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Along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail

One of the many Green Herons.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified 515 locations throughout Florida as part of The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (GFBWT). The 2,000 miles of “trails” feature excellent bird and wildlife viewing. Highway signs identify each site, and there are guide booklets and a smartphone app available, as well as a very helpful website: floridabirdingtrail.com. At this website, the guide booklets can be downloaded and paper copies ordered. Divided into four geographical areas, each section of the GFBWT has two or three “gateways” with staffed visitor centers that provide information and ... Read More »

A Bit Fit or Nit Wit?

The energy of Spring. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Body, Mind And Spirit Dianne Saywell yogadi77@aol.com Allowing (more like forcing) myself to relax in the adirondack chair under the semi-shade of a big tree in the yard, I contemplated my Fit Bit. Gazing up at the branches of the tree that looked sick or dying, I noticed that they were not bare with illness but full of buds of growth about to spring out! One branch, one bundle of this growth loosely gathered alone at the end of a long branch caught my eye. Then looking down at the thick layer of leaves on the ground, I spotted my ... Read More »

Our Enchanted Hours

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Nearly every day during season, about 4 p.m., our home falls under a spell of enchantment. Music begins to whisper through our thick, backyard foliage from somewhere within the two-story condos that run behind our residential street. When the first tentative strains reach my ears I rise from my desk or easel, as though lightly hypnotized, and make my way to the back lanai… likewise does my husband, from whatever part of the house that was occupying him, with two glasses of wine in hand. We sit by the pool. We listen. It’s live music ... Read More »

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net These are the winning numbers to the quest of the $10,000 Green Marco Diamond Ring. A blindfolded drawing consisting of 40 chart holders in the lottery pick with the correct co-ordinate numbers was held, and only one was chosen. The lucky winner of the Green Diamond Ring was Ms. Darlene Canton of Marco Island. Congratulations Darlene!!! The following is a feeble effort to explain the method of my madness. Many found my quest difficult, but it also caused many to become dazed, confused and utterly confounded. Then, I can say, “Mission Accomplished!” The numbers: ... Read More »

Return of the Ringed World

Facing Southeast, 11 PM May 2. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Now that we stand on the doorstep of May, the days are longer and the nights become cloudier. Usually the clouds are gone after midnight, but that is too late for most casual stargazers; a good compromise is 11 p.m. when the clouds start breaking up. Perhaps you can sneak some stargazing in when you take the dog out for a late evening trip. Saturn returns to the evening sky this month and is well up by 11p.m. Saturn is a magnificent sight in a small telescope; at about 30x to 50x magnification ... Read More »

Bariatric Surgery–much more than a numbers game

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To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd Considering the onslaught of media coverage given to the obesity epidemic in the United States, you may be wondering: why write another? The answer: it’s one thing for the media to report on the problem—it’s quite another to educate the public on possible solutions. If your weight—or the weight of a loved one—is preventing the healthy, active life you’ve imagined, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard can help. In December 2013, Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard received a Center of Excellence designation awarded by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the American College ... Read More »

Diamonds on the Soles of His Shoes

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I believe it’s a verse from a Paul Simon song, and it’s something that can occasionally occur by accident in a jewelry shop that happens to work with really tiny diamonds. It can happen. Crazy you say? I guarantee shoe soles and heels impregnated with industrial diamonds would last darn near a life time or better than that. Imagine how long car tires would last? Diamonds… Just ordinary carbon created by Mother Nature that becomes transformed into something so beautiful and precious with a little help from we mere mortals. Diamonds are an incredibly hard ... Read More »

The Croatian Istrian Peninsula

Along the Lungomare in Opatija.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net The Croatian portion of the Istrian Peninsula is located in northwest Croatia, along the Adriatic’s Gulf of Kvarnar. Historically, this area was ruled first by the Romans, followed by the Venetians and then the Austrians. For a while in the 1920s, the Italians regained control. Although Istria became part of Yugoslavia in the 1940s, many towns still have two official names — one Croatian, the other Italian. A small part of the peninsula also lies in Slovenia and Italy. While visiting Istria, the town of Opatija was our home base. I could easily write of ... Read More »

WHO TAUGHT WHOM?

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Have you ever dreaded something that turned out to be wonderful? Of course you have, it’s part of the whole human experience. I suppose, likewise, we have all looked forward to things that in the end fell short of our desires — but that’s not for today’s discussion. I like this lesson much better… Once upon right now, I teach drawing at Marco Island Center for the Arts, and have for three years. I have always preferred the larger classes because I believe it can be vastly rewarding to students when they interact with a multitude ... Read More »

YOGA: So Much More Than a Pose

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Body, Mind And Spirit Dianne Saywell yogadi77@aol.com Yoga is a sophisticated system, a way of living and a guide for a free and joy-filled life lived authentically. I often refer to the phrase: “Happiness is when what we think, what we say and how we act are the same.” Integrity is defined as the state of being whole and undivided. The opposite of that is being imbalanced, polarized, at unease with oneself and the world. Here is where YOGA comes in. We find in the practice of the pose our obstacles that we have erected and gently inhabit them and breathe ... Read More »

