I’m delighted to announce that 50 Hikes in Central Florida is available for download from Kindle. It’s the first of my books to be distributed electronically, and as many of you have asked about electronic editions over the years, it’s finally come to pass. Download one today!
In Palm Beach working on my next project, I stopped in on Classic Book Shop and was delighted to see both “Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders” and “South Florida: An Explorer’s Guide” up front in the Florida book section. And so, a mini book signing!
It’s a travel guide for flower lovers, an inspiration for you to get out and see the beauty that natural Florida provides year-round. Learn where to find the biggest cypresses, the oldest oaks, the prairies full of pitcher plants, the sweet spots for wildflower walks, and the best public gardens that Florida has to offer. From tropical forests to cultivated formal rose gardens, my latest book helps you awaken your senses while you explore Florida.
Spent a weekend in Daytona Beach doing research for my Explorer’s Guide series. The best part about staying in an oceanfront room is the natural soundscape generated by the waves and the sounds of gulls wheeling in the background. Followed by the sea breeze… and, if you’re lucky (or willing) enough to wake up in time, watching the sun rise over the Atlantic. We stayed in the century-old Plaza Hotel, which has undergone an extreme makeover to make these oceanfront rooms some of the best on the beach, and this will be a new (and very welcome) addition to the book.
Result? A restful and relaxing stay, despite the time stresses of a research trip.
Since I last blogged, I spent a lot of time finishing up the research and manuscript to my latest book, Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders (University Press of Florida). It won’t be out in bookstores for another year. Today, I completed my quest for the ghost orchid thanks to Mike Owen, keeper of all botanical knowledge and swamp walker supreme at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. After 13 years of studying the ghost orchid, he’s probably the most knowledgable source on the planet about this rare and unique epiphyte. Less than 500 exist worldwide, the majority of them in South Florida and some in Cuba. Only 21 or so bloom each year in tough-to-get-to places within the state park. Here’s one of the blooms I was privileged to see.
Just arrived at our doorstep today: my latest book and the first to come out in nearly a year. I spoke with Johnny just a couple of days ago as he was wrapping up “50 Hikes in the Ozarks” (the hiking part, that is) and he was quite happy to see this out on the market. We wrapped up the manuscript nearly a year ago.
Now you know your part … we hiked it, we wrote it … you get out there and order it!
I enjoyed a great whirlwind tour of Chattahoochee’s botanical wonders on Sunday thanks to Leigh Brooks, who worked for The Nature Conservancy for many years and is extremely knowledgeable about the unique botany along the Apalachicola River. The first thing she did was took me to see Angus Gholson, the man who has spent a lifetime learning and sharing all there is to know about the region’s flora. After a visit to his herbarium and a chance to admire the Ashe magnolia blooms, we headed down to the nature park named in his honor and poked around for rare wildflowers in bloom, and we were not disappointed. In one tract near the park, Leigh introduced me to croomia, a plant I’d learned about but never had seen before.
A driving loop down along the Apalachicola River and past the dam yielded more showy botanical treasures, including oakleaf hydrangea in bloom. We finished up with a visit to a natural area hidden behind the state prison, where the trail has been let go but the shores of Cypress Cove are as pretty as can be. I’ve had the chance to write these places up for the new book, which is now consuming all of my “spare” time. Thanks, Leigh, for treating me to a side of Chattahoochee I didn’t know was there!