April – A New Beginning!

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April on the Cape –

April is here, springtime, blooming flowers and plants, winter doldrums are behind us and the beauty of every morning is reflected in the terrific sunsrises and capped with beautiful sunsets. The days are getting longer and nights shorter.  Time to mulch, spread some weed and feed and spruce up the flower beds.  Everyone and everything is in motion a new beginning for a new season.  We celebrate Easter and Passover with friends and family.  And yes April 15th – it’s the day we pay our taxes!  It’s all about April in this issue of Livin on the Cape!

 

Picture12Mr. & Mrs Eagle down the street are coaching their new fledglings to fly – prettty soon they will leave the nest for good and branch out on their own.  They have been coming back to the same nesting site.  I learned that eagles mate for life and make it a point to return to the same nesting site year after year.  Here in Cape Coral the American Bald Eagle is a protected species and nest sites are monitored throughout the season. Construction of any type is not allowed within a specified distance of nesting sites.

Picture10The owl family next door has left after their new hatchling learned to take flight.   For two years now the Great Horned Owl family has returned to the abondoned eagles nest next door to us and each year they have had one hatchling.   It seems that nature is in harmony with all these new beginnings.  And for Cape Coral its a new beginning too – just read that Cape Coral/Fort Myers area is now the 10th largest growth area in the US!

 

It’s Beach Time!!!

Picture2Did You Know…..there are over 20 beaches between Venice and Marco Island?

Over twenty beach areas with pure white sand just waiting for you!  Southwest Florida is known for some of the finest beaches in Florida and is an experience not to be missed!  There are miles of beautiful, white sands sprinkled with an array of colorful shells of many varieties that appeal to visitors and residents alike.  The waters dance in colors of blues and greens, while seagulls and pelicans sing the song of paradise.  An almost endless supply of sunshine is available throughout the year which is just one more reason to enjoy Southwest Florida and the many well known beaches it has to offer.  Whether you are looking for a day filled with shelling, sand castles and sunshine, or a day of fishing and relaxation, or even a romantic getaway, the many beaches of Southwest Florida have exactly what you’re looking for.  There are beach retreats that are only accessible by boat and islands filled with breathtaking shorelines.  There are parks that are the perfect spot for a day of family fun and there are secluded tropical oasis that awaits leisure barefoot walks, tranquility and memories for a lifetime.  There is something for everyone.  Take a look at the beach guide:  SWF Beaches

Take A Walk on the Wild Side!

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 This is the perfect time of year to be visiting the natural preserves in the area.  I had been driving by the preserves on Burnt Store  Road for quite some time and decided it was time to take a hike and walk on the wild side!  I hiked both areas of the Port Charlotte Preserves last week.  It’s quite different than taking a hike in the heavily wooded forests of the Northeast.  I did a lot of hiking in the Adirondacks when I resided in Saratoga Springs, NY and it is a totally different expereince.

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Unlike the tall pine, maple and oak forests of the Northeast the preserves are a miuxture of Flatwood Pines and Cypress trees mixed in with an abundant variety of palm trees and assorted vegetation such as seagrasses and marsh reeds.  Trails are usually open from dawn to dusk and well marked.  There are guided walks available.  I hiked  the Hidden Hammock  trail a 1.5 mile loop at the Port Charlotte State Park Preserve and later hiked the 1.0 mile looop of Eagle Point Trail at Alligator Creek. There is a nature center at the Alligator Pond area with information on local plant and animal life.  An observation deck surrounds the center and stairways lead to the observation dock at the pond.

 

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And yes I was not disappointed and did manage to see the King of the Pond at Gator Pond.  Alligators can be found  throughout the many ponds, lakes and marshes.  One word of caution alligators are protected.  Do not disturb or feed them.  There is a $500 fine for feeding or approaching alligators and the trail is posted with warnings.

 

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Another great venue for the nature lover – The Audobon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 14,000 acre preserve near Naples, FL.  Founded in 1954 it contains the largest virgin Bald Cypress Forest in North America.  A 2.5 mile loop takes you deep into the swamp on an elevated boardwalk  exploring 5 different types of habitats.  .  Bird enthusiast can view different species. I had the opportunity to take some tremendous nature shots with my camera. Allow at least 3 hours for your tour.  There are plenty of viewing areas and rest stops along the trail and you really need to “stop and view”  to get the best out of your expereince.  Blue and grey herrons, wood storks and other bird species abound.  And yes there are alligators in the wet areas plenty of them!

 

 

Some tips on hiking in the preserves!  Wear light loose clothing it tends to get warm and a bit humid.  Sunscreen and a hat – even on a cloudy overcast day there is plenty of UV light available.  Water – bring plenty of water to hydrate.  Wear comfortable walking shoes.  Give yourself plenty of time you are here to observe nature it’s not a streaming video! Turn off you cell phone and disconnect for a while!

