Outdoors

Camp Declan Gives a Whole New Meaning to Camp

Words by Carmen Macri and Ambar Ramirez   Do you remember the feeling of your parents dropping you off at summer camp? Driving the whole way with the windows down, smelling the summer breeze, anticipation swirling through your body. The feeling seemed fleeting, especially as we grew up and grew out of our beloved childhood summer camps. But why does growing up mean we must say goodbye to the lore of summer camp? Just because we are adults now doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still be able to enjoy the simple things in life — like hanging around a campfire by …

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Behind the Minds of Florida Fin Fest 

Words by Carmen Macri    If there is one thing Jacksonville loves more than its beaches, it’s a free festival. So, it comes as no surprise that our charming coastal town has eagerly embraced the arrival of the free marine conservation festival, Fin Fest.   As we embark on the third year of Fin Fest, its fundamental mission remains unwavering: to harmoniously blend the worlds of ocean education and entertainment. The aim is to not only enrich our understanding of marine life but also illuminate the ways our daily routines influence these delicate ecosystems.   But before we delve too …

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Florida’s Miraculous Spring Waters

By Ted Hunt Medical practices during most of the 1800s relied on traditional treatments such as bloodletting, blistering, high doses of mineral poisons and vomiting. One or more of these techniques would hopefully restore the body’s natural balance, and the patient would be cured from a variety of illnesses. Bloodletting is slicing open a vein, then applying a cup to draw blood containing harmful bacteria out of the body. Blistering is placing hot plaster onto the skin to raise blisters, then drain the pus which contains harmful bacteria. Mineral poisons were consumed to encourage diarrhea and vomiting to purge the …

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The Season for Transition

An inside look into the agricultural community during the fall season Words by Molly Britt   The agricultural community in Northeast Florida is one of the most important parts of our community. They are the reason we get our fresh vegetables and gorgeous flowers. I especially love the tasty blueberries we get from so many wonderful local farms. We really do take it for granted. So, why not take a look into what goes on in the agricultural community during the fall season?   Haley Hopkins showed me just what the fall season entails for Congaree and Penn, where she …

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Naked and Not Ashamed: Nude Recreation in Jax

After last issue’s article about the growing sport of pickleball, we heard a rumor about nude pickleball becoming the next big recreational sporting trend in Northeast Florida. After a little research, we learned nude pickleball, along with a whole lot of other clothing-optional activities, is true but not necessarily in Jacksonville. Bottom line (pardon the pun), we discovered there is just about every kind of sport available for those that like to bare their bums for more than just sun, including but certainly not limited to volleyball (beach and water), tennis, horseshoes, horseback riding, dancing, nature hiking and running. Nude …

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Fishing Flood Tides with Cowford Conservation

We ran the skiff only 30 minutes away from the boat ramp before Rami hopped on the poling platform and began pushing us through the labyrinth of spartina marsh creeks. Evan, posted on the front deck, fly rod in hand, scanned the grass flats for any sign of the targeted species, Sciaenops ocellatus, aka redfish. This was no regular day fishing the creeks, though, but an unusually early flood tide for the season, and I was sharing a boat with two of the most dialed fishermen from the area. Evan Tucker and Rami Ashouri of Cowford Conservation are two local …

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The Timucua Aren’t Extinct

Shell rock crushed underfoot as we stepped out of my car into the Big Talbot jungle. The backroad we just followed for miles ended in seemingly nowhere with the thicket too dense to even see a few feet off the road. The sun was at its peak yet was barely peeking through the canopy above us, no-see-ums buzzed at our faces, and sweat was already running down my neck. A wiry middle-aged man appeared in a narrow clearing and motioned for us to follow him. The man in question was Keith Ashley, professor of archaeology at the University of North …

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Jax Beach to Fernandina: The A1A Ocean Islands Trail

A1A Ocean Islands Trail, Florida Scenic Highway, Amelia Island Plantation, Photo courtesy of Amelia Island Conventions and Visitors Bureau

Along the A1A Ocean Islands Trail Jacksonville’s Beaches | Mayport | Broward House | Kingsley Plantation | Big Talbot | Downtown Fernandina Marlin & Barrel Distillery in Fernandina | The Pétanque Courts of Fernandina | American Beach: Under the Blue Bottle Tree with Marsha Dean Phelts | Amelia Island Culinary Academy | Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tour | The First Coast’s Only AAA Five Diamond Restaurant: Salt at Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island   Every place has a story, stitched together with humble beginnings and historic figures to create a living narrative. In very few places can you travel along a timeline of a region’s history as it unfolds before you. The …

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Living Your Dream, on a Yacht

Lily Snowden Imagine waking up on a yacht every day, perhaps in the Bahamas, Mediterranean or Virgin Islands. Sounds like a dream, right? For many young 20-somethings, this is a reality. But how?! One word: yachting. Though many people don’t realize it, the yachting industry has a high demand for workers. With a low cost of living, extended travel dates and other perks, this career has quickly picked up popularity among young Floridians and adventurers alike. Known as “yachties,” they are paid to live what many would consider a dream life: Work on a yacht, travel for free and use …

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The Garden Club of Jax

Lily Snowden The Garden Club of Jacksonville turned 100 years old on March 25, 2022. The Garden Club of Jacksonville is one of Florida’s oldest and most established garden clubs. Ninah May Holden Cummer founded the club on March 25, 1922 in her home in Riverside. The club was originally comprised of 17 of Cummer’s friends. Within months, the club grew to over 100 members. The Garden Club of Jacksonville was one of the original four clubs in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. The club continued to grow over the years, and eventually broke ground on a clubhouse. The …

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