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FROM THE EDITOR 16 GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JULY/AUGUST 2016 We are getting ready to enter the full blast of summer, the hottest of the hot in Florida. What a trade-off it is, to have the island so much to ourselves at a time when most people can’t tolerate the incessant heat and humidity. It’s kind of a beautiful heat, though – very southern in nature, very placid, very embracing. You bask in its relentless love in the the daytime, and swim in its quiet solace in the evenings. Some of the most beautiful moments in time happen during the summer in Boca Grande. The fishing is good, the living is good and the streets are quiet. I find myself drawn to the Arcadia and Fort Ogden area every summer, where the summer thunderstorms are so common and absolutely wild. We just drive around and take in the cow pastures and orange groves, and yes – we “look out for the cars.” It’s a great place to take a day trip, and if you do, make sure you stop by Wheeler’s in downtown Arcadia and get a piece of pie. Another great day trip is to hit up Sarasota Jungle Gardens, particularly if you’re a photographer. You’ll get some rare shots and spend the day enjoying some wildlife we don’t get to see around here too much. Where I’m from, the corn is supposed to be knee high by the Fourth of July. Here, the sea grapes are just starting to ripen and Kris Boyden is on the move. She is our sea grape jelly queen, not just on island but for many miles around. Foraging is a beautiful thing, you know, and sea grapes are bountiful around here. You’ll see Kris around plucking away at the bushes, hoping to get the best grapes before the birds and iguanas do. Iguanas are still around, it’s true, but they’re nowhere near as prolific as they once were. George Cera, that guy in the bright green T-shirt you see tooling around with his .22 in a golf cart, is working hard to keep the population low. He gave us an update in this issue, you might want to check it out. July is also a prolific month for our sharks. Not to make anyone nervous, but we have a lot of them. Who hasn’t wondered what it’s like to be down underwater in the Pass this time of year, just to see the beautiful hammerheads and bull sharks swim by like friendly little prehistoric torpedoes. We know one Pass diver whose been down there, and has seen what we’ve only wondered about. We spoke with him in this issue as well. Take care of each other this summer, my Boca Grande friends. Enjoy the time when we have paradise to ourselves. Marcy Shortuse Editor-in-Chief


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