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Tag Archives: dark

That Reminds Me…

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By Steve Gimmestad steve@coastalbreezenews.com It was sundown on the St. Croix River in late spring. The river rats were gathered on the island as was usual all summer long. Youthful enterprise reared its ugly head as one of the rats proposed a swim across the channel. It was getting dark but three strapping lads stepped up and accepted the proposal. They dove into the cool water and began their odyssey. It was about 200 yards across and the waning moon didn’t help navigation. After what seemed much longer than it actually was, they made landfall on the other side. It ... Read More »

The Glorious Stars of Summer Rise

Looking east, 11:00 PM, June 12, sweeping this area with  binoculars is a rewarding experience. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Look eastwards about 11:00 PM and locate the three stars of the Summer Triangle – Vega, Altair and Deneb. These are quite bright stars, and if you can see any stars at all in the sky tonight, you will see these. The Summer Triangle is not a traditional asterism, but was popularized by Sir Patrick Moore a few decades ago. Vega and Altair are fairly close neighbors of the Sun, which is the primary reason they are so bright, being only 25 and 16 light years away, respectively. Deneb, on the other hand, ... Read More »

Woman’s Club Donates Wigs to ACS

Penny Weidner, Sue Olszak and Sharyn Kampmeyer in ACS resource room. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

By Jessica Hernstadt “Why you are born and why you are living depends on what you are getting out of this world, and what you are giving.” This is the motto of the Marco Island Woman’s Club, and the women clearly live up to its sentiment. The Woman’s Club recently made donations to a multitude of educational and charitable organizations which benefit Marco Island residents. Marco Island’s American Cancer Society office was a lucky recipient of one such donation. With the Woman’s Club’s generous donation, the American Cancer Society purchased 27 wigs, 12 turbans and 40 wig caps, all to ... Read More »

The Southern Cross

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By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net We are going to change our viewing time from our usual 9PM to 11PM until October. There are two reasons for this: 1) The longer days of summer mean it is not fully dark at 9PM, and 2) the rapidly approaching rainy season means early evening clouds blot out the stars. By 11PM there is at least a chance of clearing, although it’s not usually totally clear until after midnight. Did you think you would have to travel to Argentina to see the Southern Cross? Not so! Theoretically, you can see the whole cross (official ... Read More »

Gardenias

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By Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Along with the yellow Tabebuia trees that are blooming all around town in early spring, the gardenias begin blooming. My gardenia facing east started blooming two months ago, and is still going strong. Remember when people ask when gardenias are supposed to bloom to tell them spring to early summer is usually the time, but I always say, plants bloom whenever they feel like it. That is probably the best answer because you can only give an estimate of when things bloom because so much can change with the weather here in South Florida. But when ... Read More »

Do Not Disturb Nesting Sea Turtles

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Submitted Sea turtles have begun nesting attempts in the area. Good time to post a few reminders about proper sea turtle etiquette. It can be thrilling to watch a sea turtle crawl onto the beach at night and dig a large hole in the sand to lay dozens of eggs. Just remember that “Do not disturb” is the best behavior to follow when observing a nesting sea turtle. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks people not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles. Spring is the beginning of sea ... Read More »

Catch Mercury if You Can!

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By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net As the too bright Moon in the east is nearly full, we might as well look westward to a slightly darker sky. Venus is unmistakable as it floats high in the west; it is in fact the brightest object in the night sky other than the Moon. Below Venus, and a little to the right and just above the horizon lies the planet Mercury. Mercury is much more difficult to locate than Venus; at the time and date of the chart it’s only a little brighter than Polaris. During the next several days it will ... Read More »

Do You Eat Chocolate Because it’s Healthy?

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com I’m sure you’ve read the seemingly too-good-to-be-true articles touting that chocolate (dark specifically) is a superfood, or full of anti-oxidants, or can improve memory, or even that it is good for your heart. The question is, are these claims accurate? The answer is… sort of. Despite the claims that one or two squares of quality dark chocolate can “…reduce the risk of death from heart attack by almost 50 percent…” per a WebMD article, science is still investigating these hypotheses. Case in point, Howard Sesso, Associate Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School is leading a ... Read More »

Why Don’t We Just Eat Right?

FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Every day, I inquire each of my clients on how their nutrition is going, and every day, I hear more or less the same type of response from at least one person: a sheepish look followed by an excuse as to why they could not eat right the day before. “Friends are in town so we eat out every night.” “My family is visiting and expects me to cook all of the favorite comfort foods.” “I was just too tired.” “I knew better, but I just couldn’t help it.” “I was stressed, and it calmed my ... Read More »

The Argo Backs into the Sky

Looking Southeast, 9 PM, Feb. 20. Can you make out the stern of Argo? SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Tonight, we look again into the Southeast where the ancient constellation Argo, the ship, is rising stern first into the sky. Argo is no longer counted as one of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky; about two centuries ago it was found to be inconveniently large so it was broken into four separate constellations, Carina the keel, Puppis the deck, Pyxis the compass and Vela the sails. The old Argo is so large and deep in the southern sky that it never is completely above our horizon at the same time, ... Read More »

