Reminder: Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife Presentation – Overview

Just a reminder for those of you in the central Florida area. I will be giving a presentation tomorrow at the Enterprise Heritage Center and Museum (information below), along with wildlife photographer Doug Little. Doug’s work has been on display at the museum all month, and if you haven’t yet checked it out, you really should stop by for that alone, though I hope you’ll stay for the show. It’s an overview of my brand new wildlife series, and features even more of Doug’s work. I’d love to see YOUR smiling face in the audience, getting a sneak peek of the various topics I’ll be focusing on over the months ahead .

Doug and I will both be happy to answer your questions on Florida wildlife, and we will be available afterward to sign books (me) or calandars (Doug.) This program is free, though donations to the museum are always gratefully accepted. No reservations required, either. Join us for a fun afternoon, with lots of time for Q&A! 🙂

When: 1:00 PM, Saturday, April 28
Where: Enterprise Heritage Center and Museum, 360 Main St, Enterprise, FL 32725
Phone: (386) 259-5900


Tri-colored Heron (background) and Little Blue Heron (foreground).

My Schedule of Local Events March thru May

Believe it or not, I have had electricians, painters, and contractors to deal with this week, just when I thought I was nearly done with Irma, once and for all. Eeep. Therefore, I’m not really back to normal with my blogging and writing routine. However, I do have a lot of fun events scheduled every month through October.

For those of you in this area who might like to attend, here is a list of the ones open to the public, covering the next three months. Hope to see some of you at one or two of them! 🙂

MARCH 

SAT, 3/10DeBary Hall – Catered Luncheon and Tea 

Time: 11:00  
Cost – $25
Reservations Required by 2/28 (You may choose your lunch selection when you call)Includes luncheon with custom-blended teas, a reading, Q & A session, and a signed copy of one of my books, your choice.
Call (386) 668-3840 for directions or additional information.

APRIL

SAT, 4/7 – “Meet the Author” EcoTour River Cruise 

Time: 1:30
Cost – $30
Reservations required to hold a spot.
The Naiad departs from Highbanks Marina in DeBary. Your ticket includes full 2-hour tour, plus a short stop midway for a reading and brief Question & Answer session, and a signing back at the dock.
Call (386) 626-9004 for directions and addition information. (Please leave message if they are out on a tour. 

SAT, 4/28Enterprise Heritage Museum – Joint Wildlife Slide Presentation 

Time: 11:00
Cost – $10 (Includes Lunch)
Reservations Required
Joint Wildlife Presentation with Doug Little and Marcia Meara, in conjunction with Doug’s month-long wildlife photography museum exhibit.
Call (386) 259-5900 for directions and additional information.

MAY  

SAT, 5/12DeBary Hall – Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife #2
Wading Birds of the St. Johns River Basin 

Time: 1:00
Cost: FREE
No Reservations Required
A slide presentation featuring the wading birds of central Florida, with plenty of tips on identification, and information on nesting, feeding habits, and more. All you have to do is show up, ready for a fun and informative presentation. Plenty of time for Q&A.
Call (386) 668-3840 for directions or additional information.

#CFFW – #DeBaryHall Wildlife Presentation

If you are in the area this coming Saturday, 2/10/18, I will be at DeBary Hall, presenting the first of my series, “Central Florida’s Fabulous Wildlife,” featuring the area’s most famous–or infamous–animal, the American Alligator. The presentation starts at 1:00pm. I have lots of information and a ton of great slides to share with you. Join us for what I hope will be the first of many entertaining, interesting, and informative wildlife talks. And there will be plenty of time for Questions and Answers, too.

The event is FREE, no reservation required. All you have to do is show up prepared to enjoy yourself. 🙂

Hope to see YOUR smiling face in the audience!

DeBary Hall, 198 Sunrise Blvd, DeBary, FL 32713, (386) 668-3840

 

 

#SwampGhosts Presentation at DeBary Hall 5/20/17


“Big Blue”
Opening Slide from My Swamp Ghosts Presentation

On May 20, 2017, I’ll be doing my favorite presentation at DeBary Hall Historic Site, and if you are in the area, I’d love to see you there. This talk features many beautiful photographs of the St. Johns River basin habitat, including birds and wildlife of the area. There is also a brief introduction to albino and leucistic alligators, and a section on the easiest way to ID the very few snakes in our area that you do not want to handle. The last section covers a bit on how I write, my inspiration board photos, and the challenges of starting a brand new career at a time when most are thinking about retirement.

I always include plenty of time for Questions & Answers during and after the presentation, and I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a whole lotta laughin’ going’ on! 🙂 This is a fun event, and if you can possibly come, please do! Meeting new readers is my favorite thing in the world, next to writing books for them. Here’s the pertinent information for those who’d like  to  attend:

Location: DeBary Hall Historic Site, 198 Sunrise Blvd, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-3840
Time: 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Cost: FREE, No Reservations Required

COME HAVE A FUN AFTERNOON LEARNING MORE ABOUT WHAT MAKES FLORIDA GREAT!

