guaranteed a lonely, wistful holiday. Contrary to my expectations, this Independence Day ... Read More »

The Anatomy of a Rumor

Collier County water department workers  directed the light flow of traffic in and out of Goodland on June 16. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] It’s a well-known fact that big news, or any news for that matter, travels fast in a community as small as Goodland. It’s also widely accepted that as news travels farther from its source it tends to lose the original, factual information in favor of a more dramatic, sensationalized version. In short, minor issues feel like major happenings, especially this time of year. I recently experienced this phenomenon first-hand when what eventually proved to be a routine, short-lived inconvenience was all anyone could talk about in the days leading up to the morning of June ... Read More »

The Magnificent Trees of Spring

Golden Chain Tree Flower

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy [email protected] Those of us who have a large piece of property and want some shade need to take these three trees into consideration. All you need to do is take a ride around any of the older neighbors in town and you will fall in love. Try 6th Street — right off of 5th Avenue in Naples — and also 4th Avenue, you’ll be happy you did. First is the royal poinciana (Delonix regia), also known as the flamboyant tree from Madagascar, and once you have seen, it you will know why. I think it is ... Read More »

The Long Trip Home

One last walk along our private Lake Erie beach.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] The mission: a seemingly impossible road trip with the ultimate goal of packing up the last of my worldly possessions. I’ve got to gather what’s left in Ohio and bring it all back home to Goodland. I hear the “Mission Impossible” theme song in my head every time I think about the gravity of the situation, but it’s time to say goodbye to what was and start laying some permanent roots. I will admit, in the weeks leading up to this mission I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Ohio. The daunting 24-hour drive promised to ... Read More »