Portfolio Magazine - July/August 2023

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Volume 13 Issue 4 A publication of Sandbox Magazine
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JULY-AUGUST 2023 12 24 33 39 47 60 10 11 70 72 74 Editor’s Note This Is Us Eat, Shop, Play Oceanside Business District Map Mainland Business District Map 8 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com FEATURE STORY Night Skies: Exploring Life Through the Lens THE LOCALS Lifestyle, Art & Fashion THE SPREAD Food & Drink THE ABODE Home & Garden THE EXPLORED Nature, Travel & Sporting THE NOURISHED Health, Wealth & Happiness
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 9
Photography by Susan Pantuso


Looking up and gazing at stars has become one of my favorite things to do. For my birthday, my wonderful hubby bought me a telescope and it was one of the best gifts ever. I am starstruck. Literally! Before we started looking at the night skies through the magnified lens, I used my Sky Guide app to track the planets and constellations. I still use the app to line up our subject, but actually seeing the planets for the first time is mind blowing. The moon and all its phases are always so cool!

Our featured artist, Susan Pantuso, is a local Fort Pierce resident and an amazing photographer.

She’s very shy about her accomplishments but her work is award-winning. I love how she captures the night. Summer nights are great for stargazing. I hope this summer allows you to recharge, spend time with loved ones, and gaze upward into the night sky. There are truly so many stars and planets up there that it is never boring. Maybe you’ll get lucky and see a falling star. Make a wish if you see one, I know I will be!

No matter where your travels take you this summer, consider spending some time looking up… we all rest under the same sky and stars. The night sky leaves us in wonder and awe. So, “keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground!” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Happy stargazing!

July-August 2023

Vol. 13 Issue 4

Contact Us


(321) 438-8733 P.O. Box 648155 Vero Beach, FL 32964-8155



Penny Tranchilla

Art Director

Christina Alta Luboski

Copy Editor

Alyssa Carter

Cover Photo

Susan Pantuso

Contributing Photographers

Reilly Dzurick, @reillydzurick

Alyssa Carter, @alyssatranchilla

Penny Tranchilla, @n2sup_penny

Social Marketing & Brand Communications

Reilly Dzurick

Contributing Writers

Olivia Assaf

Vicky Dominguez

Susan Harris

Reilly Dzurick

Alyssa Carter

Penny Tranchilla

@verobeach_portfoliomag @PortfolioVeroBeach

10 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com Published six times per year. Sandbox Magazine-FL, LLC d/b/a Portfolio P.O. Box 648155, Vero Beach, FL 32964-8155 ©2023 Vero Beach Portfolio. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Vero Beach Portfolio. Neither advertiser nor publisher will be held accountable for errors, omissions or accuracy of statements, nor does the publisher accept liability.
Photography by Carlos


Vacation mode, activate! Whether you are traveling to far off destinations or just lounging locally, July and August are great months to slip into vacay mode. From celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks under a full moon, or just celebrating some down time, we hope your summer is filled with sun and fun—just don’t forget to apply sunscreen often!

On July 7th, mark your calendars to plan a night of stargazing to catch a glimpse of the moon and Saturn. On July 20th, you might get lucky and see Mars and the moon! If meteor showers are your thing, be sure to set a reminder for July 30-31 for peak viewing in the early morning hours close to 5am. There is a supermoon on August 1st and August 30th. Within the first two weeks of August, you might just get to see Saturn and Jupiter hanging out close to the moon. Make sure you choose a location away from lights so you’ll be able to see the best view of the night sky. Be sure and pack your bug spray if you venture out.

We are always busy creating the next issue of Portfolio, as well as balancing some down time spent with family and friends recharging our creativity! We hope you’ll join us at American Icon on July 20th from 5-7pm for cold refreshments and nibbles, and to pick up the latest and greatest issue. We love catching up with old friends and making new ones, so please always feel free to bring your friends!

Have a safe and stargazing summer!

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Photography by Warren
Penny, Reilly, & Alyssa


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In life, we all have interests, gifts, and passions. Sometimes, we know what they are instinctively from a very young age, and at other times, we may not have discovered or had the opportunity to explore that they even existed. The latter applies to me in my discovery and passion of photography, especially as fine art.

During my earlier years, I first enjoyed capturing special moments of my children through my lens. I invested in a decent film camera and lens. For many years, I began volunteering to shoot for church camps and events. It was during this time that my photographic journey really began… it was when someone referred to me as “the photographer.” That was a pivotal moment for me. Sometimes in life, people unknowingly make a profound statement that can change the course of your direction. It was that statement, “the photographer,” that really struck a chord with me and set me on a new path. After having an epiphany, I realized I needed more skills to earn that title. Without hesitation, I enrolled in the earliest scheduled photography class at Indian River State College (then Indian River Community College) in pursuit of knowledge.

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LIGHT SHOW - Summer lightning over the Indian River Lagoon, Fort Pierce, Florida. I love the many moods of the lagoon, but lightning storms are spectacular and exciting.

My first class was Beginning Photography that was led by accomplished photographers and instructors, Denise Russell and Howard Stickler. I owe much of my knowledge to these wonderful teachers. While taking this class, the light literally came on after discovering the power of shooting in manual mode and the creative license it gave me. It was during that time that my deep passion was born. Being hungry for more knowledge and technical skills, I continued and studied Intermediate, and then Advanced Photography at IRSC. I also attended workshops with other photographers and joined Professional Photographers of America, earning the M. Photog. Degree.

CIRCLING POLARIS - Rural Florida’s night sky,

Centering on Polaris (set-up and ready before dark), this star trail compilation of over 500 images was taken during timed intervals for over 4½ hours and later stacked in post processing. Since there was an airport in the area, I took the time to remove any plane lights. One single long exposure could have been used to capture this image; however, it is less noisy and cleaner to do multiple exposures and then stack. There is also the risk of camera movement, etc. It is so rewarding when your patience pays off and the skies stay clear and the stars bright. A few weeks before I captured this image, fog rolled in and ruined my entire sequence.

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Zolfo Springs.
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While I dabbled in painting in my earlier years, I began to see photography as an endless way to express myself and the world around me. The camera and lens metaphorically became my canvas. There is really something magical that takes place when isolating a scene through the lens, while taking time to pause, reflect, and simply be still. Sometimes, I think of looking through my viewfinder as “tunnel vision.” In photography, that isolation and separation can bring a whole new perspective and interpretation of the scene or subject that may go unnoticed. There’s always that sweet moment when you feel it, and the stars above seem to align. It’s hard to put in exact words. I can only describe how it makes me feel, and then, words are still lacking. On some level, it’s also a kind of spiritual connection with the subject that becomes all consuming. My desire to create and capture this inspiration obsessed me. Ask my family (and some friends), and they will not hesitate to tell you that I can be a bit challenging and trying on their patience in my pursuit of capturing “the moment.” My husband, (jokingly, I think) tells others that he secretly puts blueberry jam in my backpack when out shooting in bear country.

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CELESTIAL COUNTRY NIGHT - Star trails and moon rising, Zolfo Springs, Florida. This image is a compilation of 300 shots with exposure times of 30 seconds taken during timed intervals for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and later stacked in post processing. I also applied light painting to the structure and foreground area.

While camera settings, equipment, and technique are all certainly important; it is always about the light, inspiration, intuition, connection, and strong determination. Sometimes, it may take many attempts returning to a scene before I am satisfied with the right conditions. It is definitely an exercise in patience and perseverance.

People have often asked what inspires me. While I have photographed many different subjects and people, and have loved them all, my passion is capturing landscape and nature photography in both color, black & white, and especially infrared black and white. Infrared is amazing with Florida’s hot summer when we have the most amazing cloud formations. I also love capturing the moodiness of long exposures, dramatic skies, early mornings, evenings, the blue hour, and the wonder of the night skies.

CELESTIAL SUMMER - The Milky Way in July in rural Florida with foreground light painting.

When the scene calls for it, I will use different types of lights and flashlights to illuminate the foreground for a specified amount of time while the camera’s shutter remains open until the background is properly exposed. Here, I light painted the trees, fence, and grass with my handheld light manually for approximately 4-5 seconds while the shutter remained open for 29 seconds to capture the night sky. The color in the horizon is light pollution from the nearby city.

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During the night, and low light scenes, there is a sense of peace and calmness that is ethereal. Sometimes, when photographing such scenes, I am completely overwhelmed with emotion by its beauty. Those moments in time become embedded in my senses and become a part of me. I can specifically remember the details such as the feel of the air, the sound of quietness, the dampness of the fog, the stillness of the water, and so on. While I am in awe of this magnificent creation, I know on a grander scale there is a Creator and He alone is responsible for that which inspires me.


