Blogging Across the Red Hills

Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Perspectives about life in the hills.

Read about the Red Hills in the Tallahassee Democrat. Contributing writers of the Red Hills Initiative seek to connect residents with their region by sharing stories celebrating the ecological, historical and cultural wonders of the Red Hills.  We rotate those publications and other media stories on this website, too. Have a Red Hills story to share? Please contact us. redhills@ttrs.org

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Richard Shine

Richard Shine left legacy of historic buildings in Tallahassee

published in Tallahassee Democrat, March 2016 Goodwood, the 1845 Capitol, First Presbyterian Church, the Bloxham House and the Chittenden House were all built by Richard Alexander Shine. There were many other public buildings and fine residences that no longer stand that were built by Shine in Tallahassee. Yet he is remembered only by a few, […]

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Read more from the Red Hills Archives.

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April Jackson Float with FNPS

Lake Jackson Guided Float

Join us on Saturday, April 8th from 9 AM to noon, and discover the peace, plants, and wildlife along Lake Jackson’s north shore. Biologists Nia and Shane Wellendorf will lead this field trip jointly hosted by the Magnolia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy. Bring your […]

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NEW DATE: Red Hills Fire Festival

After canceling the original date to avoid a bad storm, the Red Hills Fire Festival is reignited and ready to go! Attend this all-ages event to experience, enjoy and learn about the special natural process of fire in southern pine forests. The festival will include wagon rides, wildlife, live prescribed fire, equipment demonstrations, fire talks […]

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CANCELED: Red Hills Fire Festival

  The Red Hills Fire Festival is canceled due the very high probability of heavy rain in the days leading up to and including the event. We are coordinating with our partners regarding the potential to reschedule. Thank you for your interest in prescribed fire. For More Information Contact: Brian Wiebler, Tall Timbers Research Station & Land […]

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Ecology at core of National Prescribed Fire Training

Published in Tallahassee Democrat, July 1st 2016 For the past 18 years people have been making a pilgrimage to the National Prescribed Fire Training Center in Tallahassee for hands-on training in the use of prescribed fire.  I spent the day with a group participating in one of the intensive 20-day training sessions that draw people from around […]

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Carr Lake Paddling Trip Plant Guide

We had a great group of participants at the May 14th guided paddling trip on Carr Lake.  If you would like to learn more about the aquatic plants we found on the tour, please use the following link to download a short guide provided by our tour leader Nia Wellendorf.  The Tallahassee Democrat also printed an […]

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23rd Annual Tour of Gardens Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park and the Friends of Maclay Gardens, Inc. invite the public to attend the 23rd Annual Tour of Gardens.  This tour of privately owned gardens is a fundraising event and a welcome to spring for many folks in the area.  The day will begin with […]

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Carr Lake Guided Paddle Trip

Saturday May 14, 2016 | 9:00 – 11:30 AM Cedar Hill Public Boat Landing You’re invited to the May 14th guided paddling trip on Carr Lake. The trip will be led by knowledgeable local botanist and biologist team Nia and Shane Wellendorf. The goal of the trip is to highlight this lesser known, but easy […]

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Red Hills WFSU

Roaming the Red Hills Complete Video by WFSU-TV

Over the course of ten adventures, we explore the Red Hills of south Georgia and north Florida. It’s a region shaped by a rich ecology, starting with a large, privately owned longleaf forest, maintained through fire for the purpose of quail hunting, but beneficial to many species. From there we head down to the Red […]

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Hands & Hearts for Horse Trail Ride

Join us at Pebble Hill Plantation Hands & Hearts for Horses will be sponsoring a trail ride at beautiful Pebble Hill Plantation on April 10, 2016, beginning at 10:00 A.M. The trail winds through some of the most scenic areas of Pebble Hill not usually open to the public. Bring your horses (all sizes and shapes-including drafts), wagons, […]

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Bike-Logo

Monticello Bike Fest

The date has been set for the Second Annual Monticello BikeFest. Get your chain greased and your bikes tuned up for the event. Train, train, train to get your fastest time or be prepared to stroll through the prettiest county in Florida. Click here for registration and other information. Want another reason to pedal the […]

