FRIDAY APRIL 16 8:11 a.m. Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
Two winners from the April 8 Bingo night at Otter Springs Park and Campground (Gilchrist County) were Nicole Crawford (left) choosing a $20 Walmart gift card and Lorayne Garner winning the $100 jackpot. The next exciting Bingo game is Thursday, April 15, in the Otter Springs Lodge. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game begins at 7 p.m.
Published April 12, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
Information and Photo Provided By Debbie Destin
FGC student art and design show
on display April 12-15 in Lake City
Information and Photo Provided
By Stephen Culotti, Public Information Specialist
Florida Gateway College
Published April 9, 2021 at 6:11 a.m.
LAKE CITY - The Spring 2021 Student Art and Design Exhibition is running now through April 18 at Florida Gateway College.
The art show includes student works in a wide range of disciplines and mediums including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, digital art, and graphic design.
Pieces are on display in the lobby gallery of the Levy Performing Arts Center, where the public can view the artworks and cast their ballot for the People’s Choice Award. Winning pieces will be purchased by the FGC Library and added to the college’s art collection for display on campus.
Public viewing hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., now through April 15. The exhibition will remain on display during FGC Theatre’s spring production of “Almost, Maine” April 15-18.
CDC safety guidelines are in place. Masks are required. For more information, call 386-752-1822.
Celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day
year-round with a tortoise friendly yard
By FWC Communications
Published April 8, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites everyone to celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day on April 10.
This year, individuals can celebrate gopher tortoises by making their yard tortoise friendly and participating in the new recognition program.
The FWC’s new Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard Recognition Program honors Florida’s private landowners for contributing to wildlife conservation. Gopher tortoises live in every Florida county and, since more than half of the land in Florida is privately owned, the FWC recognizes the critical role private property owners play in conserving gopher tortoises.
The purpose of the Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard Recognition Program is to recognize and encourage landowners to enhance habitat quality and take steps to protect gopher tortoises and their burrows.
These efforts will benefit the many other species that use tortoise burrows for shelter, foraging and nesting habitat. The private landowners who the take steps to protect gopher tortoises and their burrows will be recognized with a sign for their property and a certificate.
Any Florida property owner can take steps to make their land gopher tortoise friendly. To apply for recognition, click HERE.
Particpants must sign the Acknowledgement Form, provide contact and property information, and complete the Gopher Tortoise Friendly Yard checklist. Please expect follow-up correspondence via the email address provided in the application. Each application will be reviewed upon submission.
Gopher Tortoise Day was adopted in 2016 as a day of appreciation and to encourage people to conserve this threatened species. Learn about other ways to help gopher tortoises, such as volunteering with the FWC or being a community scientist by reporting gopher tortoise sightings to FWC’s new gopher tortoise website application.
Using this webpage, you can report a tortoise sighting or notify the FWC of a sick, injured or dead tortoise. For more information on volunteering with the FWC or to request an application, email: GTEvents@MyFWC.com. The FWC would like to thank all volunteers who work to preserve Florida’s only native tortoise species.
Column and Photos
By Myrtice Scabarozi
Published March 16, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
LEVY COUNTY – The Log Cabin Quilters did not meet in the Levy County Quilt Museum -- 11050 N.W. 10th Ave. on Thursday (April 8), because we were busy having the new flooring installed.
Some of the time during this replacement process, it seemed like you could get lost in all the sewing machines, the quilt rack, the sofa and all of the display items. You could find your way into the other room only to have to find a different path on the return trip.
So, all of us quilters note or many thanks for all the support from the staff and inmates from Lancaster Correctional Institution. We really could not have done this without their help. We had an awesome bunch of guys out doing the work. They also took time to teach others. While we were waiting on the flooring to arrive, some guys were busy getting our yard looking like it was loved once again.
The Florida Department of Corrections staff member and the adult male inmates from LCI may not be out here helping us for a few weeks. So, they’ll be surprised to see what we’ve done with the inside of the Museum.
It could take us that long to decide where we want everything to go. We’ve moved the sewing machines into the little room which gives us a lot more room in the big room. The kitchen did not get new flooring. When can return to us, we’ll put flooring in the kitchen.
With all the disarray going on, we did get a few visitors who were brave enough to look around the mess. Several boxes of donations, including a 1940 Kenmore sewing machine and a double-knit quilt, came in. Thanks to all of you for thinking of us. Thanks to everyone who donated for this project. It took us three years; yet, we did it.
