Back to Nature at Deering Estate

If you're looking to relax and reconnect with nature, Deering Estate's Nite Hike & Campfire is a surprisingly good way to unwind. On scheduled nights, they'll open up the locked gates to allow in a select few lucky adventurers.


Just before dusk, the group heads down to the water to look for peaceful manatee and schools of fish that tend to use the lagoon as their playground. Then, as the sun creates wonderful hues as it sets, it’s off to the more natural areas of Deering Estate's 444-acres.  On the night I attended, Jared was our expert guide, with Christine in tow. Humble and knowledgeable, Jared explained everything we saw and pointed out the things most people would easily miss.


As we unlocked the gate that allowed us access to some of the usually hidden acres at Deering Estate the moths start appearing, including the huge Pharaoh moth. We learn about the Gumbo Limbo trees that can survive without leaves since it's bark can photosynthesize. It is also a natural antiseptic.

Jared walks us down a path to look at spider-webs and marvel at the nature Charles Deering left. He reveals that the path was actually the old railroad path with a few stakes still poking out of the ground. 

The evening discovery included facts about the canal system and native and invasive plant species. "The cycle of life is always evolving," explained Jared. "Hurricane Irma did significant damage to our canopy, so now ground cover plants are flourishing. This will reverse as our trees regain their leaves and the ground once again becomes heavily shaded."


Man-made structures were not so evolved. The raised “boardwalk path” was completely destroyed that used to take visitors over the swampy areas of Deering Estate. We are entranced with new nature knowledge and make our turn back at Cutler Creek.

We listened for great horned owls and eastern screech-owls along the way, but it wasn’t until we were beside a crackling campfire enjoying complementary s’mores that Jared literally called the owls to us. Defending their territory, they dove from all directions to give us a glimpse of their beauty.


April 11 and May 9 are the next two dates for this fun event (runs 7:00p - 9:30p). $15 per person; Free for Deering Estate Foundation Members. Call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at 305-235-1668 ext. 233 to reserve your spot.

LISTING: Redland-Area Acre Compound 4BR/3BA


MUCH LARGER THAN TAX ROLL! Custom-built home done above building standards! Loved and cared for by same family since new in 1974. Secure and serene. Live on this amazing acre compound with fruit trees and lots of extras.


Large storage shed, garage with A/C and set up as gym/workshop, air-conditioned shed used as office, monster-size tiki, greenhouse w/irrigation, special room with sauna and hot tub, fencing and gate security.


Oversized rooms with a great layout. Good flow and light throughout. Mid-home dining/family room has two hurricane-rated skylights.


Approx 6 year old roof. ~2012 AC units. Whole-home alarm system. Newer stainless steel kitchen appliances. Newer washer & dryer.


Kept clean and ready for your updated decorating touches.

See all the photos at:

17890 SW 264th Street
Miami, FL  33031
MLS # 
Listing price $459,922


Teen Fights for No Texting While Driving

I've written about 18-year old Mark Werwitzer before. Mark took up the cause to change Florida law when it comes to texting while driving. 46 states think texting and driving is so dangerous it’s banned completely. Yet in Florida, where texting while driving became illegal in 2013, it’s only a secondary offense, meaning a driver must be pulled over for something else first.


Mark has been fighting for two YEARS to get a bill voted on that seems to be a no-brainer. Yet, despite the challenges our politicians seem to be creating for him, this savvy and energetic teen presses on.

Here is his latest letter (from Facebook)

I need your help please. Senate Bill 90, this year's bill to make texting while driving a primary offense, is in need of your support. There are only 8 days left in session, and SB 90 has not been scheduled its last committee hearing yet. If the bill is not given a hearing or allowed onto the floor, Senate Bill 90 will not become law. Please send an email to Senator Bradley, the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and Senator Negron, who is the President of the Senate. Please use your own words to encourage them to place SB 90 by Perry & Garcia on their next committee agenda, or withdraw it from committee. Let them know why you support changes to the texting while driving law. This bill is in its final stretch, these last days will make or break the proposed bill.

Remember, be positive and polite. You will get more flies with honey rather than vinegar. I know that we are adults and this goes without saying, but please do not attack the Senator's personally and please treat them with respect. Talk about the importance of the issue to you.

Sending these legislators an email will send a strong message that this issue is a priority for everyone.

Thank you very much for you assistance. I have attached a sample email that I sent to the Senate President a few days ago, if you need encouragement on what to write.

Email for Senator Bradley:
Email for Senator Negron:

So, please consider taking action and making our Florida roads safer. God knows we need it!