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The Story of Florida’s State Parks Three-Part Documentar

The Story of Florida’s State Parks Three-Part Documentary Join us at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum’s Theatre to learn more about the history of Florida’s state parks as shown in this 2009 documentary produced by WPBT2 of Miami. Part I: Wednesday, April 6 & Saturday, April 9 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Part II: […]

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Richard Shine

Richard Shine left legacy of historic buildings in Tallahassee

published in Tallahassee Democrat, March 2016 Goodwood, the 1845 Capitol, First Presbyterian Church, the Bloxham House and the Chittenden House were all built by Richard Alexander Shine. There were many other public buildings and fine residences that no longer stand that were built by Shine in Tallahassee. Yet he is remembered only by a few, […]

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Kayak 101 & Lake Hall Tour

Join us at Maclay Gardens State Park Bring your own kayak and gear or use a sit-on-top kayak provided.  Learn basic paddling skills and enjoy a short nature tour launching at Lake Hall.  This event is perfect for beginners. Additional Information: Participation Requirements Children 12 and older must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are […]

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Carr Lake by Shane Wellendorf

Sunset on Carr Lake

Join the Tall Timbers team for a sunset paddle on Carr Lake, part of the Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve. Biologists from the Land Conservancy will lead this guided,  interpretive trip. Some loaner kayaks available. Contact Georgia Ackerman, gackerman@ttrs.org to reserve a space. 6pm meet up.

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Purple martins at Birdson Nature Center

Bring Nature Home

Join us at Birdsong Nature Center In his book, Bringing Nature Home, Dr. Douglas Tallamy explains how everyone who loves the wonders of the natural world can contribute to the survival of our native birds, butterflies, and other treasures by providing the native plants needed to support them. Beth Grant has obtained permission from Dr. […]

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Red Hills International Horse Trials

2016 Event Schedule THURSDAY, MARCH 10 10:00 am FEI Veterinary Check-In Community Day – Field Trips: Contact Us Dressage in the afternoon is a possibility depending on entries FRIDAY, MARCH 11 7:40 am FEI Test Rides 8:00 am Dressage – All Divisions SATURDAY, MARCH 12 7:00 am – 6:00 pm The TAIL-GAIT at Red Hills Morning – CIC3* […]

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The Joys of Keeping Chickens

Come out to the Tallahassee Museum learn about all the joys of keeping your own chickens.  Master Gardener and Living History Interpreter Judith Strickland will share how easy and rewarding it is to raise your own backyard flock from chicks.  Not only will she give you suggestions of how to build a predator-proof coop and […]

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Signal Decay by Jay Snodgrass

Opening night reception at Thomasville Center for the Arts Poet and Printmaker-in-Residence Jay Snodgrass brings his asemic translations of poems in drawings and paintings to Studio 209. Asemic writing is writing that has the appearance and movement of writing but avoids meaning. “Signal Decay” speaks to the idea of an intended message that is delivered […]

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Red Hills bike ride by Betsy Barfield

Roaming the Red Hills on WFSU-TV

Roaming the Red Hills | Longleaf, Lakes, Fire, & Food Heres is a quick preview of our upcoming series, Roaming the Red Hills. The segments will air in three installments on WFSU-TV’s Local Routes, starting on Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 pm ET.  Meanwhile, here on the Ecology Blog we’ll take our usual deeper look […]

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trout lillies by Shane Wellendorf

Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve Tours

Each trout lily flower opens in early afternoon, follows the sun, and closes at dusk, so visitors should only go in the afternoons to see the open flowers.  If it is raining heavily or very dark and cloudy in the morning, the flowers may stay closed into the afternoon, but if the sun comes out […]

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14th Annual Goodwood Garden Symposium

Feb 28 Click here for details Luncheon & guest lecture with Norman Winter. Norman Winter is the Director of the 51-acre Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden owned by the University of Georgia in Savannah. He is also an award-winning author of four books including Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South, andCaptivating Combinations, Color and Style in the Garden. A feature […]