 

Links to the preserves:

http://www.checflorida.org/Alligator_Creek.html

http://www.charlotteharbortravel.com/do/beaches_nature_and_outdoors/moreinfo.php?ID=2567

http://floridastateparks.org/charlotteharbor/

http://corkscrewsanctuary.org/

 

Cape Coral/Fort Myers Make the Top 10

Growing By Leaps and Bounds!

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area is the 10th fastest-growing in the country.  A million people now live in Lee and Collier counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Lee County is among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation, according to Census Bureau information released Thursday. Top 10 fastest-growing metro areas
Top 10 Growth Areas   in the US
Area %
1. The Villages, Fla 5.5
2. Odessa, Texas 3.3
3. Midland, Texas 3.3
4. Fargo, N.D.-Minn 3.1
5. Bismarck, N.D. 3.1
6. Casper, Wyo. 2.9
7. Myrtle   Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C 2.7
8. Austin-Round Rock, Texas 2.6
9. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala. 2.6
10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers 2.5
Source US Census Bureau

http://www.news-press.com/viewart/20140327/NEWS0101/140327003/Census-Lee-Collier-population-hits-1-million

 To Your Health!

 

Healthcare!  Its in the news everyday and a solid healthcare system is prime consideration when looking to relocate especially if one is considering retirement.  Great news for Fort Myers/Cape Coral!  HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital  has been identified as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in the United States. As reported by Healthgrades, a leading independent health care rating company. Only 1 percent of hospitals in the nation achieved this level of recognition for their consistent clinical quality based on an unbiased and objective review of clinical outcomes using nine years of data.

 

See the report:  http://www.healthgrades.com/quality/top-hospitals-2014

http://healthylee.com/blog/lee-memorial-hospital-healthpark-medical-center-named-among-americas-50-best-hospitals-top-1-nationwide/

 

Whats Happening in April on the Cape!

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April 2- Sunset Celebration- Enjoy Southwest Florida’s fabulous sunsets on the first Wednesday of every month. The celebration includes live music, and over 50 vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, gift items, and much more! Free Admission.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/sunset-celebration-1

 

 

April 4 & 5- Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta- From the African Queen to Viking Ships to floating turtles, this one of a kind event has something for everyone floating through the bimini basin at Four Freedoms Park in south Cape Coral. Come enjoy watching boat makers float their cardboard boats through the water and see which ones make it to the finish line.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/cape-coral-cardboard-boat-regatta-2014

 

 

 

April 4- Relay for Life More than just a fundraiser, this event is sure to entertain and surprise all while helping a worthy cause. Since 2002, the Cape Coral Relay for Life brings together teams of people camped around local high school tracks taking turns walking around the track continuously for 18 hours, all in an effort to raise money for a cure. Each year the event has raised over $100,000 to battle cancer.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/cape-coral-relay-life-2014

 

 

PrintApril 12- Cape Coral Bike Night- The City of Cape Coral’s Parks & Recreation hosts one the largest collection of motorcycles, live music, food, games and entertainment in Southwest Florida. With four different events throughout the season, Bike Night has become one of Cape Coral’s most anticipated events. This year Bike Night includes; two stages of live music, dunk tank, and Dixie Roadhouse Bull Riding Contest.

 

TBA- Italian-American Festival- Hosted by the Cape Coral Italian American Club, this event offers a unique blend of Italian food, entertainment, and fun. Hosted both inside the club’s hall and Big John’s parking lot, the festival offers something for everyone.

 

TBA- Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby- The Cape Coral Kiwanis Club have hosted this event for 25 years. Kids enjoy a morning of fishing on the Yacht Club Pier. There are trophies for winners in different categories. Fishing pros are on hand to teach children the tricks of successful fishing. Such prizes as free rods and reels are given free throughout the day.

 

Visit the Housing and Mortgage News Page

Get insights on the housing market, mortgages and other helpful tips!

This Months Topics:

  • The New Qualified Mortgage Rules – What are they
  • Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal – Dress up your front yard with inexpensive flower blooms
  • More Than Just the Down Payment – What other funds orsource of funds do you need?
  • It’s Tax Time – Homeowner Deductions
  • Credit Scores and Financing – My FICA Score is Not the Greatest!

Click here

See You in May!

 

Picture10We trust that you have enjoyed this issue of “Livin on the Cape”.  Our mission continues to focus on being the good will ambassadors for Cape Coral and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida.  If you are interested in more information or looking for that special place to claim as your new home send us an email by clicking on our email contact information at the top right hand corner of the blog.  Thank you and Happy Spring!

 

 

 

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