What’s so special about that pumpkin?

Happy National Pumpkin Day! Need ideas on how to celebrate this national day? We have some for you!

First off, maybe you should eat some. Seriously. Pumpkin is super good for you. It’s full of fiber, and fiber is good for you heart. That’s a win. It’s also good for your eyes, thanks to all the Vitamin A. But there’s more: Pumpkin also promotes weight loss and can help you sleep better.

Related: Best Halloween festivals, parties in town

Oh, but before you go gettin’ all Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte crazy, know this: All that high-calorie, high sugar processed pumpkin is not where the good stuff is at. It’s best you roast, steam or even mash the veggie to reap the benefits.

Not into eating it? Try your hand at carving instead. Visit one of these fun pumpkin patches to pick out your favorite to carve or for fall decorating: Best Pumpkin Patches of Palm Beach County

Kylee Wells (left), age 3-1/2, gets some help from Tanner Luna, also 3-1/2, as she sizes up the pumpkins at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on Military Trail in suburban West Palm Beach Monday, October 10, 2016. Good Shepherd's pumpkins came in Saturday from New Mexico, where they are grown by the Navajo Nation without pesticides or GMOs. The pumpkin patch is open 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday, 1pm-9pm Sundays, through October 30. The church has storytellers on site weekdays 9am-noon, as well as a photo booth and bean bag toss. Proceeds from the pumpkin sales will be used for Good Shepherd's youth mission trips; they hope to go to one of the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew next summer. Kylee and Tanner are in the church's Shepherd Care preschool. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Kylee Wells (left), age 3-1/2, gets some help from Tanner Luna, also 3-1/2, as she sizes up the pumpkins at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on Military Trail in suburban West Palm Beach Monday, October 10, 2016. Good Shepherd’s pumpkins came in Saturday from New Mexico, where they are grown by the Navajo Nation without pesticides or GMOs. The pumpkin patch is open 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday, 1pm-9pm Sundays, through October 30. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Speaking of pumpkin decorating, have you seen any teal pumpkins around town? Wondering what’s the deal with that? It’s part of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Because food allergies shouldn’t keep a kid out of the trick-or-treating spirit.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Mark your house with a teal pumpkin this weekend and then go one step further: Put a pin in it on this rad interactive map so other local moms know that their kid won’t get a candy-let-down at your door. It’s simple. Just click on the plus sign in the right corner of the map to add deets about your non-food treats.

Or if teal isn’t really your color this Halloween season, maybe you prefer pumpkins of the underwater variety. Because, yes, underwater pumpkin carving is totally a thing that’s happening in Florida. So grab the kids and hit the road for a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium in Orlando this weekend.

And finally, we couldn’t celebrate National Pumpkin Day without a nod to Internet sensation, Trumpkins. That’s right. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at carving a #Trumpkin instead?

Since the video pretty much says it alllet’s move on.

However you decide to spend this trending holiday, don’t forget to make like NASA and share the joy with #NationalPumpkinDay.

Five furious bike trails in Palm Beach County

It’s hard to believe it, but you can actually go mountain biking in Florida (sort of)! Sure, we have plenty of nicely paved bike paths around the wealthy properties in Palm Beach County, but if you’re looking for a bit more adrenaline, you better check out these trails:

Daryll McKenzie, heads down the hill with riders behind him during the Sandblaster Mountain Bike Race Series at Dyer Park. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)
Daryll McKenzie, heads down the hill with riders behind him during the Sandblaster Mountain Bike Race Series at Dyer Park. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post)

Dyer Park’s “The Hill” in West Palm Beach: This climbing/descending trail is over 53 feet in elevation! Sounds crazy, right? An actual hill in Florida where you can bike and test your endurance. The bike path is made out of crushed shell rock and is approximately 2.4 miles long and about 2 feet wide. Even though you will ride through native forests, most of the trail is exposed to the sun, so wear appropriate clothing and apply sunblock.

When: Everyday, sunrise to sunset.
Where: 7301 Haverhill Road West Palm Beach, Florida 33412
Cost: Free
Contact: (561) 966-6600pbcparks@pbcgov.org

Check out part of the trail captured by this GoPro camera:

. The Dyer Perimeter in West Palm Beach: Most use this 4.7-mile bike trail as a conditioning activity before facing “The Hill” at Dyer Park. “The way is mostly smooth, so beginners won’t have any problems,” according to Rei’s MTB Project. It’s not a boring trail, though. According to the MTB project, it has several miles of twisty single-track trails in the woods that loop around the park. So why would you need a mountain bike? There are broken branches and trunks you’ll want to bike over.