Susan Pantuso is very passionate about photography. Her love for God’s creation sends her in search of all that is wondrous. In a world that can be harsh and troubled, she finds inspiration by focusing on that which is beautiful hoping to inspire and resonate with others on a deeper level.

Susan has received awards both locally and internationally for her work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Professional Photographers of America Master of Photography (M. Photog) degree. She also believes in being a lifelong learner and focuses on advancements in photography and technology.

Where the skies meet the sea and the clouds are its mountains, South Florida is where she calls home. To see more of her work, visit SusanPantusoPhotography.com

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THE HEAVENS DECLARE HIS GLORY - The Milky Way in July with illuminated Live Oak, Zolfo Springs. The same light painting technique was applied as previously mentioned.
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CHIMNEY ROCK - Chimney Rock, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah Two lights were used in this 30 second exposure: one to sidelight Chimney Rock and one handheld while implementing my camera’s timer for set-up and positioning.
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24 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com LIFESTYLE, ART & FASHION
Photography by Ibrahim Shabil

When the Stars Align


Follow Kirsten Kowalski's writing career and book recommendations on @kirstenkowalski_author and at Kirsten Hunt Kowalski, Author.

There is something truly magical about a starlit sky. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t stared up at the stars and wondered what worlds or even lives might exist beyond our universe. But what do you do when a bruised little girl who claims she lives among those stars shows up on your doorstep and claims she was sent to witness five miracles before she can return home? That is the predicament in which graduate student Joanna Teale finds herself

in the mysterious and wonderful fiction novel, Where the Forest Meets the Stars

This book, by author Glendy Vanderah, is fantastic magical

realism, infused with the darkest of dark, but also the brightest of light. After Ursa, the girl who claims to be named after the stars where she lives, convinces Joanna (“Jo”) to let her stay, a truly magical but all-to-real story unfolds that leaves the reader wondering if the stars really do align to put the right people in our paths at the right time.

Jo is a graduate student living in a cottage in the forest and studying birds while she grieves her mother’s recent death and deals with the aftermath of her own breast cancer surgery. She befriends a neighbor who is reclusive and a bit odd and who she turns to for help with Ursa. As the three get to know each other and their relationships unfold, the miracles begin to happen, each bringing the threesome closer. As the summer draws to a close, a dangerous darkness is revealed that threatens to destroy them all.

While this book sounds mystical, it is anything but a fantasy novel. Rather, despite its fantastical beginning, it is really a book about very real and raw human nature, trauma, pain, compassion, friendship, self-love, and love for others. It is a reminder that yes, sometimes, the stars do align for us in just the ways we need most and people are introduced into our lives as if sent straight from heaven.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It would make a great book club discussion!

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Photography by Alex Kowalski
Kirsten Kowalski

Homeschool: Freedom to Fly


Ever flown a kite? I watched a lady effortlessly unfurl a colorful kite one bright morning at the beach. Up it soared as she expertly guided with the control line. The last time I attempted to fly a kite, it spun out of control and dove into the ground. This reminds me a little too much of what my homeschooling days often look like. How do we order our homeschool days so that there

is peace and calm through daily chaos? How do we give our children a place to grow and belong in an environment where they are free to fly?

I love the simplicity of a kite. All kites no matter the color or shape have basic elements that help them ascend. I’ve been contemplating the simple things a successful homeschool day requires, so that no matter the

circumstances, children are free to excel. A smooth homeschool day requires atmosphere and routine. The atmosphere of our homes can make or break the day. Ever try to teach subtraction through tears and tantrums? While children’s outbursts are inevitable, we as parents can have a lot to do with them. For example, I get up late, I’m overwhelmed, I yell at the kids to get the dishes in the sink and stop goofing around… “Why haven’t you finished your breakfast yet?!” Suddenly, my kids are bickering, arguing, and once again that loving atmosphere has vanished. Atmosphere begins with us. We are their structure and we set the tone in the house through our attitude and conduct. Children look to us and follow… for better

or worse. My motto is: A healthy day starts with me.

When my boys were babies, I was so good at setting a routine… nap times where not an option! Any parent knows the consequences of an overly tired baby. My boys may not need naps now, but they do require routine. My sister is a homeschool mom of 6! I’m amazed at all she gets done in a day. Her children are smart, fun, and full of joy. Her home is wild and free. Her children get up every morning and are responsible for their “morning five.” This includes getting dressed, making their bed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, and praying. Once they complete their five, they start their schoolwork. Each child has a chore for the week, even the littles. Creating routine requires more work at first but the reward is pleasant days. Charlotte Mason puts it best, “The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children.”

I want smooth days. I want my children to enjoy learning in an atmosphere that is joyful and fun. As a homeschool mom, it’s up to me to create a pleasant atmosphere and to create a routine, so that no matter what life brings, we all have freedom to fly.

26 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE LOCALS LIFESTYLE, ART & FASHION
Written and photography by Olivia Assaf
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 27 LUXURY WEDDING & SPECIAL EVENT INVITATIONS watercolordesignstudio.com I (772) 257-5335 I Vero Beach, Florida Our beautiful Colony Hotel wedding suite 1401 HIGHWAY A1A, SUITE 210 VERO BEACH, FL, 32963 LPLCREATIONS.COM @LPLCREATIONS 772.559.0395

The New Heritage Center


Vero Heritage Center

2140 14th Avenue

Vero Beach, FL




The lives of the people who built, worked, and lived in historic neighborhoods, districts, and buildings are embodied within them. They help us remember the past by telling tales about how a place once was. With the love and support of our incredible community over the past 88 years, the Heritage Center has contributed to the creation of these tales and memories that we will continue to share for generations to come.

The opportunity to work for a nonprofit that stewards a historical building is selfless and rewarding. The overwhelming feeling of walking into the Heritage Center’s 88-year-old structure can also be a little emotional. I sometimes stand in the center of the room facing the stage and envision the parties and dances that were held here in the 40s. The gentlemen dressed in their military whites and the young ladies, along with their chaperones, waiting and wondering which young man will ask them to dance. Oh, if only walls could talk! So many memories have been made in this giant room.

Old structures have distinctive features that can be challenging to duplicate in contemporary

commercial construction. Even if you can recreate a historic structure's exterior, it won't feel the same unless you use the same construction methods and materials—yet these particular architectural features are no longer available. There are two enclaves on the south side of the Heritage Center, and on either side of the patio that were originally the ladies and gentlemen lounges. We have borrowed from our past and transformed these rooms back into lounges as they once were intended. There have also been several other upgrades throughout the building. To cherish and steward this 88-year-old building, and to help a young couple build an amazing memory for the rest of their lives is a huge responsibility, but the staff at the Heritage Center will help create that unique and magical day.

As the new Executive Director of the Heritage Center, I will be showcasing the beauty of this 88-year-old treasure. This old girl has had her ups and downs, and now under my direction she will shine like she did when first built in 1935; saved from demolition in 1991 and remodeled. Come and see her unveiling on September 17, 2023.

28 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE LOCALS LIFESTYLE, ART & FASHION
Photography by Andrew Knechel
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 29 818 B eachland B lvd . (772) 231-3733 M on - S at 10 to 5 3500 Ocean Drive Vero Beach Hotel & Spa South Tower Above Main Lobby Open Daily 10am- 6pm (772) 774-4965 Info@shopseaglassboutique.com @seaglassboutique
Sea Glass Boutique

Like Father, Like Son


the Indian River Mall. Each month, over 100 Highwaymen and Florida landscape pieces of art are put up for bid. Manor also publishes before each sale a magnificent 72-page catalog, that is not only coffee table worthy, but sends collectors and dealers swooning. It’s not just locals who participate. Hotel rooms fill up and the bids are literally from all over the globe.

In one of those cosmic coincidences that shouldn’t be ignored, we heard that Hezekiah Baker had a son and that he was an artist. Contact was made and we found out that he wasn’t just an artist but that he was good, and he had his own spin on the hibiscus, royal poinciana, tabebuia, sunsets and Rio Mar scenes that his father first painted in the 1960’s.

The gallery is open 7 days a week by appointment and open to the public 10AM-2PM on Friday and Saturday. Call (954) 557-6226 for additional info. Stop by and see the new Baker Wall of Art.

Portfolio and Jetson TV Appliance Mattresses proudly support our veterans, the artists, and Florida art.

The last words spoken to me by Highwaymen Hezekiah Baker, before his death in 2007 were: “Don’t let them forget us!” He was referring to the 26 Florida Hall of Fame artists who painted technicolor Florida landscapes and sold them on the highways and byways of a much less populated Florida in the mid-20th century.