Afiyet Olsun

Kumpir stands with their baked potato toppings piled high line  the street in the Ortakoy district of Istanbul. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Many people have asked me about the food in Istanbul; we loved it. There was a wide variety of options available, both in terms of eating establishments and food choices. Street food is popular. Red push carts dot the streets and hole-in-the-wall kiosks are located throughout the city. For a quick breakfast or snack any time of the day, there is limit — thin rounds of baked dough that have been dipped in molasses and sesame seeds. During the day, other carts sell grilled corn on the cob and chocolate covered chestnuts. Kumpir stalls sell baked ... Read More »

Big Events Kick-off the New Year

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COASTAL COMMENTS Donna Fiala donnafiala@colliergov.net Happy New Year to all and my wishes for a great year filled with joy, happiness, good health and lots of fun! And speaking of fun, the Smallwood Music Festival will be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the old Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City from 11 AM until dark. General admission is $10 (bring your own chair) or $40 for special seating. All proceeds will benefit the Ted Smallwood Store, a 501(c)3 charity. Among the spectacular array of South Florida musicians who are donating their time and talents for this fundraiser are Wholetones, Raiford ... Read More »

Sirius, Jupiter Rise Tonight

Looking Southeast, 9 PM, Jan. 9. How many moons of Jupiter can you spot with your binoculars? SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Sirius has been known as the “Dog Star” for many centuries, presumably because it is the brightest star in Canis Major, the big dog. Indeed, Sirius is by far the brightest star in the night sky. Long ago, it was thought (wrongly) that in the summertime when the Sun and Sirius were in the sky simultaneously the extra heat Sirius provided caused the season to be hot. Thus, the old phrase the “dog days of summer” was born. Sirius is a good example of a star that is bright because it is close ... Read More »

Viewing at the Zenith

Straight Up - South is at the bottom 9:00PM December 26th. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net Tonight we will look straight up to find the zenith. The zenith is the point in the sky that is directly over your head (nadir would be the point directly under your feet). No one else on Earth shares your zenith exactly, it is yours alone. Draw an imaginary line from Polaris, through the zenith and down to the south celestial pole; this line is called the meridian. On the chart tonight the meridian is the vertical line. When a star crosses the meridian it is said to culminate; it has reached it’s ... Read More »

Naomi Christmas 2014

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FOR THE LOVE OF CATS Naomi & Karina Paape chestergun@comcast.net Dear Fellow Felines, Now that I have — literally — Thanksgiving under my belt (boy, was that turkey and green bean casserole tasty), it’s time to talk about Santa Claws, elves, Christmas cookies (yummy smelling, but deadly for cats), stockings, tinsel, fake snow (what is snow by the way?), glass ornaments, those awful scented candles and, of course, that silly mistletoe your staff stands under in expectation that someone will kiss him or her. For you newbie felines experiencing your first Christmas, the joys of the day are many: dangling ... Read More »

Attack Arthritis!

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FITNESS DIVA Crystal Manjarres Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com Do you or someone you know have arthritis? Maybe it’s mild and more of a nuisance than anything, or maybe it’s so severe that you rely on medication to make it through the day. Depending on the type you have, you may find some relief in improving your diet (although it alone cannot reverse the damage that’s already been done). The two central types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is typically lumped into the too-much-wear-and-tear division with the majority of sufferers being diagnosed with this particular one. Truth be told, that’s not ... Read More »

Everglades City December Wrap-Up

By Pat Newman There is no shortage of things to do in Everglades City the month of December! The holiday season kicks off with the Fourth Annual Swamp Heritage Festival on Saturday, Dec. 6, 10:30 AM-4:00 PM, at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center. The event is a celebration of the rich history and culture of South Florida. There will be demonstrations and exhibits documenting the rugged lifestyle of the area’s earliest pioneers. Also on Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6 are two evening events at the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Stroll the boardwalk after dark on Friday ... Read More »

Look North!

Looking North, 9PM, Nov. 14. What happened to the Big Dipper? SUBMITTED PHOTO

SOUTHERN SKIES By Mike P. Usher usher34105@earthlink.net We hardly ever look north in this column, and it’s time to fix that. Now, locate Polaris, the pole star, by locating the finder stars in the Big Dipper. What? Where is the Big Dipper you say? That’s the first lesson to learn tonight: We have no Big Dipper in the sky on evenings during November and December! To find the pole star, locate the upside down W-shape of Cassiopeia and drop your eye straight downwards. Polaris is the brightest star seen before you reach the horizon. Notice that Polaris is far lower ... Read More »

Come Wiz Me to Ze Casbah!

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By Carol Glassman When we were invited to come to the kasbah/casbah on a recent trip that included a visit to Tangier, Morocco, we agreed to go, not sure what to expect. A little too old and wrinkled to worry about being kidnapped into the white slave trade, and not unrealistic enough to expect Bogie or Bergman in a Casablanca setting, we did however prepare by removing all jewelry, dressing modestly and leaving anything of value on the ship. Thus disarmed, we followed the guide toward the medina. The sidewalks were filled with throngs of youngish, wildly enthusiastic young men ... Read More »

Florida’s Swallowtail Butterflies

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com 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 »