Welcome to the April Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.
Also, visit my website waltbethel.com to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.
Do Pine Trees Really Know When it is Easter?
Ever seen a cross on top of a pine tree? No, not the wooden kind. Around Easter each spring, some species in certain regions start to develop shoots with a familiar shape. This sighting has led to a popular legend that pine trees "know" when it's Easter.
"If you look at the tops of the pine trees two weeks before [Easter], you will see the yellow shoots," the blog A Lighthouse recounts. " As the days get closer to Easter Sunday, the tallest shoot will branch off and form a cross. By the timeEaster Sunday comes around, you will see that most of the pine trees will have small yellow crosses on all of the tallest shoots."While it's true that these "crosses" appear in late March or early April for most of the country, the inspirational story linking them to the Christian holiday, some believe it just a coincidence.
Amy Enfield, Ph.D., consumer horticulturist at ScottsMiracle-Gro says:
"The yellowish vertical shoots, known as candles, form first and then the side buds which will eventually form branches develop leading to the new growth resembling a cross. The fact that this happens around Easter in parts of the U.S. is a coincidence—in warmer areas of the U.S., the new growth starts well before the Easter holiday. The crosses are more prominent on some species of pines than others, for example, they can be prominently seen on loblolly pines (found in the Southern U.S.) and the ponderosa pine (found in the West.)"
Still, as a believer I enjoy spotting the shoots every season and interpreting them as a sign of the religious celebrations to come.
In Hemingway's short story, "The Strange Country", the characters stop for lunch in an unnamed town. However, there are several clues that indicate the town that is referenced in the story is Arcadia.
In the story, Helena mentions that "We should have stopped at Punta Gorda,” Roger said. “That would have been sensible."
This indicates that they passed through Punta Gorda but did not stop there.
Later on. Helena asks a waitress in the unnamed town where she is from, and receives the following response:
“Fort Meade,” the waitress said. “It’s right up the road.”
While the town is not named in the story, Hemingway provides a description of it:
They ate at a lunch counter in a town in the middle of the Florida prairie. The lunch counter was on the shady side of the square and looked out on a red-bricked courthouse with its green lawn."
Helena mentions another curious feature about the area:
“Look at the cowpunchers,” she said. Two men on cow ponies, wearing western work clothes, got down from their stock saddles and hitched their horses to the rail in front of the lunch room and walked down the sidewalk on their high-heeled boots."
The descriptions provided here are strikingly similar to the descriptions of Arcadia provided in the book, "Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State".
Because of these pieces of evidence, we have reason to suspect that Hemingway was not only referring to Arcadia but that he was actively using "Florida: A Guide to The Sunshine State" to map out his story.
A small detail of interest is that the waitress in the story receives autographs from the two main characters and if this part of the story is in any way drawn from Hemingway's real-life experiences, it is possible that Hemingway's autograph may be in the notebook of an unknown resident of Arcadia or Fort Meade.
NEWS FROM THE NEIGHBOR
Between the Beaches Podcast
Preserving and promoting Florida's rural landscape and ranching heritage by sharing forgotten and little known history along with interviews, stories, and cowboy poetry capturing the lifestyle of both historical and contemporary cowboys in the Sunshine State.
Florida's struggling citrus industry continues to see a decline in the crop for the current growing season, with the harvest on track for the lowest yield since before World War II.
With the latest sign of trouble for the industry attributed to a recent cold snap, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday dropped its Florida orange forecast by more than 7% from the March update, pushing the decline since the first forecast was issued in October to nearly 19%.
“After cold weather events, we expect to see dips like this,” Shelley Rossetter, the Florida Citrus Commission’s assistant director of global marketing, said in an email Friday. “They are never what we want to see but are a part of the set of challenges growers face every season.”
GET AWAY FROM IT ALL!!! BRING THE ATV'S...Purchase this recreational/hunting land and build your country dream home or lodge. Approximately 57+ Acres of beautiful “old Florida” landscape full of incredible Oaks, Cabbage Palm Trees, and improved pasture with an abundance of deer, turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. Plenty of room to build a retreat to get out of the city and enter your PRIVATE getaway!!! Located just south of Lake Placid. An easy trip from the east or west coast of Florida. The adjacent 900+ acres is also available for sale.
Beautiful 12.38 acres property with LOTS OF OAKS. This property features two flowing wells and a NEW enclosed 38x30 Metal Barn with roll up doors and a covered padded area. This property would make the ideal country estate. Bring your cattle, horses, or other livestock and enjoy this peaceful piece of land. Call today for a showing!
11+ acres offering a quiet and private setting. This is the ideal building site for your dream home with plenty of space for a barn, pond, and animals. Located right off Hog Bay Extension (County Road 763) with quick access to downtown Arcadia. Just 30-40 minutes to Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Fort Myers. Seller also has additional adjoining parcels available. Survey available, parcel split/parcel ID pending DeSoto County approval.These beautiful properties won’t last long!!
204+ Acres of Valencia Orange grove in Manatee County. This property includes a manufactured home and two permitted 12 inch wells. Located centrally between Hwy 64 and Hwy 70 off of Wauchula Rd near Myakka City. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION.
IDEAL COMMERCIAL LOCATION located on US-41 between Port Charlotte and North Port. 150ft of road frontage on Tamiami Trail PLUS an additional 160ft of road frontage and access on Bowman Terr. Come be part of this growing area with the approved West Port 218 residential lots and planned Murdock Village just down the road. Just minutes to the Tampa Bay Rays Spring training stadium and the Atlanta Braves Cool Park training stadium. This property is zoned Commercial General allowing for a vast amount of uses! Electric and public water/sewer nearby. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFO!
HOUSING OPPORTUNITY AWAITS! 10 Buildings with dozens of individual rooms. Located in South DeSoto County directly off Hwy 31 on approximately 11 Acres. This property was previously a part of the state owned juvenile justice center. ONLY 5 minutes to State Road 70, just 25 minutes to Babcock Ranch and only 35 minutes to Ft. Myers and I-75 off Florida’s West coast. If you desire more space, the adjoining 5 acres with 4 additional buildings is for sale separately MLS#C7455878.
Conveniently located 1.12 Acres in growing Punta Gorda City limits. CC zoning allows for a multitude of commercial development opportunities PLUS an overlay district allowing for residential development. Over 700ft of road frontage across three streets with public utilities available. Unique opportunity to own one of the last large, assembled sites in area. Close to downtown restaurants, entertainment, and just a short walk to beautiful Charlotte Harbor.
223.25 Acre Hamlin/Valencia Grove in Venus, Florida. This property could continue as a producing grove or be converted to farm land. A mobile home, two barns and one permitted 12” well are already in place. An additional 900+ contiguous grove acres are also available.
422 acres in Manatee County. Grove located near the Hardee county line at Duette Rd. and Hwy 62. With over 1,600ft of Hwy 62 road frontage, these six parcels combine to form this ideal farm land property. A 60 acre permitted pond is already in place with excellent water quality, along with two permitted 16 inch wells and one 10 inch well. CALL TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION.
177 +/- Acres of cleared land in Hardee County. Five parcels combine to form this ideal recreational or farm land property. This former orange grove is fenced and gated with permitted 12 inch and 10 inch wells already in place. The entrance is right off Roberts Rd. and approx. 10 miles to either Hwy 64 or Hwy 70.
4.9 acres in DeSoto County with CREEK FRONTAGE. An ideal home site for country living. This land is located less than 10 minutes to Arcadia, but secluded enough for rural living. Call today for a showing.
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties.
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues.
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.