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Gradstock Concert

Join WFSU and the Newman’s Own Foundation for the first American Graduate benefit concert series, GRADSTOCK, at WFSU’s television studios in Tallahassee, Florida. On Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th, amazing local artists are coming together to bring us three live events. Each concert will focus on a different music genre:  americana, jazz and blues, […]

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trout lillies by Shane Wellendorf

Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve Tours

Each trout lily flower opens in early afternoon, follows the sun, and closes at dusk, so visitors should only go in the afternoons to see the open flowers.  If it is raining heavily or very dark and cloudy in the morning, the flowers may stay closed into the afternoon, but if the sun comes out […]

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Tallahassee Museum youth at Birdsong Nature Center

Winter Birding at Birdsong Nature Center

Join expert birder Marvin Collins for a long, leisurely discovery hike through a variety of excellent bird habitats. If birds are here, Marvin will find them, especially those elusive sparrows and warblers! The hike will wrap up with a visit to the Bird Window, which is typically a very busy place in the winter months. […]

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trout lillies by Shane Wellendorf

Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve Tours

Each trout lily flower opens in early afternoon, follows the sun, and closes at dusk, so visitors should only go in the afternoons to see the open flowers.  If it is raining heavily or very dark and cloudy in the morning, the flowers may stay closed into the afternoon, but if the sun comes out […]

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Matinee of the Arts at Tallahassee Museum

Join us Saturday, Feb 13 for Saturday Matinee of the Arts: For the Love of the Arts; a rich lineup of visual and performing arts, including live music on the outdoor stage and in the museum’s historic buildings.  This year’s Valentine’s Day themed FREE event includes love-themed crafts, historic information about the holiday, and even some […]

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trout lillies by Shane Wellendorf

Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve Tours

Each trout lily flower opens in early afternoon, follows the sun, and closes at dusk, so visitors should only go in the afternoons to see the open flowers.  If it is raining heavily or very dark and cloudy in the morning, the flowers may stay closed into the afternoon, but if the sun comes out […]

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Taste of Thomasville Food Tour

Taste of Thomasville is a walking and tasting tour where you will enjoy a fun one of a kind, culinary experience while strolling through historic downtown Thomasville. You will enjoy tasting award winning foods and learn what makes Thomasville’s history unique. Click fore details here.

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History of Florida State Parks at Historic Capitol Museum

Established by the Florida Legislature in 1935, the Florida Park Service has played an instrumental role in preserving our state’s natural environment and its cultural resources, while providing unique recreational activities for citizens and visitors. From archaeological sites to forts to beaches to springs, the park system encompasses the wide variety of environments which make […]

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Canopy road

Plantation & Canopy Roads: Traditional Landscapes of North Florida

Goodwood Museum & Gardens First Friday Brown Bag Lunch Series Friday, February 5, 2016 | Noon – 1 PM Jubilee Cottage Eduardo Robles, Associate Professor at Florida A&M University, School of Architecture and Engineering Technologie In his talk, Professor Eduardo Robles, will discuss the roads and the plantations of the North Florida/South Georgia region and […]

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Walter Ants Flyer_TTRS

Ants of the Red Hills

Walter Tschinkel, FSU professor emeritus,  will be presenting ‘Ants of the Red Hills’ at Tall Timbers on Thursday, Feb. 4th  We’ll have a light social stating at 6 and the presentation will start at 6:45. For more information, contact Kim Sash, ksash@ttrs.org

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by Pierson Hill

Music to Our Ears: A Chorus of Frogs

Birdsong Nature Center Have you ever wondered what frogs were making those wonderful calls at night? Join frog and nature enthusiast Nancy Thomas for an introduction to the frogs of our area. Nancy will give a brief description of the frogs we may hear that are actively calling this time of year. We will then […]

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Girl and the Goat Workshop at 209

Saturday, January 23, 2015 • 1 – 5 pm Location: Studio 209 & Fuzzy Goat Class Fee: $75. Includes all materials. Join TCA Studio 209 and Fuzzy Goat for a Saturday workshop this winter! Create a lovely coffee cup with Artist-in-Residence Hillery Richards at Studio 209, and then walk over to Fuzzy Goat and learn how to knit stitch […]