And… the public hasn’t forgotten them. The fascination continues, most notably at the Manor Auction in Vero Beach at

Painting landscapes in his studio over 1,000 miles away in Bangor, Maine, retired Navy & Air Force Veteran Hezekiah Baker, Jr. was thinking of his father, his hometown of Ft. Pierce, and the Highwaymen. When his dad, Baker Sr., had offered to teach him to paint when he was a teenager, he hadn’t been interested. Upon his retirement, he felt the pull of the canvas, oil paint, and the brush. Self-taught, he found himself painting the locations he travelled to while in the military.

Hezekiah Sr. had his own take as well: melding the low country of his Georgia birthplace with the lush palms and pink cotton candy clouds of the sunshine state. Scenes that are the life blood of every Highwaymen fan, who tingles and lusts after another Florida dreamscape. When dealer and collector, Ralph Oko, owner of The New Highwaymen Art Gallery, and Baker, Jr. spoke, the missing piece of the puzzle fell into place. Hezekiah told Ralph, “All I want to do is paint—could you sell my art?” A new friendship and partnership were born. Art by both Baker Sr. and Jr. (as well as other Highwaymen and Florida artists) are available at Oko’s New Highwaymen Gallery at 1872 Commerce Avenue in Vero Beach.

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Photography provided by Hezekiah Baker

Unplug From Brain Drain


Summertime presents a great learning opportunity for kids who are drinking from a fire hose of digital content. It’s a special time when families can shake off some of the constraints of the school year routine and sneak in some educational light bulb moments with all the fun. “Summer slide” and “brain drain” are real risks for school-aged children, but living on the Treasure Coast allows curious kids to break out of the classroom walls and use all of their senses to deepen their understanding of the world around them.

Wondering why the setting sun is in a different place on the horizon every night? Eat dinner in the backyard and create a map over a few nights and figure it out. Whose eyes glow red at night on the lagoon? Let’s grab some flashlights and stay up late to answer that question! Does the white concrete of the Barber Bridge look different

as the sun sets? There’s one way to find out—grab a camera and see this town landmark from a totally new perspective. Why not stay up until midnight to spy a mama sea turtle lumber up the beach to lay a nest full of eggs?

Jack MacMullan, Head of the Upper School at Saint Edward’s

School, is a big believer in using our unique location as a canvas for 24/7 learning. He says, “True learning has never been confined to the artificial constraints of the school day. We strive to provide students with opportunities to learn about themselves and our world that transcend the physical boundaries of our campus and the standard 8am to 3pm allotment of class time.” Visit steds.org to learn more.


Photography provided by St. Edwards School

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Photography by Keaton Posk

Peace of Mind


Do you need somewhere to receive mail, but don’t want to deal with a P.O. Box? How about a physical address to have packages from a variety of carriers delivered safely? We have the perfect option for you! Pakmail Beachside provides physical mailboxes with these services and more!

make daily deliveries and pick ups at our store. Mailbox customers can provide our address to their friends, family, and businesses to send packages to. We’ll know it’s yours by your name and designated mailbox number. Once received, you’ll be notified via email that you have a package ready for pick up. Having something important delivered that needs a signature? We’ve got you covered!




Not only do we receive and send mail via USPS, but carriers like Fedex, UPS, and even DHL

Setting up a mailbox is a detailed process, but our friendly team is knowledgable and ready to make it simple! If this seems like a service that you would benefit from, just come on in with two forms of ID, one with your photo and current address. The most

common IDs we accept are a driver’s license, passport, voter or vehicle registration, or utility bill. And of course, they must be up to date and not expired! Feel free to give our store a call with any questions or clarification before coming in!

We’ve had the pleasure of building relationships with many of our mailbox customers over the years as they come in for their daily mail pick up. We take handling their mail seriously, and are honored to have earned their trust. We’d love to serve and support you in whatever way we can with our mailbox rentals.

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Beachland Blvd. Suite 1
Written and photography provided by Taylor Amos Beach, FL 32963
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 33 FOOD & DRINK
38 March-April 2023
Photography by Gregorio Luiz Gomez
the spread
Artwork by Maisie Kane


Ready, set, go... You’ll be green with envy once you sip on this delicious summer cocktail from Heaton’s at the Vero Beach Hotel. Please remember to always drink responsibly.

1 ½ oz El Mayor “Heaton’s Barrel Select” Reposado

½ oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz Melon Liqueur

Half an avocado (peeled and blended with ice)

Shake and strain over ice and garnish with hibiscus salt on the rim. Enjoy!

Written by Penny Tranchilla

Photography by Brittany Norair

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Portfolio-VeroBeach.com COBALTRESTAURANT.COM 3500 OCEAN DRIVE VERO BEACH, FL 32963 | 772.469.1060 SCAN FOR A GOOD TIME Save these dates @HEATONSVEROBEACH | HEATONSVEROBEACH.COM americaniconbrewery.com
36 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE SPREAD FOOD & DRINK

Gardening by the Moon and Stars


We really like bread and butter. We really like supporting local; consuming it is our jam! If you  don’t or didn’t know about your local farmstand at Osceola Organic Family Farm, let’s look into what is available and upcoming for your availability. 24/7... Yes, 24/7 the stand is open to the public, ran by the honor system. Whenever you need it come and get it! The bread and butter of our farm will always be the mixed greens supplied to many local restaurants. Spring mix is the staple of our farm! Arugula and kale are being stocked up as well! We offer a range of sprouts: micro-greens, sunflower sprouts, and pea shoots. What’s better than being able to consume edible and medicinal flowers in the spring? Flowers are now readily available! Fresh moringa will give your nutritional needs a boost (four times more nutrient dense than kale).

If the Moon reflects the sun’s light and the sun’s light is known to help plants grow, doesn’t the moonlight have a helping hand in growth? Let us work the nightshift and gain some wisdom. This technique, rooted in ancient wisdom and supported by scientific principles, involves aligning planting and gardening activities with the phases of the Moon. By understanding the influence of the Moon and other celestial

bodies on plant growth, followers of this practice believe they can achieve better results and a deeper connection with nature. In this, we will explore the concept of gardening by the Moon, its principles and benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your own gardening routine.

Gardening by the Moon is based on the belief that the cycles of the Moon affect various aspects of plant growth, leading to the understanding of the Moon’s influence on plant growth. Just as the Moon's gravitational pull causes tides to rise and fall, it also impacts the moisture levels in the soil. During the full Moon and the new Moon, when the Moon is in its waxing phase, there is a greater pull on the water in the soil. The Moon's gravitational force influences geotropism, which is the way plants respond to gravity.

To fully embrace gardening by the Moon, it is essential to understand the two main periods of the lunar cycle: the waxing of the Moon and the waning of the Moon (rise and fall.) The waxing phase occurs between the new Moon and the full Moon, while the waning phase takes place from

the full Moon to the new Moon. During the waxing phase, which is associated with increasing moonlight, it is recommended to plant annual flowers, fruit, and vegetables that bear crops above ground. Reversely, the waning phase, characterized by decreasing moonlight, is ideal for planting flowering bulbs, biennial, perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground.

Now that we have a basic understanding of gardening by the Moon, let's get into the hands-on aspects of implementing this technique in your garden. By following these guidelines, you can align your planting activities with the phases of the Moon and maximize the potential of your garden.

Waxing Phase: During the waxing phase, when the Moon is transitioning from the new Moon to the full Moon, it is best to focus on planting crops that bear fruits or vegetables above ground. The increased moisture in the soil during the waxing phase can be beneficial for plant growth.

Align with the Moon's Phases: Begin planting your chosen crops from the day the Moon is new until the day it reaches its full phase.

Watering: Water your plants regularly, keeping in mind the natural moisture fluctuations influenced by the Moon.

Waning Phase: Plant below-ground crops in the waning phase, as the Moon transitions from the full Moon to the new Moon. It is time to focus on crops that bear fruits or vegetables below the ground. These crops thrive when planted during the waning phase.

Timing is Key: Begin planting your selected crops from the day after the full Moon until the day before the new Moon.

By aligning your planting activities with the Moon's phases, you can optimize your garden's potential and create an environment that promotes healthy plant growth. Gardening by the Moon is not the only approach to consider. An alternative approach to gardening by the Moon is the use of astrological considerations known as the "best days." While this approach is not based on astronomical observations, it takes into account the Moon's position in the zodiac and associates specific activities with certain signs.

As with any gardening practice, gardening by the Moon is a deeply personal journey that allows individuals to establish a connection with nature and tap into the rhythms of the universe. As you launch your gardening journey, consider incorporating the principles of gardening by the Moon into your routine. Remember, gardening is not just about growing plants; it is a journey of self-discovery and a way to deepen your connection with the world around you.

Embrace the art of gardening by the Moon and let the stars guide your green thumb towards a bountiful harvest.

If you ate today, thank a farmer!