When: Everyday, sunrise to sunset.
Where: 7301 Haverhill Road West Palm Beach, Florida 33412
Cost: Free
Contact:(561) 966-6600pbcparks@pbcgov.org.

Pinehurst MTB Trail in Greenacres: Get technical and use all of your mountain bike’s gears. This trail is not as high in elevation as the Dyer Park trail, nor as fast as the Dyer Perimeter. On this one, you’ll get to sharpen your skills by controlling your balance, going over obstacles and shifting gears constantly. Get ready for plenty of log piles, sharp turns and sudden drops. It’s a good, quick workout packed into 4 miles according to Rei’s MTB project.

When: Everyday, sunrise to sunset.
Where: 2400 Pinehurst Dr, Greenacres, FL 33413
Cost: Free
Contact: (561) 966-6600pbcparks@pbcgov.org

Note: There is no parking on the actual trail, but there are two parks nearby with plenty of parking, restrooms, water, and pavilions: Okeeheelee Park and Greenacres Freedom Park.

4. West Delray Trail in Delray Beach: If you’re more into scenery and wildlife, this one is for you. This trail is a really pretty ride through canopied tropics, lakes, and swamp land inside West Delray Regional Park. It’s also fun because it has many technical elements such as turns, rocks, mounds and tree branches. 

There is a variety of wildlife  including squirrels, birds, butterflies, and lots of bugs as well, so wear repellent.

When: Everyday, sunrise to sunset.
Where: 10875 W Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33446
Cost: Free
Contact: (561) 966-6600. pbcparks@pbcgov.org

photo cypress creek south
Habitat restoration work and trail improvement continues in Cypress Creek South, a new county natural area and preserve in Jupiter. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
  1. Cypress Creek Natural Area in Jupiter: Shell rock road through the Cypress Creek Natural Area. There are a few boardwalks that overlook the natural area and splinter trails for “foot traffic only.” The trail goes 2 miles west and ends at Mack Dairy Rd. http://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/cypress-creek-natural

Lighten up your life with these events in Jupiter!

As if the Jupiter Lighthouse isn’t enough to put a smile on your face, this iconic 1860 structure is hosting several activities and programs for adults and the entire family.

“Our award-winning staff and volunteers provide tours, visitor services, programming and educational experiences to over 75,000 annual visitors,”according to The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse website.

See for yourself, why so many tourists visit this beauty by checking out our gallery and by attending following events:

TWILIGHT YOGA AT THE LIGHT

Floor mat, check.
Water bottle, check.
Flashlight, check.
Elasticity…. Don’t worry, this is an all-level yoga class! Beginners encouraged.

Submitted by Mike Morrill
Submitted by Mike Morrill

Relax and enjoy a yoga experience on the lighthouse deck at sunset and resuming once it’s dark out.

When: Every Monday: 6 to 7 p.m.
Oct. 17, 24 and 31.
Nov. 7, 14, 21 and 28.
Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: Donation.

Contact: 561-747-8380 X101. or visit the Jupiter Lighthouse website.

Note: Meet at the museum 10 minutes prior to start time, the class is weather dependent, please check the website for updates and future start times.

LIGHTHOUSE SUNSET TOUR

This tower reaches a height of 105 feet above the water, and you get to climb as you learn its history. Once you’ve made it to the top, you’ll reward yourself with beautiful sunsets from this amazing landmark. Bring your camera!

Submitted by Christopher Lopez I've been doing night security at Utiki Beach for nearly 2 years now and there really isn't much to photograph that doesn't in some way have the lighthouse involved. I took this photograph a couple weeks ago and the lightning flashed perfectly. I used a Canon 7D MarkII with a 50mm lens on a tripod. 20 second exposure at f/7.1 ISO 100. I have tons of varying pictures of the light house involving anything from lightning to sunrises.
Submitted by Christopher Lopez

Sunday, August 7, is National Lighthouse Day. The Jupiter Lighthouse celebrated with special admission fees. Visitors from Russia, Italy, Mexico and Argentina were among the approximately 263 visitors climbing the 105 steps to the top of lighthouse on Sunday. Kelly Foote, visiting from Holland Patent, New York is helped down the steps by her 5 year old daughter Corinne. "I was a little scared," said Foote, "I had to conquer my fear of heights." (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)
The Jupiter Lighthouse. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

Opens: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, beginning with an inside look at the nuts & bolts of a working lighthouse watch room. The tours are 75 minutes long.

WhenOct. 19, Nov. 2 & 30, and Dec. 14 & 28.  6 to7:15 pm.

Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: $15 Members, $20 non-members. RSVP required.

Contact: 561-747-8380 X101 or visit the Jupiter Lighthouse website.