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Winter morning hike at Miccosukee Greenway by Georgia Ackerman

Miccosukee Greenway offers daily dose of Vitamin N

by Georgia Ackerman, published in Tallahassee Democrat 1/4/16 A daily dose of vitamin N is good for the body and mind. Embracing nature and the great outdoors offers numerous positive physical and mental health benefits, especially during the potentially hectic holiday season. Ample health research backs up the claim that a walk in the woods […]

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hiker on Aucilla Sinks trail by Karly Zelznak

Enjoy that sinking feeling along Aucilla Sinks

by Doug Alderson.  Published in Tallahassee Democrat 1/14/16 The 19th century young adult novelist Kirk Munroe certainly knew about the mysterious Aucilla Sinks when he wrote “Wakulla” in 1885. He accurately described the unique area where the Aucilla River dips underground for several miles and emerges for short stretches in a series of dark sinks […]

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Florida black bear

Night Prowl at Tallahassee Museum

Enjoy a guided tour at the Tallahassee Museum and learn about the night life along the  Florida Wildlife Trail. Your guide will provide an enjoyable experience as you spot the many nocturnal animals which call the Museum home. You will also have an opportunity to get close to one special night creature.  Registration Deadline: Wednesday, January […]

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birdsong trail ride

Winter Morning Trail Ride at Birdsong

Join Executive Director Kathleen Brady for a leisurely winter morning trail ride. We will make a number of stops to discuss Birdsong’s ecology, land management and history, including places such as the Star Pasture, Farm Pond, the Listening Place, and others. We will point out gopher tortoise burrows, and look for winter birds and signs […]

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butterfly by Sally Jue

Butterfly Watching and Research in the Red Hills

 Rob Diaz de Villegas WFSU-TV Monarchs are cool, but they’re the only butterflies we see in this area that aren’t 100% local.  Click here and trek through a couple of different habitat types and get a hint of the diversity of butterflies we have here in the Red Hills of Florida and Georgia.  Scroll down […]

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First Day Hike

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park invites the public to join our staff for a hike along the Lake Overstreet Trails. Along this hike you will see views of Lake Overstreet and the magnificent variety of woodland plants. The hike is along an uneven surface along some sections of the sloped trail. These trails get you […]

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Lost Creek Forest hike by Georgia Ackerman Dec 2015

Forest Walk at Lost Creek

What better way to spend the weekend after Christmas than a nice leisurely walk in the forest with family? Enjoy the beauty of nature in this tranquil forest setting. You can take a guided interpretive hike with Beth Grant or explore the forest on your own during this time. All participants must sign in at […]

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gopher-tortoise by Pierson Hill

All about Gopher-tortoises, a family-friendly field trip

Learn about the life cycle, history and habitat of gopher-tortoises with volunteers from the Gopher Tortoise Council. We’ll visit a gopher tortoise neighborhood with a special burrow scope to see underground and hear about other animals that live in the burrow. Meet an outreach gopher-tortoise called Polly from Tall Timbers. Bring your picnic and visit […]

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Woodstove Cooking

Learn the traditional methods of woodstove cooking in the 1800’s farmhouse kitchen.   Participants will learn the historical applications of woodstove cooking in the region during the 1800’s, while also offering practical approaches that may be used today. Participants must be at least 8 years old. Materials will be provided.  More details here.

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Introduction to Blacksmithing

Tallahassee Museum Work alongside an experienced blacksmith to learn some history and basics of the craft. Participants will take home their own creation. Deadline to register is December 2, 2015 at 12:00PM.

