Clyde Butcher to Talk About Everglades at ‘Ding’ Lecture Series

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Clyde Butcher immerses himself in nature to create stunning photography. Credit: Woody Walters

Dubbed “the Ansel Adams of Florida,” photographer Clyde Butcher has made for himself a big reputation based on big black-and-white nature images taken with big cameras. On Friday, Jan. 24, he will be presenting two free programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at J.N. “Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Based on his Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades and other photographic books, the programs are part of the 2019 “Ding” Darling Lecture Series.

The award-winning artist captures the Florida Everglades, coastal islands, and other unspoiled areas with stunning majesty. In recent years, he has expanded his depth of field nationwide and even abroad in a recent exhibition commissioned by The Dali museum in St. Petersburg.

Butcher will sign copies of his books, available in the Refuge Nature Store, following the lecture. Proceeds from Nature Store sales directly benefit refuge wildlife, education, and research.

“Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity,” says Butcher, whose lecture coordinates with a Refuge 75th Anniversary exhibition of his work now on display free-of-charge in the Refuge Visitor & Education Center through Feb. 5.

“The underlying message to this important exhibition and Clyde’s lecture is the value of preserving the fragile Everglades habitat and the quality of our waterways in the pristine state he has captured them,” said DDWS executive director Birgie Miller. “We thank Mark and Gretchen Banks for sponsoring the exhibition.”

Sales of prints from the exhibition also benefit the refuge through a direct donation from the photographer.

HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management and Sanibel Carts co-sponsor the free 12-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). The free lectures take place every Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the admission-free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center Auditorium.

Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save their seat and one extra with personal items and then can explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk being reassigned.

This year, DDWS will be filming most lectures and broadcasting them on Facebook Live at For more tips on getting the most out of your “Ding” lecture experience, visit

As usual, Wildlife Drive closes on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, Bailey Tract, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official recreation concession located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.

Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, and board of directors.

The season’s remaining schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all starred (*) lectures. For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to

*Jan. 24 – Nature Photographer Clyde Butcher, Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades
*Jan. 31 – Author & Honey Sommelier C. Marina Marchese, Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper
Feb. 7 – Zoo Miami Ambassador Ron Magill, “From Butterflies to Lions: A Walk on the Wild Side”
*Feb. 14 – Author Cynthia Barnett, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
*Feb. 21 – Author Jeff Klinkenberg, Alligator in B Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida
*Feb 28 – Author Craig Pittman, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Endangered Florida Panther
*March 6 – Author & Photographer Paul Bannick, The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America’s Most Iconic Birds
March 13 – Upcycle Designer Nancy Judd,
*March 20 – Author Eliot Kleinberg, Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928
*March 27 – Author Jack Davis, “All About Eagles and Other Florida Eco-Topics”
*April 3 – Jeri Magg, Remarkable Women of Sanibel & Captiva
*starred lecture indicates book signing to follow

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