The new flooring brightens up the rooms. Now we plant to put everything in its place. While there is a place for everything, and we like to have everything in its place, those things and places change, even when we have not just replaced the whole floor upon which they all sit.
The double-knit quilt was hand quilted. The material used was comprised of the pieces cut off when making ladies pants suits shorter. This quilt was made in the 1970s. It will look this great for many, many years.
Suwannee the Kite Returns
Story and Graphic Provided
By Peg Hall, Editor, Monthly News Brief of the Friends of Lower Suwannee and Cedar Key Refuges
Sent via email March 30, 2021 at 7:13 p.m.
Published March 31, 2021 at 6:11 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – This information started from a “Friends of Refuges Special!” by Peg Hall, who is the author of the piece that was sent via email on March 30.
We couldn't wait for the April News Brief to share this. Suwannee, the Swallow-tailed Kite that we help sponsor, is HOME from Peru!
According to Gina Kent, Senior Conservation Scientist with Avian Research and Conservation Center, this year he took an easy route from South America straight across the Gulf of Mexico.
He left on March 16, flew due north to Destin arriving on March 17, and took two days to come around the Big Bend to the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Hooray for Suwannee, and for Friends helping track him. Now, let's all hope for his nesting success.
Suwannee the Swallow-tailed Kite is being tracked by Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) of Gainesville. The institute cooperates with the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge to conduct research on the Refuge. A couple years ago, Friends learned that ARCI was putting tracking devices on a few birds as funding was available. Friends contributed $2,500, which provided half the cost of tracking one bird. A bird was caught on the Refuge, outfitted with a tracker, named Suwannee, and released.
The story of the capture and release was written up in Audubon magazine. The link is available on the Friends Suwannee Page, by clicking HERE.
HardisonInk.com correspondent Blaine Vitallo covered the presentation at the Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuges February 2020 Annual Meeting.
Dr. Ken Myers spoke about the research on Swallow-tailed Kite s.
To read the 2020 story and see photos from the Annual meeting of the Friends, click HERE.
Diane Brody’s art opens
at CKAC on April 3
Abstract Landscape by Diane Brody
Story, Art and Photo Provided
By Cedar Key Arts Center
Published March 30, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- Opening at the Cedar Key Arts Center, 457 Second St., this Saturday (April 3) is abstract landscape artist Diane Brody and “Play with Clay.”
The Arts Center welcomes North Florida artist, Diane Brody, to the Main Gallery during the month of April. Diane’s creativity and love for nature is expressed through her abstract landscape oil paintings.
Born and raised in New York City, Diane’s artistic temperament quietly brewed until moving to Florida in 1989. A science teacher and tree-hugger, she re-invented herself as a painter, moved by the quickly disappearing natural environment around her.
The Members’ Gallery will feature a half dozen industrious Arts Center members who discovered the underutilized ceramics kiln and pottery wheel lurking in the downstairs storage shed a little over a year ago. Socially distancing themselves, they got together to produce bowls to donate to the Cedar Key Empty Bowls fundraiser.
With that success under their belts, they then branched out to create diverse objects including honey pots, vases, dinnerware, bee plates, frog statues, tiny whimsical houses, fish and myriad more items.
All skill levels are represented in this exhibit, from beginners to professional potters.
The potters are Robin Gillies, Pam Deas, Donna Thalacker, Deidre Miller, Sandy Lindhout and Anne Lindgren. All profits from sales of the Empty Bowls will go to support Cedar Key’s Food Pantry.
A “Meet the Artist Gallery Tour” on ZOOM is planned for later in the month for individuals who are unable to come in and enjoy the show this month.
Both exhibits will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the last weekend of April. More information about the Ats Center is available at https://www.cedarkeyartscenter.org/.
The Cedar Key Arts Center is a Tax Exempt 501 (c) organization established in 1994 with the understanding that creativity is inherent and vital to the development of humanity. The CKAC purpose is to nurture and encourage the arts.
Trip #2 – Clay Landing
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison is seen next to the Suwannee River in Levy County on Friday (March 26), using a metal detector to find metallic treasure.
