Amy Bennett Williams' Essays

Fridays @ 8:45am

Amy Bennett Williams touches our hearts each week with a special essay. From the beauty found in Southwest Florida to heart-warming stories of family, friends and neighbors, her essays take us around our community and often into our past.  Her essays extol the beauty found in the commonplace objects and places – and are delivered with a touch of tenderness.

Williams is a long-time writer for The News-Press who started emptying ashtrays and writing obits and now has the coolest job title she can imagine: Storyteller. She's also author of the pictorial history book, "Along the Caloosahatchee" and is at work on another. She and her husband, Roger, also a writer, live in rural Alva with their two sons and way too many animals.

A Full Kitchen

Jul 21, 2017
Amy Bennett Williams

This week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams includes her musings about the centrality of the kitchen to family and home life.  It’s not always the cleanest or best-organized room of the house, but even alone in the kitchen, the space can feel overwhelming and full with the recipes, traditions and totems of close friends and generations past.  

Amy Bennett Williams

The sweltering heat of sub-tropical summer has taken hold here in Southwest Florida.  On the bright side though, it’s the time of year when delicious mangoes abound and when Southwest Florida residents look forward to MangoMania, which hits Pine Island this weekend.  While our taste buds may relish their juicy sweetness, the fruit comes with its perils.  Many people either have or can develop an allergic reaction to the skin of mangoes and their sticky sap.

Amy Bennett Williams

Much of Southwest Florida’s beachfront is known for great shelling opportunities.  So, it’s only fitting that for this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams we delve into the world of mollusks.  Mollusks are easy to overlook, but they do comprise nearly a quarter of all the named marine organisms humans have documented. And the variety of colors and shell patterns characteristic to each species have inspired some pretty interesting common names.  Some evoke elegance and grace.  Some evoke fear and some of those common names are just plain bizarre.

GabeD via Flickr creative commons

This morning’s offering from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams pays homage to one of South Florida’s iconic coastal plant varieties: mangroves.  According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Florida is home to an estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests and this halophyte’s ecological importance simply cannot be overstated. 

Atlantic Stingray

Jun 23, 2017
Florida Fish and Wildlife

Even for longtime Southwest Florida residents with plenty of knowledge about our region’s wild spaces and their vast array of flora and fauna, there are still opportunities for surprises.