Monday, May 21, 2018

Time for an Adventure

It's May, and it seems rainy season is here in Florida -- a new adventure. Hurricane damage is almost healed. Lakes, ponds and rivers are re-filling. Vegetation is smiling. Creatures are celebrating new  birth. Time to enjoy an adventure with nature. Need some suggestions?
Check out "10 Adventures and More in Lee and Collier Counties: Florida on Land and Water."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Out for a walk?

Loon Echo Land Trust is a non-profit dedicated to protecting land in the northern Sebago lake region.

In 2017 it celebrates its 30th anniversary with 6700 acres preserved. Currently there are 13 parks preserved for multi-use recreational opportunities.

It was my good fortune to hike Raymond Community Forest, an amazing community vision, consisting of 356 acres including much of Pismire Mountain and a large forested area beside Crescent Lake.

There are 3+ miles of multi-use loop trails offering scenic views overlooking Crescent Lake and a moderate hike up the mountain. What is your pleasure – wildflowers, wildlife, views, photography, or just out for a walk.  I enjoyed viewing a mushroom community growing on a stump.

Check out the Loon Echo Land Trust website at to download a trail map.

A great choice in all seasons.

Trail head parking is located on Conesca Rd.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

ECHO - Reducing Hunger Worldwide

Did you know there is a 50+ acre farm right in North Ft Myers dedicated to reducing hunger one small-scale farm at a time?

ECHO staff and interns develop, test and utilize techniques to promote sustainable hunger solutions throughout the world. Who knew?

I was fortunate to take a guided tour of the farm recently. I learned first-hand what is grown and why. Local sustainability is key. How do farmers get water where needed or vice versa control it? What is the nutritional value? Where do the seeds come from, and how quickly do they mature, critical information for desperately starving people.

I learned something about the fast growing moringa tree. The guide caught my attention when he described the moringa tree as a miracle tree edible from its roots, flowers, leaves, seeds, gum, fruits and bark. Nutritionally speaking leaves are 27%protein and offer 7 x the amount of vitamin C as oranges, 4x the vitamin A of carrots and 4x the calcium of milk by dry weight. In addition to offering more nutrition than spinach, it is used to treat many conditions including malnutrition, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointentinal and hepatorenal disorders as well as compromised immunity. As you might imagine I had to have one of these trees for my Florida home. I will keep you posted on its growth.

So much more to know from creating manure tea for fertilizer to producing methane gas for cooking to creating watering systems to growing in unfriendly conditions. Carpet gardening? Check out the techniques.

There is even a community garden.

I highly recommend the 90-minute tour. Visit the bookstore and shop the global nursery. For hours and additional information check


Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Walk in the Park in Ireland

John F. Kennedy Memorial Park & Arboretum
Did you know there is an arboretum dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy located in County Wexford Ireland between Kilkenny and Waterford?

After Kennedy’s death in 1963 US citizens of Irish origin initiated an idea for a memorial in Ireland. The Irish government suggested it take the form of an arboretum. The Arboretum was opened formally in May 1968 and today boasts 252 hectares, which is 25,200 acres. There are 4500 species and varieties of trees, shrubs, climbing plants and woody ground cover acquired from around the world.

My sister and I had the good fortune of visiting this park on a recent trip to Ireland. Although my photos don’t really do it justice, the views are incredible. The visitor center offers highlights from his family’s life during his time as president.  We were touched by the quality of the exhibits. We loved that the park is a celebration of trees.

There are roads, trails, picnic areas, tea rooms and a lake making this an ideal place for locals to spend the day enjoying. Seasonally, you can even take advantage of the sites via a miniature railway as well as a pony and trap service.

Check out the ongoing activities.