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 37 FOOD & DRINK THE SPREAD
Osceola Organic Family Farm 6980 33rd St, Vero Beach (772) 559-3967 OsceolaOrganicFarm.org @osceolaorganicfarm

Adaptogenic Alchemy


Finding a way of eating that is right for you requires a very subtle alchemy. It is my hope that this book invites you into the world of herbs and inspires creativity not just in food choices but in all areas of your life. With recipes such as a chocolate energy mouse or jicama nachos, you will find a variety of breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas.

Adaptogenic Alchemy is a plant-based recipe book with a focus on how to infuse your food with adaptogenic herbs. This book is designed to give you practical and nutritious recipes for everyday alchemy. Alchemy is the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary. Divided into four sections, each section explores a new adaptogen to enrich your life with medicinal nourishment. Whether you need more energy, enhanced focus, deeper sleep, nervous system repair, or support for brain function, these herbs are here to help you feel your best and live an elevated life!

It’s no secret we live in chronic stress. We are overstimulated by technology and constantly flooded by information. So, what is the remedy? I believe we can simplify our daily rhythms and create routines that bring us closer to nature. One of my favorite ways to recalibrate is to work with herbs. Let’s take a walk into the world of adaptogens to explore how these ‘super herbs’ can assist our equilibrium and enhance our vitality.

Bri’s book is available for digital download on her website  BrieBeard.com, and also available in Kindle and for print on Amazon.com. Follow along for many more delicious recipes on her @embodied.electic.

Learn about the multidimensional benefits of incorporating adaptogens into your diet. From endurance to immunity, Brie shares her favorite recipes infused with beneficial ‘super herbs’ that are equally as delicious. With over 20 years of experience as a plant-based chef, Brianna specializes in functional nutrition with a focus on adaptogenic herbs. She walks the reader through her experience using herbs in her recipes, and the proper way to integrate them into your recipes to receive the maximum benefit. She honors these herbs and ingredients with integrity and respect for the plant kingdom.

Written and photography provided by Brianna Beard

38 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE SPREAD FOOD & DRINK
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 39 HOME & GARDEN
Photography by Alexander Andrews

Exclusive Gabby Gallery


The Gabby Home brand encompasses furniture as well as a curated selection of lighting, mirrors, and decor accents. Gabby designers create a comfortable, compelling and aesthetically pleasing home where people can enjoy life’s best moments with their loved ones.

With the help of his family, William White designs products suited for every room of the home. At Hazel House, we are thrilled to partner with the brand and to be the exclusive Gabby Gallery on the Treasure Coast.

Transitional style with antique touches are the cornerstone of the Gabby aesthetic. We love using Gabby pieces to create a timeless look that is loved by all. With a consistently neutral color palette, Gabby pieces pair easily with bold accents and add an eclectic element to an otherwise simple space. Artfully crafted, the brand offers a collection of custom upholsteries including performance fabrics and leathers alongside their furniture for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.

Come into Hazel House today to shop our favorite pieces from

Gabby’s latest collection. Our designers are on site to help you decide which pieces are right for you. We’re open Tuesday-Friday from 11AM to 4PM or by appointment.

40 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE ABODE HOME & GARDEN
Call (772) 213-3024, or email hello@hazelhousevero.com Written
and photography provided by Hazel House
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 41 A BUILDER FOR YOUR Custom and Semi-Custom Homes in Our Communities or On Your Land BENT PINE PRESERVE: (772) 360-4991 EXCEPTIONAL LIFESTYLE MODEL HOMES PINE VALLEY AT INDIAN RIVER CLUB: (772) 205-3980 BuildingALifeStyle.com REALTOR® SOLD! SOLD! Riomar Hammock Acres Riomar Carlton Riomar Bay Orchid Island Sandpointe Oceangate SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! Oceanridge The Anchor - Moorings Castaway Cove SOLD! The Boulevard UNDER CONTRACT! SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! What a Season! OVER $27 MILLION SOLD AND UNDER CONTRACT YTD IN 2023! (772) 559.1359 • ccurley@sorensenrealestate.com Thinking about Buying or Selling? I would love the opportunity to earn your business. UNDER CONTRACT!

Summer Soiree

42 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com
1. Offer self-serving individual portions - Oak baguette board and knife set, $116.50 2. Add interest to a neutral palette with textures - 16" nude griffin, $162 3. Consider options to make your entertainment mobile - Picnic basket, $92 4. Keep the bugs away - 6oz green tea and lemongrass outdoor candle, $26 5. Offer light finger foods - Oakwood large cutting board, $57 6. Be prepared with functional toolsCheese knife set, $85 7. Don't forget serving utensilsOak wood tong, $25 8. Integrate natural materialsKali rug, priced by size 9. Keep refreshments easily availableBedside carafe and glass set, $21 10. Dress up your cocktail with a garnish - Gold cocktail pick and vessel, $33
PLAN A SUMMER GET TOGETHER WITH STYLE — 10 TIPS FOR ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIALS THE ABODE HOME & GARDEN All products listed can be purchased at SWARC Supply. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2855 Ocean Drive 772.907.5193 | sw-arc.com
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 43

what is at the top of your mind— a shopping list of sorts.

For beginner gardeners, we recommend these options:

• Mixed Greens

• Lettuce

• Arugula

• Cherry Tomatoes

• Bell Pepper

• Jalapeño

• Culinary Herbs

Ok, you have your list! Now it’s time to take it up a notch. How do you take a list of produce to the next level? Search out an unusual variety. We achieve this by planting an heirloom variety of each plant type; a favorite cherry tomato is known as Brad’s Atomic Grape.

An heirloom seed is virtually a time capsule—some plant types date back 100+ years. These seeds are the secret to intense homegrown flavor and a look you’ve never seen before.

Shopping For Heirloom Seeds

Plan To Grow


Do you find yourself dreaming of a backyard garden? For Florida growers, summer planning is the very first step to achieving a seasonal garden.

Summer = Seed



During the summer, you can start small. Sit somewhere cool and comfortable, and begin by simply pondering the most basic considerations. What do you purchase from the grocery on a regular basis? Now jot down

Your list of favorite produce to shop for just became your seed list!

Our favorite seed sources:

• White Trail Farm in Jupiter, WhiteTrailJupiter.com

• Baker Creek Heirloom Seed, RareSeeds.com

Pick A Spot

Now, it’s time to think about placement of your garden. Choose a spot that gets nice morning sun and is really close to a water source. We love raised beds for home gardeners—it makes the initial ground work super easy and you don’t have to worry about big roots and pipes that may be hiding underground. Metal garden beds are quite popular, lending a modern, industrious look. Wood raised planters have an organic look and a traditional appeal.

Make Your Bed

Once your bed is in place, fill it up with bagged vegetable soil. Avoid potting soil. Sow the seed and set a reminder. Don’t overthink the seed sowing part. Leave seed close to the surface of the soil, just barely covering them up. This is a helpful tip because seedlings won’t have to work so hard to emerge. For the maximum number of harvests, sow seed in October. Don’t forget to water daily. Setting a phone reminder can help with this!

Seeds + Water = Food

Growing food isn’t a trend. It's a return to tradition.

44 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE ABODE HOME & GARDEN Visit the farm or give us a call!
131st Trail N Jupiter, Florida 33478
Written and photography provided by White Trail Farm Photography by Chrissy Oneill
LIFE’S JUST BETTER HERE. Michael Lafferty, Broker/Realtor 49 Royal Palm Pointe Units 203 and 204 Vero Beach, FL 32960 772.633.6345 mike@thelaffertygroup.com

Vero Beach Real Estate


Prevailing activity in the high-end one million dollar plus, Vero Beach luxury real estate market, continues to support what we experienced in the first quarter. The market has indubitably shifted from a strong seller’s market

to a buyer’s market. Nevertheless, our traditional “selling season” paradigm has also matured into a more year-round market creating an ideal climate for sellers to list their properties, with buyers from Miami, the Northeast, California,

Canada, Europe, and South America still flocking to Florida in general, and more specifically to our barrier island. They seek luxury property acquisition that will realize a great future return on investment.

As a third-generation barrier island resident and estate agent, I have experienced the long-term ebb and flow of this market. One factor, among many others, causes me to maintain a bullish outlook on investing in Vero Beach. The more uncertain the outside world,

the more valuable our incredible quality of life.

High net worth individuals with an appreciation for safety and security, understated elegance, low population density, sound local government, as well as a stunning natural environment will always feel confident investing in Vero Beach. It is easy to live well on this island. That does not change.

46 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE ABODE HOME & GARDEN


Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 47
Photography by Susan Pantuso

Night Fishing


The Indian River Lagoon is known for its picturesque views, stunning wildlife, and unique ecosystem. What better way to experience all of this than a night fishing trip? It's an entirely different experience, one that promises adventure, excitement, and mystery.

of mystery and excitement to the experience. Anglers who prefer a challenge or who are just looking to do something new and adventurous, will certainly find it with night fishing. With fewer people around and fewer boats on the water, the night provides a perfect, quiet, and calm environment that anglers find therapeutic.

snook, a popular game fish in the area. These nocturnal feeders are more active at night due to heightened senses, making them easier to catch during the evening hours. Snook can be elusive, but the thrill of catching one is worth the effort.

