The House of Stone and Branch
Once he thought
That coral and pine
Were the gnarled stuff
From which he might build
His tropical house, an architecture of light
Sprung from the ground.
Seasoil and salt grape
And the skysweet mango
Would blossom there
Under his hands,
Among the quick lizards
And slow scorpions.
— Laurence Donovan
Dog Island 9781561642847
History Sunday: Myakka
Though renowned for its beauty and diversity, the Myakka is not the pristine stream G.O. Shields described in the 1800s. When the land was first acquired for a state park in the 1930s, the priorities were to prevent lightning fires from burning, to minimize flooding of the river, and to prevent the lakes from...
Gardening Saturday: Natural Florida Landscaping
Some natives will thrive in your landscape while others won’t. Why? The answer is that the ones that thrive are probably a part of the natural grouping of natives that once grew in what is now your yard. The soils around your foundation may be imported fill dirt used to raise your home above...
Nature Friday: Florida’s Seashells
Seashells on beaches satisfy the searcher in each of us. They have all it takes to trigger the collection compulsion—beauty, variety, mystery, intrigue, and a pocket-sized form. Seashells also happen to be scattered upon one of our favorite places, where a barefoot, sandy-seaside stroll can reveal a bounty of collectibles even to a casual...
Ghost Wednesday: Ghost Tales from the Oldest City
. . . the attic once contained an old wooden coffin left by a physician who lived and practiced in the home. One day the owners heard an unfamiliar noise coming from the attic. They knew there was no one else in the house and chalked it up to their ghosts. The sound persisted...
Travel Tuesday: St. Johns River Guidebook
The upper (southern) part of the St. Johns, especially below Hontoon Island, has an unspoiled beauty, partly because much of the undeveloped land on either side is owned by county, state, or federal agencies that plan to keep it that way forever. Not only do these peaceful, uninhabited stretches evoke what Florida must have...
Poetry Monday: Causeway
Now that the causeway spans the channel
The venerable ferry is up for sale.
Mainland traffic edges out, bringing
Timetables, souvenirs, a new breed of trader.
The islanders go indoors, harboring their secrets.
But the birds line the causeway railing
To get a better view. Perched midway
Between tradition and progress, they enjoy
A little of both weathers, the dark
Ancestral green and...
History Sunday: Barrier Island
The melting of glaciers across the globe began about 18,000 years ago, producing a rapid rise in sea level. The ocean was about 350 feet below its present level when the glaciers were at their maximum. Sea level rose about a centimeter (2.54 cm = I inch) per year for several thousand years. This...
Gardening Saturday: Florida’s Best Herbs and Spices
The first step in starting an herb and spice garden is to choose an appropriate location. While a few herbs will grow in shaded areas, most require at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun per day. Some northern herbs, such as lemon balm and lavender, require shade during the summer. They may...
Nature Friday: Our Sea Turtles
The world’s largest turtle lives and grows on a diet of clear, watery, jellylike animals. The revelation is a bit like hearing from a champion weightlifter that they have never eaten anything but cucumbers. How could a leatherback be the biggest and grow the fastest by feeding on animals that are 96% water? The...