Please welcome author Karen Dove Barr to Andi's Book Reviews today. She has crafted a beautiful book about Skidaway Island in Georgia.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I’ve been an outdoors person most of my life and thought I was pretty knowledgeable about Georgia’s plants and animals. I was riding my bike one morning with my shih-tzu when I stopped at the edge of the marsh to check out a large bird with black feathers on the top of his head. I remarked to another person, also out to catch the sunrise, “the early bird gets the worm.”What story is your favorite?
I was really surprised when he told me I was mistaken; this bird, a black-crowned night heron, has infrared night vision and was coming in from overnight fishing, not getting started.
I thought if there was that much I didn’t know that my neighbors, mostly new to the island, would also be interested in learning about our wildlife. Nycticorax nycticorax, about the black-crowned night heron was my first nature story.
I love and hate all my stories, depending on how easily the words are coming. I think the story about the oak tree that fell next to my house made the biggest impression on me. All my stories are true and I was terrified when the tree started coming down. I didn’t know which way to run.Do you have any plans for follow-up books?
My story began appearing in local publications a few weeks later, allowing time for me to write it, and for the newspaper and magazines to publish it. By then the public works people had done a fantastic job in removing most traces. I was amazed to have a long line of cars passing in front of my house each day when the story was published. People were looking to see the tree.
Amazing events involving wildlife continue taking place on Skidaway Island. I’ve published at least ten new stories since Wild Times on Skidaway Island went to Strategic Media Books. One resident video-taped a duel to the death between a possum and a red rat snake in his back yard, another surprised three otters in her swimming pool, a baby owl hatched in a pine tree about to be removed for new construction.Thank you so much for your time!
I’m getting more proficient with my camera. I hope there is enough interest in Wild Times on Skidaway Island to justify a sequel.
Thank you for having me. I hope your followers enjoy the book.
by Karen Dove Barr
Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia's Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.
Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.
Read an excerpt:
When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years. Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology. Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated wookpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population. Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.
The love that Karen has for Skidaway Island is evident in all of the hard work she put into this book. The pictures are stunning, with only a couple of them a little blurry, at least in my review PDF. But you know that some of those creatures are difficult to capture! I can appreciate that from my own photography attempts with wildlife and children! Each chapter is well-researched and provides a wealth of information about the flora or fauna being discussed. I also liked reading about the different activities that people enjoy on the island. It definitely sounds like a place I would like to visit the next time I head south. This is also a book that would look nice on my coffee table.
Also available from Strategic Media
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members. She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.