Category Archives: Nature

Zoo and FWC Partnering to Expand Manatee Care

By Lauri deGaris Tucked away behind the scenes of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is [...]


Pat’s Wildways: Romeo, O Romeo

By Pat Foster-Turley I had a big desire for my birthday this year. I wanted [...]


Take It from Chessie the Manatee: You Can Help

By Lauri deGaris In the fall of 1994, reports began to surface that a West [...]


Pat’s Wildways: Congaree and Penn

By Pat Foster-Turley If you are looking for an interesting nearby Saturday or Sunday day [...]


A Magical Day in a Very Hot Swamp

By Lauri deGaris Last week, my friend Charlotte invited me to join her and a [...]


Manatees are on the Move Here, Can Be Seen from Shore

By Lauri deGaris Recently, I spotted several manatees in the Amelia River. It is spring, [...]


Pat’s Wildways: All Trees are Special

By Pat Foster-Turley I can’t believe that it was 17 years ago that I wrote [...]


Manatee Stories Go Back into 1756

By Lauri deGaris I have a subscription to This allows me to search thousands [...]

Pat’s Wildways: An ‘Old Florida’ Birthday

By Pat Foster-Turley Bucko had a milestone birthday last week, and he wasn’t happy about [...]


Introduction to a Biologist’s Love Affair with Manatees

When you’ve spent as many hours as the author has observing manatees from 750 feet, [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Amelia Flats

By Pat Foster-Turley I had never heard of Amelia Flats until Jeff Kennard started sending [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Good Pickings

By Pat Foster-Turley Once again, another harbinger of late spring is here. It’s picking time [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Getting Older, Still Adventuring

By Pat Foster-Turley It’s hard to admit, even to myself, that I am getting old. [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Farm to Table

By Pat Foster-Turley I’ve heard the term “farm to table” often these days, but never [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Visiting the Big Bend Area of Florida

By Pat Foster-Turley In the past few years, Bucko and I have taken short field [...]

A Fruitful Whale Season Marred by Too Many Deaths

    By Lauri deGaris On April 11, 2024 the Amelia Island Whale Ambassadors threw [...]

Pat’s Wildways: North Florida Wildlife Center

By Pat Foster-Turley In preparation for yet again another road trip to Florida’s Big Bend [...]

Weeds? Look Again at a Bountiful, Useful Lawn

By Lauri deGaris According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a weed is a plant that is [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Gulf Specimen Marine Lab

By Pat Foster-Turley I’m always on the lookout for new column ideas, and over my [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Backyard Bliss

By Pat Foster-Turley It’s my favorite time of year in our backyard. The air is [...]

A Journey Into the World of Falconry

  By Lauri deGaris Over the past few years, I have enjoyed sharing numerous picnics [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Warming Up

By Pat Foster-Turley There is always something to catch my eye when I walk on [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Arizona Skies

By Pat Foster-Turley One of my main motivations for visiting southern Arizona with my brother [...]

Titanium Mine Hearing Finds Not a Single Supporter

By Paula Alford Not one supportive comment was heard on March 5, when more than [...]

It’s Time for Wildflowers — and Magic

  By Lauri deGaris This time of year, there is no surer sign of spring [...]

Pat’s Wildways: Arizona Underground

By Pat Foster-Turley There’s a lot going on underground in southern Arizona, the location of [...]

St. Marys Mine Hearing Available Via Zoom

By Paula Alford The quality of life for all of us living near the St. [...]

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 [...]

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

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

On World Whale Day, Consider the Unnecessary Deaths

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

Pat’s Wildways: Sundown Shows

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

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 [...]

When Whale History is Lost, So is Ours

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

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 [...]