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Tag Archives: dark

Sensational Sharks: Important Part of the Marine Environment

Bull sharks. SUBMITTED PHOTO

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com If you haven’t heard, its Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week — a week of pseudo-science and, sometimes hilarious, propaganda. Since 1988 — yes for 26 years and making it one of the longest running cable television series — this annual week of television programs on the Discovery Channel has evolved from educational programs that raised awareness of shark population decline and the importance they have in the oceans’ ecosystems to fictitious stories and ludicrous accounts of mega sharks in the waters throughout the world. Entertainment has trumped science, which does not bode well for ... Read More »

Language Has a Slippery Slope

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Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Is there really no escaping the fate of eventually sounding just like our parents? Is today’s music really just noise? (I know mine was to my parents.) Are kids today really wearing horrible statements for clothing just to get a reaction from “us” (as we did to “them” 40-50 years ago)? Is language truly a dying art? Zounds, methinks not. Oh right, no one says “zounds” anymore, and “methinks” it’s amazing that spell check has nothing to say about, well, about methinkings. Or zounds. Huh? Like everything else, language is, of course, constantly evolving. I ... Read More »

The Summer Triangle

Looking high in the East, July 25th at 11PM. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES  By Mike P. Usher  usher34105@earthlink.net We talk about the Summer Triangle consisting of Vega, Altair and Deneb from time to time and once again it is high in the east. This asterism is a relatively recent invention popularized by Sir Patrick Moore about 60 years ago. The three stars of the Summer Triangle are buried deep in the Milky Way, and their constellations are rich in Deep Sky objects. But before looking for any of them, examine the shape of the Milky Way itself. If you are at a dark sky site, you can’t help but notice the ... 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 melinbrya3@yahoo.com 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 »

Summer House With Swimming Pool

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Herman Koch Hogarth/Random House 2014 (USA) 387 pages   “Patients can’t tell the difference between time and attention.”Dr. Marc Schlosser He is back, folks, and he is even more dark and twisted than in “The Dinner.” Actually, those two couples appear positively lighthearted compared to Dr. Marc Schlosser, a general practitioner in the Netherlands whose patient base is composed of actors, writers, artists, celebrities from the creative sector. Dr. Schlosser also serves as the narrator of this story. The title comes from the fact that Marc’s most famous patient, actor Ralph Meier, has ... Read More »

Naomi’s July 4th

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines We are on the threshold of yet another Fourth of July celebration, the most frightening day of my life thanks to the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air and my own raw fear. As I write this, my nights are haunted by nightmares of “Caddyshack” level proportions. Like those poor, unsuspecting gophers, blown out of their subterranean, golf course housing, I head for shelter under a bed, abandoning my stake-out of the fridge. As if this weren’t enough to traumatize an unsuspecting feline, we have ... Read More »

The Glories of Sagittarius

Facing South, 11 PM July 11.SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES  By Mike P. Usher  usher34105@earthlink.net Last column, we gave only a scant glance at this most interesting spot in the sky, so with your indulgence we shall return to it. First notice the nearly full Moon in the sky — how could you miss it? Tonight, it sits quite low in the sky and will not rise much higher. This is because the Moon moves along the ecliptic, and the ecliptic itself is rather tilted, low in the summer sky and high in the winter. Why does the Moon follow the ecliptic at all? The major planets must ... Read More »

Slovenia

An early morning walk in Lake Bled is like walking into a fairy tale. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Located at the northern end of the Adriatic, Slovenia has only 26 miles of coastline. While the Venetian/Mediterranean architecture of the coastal resorts is lovely, the real draw in Slovenia is the natural beauty found in its interior and the charm of the capital city, Ljubljana. Bordered by Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia, and slightly smaller than New Jersey, Slovenia boasts that it is the only country with “love” in its name. Unfortunately, people often confuse Slovenia with Slovakia, a country formed after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia or Slavonia, a region in eastern Croatia. Part ... Read More »

On the Shady Side

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com When most of the flowering plants and shrubs are struggling to thrive in the hot summer sun and waiting for the “cooling” afternoon showers, there is a group of plants that might be a little bit smarter. They thrive in the shade. Not only are these shade plants doing just fine, they are blooming. In Florida, shade takes on a different meaning than the shade “up north.” I don’t think we have the same deep shade areas in Florida as they do up north because the sun is so intense here. It’s lower in the ... Read More »

Do You Suffer From Sugar Hangovers?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com With the holidays behind and in front of us, I’m sure we have thrown our willpower to the wind on one occasion or the other. Whether it was Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduations, Memorial Day, or the upcoming Father’s Day, most of us have succumbed to evil spell of sugar. If you eat clean the majority of the time and can have one cheat treat and get back on the wagon, then this message is most likely not as crucial as it is for the occasional binge eater – you know the type: where one ... Read More »

