Stepping Stones

Everglades Update: Restorations

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  Join Bob at the Marco Island ... Read More »

Finding Neverland…The Marsh Trails

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  “Second star to the right and ... Read More »

Guarding Our Planet – Are We in Trouble?

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  I am worried, truly worried, about ... Read More »

Dolphins of Marco Island

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  Everybody loves dolphins! They always seem ... Read More »

Marco Treasures . . . Under the Sea

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist                                                                                                  May I wish each and every ... Read More »

‘Beyond the Mangrove Trees’ A pictorial look at South Florida

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Dolphins and gators and birds, oh my! Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to take many pictures of various wildlife in our area. Some of the photos are a matter of being in the right place at the right time and others, believe me, are just luck! I’ve looked for an avenue ... Read More »

Talks, Thanks, Tributes and Tears

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist       What makes it rain on Marco Island? Does the Everglades ecosystem play a part in this? Which clouds are rain makers and which are not? These questions will be answered by my guest speaker on November 16th at Rose History Auditorium. A National Park Service Ranger, Luke Gommerman has traveled to ... Read More »

Happy Birthday to…Dolphins

Dolly, Halfway, Nibbles, Rangle, Sparky and Sydney…sounds like a random selection of words from a dictionary. In fact, these are the names of some adult female bottlenose dolphins seen in the Marco waters. So what do they have in common? All of the above gave birth to calves during the month of September! Baby dolphins can be born at any ... Read More »

Local “Lost And Found” Author Heads to TV

Stepping Stones Bob McConville What do you get when you combine high-tech satellite positioning with a search for pirate treasure off the coast of Marco Island? How about a great book with heroes and villains and more twists than a winding staircase. “Lost And Found” is a fictional story by local author and captain, Tom Williams, that was published in ... Read More »

Collier’s Artificial Reefs: The End of the Beginning

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Over the past few months I’ve addressed issues regarding the reef structures here in South Florida on several occasions. Recent visits by my wife, Cathy, and me have resulted in viewing the natural reef formations in the Florida Keys. The unfortunate “bleaching” of these once beautiful structures is caused by numerous factors, and has increased worldwide ... Read More »

Florida Reefs: Old and New

Stepping Stones Bob McConville A short while ago I wrote an article about the decline of the coral reef system in the Florida Keys. Included were some pictures that actually showed a section of a reef and how dramatic the change occurred over a 20-year period. It was not good. The brightly colored corals of yesterday are now gray and ... Read More »

Is “Natural Selection” in Jeopardy?

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist     Since the earliest times of life on Earth, animals, plants and minerals have been changing. Even today, as our planet makes “adjustments,” everything here must do the same. Days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, the rotation of the Earth is slowing, factors such as El Nino and ... Read More »

Crocodiles in South Florida

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Quite often when I’m talking about dolphins on my tours someone will ask the question regarding alligator sightings. I am always happy to respond that gators primarily stay in fresh water or brackish water habitats, and then I mention that brackish and saltwater areas of South Florida are home to many crocodiles and that this ... Read More »

Are the Keys’ Reefs Dying?

Stepping Stones Bob McConville “Live corals on the east side of the Florida Keys are mysteriously dying and algae are taking over that eco-niche. Studies and mapping suggest that a number of natural factors, combined with the effects of human activity, may contribute to the corals’ demise.” – Gene Shinn, U.S. Geological Survey It is well documented that there is ... Read More »

A High Tech Answer to Turtle Egg Poaching

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist          Just a few weeks ago a Florida man was caught stealing more than 100 eggs from an adult female loggerhead sea turtle while she was in the process of laying them. This guy could face a maximum term of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for hisactions. A ... Read More »

This Place Is For The Birds!

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist   Join Bob on July 20th at 7 PM for more details about some of our area birds. This talk will take place at the Marco Island Historical Society’s Auditorium. On May 12th Bob gave a presentation about our birdlife and it was so well received that Part 2 was requested. Admission is free ... Read More »

A Dolphin Update

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist      Everybody loves dolphins. Most people taking nature trips in South Florida want to see one of two things…dolphins or alligators. We’ll forget about the ‘gators today and talk about the other favorite in our area for a mid-year update. On board the Dolphin Explorer you not only get to see dolphins, but ... Read More »

A Great Migration in the Water

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Last month I wrote about one of the great land migrations that takes place on our planet. It wasn’t so much about the long distance of the pattern, but more about the sheer number of animals that participate in this annual trek across Africa’s Serengeti Plain. There are constant comings and goings throughout the year ... Read More »

Great Migration of the World

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Planet Earth is on the move! Every day, somewhere around the globe, some type of animal is on a migration route. Whether the need be food, water, warmth or finding a mate, there is a constant pattern of motion on our planet. Let’s talk about the migration of the largest number of land animals. This ... Read More »