Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 082815 Contents THE RIVER - AUGUST 28, 2015
Awabuki Sweet Viburnum
by Gerri Reaves
Awabuki sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum var. awabuki) is an ever-
green tree native to eastern Asia often used as a privacy screen, windbreak or
Grown as a tree, it reaches a height of 15 to 20 feet, with a wide rounded canopy.
As a multi-branched hedge it develops thick foliage that provides cover for birds
such as northern cardinals.
The leaves’ shiny smooth upper surfaces earn it another common name: mirror-leaf
The leaves are oval and four to eight inches long, with serrated edges and blunt
tips. The light-green undersides contrast with the dark-green upper surfaces.
Panicles of small white fragrant flowers appear in spring. Fleshy berries of light
orange or red ripen to black and provide food for a variety of birds.
Both the colorful fruit and the shiny leaves account for the plant’s ornamental value.
Plant this tree in full sun to partial shade in well-drained moist conditions.
It is drought tolerant, fairly low maintenance, tolerant of repeated shearing, and
Nevertheless, consider adding the native small-leaf viburnum, also known as
Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum), to your landscape, too.
Sources: Florida, My Eden by Frederic B. Streasau; South Florida Landscapes by
the South Florida Water Management District; floridata.com; and ifas.ufl.edu.
Plant Smart explores the diverse flora of South Florida.
Awabuki sweet viburnum’s dense foliage can serve as a privacy screen, noise barrier or
The fleshy fruit ripens to black and is a food source for birds
photos by Gerri Reaves
Catfish by Cynthia A.
1976) was some-
thing of a legend
as a fisherman
in the waters off
Fort Myers in
the 1950s and
Reproduced for you here are chap-
ters from his unfinished Fisherman’s
Paradise, an account of his fishing
adventures that are often hilarious
and always instructional. It is pre-
sented by Williams’ daughter, Cynthia
Williams, a freelance writer and editor
living in Bokeelia on Pine Island.
Chapter XIII Part II
One good thing about catfish is that,
when you’re fishing with artificial lures,
they won’t bite. But if you let any kind
of live or dead bait hit the bottom, they’ll
be Johnny-on-the-spot. They’ll take
stale beef or cut-up fish about as well as
The only time I fish for catfish is when
I’m going after tarpon, cobia or Goliath
grouper. I’ve found they make excellent
live bait. I’ve also discovered that these
fish will strike them more readily when
the three spikes have been cut off. You
don’t want to use too large a cat for tar-
pon or cobia. Under a foot long is prefer-
able. But with goliath grouper, the sky’s
the limit. I hooked and landed a behe-
moth one day on a nine-pound sail cat.
To watch a commercial fisherman
dress out a cat is a sight worth seeing.
They can do it faster than I can tell about
it. A few deft flicks of a sharp knife and
a fine, firm piece of white catfish is ready
to be stacked on ice. The Punta Rassa
experts lay the fish belly down on a plank
and cut headward from the second dorsal
fin up to the main dorsal. Then they turn
the blade to a 45-degree angle and cut
toward the backbone, pick the fish up
and break the backbone by bending the
head down parallel to the belly. Then,
holding the fish in the right hand with
the index finger over the broken end of
the bone, with the left hand they pull the
severed head toward the tail. At the rib
cage, they grasp the rib cage and pull the
head and entrails in one direction and the
body in another until the fish is skinned.
It would be difficult to clean a fish more
The gaff-topsail cat is covered with a
slime that is almost impossible to wash
off. But the sail cat is a much more desir-
able fish. First, the sail cat is not a scav-
enger, but borders on being a game fish.
He’ll hit live bait like pinfish and shrimp,
and I’ve caught them on bucktails and
plugs. Second, they are a fine eating fish,
having a firm, flakey white flesh. And
thirdly, they cannot hurt you. Their fins
are so feathered out, they’re harmless.
A Lee County fisherman can have
pretty good year-round fishing just from
sea and sail cats.
To be continued next week…
From page 5
pen, pencil and ink, and later on, acrylic.
He currently lives in Fort Myers. Goldey’s
influences are Salvador Dali, Piet
Mondrian and Wayne White.
Goldey has exhibited at various local
venues and galleries in Fort Myers, and at
Fashion Week in Naples, Florida. One of
his paintings is at the Housing Authority
of Fort Myers. He is currently part of the
Bootleggers Gallery, which is an open air
gallery in downtown Fort Myers. Goldey’s
art is considered minimalist chaos, a
combo of op surrealism and modern
abstract. Most of what he creates with
pen, pencil or ink starts with a dot and
grows from there. He never knows what
will come next.
Featured in the white gallery this
month is Justin Markley, a self-taught art-
ist who started to draw at a young age,
taking what he saw in his mind and put-
ting it to paper. From this moment on,
his life had true meaning and he began to
live and not feel so different. His passion
for aquatic art led him to more travel,
exploring oceans, lakes, rivers and wild-
life. Some of his favorite pastimes are
fishing, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, bik-
ing and hiking.
These exhibits will be on view through
Monday, September 28.
Arts for ACT Gallery is at 2265 First
Street in the downtown Fort Myers River
District. For more information, call 337-
5050 or visit www.artsforactgallery.com.
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Call 415-7732, Fax: 415-7702
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