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Kayaking 101 & Paddling Tour on Scenic Lake Hall

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park invites the public to join our staff for a beginner’s afternoon paddle on Lake Hall. The class is open to ages 12 and above. One adult per child please.  Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Kayaks are available to rent at the park […]

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Fall Farm Day at Tallahassee Museum

Join us Saturday, November 21 at the Tallahassee Museum for a fun-filled day that celebrates our region’s cultural heritage!  The annual Fall Farm Day will host an array of activities and demonstrations celebrating the historic and the contemporary stories of our region’s farmed resources. The event is FREE for Museum Members and included in general […]

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Afternoon in the Field at Pebble Hill Plantation

Tall Timbers, Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival,  Pebble Hill Plantation and others are partnering for an Afternoon in the Field event at Pebble Hill Plantation. Tall Timbers will provide wagon tours through the fields of the plantation. There will be various  wildlife exhibits, hands-on learning demonstrations and live shows sure to entertain kids and adults. Admission […]

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Wintering Birds, a Red Hills Field Trip

Come out to enjoy the return of wintering birds to our region on this morning trip. The feeders at the Bird Window will be filled in hopes of attracting winter sparrows and finches, and there are likely to be some interesting ducks and wading birds on Gannet Pond. Led by Jim Cox, Director of the […]

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Hidden Gems Paddle on Georgia’s Ochlockonee River

Georgia River Network  is partnering with the Ochlockonee River Water Trail and Golden Triangle Resource, Conservation and Development, for this exciting one day paddling event and dinner party! Spend a day exploring the tea-stained waters, cypress knees & rich wildlife diversity of this up and coming Water Trail. ​The event will include lunch and presentations along […]

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cyclists checking off-road route in St. Marks Wildlife Refuge near Sopchoppy

Stroll or ride on Capital City to the Sea Trails

by Doug Alderson. Published in Tallahassee Democrat 11/5/15 The only problem with the GF & A Trail, often called the Gopher, Frog and Alligator Trail through the Apalachicola National Forest, is that it is too short. Largely following the abandoned bed of the Georgia, Florida and Alabama (GF&A) Railroad, the paved trail winds through scenic […]

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Veteran’s Day at Jack Hadley Black History Museum

Jack Hadley Black History Museum Salute All Veterans on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 The Museum will display  new and special exhibits that includes a large map of South Vietnam. The Museum is inviting all veterans to bring their families and show them your base location in Vietnam on this map.  All Vietnam Veterans and […]

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Toward a Natural Forest

Join the Friends of Apalachicola National Forest for a special presentation, Toward a Natural Forest. Jim Furnish is a former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service where he served for 34 years before retiring.  His memoir, Toward a Natural Forest:  The Forest Service in Transition, explores the tumultuous transition he experienced within the federal […]

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Lost Creek tour

Primitive Skills Walk & Talk at Lost Creek Forest

Join LCF Board Member Joe Burnam on a casual walk through the Forest where we will investigate how Native Americans would have used materials present in the forest for food, shelter, tools, and warmth. Weather permitting, we will try our hand at creating friction fire and making primitive cordage. Ticket includes access to the Forest […]

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Goodwood Jams

Goodwood Museum & Gardens will host the 4th annual Goodwood Jams benefit Saturday, November 7, 2015 creating a great event for music and food enthusiasts alike. Guests of Goodwood Jams celebrate the rich tradition of great entertaining in North Florida while supporting the preservation of the house, grounds and education programs of Goodwood Museum & […]

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Zoobilee at Tallahassee Museum

Join us for the James Bond Zoobilee 2015 on Friday, November 6 from 7 – 10 p.m. Enjoy live music from the Groove Merchants, an open bar, and delicious eats from Social Catering and Events, Madison Social, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant, 101 Restaurant, Taco Republik, Daves Pizza Garage, The Egg Café and Eatery, Real […]

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Wintering Hummingbirds in the Southeast

Fred Dietrich is the guest speaker on November 6. Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library invite you to Enlightening Bites, a series of thought-provoking lectures offered at noon on the first Friday every month, September through May. Bring your bites in your brown bag lunch (snacks are provided), and we’ll provide an […]

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Thomas County Historical Society’s Annual Chicken Pilau Dinner