Note: Children must be at least 48” tall to climb the tower.

LIGHTHOUSE STORY TIME & CRAFTS FOR KIDS

Hey parents: It’s picnic time for you and the little ones! This 45-minute program includes craft activities and story time about the Lighthouse Keepers, Florida history, people, local plants and animals. Bring your sandwiches, floor mat and juice boxes to start your day under the Lighthouse Seminole Chickee Hut. Oh, and don’t forget your kids.

He's got the lighthouse in his hands! Kevin Brown, 14, of Jupiter, was waiting in the parking lot of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, waiting for the rest of the Boy Scouts from Troop 132 of Palm Beach Gardens to arrive for the lighthouse tour. He got creative for dad Mitchell Brown's camera. Contributed
Kevin Brown of Jupiter. (Contributed)

When: Nov 1, Dec 6. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

WhereJupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: Free Program, RSVP required Friday before the program date.

Contact: 561-747-8380 X101 or visit the Jupiter Lighthouse website

Note:  Ideal for kids ages 8 and under.

HIKE THROUGH HISTORY

Put on your hiking gear, pack lots of water and splash some sunscreen. Get on your best Indiana Jones attitude and get ready to discover the topography and natural history of Jupiter’s 120-acre conservation lands. This two-mile excursion passes through several historic points around the lighthouse.

Glenn Salts III was raised in Jupiter and now lives in Palm Beach Gardens. He's had the Jupiter Lighthouse tattoo on his back for five years. Why? "It's one of my favorite places in the world!" Contributed
Glenn Salts III was raised in Jupiter and now lives in Palm Beach Gardens. He’s had the Jupiter Lighthouse tattoo on his back for five years. Why? “It’s one of my favorite places in the world!” (Contributed)

When: Nov 5, Dec 3. 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter. The hike departs from the flag pole at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.

Cost: Admission is free but space is limited; rsvp required.

Contact: 561-747-8380 X101 or visit the Jupiter Lighthouse website.

Note: The minimum age for children is 5.  Ages 13 & under must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old.

LIGHTHOUSE MOONRISE TOUR

Sunrises and sunsets always get the credit, yet moonrises are just as amazing. We’re lucky to live by the east coast because we can see the moon rising from the Atlantic! Sometimes the moon puts on a bright silver costume but when she’s feeling frisky, she turns bright red.

Submitted by Jeffrey Bundonis-Tequesta,Fl. April 2016 full moon rise taken from the north side of the bridge.
April 2016 full moon rise taken from the north side of the bridge. (Submitted by Jeffrey Bundonis-Tequesta)

When:  Nov. 14, and Dec. 13. 4:45 to 6:00 p.m.

Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: $15 Members, $20 non-members, rsvp required.

Contact:  561-747-8380 X101 or visit the Jupiter Lighthouse website.

Note: Children must be at least 48” tall to climb the tower.

Lighthouse River Rendezvous

This is the Cadillac of all of these events. A must-attend social gathering that celebrates the history of the iconic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and its photographers who have captured the landmark at its very best.

Submitted by J Michael Carlisle, Tequesta, Florida This photograph was taken at dawn from the soccer field adjacent to the Jupiter Lighthouse during the holiday season (notice the decoration around the top of the lighthouse) . I used a Nikon D300 camera. The exposure was 1 sec at f5.6 with a Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Editing was done with Photoshop. This was the best of approximately 300 exposures.
“This photograph was taken at dawn from the soccer field adjacent to the Jupiter Lighthouse during the holiday season.” (Submitted by J Michael Carlisle, Tequesta)

Enjoy a live music, hors d’oeuvres from Jupiter’s top restaurants, choose among fine beers and wines and participate in the magical silent auction. You’ll take home a limited edition 2017 Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Calendar and meet and greet the photographers of social media who made it possible.

When: Nov, 19, 2016, 6 to 9:00 p.m.

WhereJupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. 500 Captain Armour’s Way, Jupiter

Cost: Limited tickets: $75 per person

Contact:  Call 561-747-8380 x101 for tickets.

Note:  All tickets are non-refundable. Each ticket will include a copy of the 2017 Lighthouse Photography Calendar being launched at the event.

Car enthusiasts, this beach was made for your ride.

Vroom, vroom! Get ready to hear and see a variety of muscle machines at the Horsepower at the Beach car show on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex in Lake Worth.

You can either check out the exhibition for free or register your vehicle for a chance to win some awards. This is an opportunity to admire some of the coolest rides in town, check out the engines, the upgrades and take a peek at their stylish interiors.

photo car show
(Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

If you think your car has what it takes to win, you can pay $15 to be included in the lineup and receive up-front, VIP beachfront parking. To register, contact lbennett@lakeworth.org or 561-533-7395.

