Board member Barbara Woodmansee tells the circumstances of her recent encounter with a butterfly and a cottonmouth snake. It’s best told in her words.
“I was hiking near Steinhatchee yesterday (March 17, 2021) on a trail that had been recently mowed allowing me more visibility of the ground in front of me. A perfect and very hard to photograph Southern Pearly-eye butterfly landed just in front of me on the trail, but at a terrible angle for a photo. Pearly-eyes are very alert and will disappear into the swamp quickly if spooked, so I got down on my knees and started inching very slowly sideways to get a nice broadside view.
While I was framing the picture, I noticed out of the corner of my eye something white waving back and forth just to the right of my elbow...
Seriously, I was ONE FOOT away from this fatso cottonmouth (see photo above) with absolutely no clue it was there. It could have bitten me in the stomach or on my hip if it had wanted to. I just scooted back the way I came and we all parted friends.”
Can you imagine how Barbara had the composure to photograph the snake after this harrowing experience? Leave it to a true naturalist to capture the amazing wildlife that surrounds us.
"Let me introduce you to Suwannee, the Kite..." Debbie Jordan began as she intrigued visitors with Friends' projects at Suwannee Art Festival on Saturday, March 13. Both folks new to the area and long-timers were interested in learning more about our refuges and Debbie encouraged them to visit our website. A beautiful spring day and one of the first in-person events since the start of the Covid situation brought a good turnout.
The 2021 Friends Annual Meeting was held on February 27 and drew participants from Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Minnesota, and Colorado, as well as from Florida cities including Jacksonville, Suwannee, Cedar Key, and Gainesville. That was an unexpected bonus, due to the pandemic, from having the meeting on Zoom!
Two polls were administered throughout the meeting. The first asked participants how many had visited the Refuge during the pandemic (~55% responded in the affirmative) - that fit with Andrew's report that visitation was way up as people really wanted to get out and about, and the Refuge was one of the go-to destinations for north Florida folks. The second poll asked participants to vote on the proposed slate of officers and directors (100% affirmative).
Welcome to the Meet and Greet Session. Click the arrow to watch the panel being drawn.
Let's get creative
Perhaps the most creative and divergent approach to this year's virtual meeting was the use of graphic recorder, Karina Branson of ConverSketch. The process involves drawing content-rich colorful illustrations highlighting the salient points of presentations and discussions. The end products, below, provide visually appealing documents for historical records of meetings.
Click on the arrows below each panel to watch a time-lapse video of Karina drawing it in real time, as the presentation was happening.