Sand script — From a thousand feet above the ground, the terrain of Southwest Florida takes on a new dimension few are privileged to see. Spinning along the coast, I brace myself against the cold winds blowing through the helicoter's open cockpit, glancing down at a community beginning to awaken. Rows of bright-blue beach chairs contrast against the snow-like sands of Fort Myers Beach, bordered by a row of structures on one side and a jade green sea on the other. For the most part it's an empty beach, occupied by inert objects and deep shadows created by the early morning light. Like a moth drawn by the light, my eyes wander over new and amazing sights, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. There are patterns everywhere, some natural and some manmade. A lone sunbather's chess-like move of positioning herself early in a prime location breaks the pattern of empty chairs. Since the tractors, like giant erasers, have not yet done their work, thousands of footprints are left surrounding the chairs, revealing the flurry of activity that took place here the day before. The sunbather's move is a smart one, especially in the peak of season when thousands are fleeing the cold grasp of the north. Published February 20, 2006

Photo by MICHEL FORTIER, Daily News

Sand script — From a thousand feet above the ground, the terrain of Southwest Florida takes on a new dimension few are privileged to see. Spinning along the coast, I brace myself against the cold winds blowing through the helicoter's open cockpit, glancing down at a community beginning to awaken. Rows of bright-blue beach chairs contrast against the snow-like sands of Fort Myers Beach, bordered by a row of structures on one side and a jade green sea on the other. For the most part it's an empty beach, occupied by inert objects and deep shadows created by the early morning light. Like a moth drawn by the light, my eyes wander over new and amazing sights, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. There are patterns everywhere, some natural and some manmade. A lone sunbather's chess-like move of positioning herself early in a prime location breaks the pattern of empty chairs. Since the tractors, like giant erasers, have not yet done their work, thousands of footprints are left surrounding the chairs, revealing the flurry of activity that took place here the day before. The sunbather's move is a smart one, especially in the peak of season when thousands are fleeing the cold grasp of the north. Published February 20, 2006

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