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Bracing Myself

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GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind of fun; so many things to do jam-packed into so little time. Over the last week, the air has once again become thick with an almost palpable anticipation for the sudden influx of tourism that’s just around the corner, and ... Read More »

Seashells by the Seashore

Her doggies.Photos By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Someone asked me recently what I love about the beach. It was then I realized why I’ve always gravitated to the nearest body of water. The Great Lakes stay cool, even in the dead of summer; the Atlantic Ocean’s waves make me feel like a little kid, no matter my age; the Gulf of Mexico is warm and clear, reminding me of the Caribbean Sea, the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen. Despite their differences, every shore I’ve walked along has made me feel like I’m at standing at the earth’s end. At night, ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Splendes (Glory Bower)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 them ... Read More »

The Power of a Kind Heart

The impromptu event ended with a group photo for Margie. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com In my 35 years of being perpetually lost in the big city shuffle, I have never had the pleasure or privilege of witnessing unity and support within a neighborhood like I’ve experienced here. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the small island community of Goodland came together in a very big way with a tremendous show of love and support for one of their own. Nearly 400 familiar faces gathered in Margood Harbor Park to participate in a benefit to raise money for 30-year beloved Goodland resident, Margie Fortune. Two days before Thanksgiving, Margie was diagnosed with colon ... Read More »

What to do With Holiday Plants After the Holidays

Pointsetta

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) The poinsettia is probably the best known and most popular holiday plant. It has been hybridized into many different colors, but I believe red is still the most popular. It’s festive and epitomizes the holiday season. It’s unfortunate that because the price of poinsettias has become so reasonable, most of them end up in the garbage after the holidays, and because I hate to see any plant suffer that terrible fate, here is what you need to do to ensure that your poinsettia, along with several other popular holiday plants, will re-bloom next ... Read More »

An Island Christmas

At our house, even the pets are forced to be merry.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Christmas is just around the corner, and “island-style” holiday preparations are being made all around me. I’m also nearing the one-year anniversary of my big move here in February, and I’ve been reflecting back on this past year in sunny southwest Florida. I’ve never been happier, and my kids are doing really well. We are all making adjustments and thriving, but the holidays are proving an unfamiliar challenge to me and my newly relocated family. This time last year, my brothers and I were digging our cars out from under several feet of snow daily, ... Read More »

Tropical Ornaments Abound

Black Bat (Tacca chantrieri)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com The holidays are here again. Soon, we’ll be unpacking colorful ornaments and decorating our trees. Wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy festive decorations year round? Well, here in Naples, we can. The tropical jewels that bloom in our gardens are as beautiful as any or-nament you can buy at the store. The Dombeya, for example, every home in Naples should have at least one of these beauties. The Dombeya, also known as tropical hydrangea, starts bloom-ing in the fall and usually continues blooming until summer. It’s hands-down the most spectacular winter-blooming plant. Dombeya ... Read More »

Why We Are Thankful

Volunteer of the Year,  Cathy Nelson, with husband John. SUBMITTED PHOTO

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend with family and friends and enjoying the start of the holiday season! I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it is all about being with each other and being thankful for all of our blessings. Here at the Marco Island American Cancer Society we have so much to be thankful for and it’s all because of you – everyone that supports us day in and day out in the fight against cancer. More than 100 years ago, the American Cancer Society was started by ... Read More »

Homegrown Clams

Nick spent most of the day covered head-to-toe; the process of  getting into a wetsuit proved more complicated than I thought. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Does the average seafood lover ever wonder about what is involved in bringing their favorite oceanic edibles to the table? As a seafood lover myself, I’ve always gravitated to the surf items on any menu, but I’ve never really put much thought into how that delicious shellfish came to land on my plate. Where do the clams in my clam chowder come from? I’m a city girl from Ohio, which means they’ve always originated in a can, and until now, that was okay. But since moving to Florida, all of the seafood I’ve eaten has ... Read More »

Fall Color in the Florida Landscape

Alata cassia Candlelabra Cassia

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Summer heat is beginning to subside. and we actually have temperatures in the mornings in the 50s and 60s. The first thing to do is open all the windows and doors. The next step is to start enjoying all the cassias, or sennas, that begin to bloom this time of the year. Cassias are generally known for their fast growth. Let me get this over with now before we all get confused: Cassias and sennas are the same group of plants, but some people with too much time on their hands decided to change the name ... Read More »

Sunshine in Goodland

On the opening night of his exhibit, Donald Sunshine and his wife Joanna greeted every visitor. They are pictured here with Marco Island residents, Judy and Ron Hattendorf.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in my decision to leave Ohio and move here in search of a better life. It’s hard to describe the pride I feel when others get to see my beloved home as I do, but recently I had an opportunity to ... Read More »

