The Naiad, Inspiration for the Undine in Swamp Ghosts
I swiped this photo from the St. Johns River Eco Tours FB Page
Go there to book a tour for yourself, and see how much fun it is.
You folks who know me best, know I’m very seldom out of the house these days. In a frenzy to tell my stories while I still remember what words are, I mostly spend my days at the computer, writing or researching. But yesterday, they LET ME OUT! Woohooo! The wonderful Captain Jeanne Bell of the St. Johns River Eco Tours and her wildlife photographer husband, Doug Little, invited me to go along on TWO of their tours. And what a great time it was!
The weather was sunny and beautiful. Okay, I was hot, since it was well over 80 degrees out, but you can’t go by me. I haven’t been cool since 1972, and I mean that in every sense of the word. But most people were very comfortable, and the blue skies and brilliant green spring foliage made the trip simply breathtaking. And we saw it ALL, folks. Lots and lots of alligators, from some no more than a foot long, to a few truly big, big boys, and every size in between. All the usual wading birds were out–white ibis galore, little blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and quite a few giant wood storks. We even spotted a purple gallinule on the morning tour. But the highlight of the trip for me was when Doug called up several barred owls who came when he whistled, and put on a show for us. It was spectacular, and something I’d not seen him do on any of my earlier trips.
And of course, because they are so supportive and understand the benefits of networking to each other’s mutual benefit, Doug did his spiel about how he and Captain Jeanne were the inspiration for my book, Swamp Ghosts, and I had a chance to address each group and talk a bit about my book, and my experiences in tackling writing and self-publishing at my age, with no prior training in either. We had a drawing after each tour, and the winners got a copy of my first book, Wake-Robin Ridge, plus an assortment of my custom tea blends I’ve been making up and naming for characters in my books. I sold and signed some books, and all in all, consider the day to have been everything I hoped for, and more!
We’ve been chatting a bit about building local readerships, and I just wanted to share one way to make it work. Here are a few pictures of things we saw, though these weren’t taken yesterday. If I get any that were, I’ll pass them along. (I was too busy having fun to take pics myself.)
THINGS WE SAW
Lots of these.
A few of these.
Even a few of these…
But none of these! (Read Swamp Ghosts, and you’ll find out why not.)
Some of these.
More of these
Kajillions of both of these…
But only ONE of these.
We saw a whole lot more, but I have to stop somewhere. To see for yourself, check out
St. Johns River Eco Tours. You’ll have a fantastic time!