Book an inshore or nearshore charter by visiting CaptainGoopCharters.com, or contact Spencer Reilly at Spencerfishingvb@gmail.com, or call (772)-696-6025. You may also find him on @captngoop.

Night fishing is undoubtedly the perfect way to beat the Florida heat. When the sun sets, the temperatures start to drop and the cooler atmosphere provides the perfect environment for anglers. The darkness of night gives an air

Night fishing requires a bit more preparation than fishing during the day. Safety is paramount when fishing in the dark. Ensure you have adequate lighting, including navigation lights, a spotlight, and a headlamp to avoid potential hazards. Make sure to dress for the cooler weather and don't forget your bug spray.

One of the best reasons to try night fishing in the Indian River Lagoon is the opportunity to catch

Fishing in the Indian River Lagoon can be a great way to bond with friends or family. A night fishing trip can turn into a great time to relax, connect with nature, and make lasting memories. Moreover, with the darkness surrounding you and heightened senses, your focus shifts to the movement in the water and the bait on the line, increasing your chances of making that perfect catch.

48 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com

Love is in the “Vero Mountain” Air


Follow for more adventures @veromountainnc on or check out their newly redesigned website at VeroMountain.com for more details about booking your getaway to Vero Mountain!

As summer approaches at Vero Mountain, lush greens bring new life to the mountain-scape, baby animals are born, and vows are exchanged. In the March/April issue of Portfolio, we introduced you to the exciting new retreat owned by Vero Beach native, Chris Walker, and her partner, Tom Hope. These last couple of months were spent putting the finishing touches on

the domes to get them open for reservations. In May, the calendar started to fill with guests eager to make their vacation plans and experience #domelifeglamping! “We have a great team! It has been an exciting experience, a labor of love for all involved, and reading the reviews left in the guestbooks has been one of the best rewards for all the hard work,” Chris says.

During June, one of their dreams for the property came to life—a Vero Mountain wedding! Bailey Schlitt from Vero Beach planned her sister, Jessie’s wedding, and reserved the mountaintop Tranquility dome for the special ceremony.

“Being born and raised in Vero Beach, our family has a lot of

history in Wolf Laurel—spanning across four generations,” explains Bailey. “So, when I heard about Vero Mountain just down the road

52 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE EXPLORED NATURE, TRAVEL & SPORTING

from us, I had to check it out. After Jessie’s engagement, I reached out to Chris about the possibility of having the wedding on their property. She was just as thrilled as I was about the idea! Together, we started brainstorming ideas and nailing down the details. Her in-house photographer, Jessica, was such a pleasure to work with and went above and beyond—before and during the wedding. Chris’ daughter, Katie, was so sweet and did a wonderful job performing the ceremony. With the help of Chris, Tom, and everyone in their network, we pulled off the perfect, quaint wedding that Jessie dreamed of. It was everything we imagined and more!”

Jessie Schlitt and Michael Collins, tied the knot beneath a beautiful arch made from mountain laurels by her father, Jim. She carried a bouquet of wildflowers made by her mother, Kim, and wore a beautiful, white dress from Sassy Boutique. The ceremony was officiated by Katie Walker and attended by an intimate group of family. The day started out clear and dry until the “kiss the bride” moment. Then, a pop-up June shower surprised everyone who took cover during a delicious brunch of waffles, chicken, and mimosas. Flowers from Wolf Provisions General Store added the perfect touch to the table settings. Pictures were taken on the farm with baby goats, cows, and donkeys! A thick, romantic fog settled in at the domes for a few hours, and then the evening finally gave way to sunny clear skies and a beautiful golden hour to end the perfect day. Jessie says, “The domes were such a magical part of our farm wedding. From getting ready there to using their views as a backdrop to our ceremony with family, it was

everything we wanted and more. It was amazing to fall asleep to the stars and wake up to breathtaking mountain views. It truly was a dream to stay here, and I cannot wait to come back for anniversaries in the future.”

While Vero Mountain does not have a reception hall yet, it is Chris’ dream to convert the old tobacco barn into a reception hall for micro weddings. That way, rain or shine, they can accommodate a party! Until then, reception tents could be rented and set up on the lawn by the farm at the bottom of the mountain. Although Vero Mountain is primarily booking for vacation rentals, they will be offering wedding package amenities soon. This is a great idea for couples who would like to have an intimate wedding or an elopement with a gorgeous mountaintop view from the domes, as well as spend their honeymoon here!

Also in June, Chris and Tom, along with some family and friends, celebrated the land with a “Forest Bath Walking Meditation” and land blessing, led by Kelly Bruce, also a native of Vero Beach/Sebastian. “Forest bathing is not a literal

bath!” laughs Chris. Rather, it involves immersing yourself in the sounds, smells, textures, tastes, and sights of the land around you; connecting with the natural environment, meandering with no

destination, and just breathing. It is beneficial to your physical and mental health. Chris viewed it as a way to bond with Vero Mountain on a deeper level. Throughout the summer and fall in western North Carolina, there are many weekend music and art festivals and local breweries for guests to explore. Not far away is the South Toe River if guests wish to cool down with a swim. Continue a bit further up that route to the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway views or hikes. Then, finish the day with sunset at the domes, grill out, and take a dip in the hot tub or stargaze.

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 53 NATURE, TRAVEL & SPORTING THE EXPLORED

Everyday Animals


As a child, I walked around with cicadas—large, noisy insects—on my dress and spent hours in the creek searching for crayfish. My brother caught bees on the flowers in our backyard endlessly. Now, my 4-year-old son is as enamored watching jumping spiders as he is watching manatees.

It can be easy to think we need to have epic adventures with charismatic animals like dolphins, manatees, and alligators, but the reality is, valuing the so-called everyday creatures allows us to connect with nature on a daily basis. From the tiny crab orb weavers in our backyard, to the family of

screech owls at the park, or the anole lizard scurrying across the patio, wildlife is everywhere, if you look.

Encouraging kids to catch and observe critters is beneficial for a variety of reasons, too. It fosters an appreciation for nature and learning of science through observation. Recently, while watching dolphins on the Banana River for instance, Finn asked me why they don’t sink.

Outdoor time also means screen-free time, and a little less screen-time is never a bad thing. Kids learn best through play, movement, observation and

pretending—things that don’t happen on a tablet, even if it’s educational.

For Ashley, a South Florida adventure mom, she says that “slowing down to explore alongside my kids has given me a whole new perspective on enjoying nature. Kids make the best discoveries because they are less concerned with making it to the end of a trail and more concerned with observing things right in front of them.” And she finds their sense of wonder contagious. “Now, I’m constantly observing and researching things that I’ve never given a second thought to before. It’s fun to learn alongside them.”

Here are a few tips when handling bugs and creatures with budding naturalists, so that everyone stays safe and respects the wildlife.

• Employ a catch-and-release policy.

• Have a container or bucket to watch animals. Be sure to provide them with some habitat, like sticks or grass, and don’t let them get too hot in the sun.

• Minimize handling with hands so you don’t stress them out.

• Return any animal where found.

• Don’t handle or touch anything you can’t identify first, many creatures have toxins and some are venomous. In Florida, we have venomous cottonmouths that look similar to harmless water snakes to the untrained eye.

Follow Ashley on @Getoutside.GoAdventure for encouragement to get outside and locations to explore.

54 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE EXPLORED NATURE, TRAVEL & SPORTING

Greatest Migration on Earth


When the sun sets and darkness covers the ocean’s surface, the largest migration on Earth happens— every night and all over the world, including here in South Florida.

At dusk, squid, krill, baby fish, and trillions of other tiny animals living in the ocean’s twilight zone, from about 650 to 3,300 feet deep, rise to the surface. When the sun reappears at dawn, the creatures descend back to the deep. This phenomenon is called the Diel Vertical Migration, and it’s no easy feat.

For instance, these critters experience a temperature change of about 20 degrees as they leave the dark depths for the surface. The pressure at their 1,000-feet-deep home is also 30 times what it is at the top.

So, why would potentially billions of animals endure this energy-intensive trip every night?

Scientists think that it’s both to eat and avoid being eaten. During the day, zooplankton, like tiny sea snails and baby fish, hide from predators such as squid and bigger fish protected under the cover of

darkness at depth. Then, in the evening, they migrate to the surface to feed on microscopic aquatic plants and algae that live there.

Another possibility, according to NOAA, is that animals may migrate to reduce damage to their DNA from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, or to use the currents to move to areas with more food, or to take advantage of the benefits of colder, deeper waters to grow larger or produce more eggs.

