Treasure Coast Essay

Mullet time

Oct 20, 2014

  Once again, the mullet are running.  Every year at this time, these little fish migrate by the millions down the Indian River Lagoon, grazing on all sorts if vegetation including algae, which choke up our sea grass.  The mullet, in turn, are food for a wide variety of birds and fish, including sea trout, jack, red drum, flounder and tarpon.  And these fish, in turn, are food for us.  Where mullet are jumping you often see humans fishing.  Which brings up a question asked on the Treasure Coast.  Why do mullet jump?  When I go out in a kayak in September or October, they jump all around me.

When I started coming to the Treasure Coast in the mid-1970s I got hooked on kayaking.  I don’t own a kayak.  I rent them and go by myself or with a group on an excursion put together by a commercial outfit or a nature center.  My typical kayak adventure lasts three hours.  On a group excursion, I stay close to the guide so to hear about the flora and fauna we encounter.  I’ve kayaked on the Indian River Lagoon north and south of Vero Beach.  I’ve been up the Sebastian River and around Pelican Island.  I want to explore the waters farther south on the Treasure Coast.  Once when I was paddli

Best and most

Oct 6, 2014

I’m a sucker for lists of places designated as “the best” or “the most.”  You know, like “the best places to retire.”  USA Today recently named downtown Fort Pierce as one of the most “idyllic and historic main streets in the country.”  The newspaper said: “Swaying palm trees line the sidewalks, and the atmosphere evokes the early 1900s when the city came into its own.”  The article noted that in 2011 Fort Pierce won a Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Of course, there is no Main Street in downtown Fort Pierce.  “Main Street” is meant as a

  Reading about mold in a Martin County government building reminded me that mold can be a serious problem on the Treasure Coast and throughout Florida.  Mold was discovered in the Martin County General Services Field Operations building near Witham Field.  Patches of yellow mold were on the ceiling and a cabinet.  Black mold was oozing from behind a wall-mounted map.  In the early 1990s, the entire Martin County Courthouse was infected with mold.  Mold is a fungus that requires moisture.  Mold spores are in the air all around us.  That is normal.  But we should not let mold accumulate indo

  I propose a toast to Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company on its 25th year of producing fresh-squeezed juice made from Florida citrus.  It was in 1989 that Robert “Bobby” Sexton – grandson of Vero Beach pioneer Waldo Sexton – came up with the idea of turning out a gourmet orange juice, freshly squeezed for each order.  His wife Marygrace Sexton joined him in setting the company up in Vero Beach.  They named the juice after their baby daughter Natalie and put a young woman’s picture on the containers.

Prime time for sharks

Sep 15, 2014

  As the newspaper USA Today recently noted, Shark Week on television is over, but it is still prime time for sharks off east central Florida, including the Treasure Coast.  This is the time of the year when large schools of bait fish are migrating from north to south.  They like to spend the winter where it is warmer, just like humans.  Close behind the mullet, anchovies and herring are hungry sharks – black tip, spinner and sandbar.  The small fish like to swim in the warm shallow water near the shore line.  The sharks follow them.  Unfortunately, that is where humans like to swim and sur

Ri-o, Ri-o, Ri-o.  Will the peacocks leave our Ri-o?  The small and sleepy patch of Martin County called Rio may be in for major development in the coming years.   The post office that opened there in 1893 was called Rio San Lucie.  I assume it was pronounced the Spanish way.  It means St. Lucie River.  Later, people just called the place Rio.

Our busy summer

Sep 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day.  No matter what the calendar says, this is the end of summer.  Kids are back in school.  Parents are back at work.

Indian River County resident John Walsh is back on television tracking down fugitives.  His new series “The Hunt with John Walsh” is shown at 9 p.m.

Beware of these scams

Aug 18, 2014

Law enforcement agencies on the Treasure Coast are warning us to beware of scams over the telephone and by email.  Seniors are often the target.  Here are some scams to watch out for.  You are nearing retirement and are invited to buy into a fund that promises financial returns much higher than normal.  Remember Bernie Madoff?   He bilked investors, including many in Florida, of billions with that promise.  Just say no.  You are told that you have won a lottery, often in another country.  To claim your winnings, all you have to do is pay a fee.

A round of applause, please, for Osceola Park, a charming neighborhood southwest of downtown Vero Beach.  In the fall, a state historical marker about Osceola Park will be erected on the corner of 19th Street and 20th Avenue.  Other Indian River County markers will go up at Historic Dodgertown and the Roseland community.  There are many state historical markets on the Treasure Coast, but this will be the first to recognize a neighborhood in Vero Beach.   Osceola Park contains an impressive number of early 20th century houses.  One was the childhood home of Merrill Barber, who later served a

  If it comes to a fight between All Aboard Florida and St. Lucie Village, don’t bet against the village.  The tiny municipality north of Fort Pierce has a history of taking on powerful interests and winning.  St. Lucie Village – population 599 – is nestled between the Indian River Lagoon and U.S.

Should we add cane toads to the list of alien creatures that have invaded the Treasure Coast?  According to the weekly newspaper 32963, which serves that zip code, a resident of the Vero Beach barrier island noticed his 18-month-old English Setter named Major was foaming at the mouth and shaking his head.  The owner rushed the dog to a vet, who treated Major for venom poisoning from a cane toad.  Apparently, Major had bit a cane toad or licked it or just sniffed it.  Cane toads are big.  They squirt a milky venom from glands behind their ears that can be lethal to small mammals and harmful

Beautiful but deadly

Jul 23, 2014

When you hear it thunder, don’t run under a tree, as Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.

Here’s something to put on your bucket list: Horseback riding on the beach.  You know what a bucket list is – things to do before you kick the bucket.   A horseback ride on the beach is an experience you will always remember.  The only place you can do it on the Treasure Coast is at Frederick Douglass Memorial Park on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce.  In fact, that’s one of the few places in all of Florida where you can do it.   If you own your own horse, you can buy a permit from the St.