We have so many shades of green here on the Paradise Coast. Have you ever noticed? Since I have lived in Naples for 10 years and seen emerald hues everywhere, I know that I took the color green for granted.
Of course, the most obvious blast of the color comes from the wide swaths of lush landscape we see all around in the trees, grass and plants—many endowed with a vast array of flowers. As golfers, Neapolitans are reminded of this example of nature’s handiwork every moment we chase those little white balls around the course.
In and around Naples, however, there are some ever-present examples of green that might not be as obvious. The first made its presence known to me on a recent walk. It was none other than the trucks from Waste Management. My husband, Bob, and I are very thankful that these folks are around all the time to pick up our trash, which we put in the big—yes, that’s right—green dumpsters. But, as I found out on my walk, getting caught behind one of these wheeled behemoths—especially while one is walking—is not the most pleasant place to end up, if you know what I mean.
And, of course, you cannot talk about green without mentioning Whole Foods. As I have often said, I love Whole Foods. Just about everything pertaining to this market is green—figuratively and literally. Whether it’s the bags their 365 brand products are packaged in, the green aprons the employees wear, or the minty rubber bands the checkout folks use to secure your purchases, green reminds us of the earth-friendly, healthy focus that Whole Foods promotes.
Whole Foods’ packaging and rubber bands feature green.
The sky is another showcase for the color green, believe it or not. Bob and I have seen instances of this phenomenon with all the storms that have hit the area recently, and the scene can be sobering. The clouds can turn a sickening shade of green when a severe squall approaches. Sometimes, such clouds emit not only thunder, lightning and wind, but funnel clouds or waterspouts, too, which can turn from that sick shade to black, or even an eerie white.
On a much cheerier note, I am on the constant search for the mysterious “green flash,” which appears on the horizon just as the sun sets when the environment provides perfect conditions. Some say the heavy imbibing of alcohol needs to take place in order for one to witness that green flash, but I can testify that is not the case. Bob and I, along with many others, saw the glorious event not all that long ago. The sight was spectacular and we were perfectly sober.
Finally, I think one of most significant examples of green in Southwest Florida is green gauze. Seriously. This outdoor cloth-type wrapping represents the definitive sign that change is about to take place in our ever-growing piece of paradise. I have no idea who puts the green gauze up, but when we see it surrounding a home, a building, or even a vacant lot, something big is about to happen. Usually, when the gauze goes up, bulldozers follow. This summer in particular it seems there has been more green gauze popping up around Naples than I have seen in the decade I have lived here. Homes and buildings are purchased and then demolished to make way for brand new structures. I spy several instances while driving along Crayton Road, Gulf Shore Boulevard, both North and South, Gordon Drive and, of course, U.S. 41.
Green gauze, a sign of good things in the works!
In many locations, demolitions have already taken place. New buildings are rising quickly, and all are very exciting signs of growth in preparation for the upcoming season.
So, you see, green means so much more than grass and trees.