In the Bahamas, the Atlantic spotted dolphins who spend the day on the shallow sandbanks take advantage of this migration too. They swim off the edge into deep water to hunt for squid and flying fish. It’s something that’s possible to witness in the Bahamas, if you choose to go on a research expedition with the Wild Dolphin Project or the Dolphin Dream liveaboard.

“It’s the best,” says underwater photographer, Nico Ientile, a Dolphin Dream team deckhand. He’s been in the water at night when the dolphins are zipping around hunting squid and fish. During the day, they interact with swimmers and play. “But it’s different at night, they are just doing their thing and in the zone.”

Here in South Florida, adventurous scuba divers can experience all the unique migrating sea creatures from glowing jellyfish to larval eels, by going on black water dives, which take place at night in the top 60 feet of water, but where the ocean bottom is typically over 500 feet deep. Several dive operators in the area offer these trips, including Pura Vida Divers and Walker’s Dive Charters.

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 55

Nighttime Magic


For more information, visit JoseTorresPhoto.com or follow on @josetorresphoto.

In the summer of 2017, my wife and I went on a trip to Shenandoah National Park. My main goal for that trip was to photograph deer in the meadows. With a bit of luck, I hoped to capture the Milky Way. One thing I didn’t expect to see were fireflies flying around the meadows. It wasn’t in grand numbers, just a few here and there. I didn’t know at the time that we had them here on the east coast of the United States. I always thought that they were in places like Japan, China, or Australia. I did get lucky and photograph the

Milky Way on that trip, and as luck would have it, some fireflies did fly in front of my camera!  That experience set me on a whole new path to find and photograph fireflies, but I had to find them first. As I researched these mysterious insects, I found

out places like the Great Smoky Mountains and Congaree National Park had been opening events for people to experience these migrations. I learned that there are many different species of fireflies and that some of the most spectacular shows are done by

56 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE EXPLORED NATURE, TRAVEL & SPORTING

the “synchronous fireflies,” which are the ones that are prevalent at the aforementioned parks.

There’s one problem with that! You see, firefly season is not set in stone. They don’t always come out at the same time of the year. It’s dependent on many factors. Factors such as rain, temperature, and even if the moon is full. As a result, the scientist can give you a window as to when it’s going to happen, but not precise dates. For me, I could never get off from work in time to make a trip from Florida. I even tried to anticipate it in 2021. I was in the Smoky’s a week early and completely missed out on the show. I had even rented special lens and cameras that would help me photograph and record them only to come out empty-handed.

One thing I learned as I researched fireflies, was that they were here in my home state! I found out that parks like Blue Springs State Park and Highland Hammocks State Park actually host firefly events. I started planning on how I would photograph them. The first year that I photographed them was at Blue Springs in 2022. I had some success, but also many failures which helped me prepare for next time. That year, I understood where they were and what were the best settings to photograph them. I found out the hard way too; that I needed to stick to one composition at a time. I cannot be moving the camera every 5 minutes. Mostly, because you can’t really see, so you can’t really focus the camera. Another reason is it’s their mating season, and you’re not allowed to turn on any flashlights. It would disrupt them and you can get kicked out of the park. However,

you are allowed to use a red light which doesn’t disrupt the fireflies or your night vision. I also learned different techniques that are needed to take the photograph. Techniques such as photo stacking and time-lapse are used in order to make the proper photograph and videos with the equipment that I own. It definitely helps to have large aperture lenses and full frame cameras to help reduce noise levels on the photos.

That experience the previous year prepared me for 2023. This year, I had better lenses and cameras. I had my locations “scouted out.” I even had some scheduled time off just in case the fireflies decided to change things up. Then, the news came from the park that the fireflies were starting to show up. I went out there and proceeded to set up my cameras and went to spots where I wouldn’t bother people with my equipment. Plus, I didn’t want their red lights to show up in my images. As a result, I was in spots mostly by myself with just the fireflies. It was truly a magical experience! Once

the cameras were set-up, they did all the work and I got to enjoy the show. I photographed this event for a total of 4 straight nights so I could capture different compositions and videos. On some nights, the barred owls would be hooting the entire time I would be there. On another night, I thought a big bear was coming out of the woods to get me and I was terrified for a moment! Only to see a few seconds later that it was just an armadillo rustling in the brush. Those guys can make a lot of noise in the dead of night. It

definitely added to the experience and the mystery.

I hope that in the future, we can understand these “beetles” a bit more and that we can provide them with better natural habitats so everyone can experience what I experienced. In the meantime, we can all see them in our state parks when they are ready to be seen and hopefully, more state parks will start opening and hosting firefly events very soon.

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 57 NATURE, TRAVEL & SPORTING THE EXPLORED

Loggerhead Shrike


For more information, contact BrianNativeBirdBoxes.com.

Follow along on @nativebirdboxes.

Have you ever wondered what that small, extremely fast, and low-flying bird of black, white and gray is? Could it have been a Northern Mockingbird? Well, if it had a black mask resembling ‘Zorro,’ you may have just seen a Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus. They are considered by some as a “chunky, big-headed songbird.” These small birds are known for sitting on branches, fence lines, strung wires

or stakes, scouting their territory for insects or small rodents to eat. The shrike flies down fast and furious to allow the element of surprise to be at its highest to make sure it can secure its meal! This bird only weighs about an average of 1.75 ounces, with a wingspan of 13 inches.

One thing you will notice about this small bird is its special beak. It is hooked just like a raptor! At first glance, you might wonder why a small bird like this would not just have a beak like other smaller birds such as warblers. This is where diversity and special characteristics help us to identify species. This unique bird got its nickname of ‘Butcherbird’ from its

beak. It uses its beak aggressively for impaling and securing prey that has been caught in spikes on trees or its notorious location of barbed wire fences, returning later for their caught food. This sharp beak has a notch in it that also allows them to precisely cut the spinal cord of small vertebrae prey.

The Loggerhead Shrike is a migratory bird that is observed across most of North America. The further north you go in the United States from Northern California to Virginia, you will find a slightly larger bird called a Northern Shrike. It does look similar, with slightly fainter colors, and a little larger than the Loggerhead Shrike. These birds build nests typically in well disguised high canopies of oaks, olive, or shady-lady-like trees. Their nest is tightly woven and looks similar to a Hummingbird’s nest, just larger. The female will typically lay between 4-7 eggs with an average of a 16-day incubation period where she dominates the nest. This bird is of ‘least concern’ on the conservation status list. If traveling to the Bahamas, or Turks and Caicos, take a look and see if you can find one there. Best of luck finding this little fast-flying “Zorro masked” bird!

To learn more about these birds and others, research them on Cornell’s website at AllAbout Birds.org, which is a fabulous, digital resource. There are many books that can help guide in identifying a mystery bird, as well as apps for your mobile devices, too.

58 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com
Written and photography by Brian Beckner



3 Glamping Domes with mountaintop views



•Hot tubs

•Kitchenettes & grills

•Hiking, fishing & more!


60 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com HEALTH, WEALTH & HAPPINESS
Photography by Pars Sahin

Catch Your Breath


It seems like this year has gone by in a blink, and if you are like me, it’s been hard to keep up. At work, many projects have happened thus far, and others haven’t seen the light of day, but the world keeps going ‘round and ‘round.

In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Here are a few thoughts as we welcome the last half of the year, approaching July and August.

• Stop and breathe. No, things are not going to slow down, but that’s not the point. The point is for you to catch a break and recharge to be in a better position to approach what life throws at you. It’s also important to consider what you want to do with the ropes you do control.

• You’ve been here before and you’ve got what it takes. It’s not about avoiding the human experience. It’s about mastering the approach and focusing on what you have to do as these things reappear for you.

• Life is bigger and deeper than anything, and this too shall pass. Good or bad, things happen. It’s just a label we put on things… if it’s “good,” embrace it and soak it in. If it’s “bad,” embrace it and learn from the experience. Life itself will eventually move on and what will be left is the journey.

• Smile! There are way too many benefits to write about, but you can do your own research!

To joy and inner peace, and until next time!

For more information and to inquire about 1:1 offerings and workshops, contact Vicky Dominguez by email at bymeditacionesdeunaloca@gmail.com.

Follow Soulfully: Inner Work & Meditation on @bymeditacionesdeunaloca.

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 61
Photography by Jeremy Bishop



Our team of highly-trained and compassionate Nurse Practitioners share a dedication to exceeding our guests’ expectations. With a wide selection of advanced products and technologies, White Orchid Spa offers personalized aesthetic programs for both men and women to enhance their appearance with natural-looking results.

Reservations are available 7 days a week in a luxurious, warm, and welcoming environment.

Treatment options include:

Botox & Dermal Fillers

• Hair Restoration

Laser & Light-Based Anti-Aging Treatments

Laser Hair Removal

CoolSculpting Elite

• Advanced Chemical Peels

• Women’s Sexual Wellness

Custom Prescriptive Skincare and more!