Story and Photos
By Jeff and Sharon Hardison © March 27, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – The Hunting for Treasures along the Nature Coast series started Jan. 25, and this is the second hunt. The first adventure was in Citrus County. This bit of exploration on March 26 was in Levy County.
Going toward the Gulf of Mexico from Clay Landing, boaters would see a sign showing they can resume a safe speed. The water level was still a bit high Friday and there was debris seen floating. Sometimes, when there has been a lot of rain, boaters need to take even more care than normal.
This series will include stories and photos from treasures found along the Nature Coast.
The Nature Coast is an informal, unofficial region of Florida, which includes eight counties next to the Gulf of Mexico -- Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.
Dixie and Levy counties are right in the middle of this set. Given that Gilchrist County is Nature Coast-adjacent, there is the potential of some hunting and finding of treasures from there as well.
While “Nature Coast” is defined above, “Hunting” is the activity of looking to find something. “Treasures” from this series’ perspective is subjective. Each story, photo and video related to hunting for treasures will reflect the success rate of finding treasures.
Treasures can include gold, silver, copper, jewels and the like, as well as locating and uncovering wonderful places to visit for dining, entertainment and other forms of enjoyment.
Given the particular treasure hunters involved in the venture, there are strong odds of a 100 percent success rate in finding treasure on every hunt. The series is not daily, weekly or monthly. It just happens when it happens – like here and now, the second.
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison reaches the detector up to a hanging fishing lure that was tangled in a tree. The detecting machine proved it was metal. This treasure was left hanging for some other person to harvest.
A metal bottle cap is detected by Sharon Hardison seeing it. This treasure was collected. A different bit of metal, though, a crushed beer can that was in the lime rock roadway in Clay Landing Boat Ramp Park, was placed in one of the two garbage receptacles at the park. Barefoot children were seen scampering next to the riverbank, close to where this sharp-ended bottlecap was harvested.
Small beautiful blue flowers are seen near a cedar key trunk. Not all treasures are metal.
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison digs a couple of inches to find what may be an ancient artifact of a long-lost civilization. While the first-glance of the object seemed to indicate that is the case, rinsing it with water and looking at it again, this metal proved to be the metal edge of a hose that was crushed by tires or something else.
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison Jeff M. Hardison holds a Bud Light bottlecap that was unearthed at Clay Landing in Levy County on Friday afternoon (March 26).
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison holds a lump of some sort of metal that has no characteristics to say what kind of metal it is or from whence it came.
Metal detectionist Jeff M. Hardison holds the metal end of a hose that has been crushed. This man has several hats. The one he wore on this adventure is from Excavation & Demolition Specialist of Quitman, Georgia. He was given this cap while covering a story in Lake City (Columbia County) more than a dozen years ago when he worked for a daily newspaper.
Here is the take of the day, where a relatively short amount of time was spent eating lunch and seeking treasure at Clay Landing, beyond the ambiance of being riverside on a spring afternoon. The Bud Light cap (upper left) was unearthed after being detected by a metal detector. The Seagram’s bottlecap was on the surface of the ground. The two hunks of metal in the middle are of an unknown metal and could be anything. The bottom artifact, which resembles an ancient coin is really the crushed metal end of a garden hose.
Visual arts students’ exhibition
scheduled to be at CF April 5 - May 7
By CF Marketing and Public Relations
Published March 24, 2021 at 1:11 p.m.
OCALA — The College of Central Florida will showcase the talent of its Visual Arts and Digital Media students in an exhibition that opens on Monday, April 5, at the Webber Gallery at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.
The student exhibition is an annual tradition for CF and the Webber Gallery, and provides students with an opportunity to present their work in a professional environment. There will be a variety of work on display.
“Even during extraordinary times, when most classes have been online, the annual student exhibition of the Visual Art and Digital Media programs is still the best venue to see the talents of CF students on display,” said Tyrus Clutter, associate professor of Visual Art. “This year traditional works will be seen along some collaborative projects by the college’s Art Appreciation students.”
The exhibition will be judged and juried by Dustin Boise, an Oklahoma-born artist and educator who is currently an assistant professor of Art at Beacon College in Leesburg. Traditionally purchase awards will be given to students whose work has been chosen by CF to become a part of its permanent art collection.
The exhibit will continue through Friday, May 7. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The gallery is closed Friday through Sunday and college-observed holidays. Admission is free.
Masks are required to enter the gallery.
