Category Archives: Nature

Pat’s Wildways: Talking Turkey

By Pat Foster-Turley There is an avian mystery happening on Amelia Island, and maybe someone [...]

Commentary: The Riverstone Battle is Far From Over

By Lyn Panone On April 23, 2023, Nassau County Commissioners Martin, Huppman, Gray and Farmer [...]

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Pat’s Wildways: The ‘Dying’ Art of Taxidermy

By Pat Foster-Turley Whenever I visit my friends in Gainesville I ask them for new [...]

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On World Whale Day, Consider the Unnecessary Deaths

By Lauri deGaris February 18, 2024, is World Whale Day. And I am heartbroken to [...]

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Pat’s Wildways: Sundown Shows

By Pat Foster-Turley Every evening around some retention ponds there is a show that is [...]

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Pat’s Wildways: Road Trip to Sebastian

By Pat Foster-Turley I am always on the lookout for new things to see in [...]

Want to Help Our Environment? You Need to Know This

By Candis Whitney  Did you know that there are more than 25 environmental/conservation organizations in [...]

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When Whale History is Lost, So is Ours

Editor’s note: In celebration of right whale calving season on our shores, we are posting [...]

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Pat’s Wildways: Bald Eagle Nests

By Pat Foster-Turley I love it when one of my columns spawns another one. This [...]

A Fertile Year for Whales, Offset by Tragedies

By Lauri deGaris Seventeen — that is the number of North Atlantic right whale calves [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Healing Power of Nature

By Pat Foster-Turley This was a week I didn’t have a column in mind. My [...]

Andre The Seal: Rockport and Boston’s Most Popular Resident

By Lauri deGaris Seals are also known as sea dogs, and they can entertain us [...]

Up Close and Personal: A Rush to Watch Whales Near Shore

By Lauri deGaris In my mind, few things are more exciting than receiving news about [...]

Amelia’s Last Great Grove of Sabal Palms Hangs in the Balance

By Lauri deGaris Recently, I walked along the south end of Amelia Island’s beach with [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Treats at the ARK

By Pat Foster-Turley Anyone who knows me by now knows that I love animals, especially [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Deer Mortalities

By Pat Foster-Turley Here on Amelia Island, deer cannot be legally hunted, and for the [...]

New Right Whale Calf, Hit by a Boat, Likely Will Die

By Lauri deGaris The first North Atlantic right whale calf born this season has been [...]

Memories of Last Year’s Magical Whale Visitor (and Dolphin Friends)

By Lauri deGaris Last January, many Amelia Island residents, and visitors too, were thrilled to [...]

Whale Calves 7, 8 and 9 Grace Our Waters

By Lauri deGaris Whale blessings keep right on coming … right whale calves nos. 7, [...]

Stories From Ancient Times Unite Whales and People

Editor’s note: In celebration of right whale calving season on our shores, we are posting [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Manatee Watching

By Pat Foster-Turley Bucko and I finally made it to Crystal River, long heralded as [...]

Sixth Right Whale Calf is Sighted

By Lauri deGaris Right whale calf number No. 6 was born off Cumberland Island on [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Old Florida

By Pat Foster-Turley Whenever Bucko and I feel like getting away from the hubbub that [...]

Two More Whale Calves Born Nearby During the Solstice

By Lauri deGaris Newborn right whale calves No. 4 and No. 5 emerged from the [...]

Pelorus Jack: Part Two of a Whale of a Story

This article is part of a series of 10 appearing every other Monday in the [...]

Pat’s Wildways: 12 Days of Christmas on Amelia Island

By Pat Foster-Turley 12 Days of Christmas on Amelia Island   On the first day [...]

Winter Solstice: a Universal Celebration

By Lauri deGaris December 21, 2023, marks the astronomical beginning of winter. Mother Earth’s north [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Invaders in Simmons Park

By Pat Foster-Turley For years there has been controversy about what to do with the [...]

Another Right Whale Gives Birth to a Calf

By Lauri deGaris Right Whale #3360 – Horton – has given birth to her third [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Adventures on the Cumberland Ferry

By Pat Foster-Turley It seemed simple. Buy advance tickets to both the ferry and the [...]

First Right Whale Calf of the Season Has Been Born

By Lauri deGaris The full moon of November presided over the birth of this season’s [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Possum Painter

By Pat Foster-Turley I must admit I have very interesting friends here on Amelia Island. [...]

The Buffalo, the Cod and the Whale: Going, Going …

Editor’s note: During our right whale calving season, this is one of a series of [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Stings and Thrills in Belize

By Pat Foster-TurleyI was underwater, snorkeling at last in good mangroves in Belize. It took [...]

Lessons in Life from a Biting Turkey

By Lauri deGarisThe other day, I was at the barn sharing time with a herd [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Rain and Shine in Belize

By Pat Foster-TurleyBucko and I have found a place in the world that we keep [...]

How Whales — and People! — Use Songs to Navigate

By Lauri deGarisEditor’s note: This is the second in a series of 10 articles about [...]

