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Tag Archives: nature

Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest

Submitted  There is still time to enter the Ninth Annual Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest, but don’t delay – the deadline is May 6th – just around the corner. The Marco Island Historical Museum has partnered with the City of Marco Island and the Coastal Breeze News to present the Ninth Annual Amateur Photo Contest highlighting our area’s unique flora and fauna. The selection of winners will be exhibited at the museum from May 13 to June 30, 2016. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and what began as a celebration of Earth Day has grown into a photographic tribute to the beautiful ... Read More »

Marco’s Busy Spring

The soft, tilled sand is inviting to this family playing on the beach.

OUR ISLAND ECOLOGY By Chadd Chustz This spring, so much has happened here on Marco Island to remind us that we are stewards of our environment and nature’s inhabitants. Manatee Release  The manatee (identified as RSW1523) was rehabilitated at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa after being rescued on September 28, 2015, for watercraft related injuries in Roberts Bay. It was great to see this “little guy” being released back into the waters of the 10,000 Islands by the FWC at Caxambas Boat Launch Park on Marco Island. Read more about another manatee release in this issue of Coastal Breeze ... Read More »

The Pull of the Moon

Photo by Laurie Kasperbauer
The full moon sets over the Gulf at an early morning Beach Yoga class

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Laurie Kasperbauer lkasperbauer@gmail.com She is our moon. Our tidal pull. She is the rich deep beneath the sea, the buried treasure, the expression in the owl’s eye, the perfume in the wild rose. She is what the water says when it moves. – Patricia A. McKillip The moon. Most of us have gazed at it on a clear night. Maybe even marveled at its changing shape, created by shadows and illumination. Some blame it for changes in mood or behavior. And a chosen few have walked atop its desolate surface, staring back at the Earth, tiny and ... Read More »

2016 City of Marco Island Amateur Wildlife Photo Contest

PHOTO BY TONY SMITH

By Coastal Breeze News Staff This is the ninth year the City of Marco Island will hold its amateur photo contest highlighting our area’s unique flora and fauna. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and what began as a celebration of Earth Day has grown into a photographic tribute to the beautiful Southwest Florida area in which we live. It’s a great competition if you’re a nature lover, a photography aficionado, or you “accidentally” captured that perfect shot. The photo contest begins now and runs through May 6th. You can enter up to four times in varying ... Read More »

Local Gem

One of the ponds at Freedom Park surrounded by Florida flora. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber The joy of discovering someplace new doesn’t always have to involve a long car, train, ship, or plane ride. In the past, I’ve written a few columns on some of the wondrous places right in our own backyard including Shark Valley, Loop Road, and Bird Swamp Rookery. Following all of the rain we had earlier this year, a friend and I set out to hike through Picayune Strand State Forest. As we feared, the ground was too saturated to walk on and another option we explored was also too wet. We then decided to head for ... Read More »

Cuba: From the Beach to the Mountains

The beach at Playa Ancón. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Trinidad, Cuba, featured in my last column, is situated between the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Escambray Mountains to the north. Our visit to Trinidad afforded us the opportunity to see both while staying at an all-inclusive resort. While it may not be held in as high esteem as the popular northern Cuban beach resorts of Varadero, Guardalavaca and Cayo Coco, we thought Playa Ancón was very attractive. A strip of land extending out into the Caribbean, Playa Ancón was developed after the 1959 revolution. Two and a half miles long, the off-white beach ... Read More »

Marco’s Magnificent Estuaries

A green heron hides among the mangroves to surprise an unsuspecting fish.

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Ah, the beauty of those small islands surrounding Marco! Everyone wants to visit them, to see what hides among the roots and branches. Whether you get out by boat, kayak, an ecotour or paddleboard, they are a treasure to behold. The wide array of animals and plants in this area requires some very special adaptations from nature. The Gulf of Mexico lines our western border while fresh water flows from the inland regions to form a very magical combination. This is called an “estuary.” There are quite a few bays and lagoons in our area ... Read More »

Minto: Best in American Living

Entry to The Isles of Collier Preserve: More than half of The Isles’ lands are dedicated to natural habitat and preserve areas.