Learn how to saltwater fish
through free FWC Virtual
Saltwater Fishing Clinics
Story and Photo Provided
By FWC Communications
Published Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.
Updated March 27, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE -- Want to learn how to saltwater fish in Florida? Join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for a series of free Virtual Saltwater Fishing Clinics for beginner anglers age 16 and older to learn how to saltwater fish and help conserve our marine resources for the future.
Discover the importance of fisheries conservation and stewardship through the fun and exciting sport of fishing! You’ll be taught basic fishing skills and knowledge that can be used, shared and built upon for a lifetime of catching Florida memories with those you love.
Fishing clinic sessions will prepare you for a day out on the water to enjoy the amazing variety of saltwater fishing opportunities Florida has to offer. Sessions will include topics on conservation, rods and reels, tackle, baits, rigs, knot tying, habitats, fish handling, best practices and additional resources.
Registration is required and must be completed two days prior to the session date. Participation is limited to 50 anglers per course; anglers who register after the 50-person limit has been reached will be put on a waiting list. Anglers must use Microsoft Teams to participate.
Ready to dive into a course on saltwater fishing? Virtual Saltwater Fishing Clinics are offered as a course that includes seven separate 1-hour sessions held every Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET for seven consecutive weeks. Anglers must be able to attend all seven sessions. Each course has the same content, so anglers only need to register for one course. Those who attend a course will receive a free starter tackle box.
Register for a Virtual Saltwater Fishing Clinic seven-week course:
● April 27 (includes seven sessions)
Don’t have enough time to commit to a seven-week course? Participate in our Mini Virtual Saltwater Fishing Clinics instead and you’ll learn about saltwater fishing and conservation in a bite-size format to fit your busy schedule. These 90-minute virtual events will be held once a month on a Thursday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. ET. Each session has the same content, so anglers only need to register for one single session.
Register for a Mini Virtual Saltwater Fishing Clinic session:
● April 22 (single session)
● May 13 (single session)
● June 10 (single session)
Can’t carve out time to participate in either format right now? Don’t worry, later this year we’ll post videos of these virtual clinics on our webpage so you can take the course sessions at a time and pace that works best for you.
Artist talks via Zoom slated
from April 15 through June 17
Story and Graphics Provided
By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published Feb. 5, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
Updated March 27, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
OCALA -- The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, continues its monthly, free online series of artist talks, “Artist’s Outlook.”
Join Appleton Curator of Exhibitions Patricia Tomlinson as she chats with individual artists about their work, processes and inspirations. This online series will take place every third Thursday through June and is free to attend.
Learn more about the works by each artist that are in the museum’s permanent collection, and hear directly from the artists on their processes, inspirations and upcoming projects. Participants will have the opportunity to ask the artist questions before the end of each program.
All talks will be hosted on Zoom and can be accessed using your mobile device or desktop computer. If using your phone or other mobile device, search “Zoom” in the app store. If using a desktop computer, visit https://www.zoom.us/. Use the following login information for each artist talk: Meeting ID: 302 190 0088 | Passcode: 352352.
April 15, 7 p.m. with Kristin Herzog
Kristin Herzog, “Enchanted Forest II,” 2019, Acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas with painted edges, 36 x 36 x 1.5 in.
Florida artist Kristin Herzog’s work ranges from non-representational to abstract, often with a landscape or vegetative reference. Herzog enjoys traveling to residencies in the U.S. and abroad, and her work has been juried into over 80 regional, national and international shows and has won two awards from The Artist’s Magazine.
Her work is on view in the Appleton’s Balcony Gallery for Florida Artists through June 27.
May 20, 7 p.m. with Matthew Bennett and Aneesha Rhodes
Matthew Bennett, “Primary Color,” 2017, Oil on Panel. Gift to the people of Ocala from the David and Lisa Midgett Foundation, 2019.
Matthew Bennett, who painted the powerful visitor-favorite “Primary Color,” will speak alongside friend, model and muse Aneesha Rhodes. Learn more about why the artist depicted Aneesha as a superhero and how the two inspire each other.
June 17, 7 p.m. with Maggie Taylor
Maggie Taylor, “Southern Gothic,” 2001, Iris ink jet print. Museum Purchase.