Join the Thomas County Historical Society for the 22nd Annual Chicken Pilau Dinner. Prepared and served on the Museum grounds, this traditional southern supper supports the programs and preservation of our community’s rich history! Tickets are $7 per plate and dinners will be available for eat-in or take-out. The Museum grounds and six historic buildings, […]

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Harvest Festival at Jubilee Orchards

Come out and enjoy this great event to close out the Seven Days of Local Delights! The Frenchtown Heritage Marketplace,Tallahassee Museum, Red Hills Small Farms Alliance, and Jubilee Orchards have all joined forces to celebrate the history of our region’s local farms, and how they work to preserve our natural resources today. Activities include tours […]

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Full Moon Night Flight at Tallahassee Museum

Tree To Tree Adventures’ Full Moon Night Flights are a very exciting way to experience the Soaring Cypress zip line course in the dark. Grab your headlamps and zip through the tree-tops while conquering aerial obstacles and soaring over the cypress swamp. Our next Night Flight is Tuesday, October 27 at 6:15PM, and you must pre-register! MEMBERS RECEIVE $5 OFF REGULAR NIGHT ZIP PRICE […]

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Who Owns Water

Who Owns Water, Covey Film Festival at Tall Timbers

Who Owns Water An award-winning documentary by Modoc and Fourmile Media Filmmakers and brothers Michael and David Hanson paddle source to sea along the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers into the Gulf of Mexico. Location: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy, 13093 Henry Beadel Dr, Tallahassee, FL Times: 5:00 PM Bird trail nature walk with Jim […]

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Rick Zelznak at Lake Talquin State Forest near Talquin dam

Bikes & boats: a two part Ochlockonee adventure

by Georgia Ackerman, published in Tallahassee Democrat 10/1/15 I loaded the bikes onto our camper van and told my spouse that I was whisking him away on a “spontaneous fish camp staycation.” He grinned quizzically, and asked if we were also taking the kayaks and “should we invite some friends?” “Of course,” I responded. The […]

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Historic films of Thomasville

Covey Film Festival is delighted to collaborate with both the Thomasville Museum of History and the Thomasville Landmarks to offer a unique opportunity to view early films of the Thomasville area on Tuesday, October 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the Museum of History.  There will be a $10 charge for the screenings.  Light refreshments will be served. […]

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Secrets of Longleaf Pine

Secrets of the Longleaf Pine WORLD PREMIERE! See Rhett Turner’s beautiful documentary here first! Covey Film Festival is honored to premiere the documentary “Secrets of the Longleaf Pine“. The Longleaf Pine forest is a subtle and rarefied landscape that takes time to reveal its raw beauty and unravel its layered mysteries. This production was filmed for more […]

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Oct 2015 science day at Lake Ella

Science Saturday Festival

A fun, family-friendly and FREE event that will be held at Lake Ella! There will be over 70 organizations participating in the events. Some of them are…. Apalachee Beekeepers Be The Solution Birdland Challenge Learning Center FAMU Agriculture – Farmer’s Market FAMU – Center for Water & Air Quality FAMU – Division of Agricultural Science […]

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birdsong trail ride

Fall Morning Trail Ride

All aboard the wagon tour at Birdsong Nature Center! Join Executive Director Kathleen Brady for a fall morning trail ride. We will make a number of stops to discuss Birdsong’s ecology, land management and history, including places such as the Spring Pond, gopher tortoise neighborhood, Big Bay Swamp, Listening Place, Star Pasture, WHIP grant project […]

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First Floridians Conference

First Floridians: First Americans Conference will be held in the Monticello Opera House. Scholars will explain the early history and pre-history of Jefferson County as revealed by the findings in archaeological digs in the Aucilla Basin and local Paleolithic sites more than 14,000 years old.