Naomi’s Flea Woes

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines: Kittens, kittens, everywhere kittens! We are in the midst of yet another kitten season, so my paws are full with these loving bundles of fur and fun. Several happy litters are hanging out in my kitty condos and wreaking havoc in my two romper rooms. And guess what? You too can get in on the action thanks to Naomi’s Broadcasting Network. My much anticipated “kitten cam” has gone live. That’s right. For the Love of Cats is now in the reality T.V. business. To check it out, go to ... Read More »

Do You Baby Your Back?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Many of the clients I see on a regular basis come to me because they have injured something or something is bothering them. The majority of the time it is related to a joint: the neck, back, shoulders, hips, knees—you get the picture. One of the most frustrating areas for people is the burden of back pain. From stiffness to stenosis, or even scoliosis, the general consensus is—it’s uncomfortable! Whether it’s the desk potato or the seasoned athlete, we’ve all been there (or will most likely arrive there someday). So what can you do about it? ... Read More »

The Moon Puts on a Good Show

Facing southeast, 3:07 a.m., Apr. 15. Look for the moon near Spica; are you having trouble finding it? It must be the eclipse! SUBMITTED photo

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net During the early morning hours of Apr. 15, the moon will undergo a total lunar eclipse. Unlike its distant cousin the solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to look at as long as you please. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through earth’s shadow; this only happens at a full moon, and the moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic (hence the origin of the word “ecliptic”). Another way to express this is to say the centers of the earth, moon and sun temporarily lie in a straight line or nearly ... Read More »

Diamonds are Still a Girl’s Best Friend

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net A remarkable comeback is underway, and that is a renewed desire for nice diamond jewelry. I’m not talking about the blasé quality stuff (a nice way to say it) offered to the public for the past six years or so, but a true emergence of quality and fineness. I admit I’m guilty. For reasons of survival, I was forced to carry jewelry that customers, in fact, really did not demand but could only afford, such as alternative metals that were in fact not precious and not the highest quality. I kind of felt I was ... Read More »

The Energy of Life

Solar prana. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Body, Mind And Spirit Dianne Saywell yogadi77@aol.com Prana is sanskrit for “life force.” The energy that moves life. The sea awakens to the rise of the sun. Our bodies become upright as the day breaks and the flowers open, often turning toward the sun witness and receive this force of all forces. The river and the birds settle down when the day closes with God’s artwork, the sunset. The energy is ever present and ever changing. Like us. The body of water has high tide and low tide points that can and do literally change the shape of an island slowly ... Read More »

Are You a CocoNut?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Have you ever seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” If not, you’re missing out! If so, you’ll remember how the dad’s remedy for everything under the sun was dousing it with a dash of Windex. This is precisely how I am with coconut oil – seriously! There are SO MANY uses for it it’s ridiculous! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it: As a moisturizer: I get compliments on my skin ALL THE TIME – no lie. People are shocked when I tell them that I only use coconut oil. I ... Read More »

Time for Mars

Facing East, 10 PM March 28th. Look for the Red Planet! SUBMITTED photo

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Mars is now the third brightest object in the evening sky. Only Jupiter and the star Sirius beat it out. Reddish Mars is located near the blue white star Spica, and together the two make an interesting color contrast; also nearby is the bright star Arcturus – an orange giant. Mars is nearing opposition, which it will reach on April 8. When any outer planet is located 180 degrees from the Sun it is said to be at opposition (that is it’s opposite the Sun). The importance for stargazers is that the planet ... Read More »

Is Your Workout Knotty?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Whether you walk or watsu, bike or bend it like Beckham, chances are you have some tight muscles, adhesions or “knots” that put you in a bind. You probably suffer through them, attempt to stretch them out or visit a physical (or massage) therapist to get rid of them. Have you ever tried a foam roller? Dubbed “the poor man’s massage,” a foam roller is an inexpensive tool that was once used exclusively by physical therapists for myofascial release. According to Dr. Karl Knopf, “Some experts suggest that, if not addressed early, minor muscle imbalances (such as ... Read More »

Honoring the Individual

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Body, Mind And Spirit Dianne Saywell yogadi77@aol.com Reclining in the pre-dawn hours of the rainiest camping weekend ever, I sip my coffee in this little, cozy space and feel happy as I watch Fred Astaire conducting a big band orchestra and move his feet in a brilliant, successful attempt to show us what the music looks like through dance. What a talented human being! I am grateful that this talent was recorded through the visual art of filming. Last night, my husband and I were listening to Paul McCartney, as were blessed with a dry period for a couple of hours ... Read More »

To be or not to be… Enhanced

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I may have touched on this subject in the past but the increase in popularity on Clarity Enhanced (C.E.) diamonds have piqued the interest of many that are unaware of the product and process in my shop the past couple of months. Yes, it’s true some jewelers won’t even consider selling them in their stores. I have been dealing with all kinds of diamonds since the tender age of 15 and have been involved in buying from dealers and cutters all over the world. Israel, Amsterdam, Belgium, Boston, New York City, L.A. and beyond! ... Read More »