Submitted The Isles of Collier Preserve in Naples, by Minto Communities, received a prestigious Silver Award at the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) for “Best Mixed Community.” Minto is one of only three recipients to be recognized in this category in the entire country. Winners were announced on January 20 at the 2016 International Builder Show in Las Vegas. The Best in American Living Awards is the nation’s premier award program, continually redefining design excellence for the entire residential building industry. It spotlights the most creative and innovative builders, remodelers, architects, residential and building designers, developers, land planners and ... Read More »

Perfect Shots: Officer Frank Steiger

Frank Steiger’s dedication to his art is
evident in this shot of an alligator’s face;
To accomplish, Frank hid in tall grass a
mere 6 feet away from the predator. PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANK STEIGER

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Many of the beautiful images of nature that grace the cover of Coastal Breeze News were shot by local photographer Frank Steiger. Frank is widely known throughout Southwest Florida, having photographed innumerable Marco Island weddings and events. He is often seen, camera in tow, volunteering his time and talent at the many community events for Christmas Island Style, the Marco Island Police Foundation, and other non-profit groups. But some of our readers who have enjoyed Frank’s photographs for years may not know that Frank is also a Marco Island police officer. Frank first joined the ... Read More »

Come Experience the Everglades

Submitted Join us for a ride in the Everglades! This year the 9th Annual Everglades Bike Ride will be held earlier, on March 13, to accommodate our winter residents. Cyclists will have an opportunity to experience the ride of their choice, at their own pace. In addition to the bicycle ride, all participants will be provided a continental breakfast beginning at 7:30 AM, free bike repairs compliments of Bikes for Tykes of Naples, SAG support for the ride, tour of the historic Smallwood Store Museum in Chokoloskee, and a seafood lunch with a special treat of homemade desserts including calamondin ... Read More »

FIDDLIN’ AROUND

PHOTO BY SUSAN KUBAT

By Kevin Kubat Conservancy Volunteer It’s a warm, sunny day. You decide to visit Tigertail Beach, and when you get there, it’s low tide. You look to the north, toward Hideaway Beach, and you see what appears to be a red carpet covering the sands. A special sort of carpet, as it’s constantly in motion. As you get closer, the carpet suddenly disappears, and you realize that the illusion of a carpet was created by the massing of hundreds of fiddler crabs which have scurried into their burrows as you approached. If you remain very still, the crabs will eventually ... Read More »

Minto’s “The Isles of Collier Preserve” Named Master-Planned Community of the Year; Celebrates Highly Anticipated Grand Opening of The Isles Club

SUBMITTED PHOTOS

The Isles Club, the new clubhouse and amenity center at The Isles of Collier Preserve, is celebrating its grand opening with a public celebration. On Saturday, January 23rd from 12-4 PM, come experience this latest addition to the one-of-a-kind lifestyle offered at The Isles of Collier Preserve in the brand new clubhouse overlooking the sparkling Cypress Waterway. The design of the 16,500 square-foot Isles Club was inspired by the charming coastal cottage style of the original Naples Beach Hotel built in 1888. The Isles Club is distinguished by a stylized cupola and large awning-shaded front porch, and will be the ... Read More »

Discovering Your Way: How We Learn From Nature

Lee Memorial Hospital staff participates in a leadership exercise. PHOTOS BY BOB MCCONVILLE

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist Humans…the dominant species on the planet. We have evolved to a point that we don’t have to rely on other animals for our own wellbeing. We’ve gone from being hunters to farmers to producers of artificial substitutes for food. We’ve domesticated other species to provide nourishment for ourselves. Our social structure now demands that we depend on each other to maintain a sense of community, a balance among ourselves. Skills and instincts that we once had are now less valued. There is a hierarchy of managers, middle managers and laborers now, and the relationships among ... Read More »

