Monday, November 4, 2013

#Guest Karen Dove Barr and her ecological book: Wild Times on Skidaway Island

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.

What’s the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?

            All over North America humans are committed to protecting and fostering the existence of other species.  Deer, gray wolves of the northwest, the almost extinct bison, the grizzly bear, the ubiquitous coyote, and that great nuisance animal, the American eagle, are returning in droves, adapting to life in a world full of human neighbors.
            Excited as we are that animal and plant species almost exterminated by unthinking expansion of human control are returning, the adjustment for humans is not as simple as restoring the animal populations.  Humans must adapt to life with the animals as well.
            The pressures that led us to limit coexistence with undomesticated animals return as populations rebound.
            As beautiful an animal as is the white-tailed deer and as sentimental as we become after watching Bambi, the reality of life intermingled with a thriving deer population makes humans want to reach for their guns and blast the annoying, rose garden-eating, tick-infested animals back to the forests where they belong.
            But there are no forests.
            Deer, once we stopped trying to exterminate them, are perfectly happy to change their diet to roses and day lilies.  Ospreys and eagles prefer to build their nests on cell phone towers instead of swaying treetops, if only the cell phone companies weren’t compelled to clean up the nests sites at the end of each season. No raccoon ever turned down the opportunity to frolic overnight in a hot-tub.
            If humans want to share the world with animals, we must adjust our expectations for a sanitized environment and learn to coexist.
            On Skidaway Island we are doing just that.
By Karen Dove Barr

Karen will be awarding a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
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.


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.


Karen Dove Barr said...

Thank you for hosting me!

Andra Lyn said...

An excellent guest post :) I never thought about the difficulties of coexisting now that we've build the populations back up..though I will say that population has never been an issue for white tailed deer up here in Michigan...I practically hit one everytime I'm driving at night around the lakes. Gotta be careful up here in the mitten or you'll make an accidental hood ornament out of bambi...

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Rita said...

Sounds like a great read.


Karen Dove Barr said...

Hi Andra, That's exactly what I'm talking about. We all want to protect other species but when we do it there are more issues. We've looked into birth control for deer. Presently Skidaway Island has a trained DNR ranger who shoots excess deer. The meat is butchered and distributed to homeless shelters and grocery stores. It was a tough decision but too many deer eat themselves into starvation.

Eva Millien said...

I agree that everyone needs to coexist with the animals. Thanks for sharing your book and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

Theresa said...

I would love to visit and see the three hundred year old oaks with the spanish moss.

Catherine Lee said...

It's mind-boggling to think of the species that are disappearing from our planet. Humans are not doing a very good job or co-existing with nature.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Informative interview

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Wonderful post!


Natasha said...

Sounds like a really good read!!
Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

Learning to co-exist is so terribly important.


Bobbye Hope said...

Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway, Take me away to the island :) bobbyehopebooth at yahoo dot com

Emily said...

What a beautiful post. Living in Florida, I've experienced a bit of what you described, but for the most part, the wild animals stay away from where I live, but it's tough coexisting with them. My grandparents had a farm up in Virginia, and they'd get deer and raccoons trying to get into the gardens all the time. Though, they just shooed them away instead of eating them, so I suppose that's some progress towards coexisting :)


Karen H in NC said...

Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
kareninnc at gmail dot com

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