Wednesday’s #NotesFromTheRiver – Barred Owls

Today’s #NotesFromTheRiver blog post features one of central Florida’s most beautiful birds, the barred owl. Hope some of you will check out the post, and share with your friends. Doug Little’s beautiful photos are worth the visit, alone. To see (and hear) for yourself, go here: #NotesFromTheRiver – Barred Owls

#StJohnsRiverEcoTour #MeetTheAuthor Friday, 5/27/16

0038-107-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Come Say Hi to Me, and This Guy!
(Barred Owl)

I’m up for one last eco-tour this Friday, until after the weather cools down a bit. Want to join us on the beautiful St. Johns River, for some wildlife viewing, bird watching, local history, and a brief reading from yours truly?  I’ll be doing more in the fall, I’m sure, but this will be my last one for this summer, I think.

These tours are the best two hours you can spend in central Florida, you know . . . even without MOI! 😀 The river is always beautiful and lush, and the wildlife can be amazing. Even this time of year, when many animals are hiding in the shade, you always see something wonderful. Plenty of birds, for sure. If you live in the area, join us Friday for a great time.  Call for reservations ( 386-626-9004), as the boat is almost full. Bring your cameras!

0058-127-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20
Help Us Spot One of These!

#MidWeekPOV – #wwwblogs Small Miracles

wood-stork-xxximg_0222mw
Wood Stork on the Wing

Some years ago (too many to count), I developed a little habit I call “looking for the miracle.” It started as a small superstition that if I saw something truly beautiful or uncommon at the start of a long car trip, it was a sign all was well in the world, and I’d get where I was going, unscathed. Yeah, I know it was silly, but it made me feel surprisingly good, and you know what else? I found that when I was actively watching for them, small miracles showed themselves to me nearly everywhere I looked.

bald_eagle_stock_by_crystalsm

Of course, with my long-established love of nature, I often looked for special birds or wildlife along the roadside, as an omen of good luck. I’d spot a bald eagle soaring overhead (always an inspirational sight), and say to myself, “There! That’s this trip’s miracle.”

0052-121-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20

Or I’d see the summer’s first swallowtail kite, my very favorite bird of prey, and feel so happy, I just knew it was good omen, and my trip would go smoothly.

B9317081945Z_1_20150422173109_000_G4IAJ4HG4_1-0

Over the  years, I’ve spotted all sorts of interesting animals and birds along the highways and byways of my travels. A flock of wild turkey is always a good sign, to me . .  .

10b-1101

. . .  and my first Florida sighting of a half-grown black bear made me smile for the next twently or thirty miles.

3572680404_ca66aba192_z

Over time, I saw other things that I counted among my miracles. Rainbows are always good, and double rainbows mean my trip home will go well, too.

phlox_10-04-0718

A solid purple field of wild phlox takes my breath away as it announces its miracle status in no uncertain terms.

CrestedCaracara14

A crested caracara sitting in a tree,

grazing2

deer grazing in a field,

bunch-of-baby-donkeys-600x350

a baby donkey standing in the front yard of a farmhouse–all have given me a sense of the magical, the beautiful, the miraculous, at one time or another.

You may count other things as your good omens, but whatever speaks to you in that way, I promise if you make it a point to look for the miracles around you, you’ll find them. And whatever you’re doing at the time will suddenly seem happier, taking on new significance.

Miracles abound, if we but open our eyes. Try it. You just might be amazed.

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

For many of us, nothing is quite so full of inspiration as an animal. (Witness the ten kajillion online photos and videos on YouTube). They touch us in our daily lives, teach us how to enjoy the world, and surprise us with their beauty, strength, and grace. Why not let more of them inspire us in our writing?

I enjoy including animals in all of my books. My characters have pets that immediately say something about who they are. From the enigmatic MacKenzie Cole’s sole companion, an Irish wolfhound named Rosheen . . .

8378f7160a81ac22ed0dfc458dfd5b62 Continue reading

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare #Florida

To make up for being gone so long, I’m taking you on a short photo tour today. Enjoy!!
****

Inspiration can come from anywhere or anyone.
I’m inspired by lush habitat and scenery. 

Wekiwa_IMG_6363-EditWekiva River – Dark and Mysterious

I’m equally inspired by wildlife and birds.

800px-Prothonotary_Warbler_Prothonotary Warbler

IMG_3001Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

0003-72-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Purple Gallinule

03Jul2013_011-149-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20
Baby alligators, last year’s and newer hatchlings.

0013-82-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Not such a baby, this time.

Sometimes I’m inspired by things I’ll probably never see in the wild.

claude_nancy_van_house2
Albino alligator. Wanna dance?

new-orleans-22-e1345389323223Blue-eyed Leucistic Alligator (My inspiration for Big Blue, in Swamp Ghosts)

Inspiration! It’s all around us!
All we have to do is open our eyes and unstop our ears.
😀

"Kelly Park, Apopka, Florida"

#InspirationBoardSunday – #AppalachianMountains #FloridaRivers

Doubling up today. Make might that a habit for this new feature. That way you can be TWICE as inspired! 🙂
***
Sometimes my inspiration comes from the nearly overwhelming beauty of an Appalachian Spring. (Great name for a symphony, Mr.  Copland!)

And sometimes it comes from the close observation of the plants and wildlife of the
St. Johns  River, including basking alligators, and turtles like this one, which knows when the alligator’s hungry, and when it’s not.DSCN1991