Sunshine Fiber Art Exhibit

Submitted Now through February 2016, the fabulous and colorful fiber art of Isle of Capri artist Joanna Sunshine will be both on exhibit and for sale. A percentage of her sales will go to the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The Marco Island Public Library works cooperatively with the Marco Island Center for the Arts to present art shows, such as this one, to the Marco Island community. More than 50 years ago Joanna acquired her first loom, or rather pieces of a loom discovered in a junkyard. Since then there have been floor looms, table looms, back strap ... Read More »

Master Naturalist and Alligator Visit Rose Auditorium

Master Naturalist  Bob McConville and friend. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Submitted You see them sunning themselves along the highway or hear about them visiting a neighbor’s pool. But what do you really know about our Everglades neighbor—the Florida alligator? Master naturalist Bob McConville continues his series of wildlife lectures on January 13th in Rose History Auditorium, this time focusing on the habits and habitat of this formidable reptile. The lecture, which is sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society, begins at 7:00 PM and is open to the public. Joining McConville will be an expert in alligator behavior, ready to explain how these reptiles function in the wild. Also making ... Read More »

A Thankful Year in Review

It was a banner year for  baby dolphin births in our area; Mom Giza shows off her newborn, Freedom. Giza also became a
grandmother this year. PHOTO BY BOB MCCONVILLE

STEPPING STONES Bob McConville Master Naturalist The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails. ~ Wm. Ward   What a fantastic year this has been! I would like to thank the Coastal Breeze News for allowing me to be a part of their team. It has been an honor and I am humbled. I would like, even more, to thank those who read my contributions to this paper. Your positive feedback and constructive criticism have made me a better person (although I like the compliments more than the criticism). One of my ... Read More »

What You Need to Know About Thyroid Cancer

COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, WWW.CANCER.ORG

By Leela Lavasani, M.D. The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that sits over our trachea as it enters our chest. Each lobe of this gland is on average 3-5 cm. in height and 2 cm. in width. Thyroid nodules are growths that occur within the gland, which are very common. Fifty-percent of women over the age of fifty will have a nodule, however 90 percent of these nodules will be benign. What are the symptoms of a thyroid nodule? Most thyroid nodules are asymptomatic, including normal thyroid hormone levels. Very rarely, if a thyroid nodule is large enough ... Read More »

Big Cypress Reception and Film Screening

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Submitted Join former Artist-in-Residence Patricia Cummins, and wildlife filmmaker Richard Kern at 2 PM on Saturday, December 12 at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida. The event is a reception focusing on Patricia Cummins’ recent installation of work, “Big Work at Big Cypress,” at both the Oasis Visitor Center and Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center in Big Cypress National Preserve. Patricia’s collection is an exhibit that reflects the artist’s interaction and interpretation of the landscapes of the Big Cypress. Her pastel and oil paintings aim to connect the viewer to the deeper beauty of this unique landscape. During the reception Patricia will share ... Read More »

Winter Camp at the Conservancy

Parents looking for a fun and educational way for kids to spend time over the holiday break – consider the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Winter Camp. The Conservancy’s long-time favorite, “Wondrous Wildlife” annual winter camp, is scheduled for Dec. 29-30. The two-day camp is designed for second- through fifth-grade children, and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each day will offer a different field trip adventure into Southwest Florida ecosystems. Pricing for the camps are $60 per day for Conservancy members and $80 per day for non-members. “Our annual winter camp has been a hit within our community,” said Rob ... Read More »

Clyde Butcher Exhibit

Clyde Butcher. FILE PHOTO

SUBMITTED The Marco Island Historical Museum is pleased to host fine art photographer Clyde Butcher’s special exhibition “Nature’s Places of Spiritual Sanctuary.” The exhibit, graciously sponsored by the Marco Island Historical Society, is to be on display at the museum from Tuesday, December 1 through Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Butcher is best known for his stunning photography and contributions to public awareness of the Florida Everglades, showing his deep and personal commitment to preserving endangered landscapes around the world. An internationally recognized artist and environmentalist, Butcher photographed and recorded images taken throughout America in his new “Nature’s Places of Spiritual Sanctuary” series. The photographs capture ... Read More »