Pat’s Wildways: A Walk on the Greenway

By Pat Foster-TurleyNow that I am happily able to walk distances again after my successful [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Finally, a Walk on the Beach!

By Pat Foster-TurleyRecently I walked for more than an hour on the beach, something I [...]

Can You See the Way a Whale Sees? Yes You Can!

Editor’s note: Among other accomplishments, Lauri deGaris is a marine biologist. As the right whale [...]

Pat’s Wildways: New England Roots

By Pat Foster-TurleyOne purpose of my recent road trip to New Hampshire with my brother [...]

Pat’s Wildways: New England Serendipity

By Pat Foster-TurleyThere are some travel plans that turn out perfectly and others that fall [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Tows and Tails

By Pat Foster-TurleyI am always impressed by the devoted animal caretakers in our midst. For [...]

Baskets: Nature’s Gift to Hold Nature’s Harvest

By Lauri deGaris It is time to gather the gifts of summer, it is time [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Ducks of Long Island

By Pat Foster-TurleyThe ducks of Long Island, New York were famous back in the day [...]

Many Questions About a Dune Walkover for Two Hotels

By Mike Lednovich Two hotels are seeking to connect access with each other by constructing [...]

The Language of Trees Gladdens Human Hearts

By Linda Hart Green I grew up with “sand between my toes,” as my parents [...]

Pat’s Wildways: The Origins of Heckscher Drive

By Pat Foster-TurleyFrom Amelia Island down to Heckscher Drive is a favorite drive for Bucko [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Out in the Country

By Pat Foster-Turley  Most weeks these days I drive out to the ARK off Highway [...]

A Low Country Wonder: the World of Salt Marshes

By Lauri deGaris The fall equinox is fast approaching, it arrives Sept. 23, 2023. Days [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Blackwater Swimming

By Pat Foster-TurleyI guess I’m like a Florida Gator after all, not the sports type [...]

Pat’s Wildways: New Sights, Old Memories

By Pat Foster-Turley On our Big Bend road trip a couple of weeks ago Bucko [...]

Tokitae: A Captive Orca Who Never Forgot Her Mother’s Song

By Lauri deGaris I wept when I learned Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut or Tokitae, resident Orca from the [...]

Seaweed: Call It Not a Weed, But a Flower of the Sea

By Lauri deGaris There are many types of seaweed, and their color and grace are [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Big Bend Road Trip

By Pat Foster-TurleyBucko and I have lived in north Florida for decades now, but it [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Otter Ice Capades

By Pat Foster-TurleyLike everyone else these days, I’ve been complaining about the heat, and even [...]

Commentary: Sidewalks vs. Trees Need Not Be a Conflict

This is an open letter from the Nassau County Sierra Executive Board to fellow stakeholders [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Beating the Heat

By Pat Foster-Turley It’s hot out there! Everyone I pass on the street is sweating [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Blue Crab Saga

By Pat Foster-TurleyIt’s no surprise to my friends and family, and even to my loyal [...]

An Update on The Cumberland Horses Suit

By Lauri deGaris On April 12, 2023, the horses of Cumberland Island — in their [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Mountain Road Trip

By Pat Foster-TurleyPlanning a trip is always fun for me, and always full of unique [...]

The Story of Horses and People

A Meditation by Lauri deGaris     Horses have grazed the plains and pastures of [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Fishing the Pond

By Pat Foster-TurleyI am by no means a fisherperson. Bucko has tried to get me [...]

Pat’s Wildways: A Way with Bunnies

By Pat Foster-TurleyAny regular reader of my columns knows I am hounded by rabbits in [...]

Pat’s Wildways: A Visit to the Cummer Museum

By Pat Foster-TurleyA couple of weeks ago some friends and I decided to visit the [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Beach Days

By Pat Foster-TurleyIt’s summertime again and time to head to the beach. But these days [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Crow ‘Funerals’ and ‘Murders’

By Pat Foster-TurleyI am always alert to the possibilities of new columns and sometimes my [...]

A Pioneer in Whale Acoustics Leaves a Lasting Legacy

By Lauri deGarisDr. Roger S. Payne, biologist, born January 29, 1935, passed away this month. [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Mink in our Midst

By Pat Foster-TurleyThere’s a small otter-like critter roaming our saltmarshes and beach shores, but few [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Armadillos

By Pat Foster-TurleyThese days it seems like armadillos are everywhere, in all-natural areas on this [...]

Disc Golf Proposal Soundly Defeated

By Mike Lednovich The proposal for a disc golf course at Simmons Road Park was [...]

Pat’s Wildways: The ARK

By Pat Foster-TurleyI was so wrapped up with Lake the otter last week I didn’t [...]

Those Big, Munching Bugs are Native Lubbers

By Lauri deGaris A few days ago, I was asked to hop on over to [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Lake the Otter

By Pat Foster-Turley“I smell like otter!” It was like 30 years ago—the memories flooded in [...]

The Ancient Mayhaw Is Making a Comeback Here

By Lauri deGaris Mayhaw is a variety of hawthorn tree noted for slender branches with [...]