Protecting Yourself from the Summer Sun

Wide Rimmed Hats are a must. PHOTOS BY PETE RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com Many flats fishermen have their boats set up for efficient casting. This involves minimizing items in the boat that can create obstacles and snags. Most of us fishing out of flats boats do not have bimini tops or T-tops for this reason. Because of this, there is no shade or any way to duck out of the direct sun. We have to dress properly to stay cool and prevent sun exposure. Out on the water, we have sun baking us from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about ... Read More »

Mussaendas in Bloom

Mussaenda 'Queen Sirikit'

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Sightings of the Tropical Mussaendas are becoming more frequent in South Florida gardens. Making them colorful standouts amongst the mainly green Florida landscapes. There are over 150 varieties with only a handful seen here in South Florida landscapes. They are native Africa to Asia and are members of the coffee family (Rubiaceae). This plant also is commonly known as Tropical Dogwood. The names of the different Mussaendas were derived from the names of the First Ladies of Philippine Presidents. Mussaendas are attractive shrubs that can reach the height of 12-15 feet, but can easily keep ... 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 »

26th Annual Easter Sunrise Service

Larry Krejci and JoAnn Criss Krejci model their backpack beach chairs.  This is the first year the two will attend the Easter Sunrise Service as a married couple. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Easter Sunrise Service evokes a joyful sense of community for some and a sacred pilgrimage for others. “It was pure joy, something I wished I experienced sooner,” said Islander Rosemary Tolliver who was overwhelmed the first time she attended six years ago. Tolliver tries to gets there early to watch as the people stream down the beach. She enjoys seeing the different collections of people from various walks of life, families and neighbors gathering and discovering each other in the crowd. “It’s dark when you get there,” she said. “The boats have lights on ... Read More »

Crocs ‘N’ Gators…They’re Here!

You can clearly see the 4th tooth on the lower jaw. This is an easy way to tell a croc from a gator. Photo taken at Wooten’s Nature Preserve.

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Crocodiles and alligators….we’ve got both species on, or very near to, Marco Island. Although they look a lot alike, they are very, very different. Alligators are found primarily in freshwater habitats, and crocodiles are found primarily in saltwater habitats. The key word here is “primarily” because we do find both types of reptile in both types of water. Crocs and gators belong to a group of reptiles called crocodilians, which are the largest of all living reptiles. There are 23 species native to the U.S., and the only place where both species coexist is South ... 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 »

A Beginner’s Guide to (Gulp) Pythons – Part 1

This tricolored heron is feeding in ideal python habitat. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist “I’ve got a snake over here!” “Okay, can you describe it?” “Yes. It looks to be about 6-feet-long, dark brown with black spots and about 3 inches thick.” “Do the spots connect? Do they touch each other? Tell me about the markings on the head.” “The spots a giraffe-like. They do not touch. The head markings look like a dark arrowhead with a lighter line in the center.” “Sounds like you’ve got a Burmese python! Get on the phone and dial 1-888-IVE-GOT1. Give them your GPS coordinates, the closest street intersection or a mile ... Read More »

LCEC line project to continue in 2014

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com On Dec. 9, some Marco Island residents were left in the dark after an aged distribution power line failed. The failure caused stress to a nearby pole which broke. The line went down, leaving a live electrical wire on the ground. The power went out for about 2,200 Lee County Electric Cooperative customers. This incident is one example of why LCEC has been working since the first quarter of 2013 to replace and rebuild the overhead distribution line — wires, poles and associated hardware — along San Marco Road. According to Karen Ryan, an LCEC ... Read More »

Comet ISON Survived?

Looking East, 6:15 AM December 6th. Can you spot Comet ISON? It might have been destroyed on Thanksgiving Day.  SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net At the time of this writing, the ultimate fate of Comet ISON was still in doubt. On Thanksgiving day the comet reaches its closest point to the Sun, (called perihelion by astronomers) and is less than one million miles from the solar surface. At that distance the heat is enough to melt solid iron! On the other hand, the comet is a big chunk of loosely packed ice and dust which is a pretty good insulator; it may well pull through. The odds are around 50-50. Until recently the comet was fizzling out, ... Read More »

Goodbye to Summer

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SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net The rainy season is finally over! The unrelenting clouds made it very difficult to do any stargazing this summer; but we can finally see stars at a reasonable hour so we are rolling back the clock on the charts to 9PM. Tonight is one of the last chances to see a few summer – season stars before they drop into the Gulf of Mexico. Front and center is the not particularly well named Summer Triangle, (this being the middle of Autumn), consisting of the bright stars, Vega, Altair and Vega. Vega and Altair ... Read More »