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Tag Archives: sun

It’s Time to Welcome Our Flying Winter Friends

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Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist September 21, 2014, 10:29 PM Marco Island time — The Autumnal Equinox is occurring. That imaginary line on our planet called the Equator is closest to the sun. There is an even amount of solar energy in both the northern and southern hemisphere. It is the first day of fall. Over the next few months the earth’s northern half will tilt away from the sun. Here in Florida, we will experience cooler temperatures, but further north a much colder climate will be prevalent. Some areas of the United States have already experienced snow, and ... Read More »

Stay Cool, Beat the Heat While Late Summer Fishing

Kurt is staying cool in the summer sun. PHOTOS BY CAPT PETE RAPPS

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com Out on the water, we have sun baking us from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about reflection. The reflection from the water and the white deck of a boat can be equally as strong as directly from the sun. It is imperative to completely cover up if you want to beat the heat and avoid a bad burn. Sunscreen is the most obvious first line of protection, but there is a lot more to protecting yourself from sun exposure. Wear light colored and light weight clothing. Have ... Read More »

It’s Gator Hatchin’ Time in the Glades

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Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist A few weeks ago I took a walk through several different areas of the Everglades, and there was a very distinct and serene quiet, a sound of silence that was not there in early summer. During the months of May thru July, I could hear the unmistakeable bellowing of male alligators trying to entice the females. Some of these boys have traveled great distances to find a mate. Now, all is calm. Courtship rituals are complete, and females are tending to their nests, waiting for the young to hatch. The males have moved on, ... Read More »

Flat Out Gorgeous

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ARtful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Chances are that if you’re reading this in the paper, you live here year-round, or you are someone revolutionary enough to visit Florida in summer — when the really exotic stuff happens. Yes, it’s hot; it’s buggy; it rains alot. But, the number one complaint among Floridaphiles is that it’s so darn humid. Some days are like breathing through a wet army blanket, but it’s easily worth it to experience the extravagant theater of summer skies. Are you on Facebook? Facebook is flush with South Florida sky photographs, and not just sunrises and sunsets but ... Read More »

Talking Meta Meditation with Jillian Pransky

Jillian Pransky. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Just one conversation with Jillian Pransky gives a person a sense of peace and calm that is hard to come by in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world. You immediately take a deep breath and relax. Your heart rate slows down. Your mind clears. The impact Pransky — daughter of well-known Marco Island artist Phyllis Pransky — has on people has garnered her a great deal of notoriety as a specialist in restorative yoga and yoga therapeutics. She is the director of restorative therapeutic yoga teacher training for YogaWorks and a founding director of Bright Spirit Yoga ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

New Year’s Resolutions in August?

Basic “Summer Fun Health Care Tips” apply. Keep hydrated, use skin and lip protection,  sunglasses for eye protection and don’t overdo the your time in the sun... FILE PHOTO

To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd Few would argue that certain times of the year usher in a renewed focus on health and physical fitness. Each Jan. 1, the “new year” leads to countless New Year’s Resolutions — whether we adhere to them or not. Exercise, eat healthier, etc. Though Southwest Florida enjoys a certain amount of “summer” throughout the year, in most northern areas the pools open on Memorial Day weekend. To prepare, countless Americans diet in anticipation of exposing more skin in the months ahead. Plus, the wise ones buy sunscreen in preparation for the “ray ... Read More »

Florida Bird Migration: It’s All About the Tilt

White Pelicans migrate form north to south when temperatures become cooler. They are in our area during our winter. Below: Swallow Tailed Kites migrate from South America when that continent becomes cooler. They are in our area now until the fall. PHOTOS BY BOB MCCONVILLE

Stepping Stones Bob McConville Master Naturalist Swallow Tailed Kites are here in South Florida right now, but the White Pelicans and other migratory bird species are not. Hmmm….it seems odd that they all do not frequent our area at the same time. Why would that happen? Don’t they all come from the north to winter in our area? Don’t they all come at the same time? The answer is a resounding NO, and it revolves primarily around one factor: the tilt of the earth. Let’s refresh with some basic science classes to figure this out. The earth is in an ... Read More »

Going Fishing? Prepare for Success!

Make certain you have a net ready to bring in your catch. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com South Florida summers are steamy and hot and full of afternoon and evening thunderstorms of varying degrees of intensity, so good preparation and weather awareness is a must for a safe and successful day on the water. It’s often best to plan to leave early in the morning while the air temperatures are still pleasant and the threat of storms is lower than it is during the hot, afternoon hours. Be sure to take along adequate rain gear, should you find yourself caught in a storm. A protective hat, sunscreen, lip balm and ... Read More »

The Magnificent Trees of Spring

Golden Chain Tree Flower

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Those of us who have a large piece of property and want some shade need to take these three trees into consideration. All you need to do is take a ride around any of the older neighbors in town and you will fall in love. Try 6th Street — right off of 5th Avenue in Naples — and also 4th Avenue, you’ll be happy you did. First is the royal poinciana (Delonix regia), also known as the flamboyant tree from Madagascar, and once you have seen, it you will know why. I think it is ... Read More »

On the Shady Side

Shade

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 »

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 »

Sunset and Sand

PHOTOS BY Jessica Simon

By Val Simon val@coastalbreezenews.com My oldest daughter and I went for a relaxing walk on the beach one evening (actually, I walk; she runs). We typically meet back up somewhere in the middle. As we met, I noticed a few sand castles behind me. We decided to take a closer look, and are so happy we did. We found some amazing sand sculptures. Not only were they ornate and complex, but some were built to align with the sun, and we had perfect timing! After admiring a few of the structures, we found the artist, Tom Taylor, sitting nearby enjoying ... Read More »

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 »

Florida’s Easter Bunny: Marsh Rabbits

The Florida Marsh Rabbit. PHOTO BY JEAN HALL

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com The weather is a bit warmer. Humidity is not too high. Fresh breezes make the Gulf a little choppy, and the island is quieter. It’s spring, and that time of year when many, especially those younger than 10 years old, may be keeping an eye out for the Easter Bunny, who may be hiding eggs around their house or yard — or perhaps hiding 20,000 eggs at Mackle Park on April 19 at the annual city of Marco Island’s Spring Jubilee! Though the Easter Bunny may visit just once a year, there is a ... 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 »

Kiwanis Car Show Success

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Cars came rolling into the Kiwanis Car Show early on a sunny morning. Kiwanis volunteers directed 165 drivers to park their automobiles around the Marco Urgent Care Center grounds. The cars were polished and cleaned, and the sun reflected brightly off the chrome. The cars lined up; some opened their hoods or opened their doors or windows to let the spectators do what they do best….look! And look they did, hundreds and hundreds of people came to enjoy the cars. In addition to the viewing cars, the Marco Magic Cheerleaders and the Irish Dancers performed, ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Dicentra
(aka Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Clerodendrum is a beautiful flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

How Did We Get Here?

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Stepping Stones Bob McConville Over the past few months I’ve had the honor to tell you about a variety of habitats and wildlife that thrive throughout our magnificent state. Florida has such a unique and varied ecosystem that supports our plants and animals, and with the exception of our northern border, we are completely surrounded by water. Whether it be freshwater from our rivers, lakes and aquifers, or the saltwater from the gulf, bays or ocean, water seems to be the key to life here. However, it is not the only key. Florida’s environment spans temperature zones ranging from the cooler, ... Read More »