Gainesville-based Maggie Taylor is a renowned digital artist who combines surrealism with 19th century aesthetics, referencing hand-colored type photographs. Her photography has been published in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (2008), “Adobe Photoshop Master Class: Maggie Taylor’s Landscape of Dreams” (2005), and “No Ordinary Day” (2013), among others.
In addition to the Appleton, her works are in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
For more information, email AppletonMuseum@cf.edu.
A campus of the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455.
CF International Film Fest
continues at drive-in April 27
By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.
Updated March 31, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
OCALA — The College of Central Florida is excited and proud to continue its long-running International Film Festival with a safe, socially distanced format featuring classic, international films and scholar film talks. Screenings will take place at the Ocala Drive-In theater located at 4850 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, for free followed the next day with an online discussion.
The final one of these various films can be seen on April 27. Each film also has been able to, and this one, can be screened from the safety of one’s own home at a time of convenience via free, Internet film streaming services. The Ocala Drive-in film screenings and accompanying scholar film talks about topics central to each film, cinluding the final film, which can be viewed on the date and time listed below.
“The Night of the Living Dead,” will be presented Tuesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. with online discussion on Wednesday, April 28, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosted by Sezin Koehler. After Barbra and her brother Johnny are attacked by a strange, lurching man while visiting their uncle's grave and Johnny is killed, Barbra manages to escape to a nearby farmhouse as more of these murderous flesh-eating people come out of the woods. Barbra is quickly met by Ben, a Black man who quickly takes charge of the situation and everyone's safety as best he can, all the while they continue to be violently set upon by hordes of the undead. With an unforgettable and heartbreaking conclusion, George Romero's seminal 1968 horror film isn't only a terrifying story of its own right, its social commentary on race in America has continued to remain relevant in the decades since. This film has a total run time of 96 minutes.
For links to the screenings and discussion, and for a full series list and more information on the International Film Series, contact Wendy Adams at 352-873-5800, ext. 1546, or visit https://www.cf.edu/student-life/arts-and-culture/international-film-series/.
FWC: 5 tips to help nesting waterbirds
A Least Tern mother and chick enjoy the beach.
Story and Photo Provided
By FWC Communications
Published March 3, 2021 at 8:11
TALLAHASSEE -- As nesting season begins for waterbird species across the state, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is sharing five easy ways that members of the public can help conserve these vulnerable bird species.
Many shorebird and seabird species, such as the least tern, nest directly on beaches across the state where their eggs and chicks are well camouflaged in the sand. Colonies of wading birds, such as herons, will typically nest on mangrove islands off the coast. Biologists stress that the most important thing for waterbirds during nesting season is space. When these birds are disturbed and forced to leave their nests, their eggs and chicks are left vulnerable to heat and predators.
A Snowy Plover mother and chick enjoy the beach.
“Small actions can make a big difference for wildlife,” said FWC Florida Shorebird Alliance Coordinator, Shea Armstrong. “By taking a few steps to limit disturbance to nesting waterbirds, we can help ensure they have a successful nesting season and that they will be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
Here are five ways to limit disturbance and make a difference for nesting waterbirds:
● Keep your distance from birds, on the beach or on the water. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. As a general rule, it is best to stay at least 300 feet from a nest and to avoid walking through flocks of birds whenever possible. Birds flushing, calling out loudly and dive-bombing are signals for you to give them space.
● Respect posted areas, including Critical Wildlife Areas, which are established to protect congregations of one or more species of wildlife from human disturbance during critical life activities including nesting, feeding or migration. Avoid entering any area marked with signs for nesting birds and use designated walkways when possible.
● Keep the beach clean and do not feed wildlife. Food scraps attract predators, such as raccoons and crows, that can prey on shorebird eggs and chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.
● It is best to not take pets to the beach but, if you do, keep them leashed and avoid shorebird and seabird nesting areas. Always take your pet to pet-friendly beaches and be respectful of the rules.
● Know what to do if you hook a bird while fishing. Remember, don’t cut the line: reel, remove, release. Visit MyFWC.com/Unhook to watch an educational video that shows step by step how to safely unhook a bird. It could save a life!
For more information, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds and download the “Share the Beach with Beach-Nesting Birds” brochure. Or go to the Florida Shorebird Alliance website at FLShorebirdAlliance.org to learn more about how to participate in shorebird and seabird conservation efforts.
Report illegal activity and any unposted nests to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com.
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