provided to Santiva Chronicle
The 16th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series, which runs Jan.17 through April 3, 2020, features a line-up of authors and experts in the world of birds, nature photography, and conservation. From woodpeckers and panthers to rain and hurricanes, the season promises to be one of the refuge’s best yet as the refuge celebrates its 75th anniversary.
HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management co-sponsors the free 12-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). Lectures take place in the admission-free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center Auditorium at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
One highlight of the season brings world-renowned nature photographer Clyde Butcher, whose Everglades exhibition kicks off November’s anniversary events, running Nov. 13 through Feb. 5 and sponsored by Mark and Gretchen Banks.
Two other lectures coincide with anniversary events. To celebrate the refuge’s Bee Week at the end of January, “honey sommelier” C. Marina Marchese talks about her bee books. As a follow-up to the March 10 Project Refuge: A Couture Fashion Show Using Trash luncheon, nationally recognized upcycle designer Nancy Judd will speak about her work creating recycled fashions as a means of conservation education.
The free lectures will be held twice each Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The season’s complete schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all starred (*) lectures. Visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series for further information on lecturers.
Seating for the lectures 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.
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.
For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.
*Jan. 17 – Author Julie Zickefoose, Saving Jemima: Life & Love with a Hard-Luck Jay
*Jan. 24 – Nature Photographer Clyde Butcher, America’s Everglades: Through the Lens of Clyde Butcher
*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, RecycleRunway.com
*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