Offering the most revolutionary aesthetic services with natural-looking results – right here in Vero Beach.


Reshape your body and reduce stubborn, unwanted fat pockets by up to 25% in 9 different FDA-approved treatment areas:

Abdomen • Love Handles

Upper Arms Lower

• Inner & Outer Thighs

• Lower & Upper Back Fat

Double Chin • Under the Buttocks

CoolSculpting Elite is the next generation of CoolSculpting technology.

Dual applicators on each machine to treat 2 areas simultaneously.

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BEFORE AND AFTER COOLSCULPTING WHITE ORCHID SPA 3500 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963 772.231.1133
the curves you deserve with CoolSculpting Elite –the World’s #1 non-surgical fat reduction treatment.

The Not So Splendid Health Effects of Splenda


The time has come for America’s longstanding love affair with artificial sweeteners to end. For over a century, we’ve been madly attracted to the promise that we could have our proverbial cake and eat it too. Artificial sweeteners have been added to everything from cookies and gum to ice cream and soda. Restaurant tables display colorful packets of fake sugar ready for your coffee or tea. These substitutes seemed to offer a short cut around the greater problem of the massive overconsumption of ultra-processed, non-nutritive food products.

Touted as zero-calories, safe for diabetics, and encouraged for weight loss, we fell head over heels for the fantasy of indulgence in sugar-free treats without guilt or risk to our health.

The first artificial sugar, saccharin, was discovered in a lab at Johns Hopkins in 1879 and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA banned saccharin in 1981

due to reasonable suspicion of it being a human carcinogen from evidence that it caused cancer in laboratory rats. The ban was later reversed in 2000 and a warning label was implemented instead. Over the years, the rise and fall of competing products has included cyclamate (1951- later banned for bladder cancer), aspartame (1981), sucralose (1998) and neotame (2002), the latter being 7,00013,000 times sweeter than sugar. Of these, sucralose, commercially known as Splenda, has dominated the market receiving accolades for its new generation flavor and purported safety profile.

While the FDA still claims that sucralose is safe, a recent study conducted by a cohort of researchers at UNC Raleigh, NC State University and UNC Chapel Hill proved otherwise. Published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health their study found sucralose to actually be genotoxic, meaning it damages

human DNA and increases cancer risk. The researchers also observed that sucralose directly causes leaky gut. Intestinal permeability has been implicated in the development of many chronic diseases including autoimmune, neurological, oncological, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal disorders.

For fellow science geeks, here’s the details… the study explored the effects of sucralose-6-acetate which is produced in the manufacturing of sucralose and retained in the final product. The researchers tested this chemical and discovered

that it caused DNA strand breaks. One sucralose-sweetened drink has enough sucralose-6-acetate to induce this gene-damaging effect. Another part of the study exposed the cells that comprise our gut lining to sucralose-6-acetate and found that the compound significantly increased the expression of genes associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancer. Additionally, both sucralose and sucralose-6-acetate impaired gut barrier integrity by disrupting tight junctions plus inhibited the function of two enzymes involved in detoxification of harmful substances through the liver, potentially resulting in increased exposure to toxins.

In light of the mounting evidence against its safety, check labels of all processed food and beverages, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, breath mints, and OTC medications, and rid of products containing sucralose. Prescription drugs may also contain sucralose and you’d need to ask your doctor about an alternative. Although the industry may continue to sugar coat the negative effects of artificial sweeteners, as consumers, it’s time we end the bad romance.

Angela King, AP DOM >< Christine Nielson, MD Chelsey Dodd, AP DOM >< Cynthia Caputo, AP DOM
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Friends After Diagnosis


Few things strike fear into the hearts of most humans, like these three words, “You have cancer. ” The diagnosis creates a swirling whirlwind of emotions, racing thoughts, and many questions. A cancer diagnosis can turn a person’s world upside down—emotionally, physically, and financially.

Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery usually come to mind when thinking of cancer care. However, a holistic approach to cancer care ensures the application

For more information on cancer support and resources in our community, please email Carolyn Nelson at Friends After Diagnosis at Carolyn@FriendsAfterDiagnosis.com, or visit the organization's website at FriendsAfterDiagnosis.com.

of effective treatment options and consideration of the person's response to the disease, treatment, and other aspects of their personal life. Integrative medicine, including acupuncture, nutrition, vitamins and supplements, medical marijuana, yoga, and meditation, play a significant role in the patient’s treatment plans. In addition, cancer care organizations such as Friends After Diagnosis provides support meetings, personal services, financial advice, wellness programming, and other resources that may ease other stressors associated with navigating the treatment and recovery process. While there are many paths and options for cancer treatments, most include similar essential elements for a less stressful cancer journey.

Outlined below are several of those essential elements:

Caregiving – A caregiver is usually an unpaid loved one who gives the person with cancer physical

and emotional care. They may be spouses, partners, family members, or close friends. Though not professionally trained, caregivers are problem solvers and often prove to be the lifeline for a person with cancer. Caregivers may assist with day-to-day tasks, manage medications, and coordinate cancer care. For cancer patients, it is essential to have someone on their team who will listen to and advocate for them. Meeting with doctors and understanding the diagnosis and treatment plans may require a second set of ears. Having someone who can take notes, help create to-do lists, and offer emotional support can make all the difference in the treatment and recovery process.

Collaboration – Medical professionals' approach and address medical problems from distinct aspects based on their medical training and specialties. Frontline nurses screen for stress, physical symptoms, and other sources of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual angst. Adequate medical care for a complex diagnosis like cancer requires interprofessional coordination from various healthcare professionals. In addition to physicians, treatment may require consultations with dieticians, pharmacists, and an oncology team. A more integrated approach to cancer care will require engaging other professionals such as social workers, patient navigators, clergy, and cancer support through local organizations, such as Friends After Diagnosis. Combining the expertise and resources of multiple organizations and professionals ensures that patients can access adequate resources and support during treatment and beyond.

Community – No one should have to face cancer alone. Cancer support can come from family, a circle of friends, and others like therapists and clergy. Additionally, support organizations like Friends

After Diagnosis, which provide access to support meetings, personal services, and community resources, are available to patients, caregivers, and survivors regardless of where they receive treatment. Matches can be requested based on diagnosis or other related cancer experiences. Whether you are newly diagnosed, in active treatment, or moving forward after a cancer diagnosis, volunteers are ready to help.

Compassion – Those who feel supported during cancer treatment and recovery report better quality of life and well-being. If cancer comes, access to a range of medical professionals and having friends and family providing support will grant access to resources to cope with stress, emotional turmoil, and all that comes with receiving cancer treatment and the lengthy recovery. It is also essential for those diagnosed with cancer to practice self-compassion. It allows a measure of grace for oneself and self-care through healthy eating, encouraging oneself, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in wellness programs specifically structured for cancer recovery.

Courage – Cancer not only affects physical health but can also trigger a wide range of emotions, which can change instantly. These feelings are normal and experienced whether in or after treatment.

Those diagnosed with cancer must have a voice in the treatment and recovery progress. A person diagnosed with cancer must also be free to decide treatment plans and medical options. Caregivers and other supportive entities best serve the patient by supporting their choices and fulfilling requests for care and treatment.

68 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com THE NOURISHED HEALTH, WEALTH & HAPPINESS

ACCOUNTABILITY - We stick with you along the way to help make sure you follow through on your financial goals. We regularly review your plan and give guidance on the next steps required to reach your goals.

PROACTIVITY - We work on looking ahead and planning life's transitions. We anticipate life's many changes, so the action plan is on standby and ready to go.

EDUCATION - By getting to know you, we can identify what specific pieces of financial planning knowledge is most important for you and your plan. We then explain the important topics, so you fully understand your options.

How To Choose A Financial Advisor

OBJECTIVITY - As an objective third party, we can step back and offer guidance on decisions that may be emotionally driven. We do the research and present to you the facts needed to move forward.

ORGANIZATION - We provide the tools and resources to tidy up your financial life. You are then able to track and monitor all your accounts in one place, our Client Portal.

PARTNERSHIP - To help you achieve your best life, we strive to understand your background, philosophy, needs, and objectives to work with you and for you. As fiduciaries, we take pride in our transparency around our own costs and compensation. Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable with your Advisor. If you are not working with a fiduciary advisor or would like a second opinion, set up a confidential complementary appointment. Our planning and investment services are structured to always to be in your best interest.

Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 69 HEALTH, WEALTH & HAPPINESS THE NOURISHED
CRAIG PHILLIPS CFP, AIF, CEFT | SHARON BASTIDE | 4445 HWY A1A, Suite 239, Vero Beach, FL 32963 | (772) 231-3122 | C1AG.com Client 1st Advisory Group is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Offices in Clearwater and Vero Beach, Florida and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. SIX CORE VALUES WE BELIEVE
Written and photography provided by Client 1st Advisory Group

the locals



3121 Ocean Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-7405


1401 Highway A1A, Suite 210

Vero Beach, FL (772) 559-0395



505 Beachland Boulevard, Suite #1

Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-0021



3250 Riverside Park Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-6990



P.O Box 648155

Vero Beach, FL




3365 Ocean Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 234-3998



3500 Ocean Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 774-4965

VeroBeachHotelAndSpa.com/ Sea-Glass-Boutique

ST. EDWARDS SCHOOL 1895 St. Edwards Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-4136


VERNON SCOTT 818 Beachland Boulevard

Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-3733


VERO BEACH MUSEUM OF ART 3001 Riverside Park Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-0707



2140 14th Avenue

Vero Beach, FL (772) 770-2263



(772) 257-5335

the spread



1133 19th Place

Vero Beach, FL (772) 934-4266



3500 Ocean Drive

Vero Beach, FL (772) 469-1060


HEATON’S 3500 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-5666


OSCEOLA ORGANIC FARM 6980 33rd Street Vero Beach, FL (772) 567-1530


PETERSON GROVES & NURSERY 3375 66th Avenue Vero Beach, FL (772) 562-6900

THE WAVE KITCHEN & BAR 3244 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 410-0100

the abode


ABBATE TILE AND MARBLE 1136 Old Dixie Highway Vero Beach, FL (772) 569-9113


CATHY CURLEY DALE SORENSEN REAL ESTATE 3206 Cardinal Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 559-1359

DAVID COX CONSULTING 2044 14th Avenue, Suite 24 Vero Beach, FL (772) 564-0540


ELITE LANDSCAPE LIGHTING 1607 91st Court Vero Beach, FL (772) 933-9349


HAZEL HOUSE 1880 Old Dixie Highway Vero Beach, FL (772) 213-3024


HURYN CONSTRUCTION 1902 Wilbur Avenue Vero Beach, FL (772) 234-4130


JETSON TV & APPLIANCE 1231 20th Street Vero Beach, FL (772) 567-3200


JOHN’S ISLAND REAL ESTATE COMPANY 1 Johns Island Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-0900


70 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com

LAFFERTY PREMIER WATERFRONT & ESTATES 49 Royal Palm Pointe Units 203 & 204 Vero Beach, FL (772) 633-6345


LANGE SYKES PREMIER ESTATE PROPERTIES 675 Beachland Boulevard Vero Beach, FL (772) 473-7983


LIFESTYLE SOLAR POWERED HOMES 3453 W. New Haven Avenue Melbourne, FL (321) 727-8188 BuildingALifestyle.com

LISA PYDEN ALEX MACWILLIAM REAL ESTATE 2901 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 532-2908



O’DARE BOGA GROUP ONE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY 1401 S A1A, Suite 101 Vero Beach, FL (772) 444-7070

ODareBogaGroup.OneSothebys Realty.com

SURFACES DESIGN STUDIO 3960 US-1 Vero Beach, FL (772) 778-2622


SWARC STUDIO 2855 Ocean Drive # B5 Vero Beach, FL (772) 226-0148


WHITE TRAIL SOCIAL & GARDEN CLUB 18877 131st Trail N Jupiter, FL (561) 354-8000 WhiteTrailJupiter.com



Captain Spencer Reilly (772) 696-6025



CORPORATE AIR 3450B Airport W Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 562-1199


COSTA D’ESTE BEACH RESORT & SPA 3244 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 562-9919

MOUNTIAN AIR (828) 682-8200


PURSUIT BOATS 3901 St. Lucie Boulevard Fort Pierce, FL (772) 465-6006


VERO MOUNTAIN VeroMountain.com


CLIENT 1st ADVISORY GROUP 4445 Highway A1A, Suite 239 Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-3122

C|SPA AT COSTA D’ESTE 3244 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 410-0101

FERRES DENTISTRY 2980 9th Street SW, Suite 102 Vero Beach, FL (772) 567-1011


FLORIDA CANCER SPECIALISTS 3730 7th Terrace, Suite 101 Vero Beach, FL (772) 567-2332

INDIAN RIVER ACUPUNCTURE & INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE 1345 36th Street, Suite H Vero Beach, FL (772) 564-8383


LEVEL YOGA: ON CARDINAL 3055 Cardinal Drive, Suite #106 Vero Beach, FL (772) 365-4407


LEVEL YOGA: ON THE POINTE 29 Royal Palm Pointe, Suite #2 Vero Beach, FL (772) 365-4407


STUDIO GABRIEL SALON, SPA & BOUTIQUE 2855 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 234-8105


VERO FITNESS 1060 6th Avenue Vero Beach, FL (772) 380-4188


WHITE ORCHID SPA 3500 Ocean Drive Vero Beach, FL (772) 231-1133


Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 71
Photography by Susan Pantuso
72 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com 2 3 4 5 14 11 12 13 17 19
1. Cathy Curley Realtor 2. Client 1st Advisory Group 3. Cobalt 4. Costa d’Este Beach Resort 5. Heaton’s 6. Level Yoga 7. Lily Pad 15. Studio Gabriel 16. SWARC Studio 17. Vernon Scott 18. Vero Beach Museum of Art 19. White Orchid Spa at Vero Beach Hotel 8. Lisa Pyden, Alex MacWilliam Real Estate 9. O’Dare Boga 10. PakMail 11 Premier Estate Properties 12. Riverside Theatre 13. Sassy Boutique
14. Sea Glass Boutique
Portfolio-VeroBeach.com July-August 2023 73 © Portfolio 2023 1 6 18 15 9 16 7 8
74 July-August 2023 Portfolio-VeroBeach.com © Portfolio 2023
5. Hazel House 6. Huryn Construction 7. Jetson 8. Vero Heritage 1. American Icon Brewery 2. Corporate Air 3. Cultural Arts Village
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
4. David Cox

Through next-generation sequencing, we take a deep look into your genes to create treatment plans personalized to you.

This provides a road map for immunotherapies that strengthen the way your cells fight cancer. Our patients also have access to the latest clinical trials, delivering quality treatment and expertise in communities across Florida. We take care of the big things in cancer care, so you can make the most of the little moments—every step of the way.

Sebastian 13060 U.S. Highway 1, Sebastian, FL 32958 (772) 589-0879

Jennifer Byer, MD

William McGarry, MD

Noor M. Merchant, MD

Raul E. Storey, MD

Vero Beach – Urology

3730 7th Terrace, Suite 204

Vero Beach, FL 32960 (772) 581-0528

Hugo H. Davila, MD

Vero Beach East 3730 7th Terrace, Suite 101 Vero Beach, FL 32960 (772) 567-2332

Jennifer Byer, MD

Hugo H. Davila, MD

William McGarry, MD

Noor M. Merchant, MD

Raul E. Storey, MD

Estate Properties, Inc.
seller. Parties should perform their own due diligence to verify such information prior to a sale or listing. Premier Esta te Properties, Inc. expressly disclaims any warranty or representation regarding such information. Prices published are either list price, sold price, and/or last asking price. Premier Estate Properties, Inc. participates in the Multiple Listing Service and IDX. The properties published as listed and sold are not necessarily exclusive to Premier Estate Properties, Inc. and may be listed or have sold with other members of the Multiple Listing Service. Transactions where Premier Estate Properties, Inc. represented both buyers and sellers are calcula ted as two sales. Premier Estate Properties, Inc.’s marketplace is all of the following: Vero Beach, Town of Orchid, Indian River Shores, Town of Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Manalapan Beach, Point Manalapan, Hypoluxo Island, Ocean Ridge, Gulf Stream, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Boca Raton, East Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hillsboro Shores, East Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point, Sea Ranch Lakes and Fort Lauderdale. Some affiliations may not be applicable to certain geographic areas. If your property is currently listed with another broker, please disregard any solicitation for services. Copyright 2023 Premier Estate Properties, Inc. All Rights Reserved. As the former Vice Mayor of Vero Beach and an Estate Agent with Premier Estate Properties, I can draw on my own extensive local connections…as well as our six synergistic offices and Billion Dollar Estate Portfolio (the ultimate source for buyers) to maximize sales. Referrals and marketing through our Incomparable Global Network further extend that reach. I will connect you with buyers at home and abroad to get your million dollar-plus Vero Beach property sold. You have my word. Lange Sykes 772.473.7983 LangeSykes.info Premier Estate Properties Presenting Properties Exclusively In Excess Of One Million Dollars TM OUR INCOMPARABLE GLOBAL NETWORK 675 Beachland Boulevard, Vero Beach Your Luxury Vero Beach Property Requires My Local And Global Connections 30 YEARS OF SUCCESS
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