Otherwise, just come out, enjoy the show, eat some food and listen to great music outside.

What: Horsepower at the Beach car show

When: Thursday, Oct. 13. 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Lake Worth Casino building and Beach complex in Lake Worth, FL.

Flora Friday: Post staff photos of beautiful flowers, gardens in Palm Beach County

photo starry rosinweed
Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus) at Mounts Botanical Garden. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Plant life in South Florida is unlike any other place in the country.

In our mild winters, we can grow most northern flowers, from pansies to snapdragons.

But during our hot, humid summers, our landscapes erupt into voluptuous tropical extravaganzas of color, odd leaf shapes and oddities from tropical zones around the world.

Recently, Palm Beach Post staff photographer Bruce Bennett started documenting the botanical splendor found in Palm Beach County. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring some of his favorite photographs.

20160726-bromeliad
Bromeliad at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Bromeliads are a family of monocot flowering plants of 51 genera and around 3475 known species native mainly to the tropical Americas.

photo araceae spathiphyllum
Araceae Spathiphyllum ‘mauna loa supreme’ White Anthurium at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Anthurium is a genus of about 1000 species of flowering plants, the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. General common names include anthurium, tailflower, flamingo flower, and laceleaf. The genus is native to the Americas, where it is distributed from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean.

20160727-purple-verbena
Purple Top Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) at Mounts Botanical Garden Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

The stiff deep lilac spikes of this South American native perennial make long-lasting cut flowers. Purple Top Verbena blooms year-round and is irresistible to butterflies.

photo crinum lily
Droplets of water adhere to the leaves of a Crinum lily in Lake Worth early Friday morning, July 22, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Crinum is a genus of perennial plants that develop from bulbs and have large showy flowers. They are found in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide.

photo Heliconia Rostrata
The pendulous bloom of a Heliconia rostrata (or ‘lobster claw’) hangs colorfully at The Society of the Four Arts Garden Monday, July 25, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Also known as the ‘False Bird of Paradise,’ Heliconia rostrata is an herbaceous perennial native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and naturalized in Puerto Rico. Known as a host flower to many birds, especially the hummingbird, Heliconias are often used in tropical gardens.

photo starry rosinweed
Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus) at Mounts Botanical Garden. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

This tough, long-lived native perennial bears yellow daisy flowers nearly year-round in South Florida, and its large blooms attract butterflies and other insects.

9 Palm Beach County road trips to try this summer

(Photo: Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)
(Photo: Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)

With summer officially here, it’s time to get into the car and hit the great American highway for a road trip to remember.

Destination: Palm Beach County?

With staycations all the rage, you don’t have to go far to add a scenic drive to your summer bucket list. Within the broad borders of the county, there is more to see than you might think.

From Jupiter to Boca to the western communities, you can gaze upon the natural splendor of ocean, waterways and lakes. Or check out man-made marvels, from ultra-expensive houses to tiny trailers. And stop along the way to dine, shop or take a nature hike.

Most important of all, you can see the place you live in a whole new light. These drives are perfect for a weekend afternoon — or even your lunch hour.

Let’s go road trippin’.

GAS UP AND GO ON OUR PALM BEACH COUNTY ROAD TRIPS!

Palm Beach County: 5 invasive species invading our county!

Nile monitors, native to the Nile Delta in Africa, can reach 5-foot and 15 pounds. The semi-aquatic lizards are meat-eaters with a fierce some bite.

Nile monitors, native to the Nile Delta in Africa, can reach 5-foot and 15 pounds. The semi-aquatic meat-eaters with a fearsome bite are known to breed in the canal along Southern Boulevard. (FWC)

Iguanas are tearing up our gardens while Nile monitor lizards are breeding in the C-51 Palm Beach Canal along Southern Boulevard.

Invasive exotic species abound in South Florida and Palm Beach County has its share.

The Burmese pythons breeding in the Everglades haven’t migrated this far north, but wildlife officials are concerned about the spread of tegus,  a large black-and-white lizard found in substantial numbers west of Miami and spotted a few times in Palm Beach County.

Read more about South Florida’s invasive species.

 

 

 

 

 

Which Florida beaches made Southern Living’s best beaches list?

beach

Southern Living magazine combed 2,000 miles of coastline to find the Best Beaches in the South.

None in Palm Beach County made the list but six spots along the Florida coast did, including Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys, Caladesi Island north of Clearwater on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples, Shell Island near Panama City in the Panhandle, South Walton Beach and St. Augustine.

Related: Best beaches in Palm Beach County