More Notable South Florida Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are other notable butterflies we have here in South Florida, and I would like to tell you about one of my favorites — the Buckeye butterfly. A medium-size Florida butterfly, the Buckeye has several eye spots on both fore and hind wings of this very colorful butterfly. These are usually large round spots on the wings that make the butterfly seem much larger than it really is to scare away predators. The Buckeye has a tendency to stay low to the ground and perch in the sun for hours on end, watching for any ... Read More »

Celebrating the Past and the Future

Shell tool artifacts

By Noelle H. Lowery and Craig R. Woodward On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Historical Museum will celebrate the next stage of their evolution with the completion of its newest permanent exhibit about Frank Hamilton Cushing and his famous 1896 archeological expedition on Marco Island. Dubbed “Paradise Found: 6,000 Years of People on Marco Island,” the ribbon will be cut on the exhibit Nov. 15 during a private donor reception, followed by a MIHS member preview on Monday, Nov. 17. It will officially open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 18. It will ... Read More »

Deck the Halls at GCA’s Annual Holiday Bazaar

Marker 8.5 owner Michael Duncan.PHOTOS By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is just around the corner. It’s almost time for big family gatherings, elaborate meals, decorations and presents; and while I didn’t have the pleasure of being in Florida this time last year, I’m very excited knowing where I will do all of my 2014 Christmas shopping: the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) Annual Holiday Bazaar. Marking its second season at Margood Harbor Park, the annual event will be held on November 15-16, 10 AM-4 PM. Last year, nearly 70 vendors — many from Goodland and Marco — were ... Read More »

The Marco Island Historical Society Presents

Craig Diamond and his ‘Off the Wall Magic Show’. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Marco Island Historical Society has a full slate of events scheduled over the next few months at Rose History Auditorium, ranging from historical perspectives to variety shows. The events begin on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 7 PM, with Dr. Kevin McCarthy and his presentation of “Ten Little Known Facts about the Caloosahatchee River.” McCarthy will fascinate the audience with little known facts about the Caloosahatchee, such as the fact that some famous builders/inventors like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone lived along the river for part of the year and the fact that ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida: The Heliconia Trio

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com This is the second installment in my 10-part series on Butterfly Gardening in Florida. This time we’re going to focus on the Heliconia genus of butterflies, which includes the Zebra Longwing (Zebra), Florida’s state butterfly; the Julia; and the Gulf Fritillary. Let’s begin with the Zebra butterfly, also known as the social butterfly. It travels great distances during the day for néctar, but always returns to the same place at night to roost. Zebras commonly roost together in large numbers, which is why they’re nicknamed social butterflies. While hanging motionless, they are vulnerable. To discourage ... Read More »

Keep Calm and Boat On

Just a few of the 10,000 islands.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Since moving to Florida almost one year ago, I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land, a tourist most times, learning the lay of my new homeland with each different excursion. Until now, the various trips I’ve taken have always been structured with a fairly strict itinerary of stops and attractions, but I can honestly say, I’ve never felt more in control of my recreational destiny as when I went exploring with fellow Goodlander and owner and sole operator of Island Boat Trips Captain Mike Hewitt. Born in England and known locally as “English ... Read More »

American Cancer Society Leads Fight to End Breast Cancer

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AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES Lisa Honig Did you know that the American Cancer Society invests more in breast cancer research than any other cancer type to find, prevent, treat and cure the disease? We’re in every community providing free information and services to people fighting the disease. Today, one in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer turns to us for help and support. Over the past 20 years, we have helped more than 4 million women get potentially lifesaving breast cancer screening tests. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than ... Read More »

Together Again

In one final marathon road trip to Ohio, we brought the boys and their toys back home to Goodland. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com I have to admit that I wasn’t ready; it seemed like only a few weeks had passed since the original plan was laid. The last six months have flown by, though, and now my family is finally back together again. My two younger brothers, Chris and Tyler, and yet another dog, have joined our already busting-at-the-seams household here in Goodland until further notice. I love my brothers dearly, but this isn’t the first time we’ve lived together and heavily relied on one another. I would be lying if I claimed that it’s ever been easy. ... Read More »

Hummingbirds Return in the Winter

Firebush – number two nectar plant. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Years ago when I began my quest to attract butterflies to my garden, little did I know that butterfly gardening came with a bonus? After years of removing turf grass from my yard and replacing it with colorful flowering plants to attract wildlife— particularly butterflies — I no longer have any grass left to mow. During the past couple of fall seasons, I’ve been seeing numerous hummingbirds competing for nectar with our year-round friends, the butterflies. This is such a great thrill! It started a few years ago, with one or two hummingbirds arriving every ... Read More »