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Florida Memory project archives

Working dogs of Red hills helped on farms, hunts

by Natasha Hartsfield, published September 3, 2015, Tallahassee Democrat For centuries people have known that dogs possess heightened senses that exceed human ability. Dogs have been used to herd, hunt, track, rescue, assist, guide and comfort, in addition to serving as officers of the law and as soldiers in times of war. Historically, people in […]

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Ochlockonee field trip

Amphibians & Reptiles of the Red Hills

Discover the ecology of an Ochlockonee River sand bar on this family friendly bio-blitz in the Apalachicola National Forest. Volunteer biologists from Tall Timbers, FWC and Friends of the Apalachicola National Forest will guide us in snorkeling, seining and riverbank exploring.  Bring snacks, hat, drinks and sunblock.  Dress to get wet & muddy. Group size […]

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Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris)

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Let’s go bug hunting!  Join David Almquist and his son Lukas on this family-friendly exploratory hike.  David is an invertebrate zoologist with Florida’s Natural Area Inventory. We’ll learn about the abundance, diversity, habits and ecology of the insects at Birdsong–and your back yard.  Reservations are required.  Contact Birdsong Nature Center before event day for more […]

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gopher tortoise and children at Tallahassee Musuem, courtesty of Tallahassee Museum, summer 2015

STEM Saturdays & the natural environment

Explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through the lens of the Tallahassee Museum’s expansive grounds and collections! Learn more about our natural environment and how to be stewards of the land, along with exploring the animal collection and what makes them part of this native habitat. When you arrive for STEM Saturday, be sure to […]

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Glimpse the past at Tall Timbers tour of tenant house

by Juanita Whiddon, published 8/4/15, Tallahassee Democrat The story of tenant farm families at Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy illustrates a unique time in United States history. Tenant farm structures were once common sights on the Southern rural landscape, but few remain today. Tenant farming and sharecropping appeared shortly after the end of […]

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sunset on Spring Creek by Georgia Ackerman 10.11.10

Finding magic on moonlight paddling trip on Wacissa River

by Doug Alderson, published 8/20/15, Tallahassee Democrat A crimson western glow fades as the rising full moon casts an ethereal light upon the water. Bats whisk in and out of shadows. Cormorants and wading birds quietly roost on tree branches while awakening barred owls echo from the growing darkness. Choruses of frogs and insects emanate […]

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Two boys with dog outside Kate Sullivan School in 1965. Florida Memory Collection

Working dogs of Red Hills helped on farms, hunts

by Natasha Hartsfield, published 9/3/15, Tallahassee Democrat For centuries people have known that dogs possess heightened senses that exceed human ability. Dogs have been used to herd, hunt, track, rescue, assist, guide and comfort, in addition to serving as officers of the law and as soldiers in times of war. Historically, people in our region […]

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Wacissa River march 2014 by Georgia Ackerman

Red Hills Full Moon Paddle UPDATE

POSTPONED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER Registered paddlers please contact Georgia Ackerman for rescheduled date details. Explore Wacissa Springs from the deck of a kayak and experience the region’s diverse wildlife habitat during this two hour eco-tour led by partners of the Red Hills Initiative.  Group size limited.  Some loaner kayaks available with nominal donation. Reservations […]

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Driving Florida’s Image Curator Tour

Florida Historic Capitol Museum Join us for Wine & Cheese and a Curator’s Tour of architecture and exhibits.  Space is limited and registration is required.  Please call 850-487-1902.  $20 for members.  $25 non-members.

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Dixe bioblitz wetlands

Striped newt discovery excites scientists

Feature story by Jennifer Portman, Tallahassee Democrat, August 10, 2015 The early-May trip to Dixie Plantation was intended to be one of fun, educational exploration, not serious scientific discovery. As part of a Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy fundraiser silent-auction prize, conservation biologist Kim Sash and her partner, Pierson Hill, volunteered to take […]

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MOH 2015 Gala

Gem of the South Annual Gala

Join Monticello Opera House members for their annual gala. This year the Gala will feature Sarah Hayes, a well-loved Monticello local who has been at the forefront of New York’s music scene for the last 10 years- performing jazz and swinging standards with numerous bands and orchestras, lighting up New York’s finest jazz clubs with her […]

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Birdsong Nature Center photo Take Child Outside Day

Take a Child Outside, Nature Scavenger Hunt

Birdsong Nature Center Celebrate summer at Birdsong with your favorite child or children. Leader Sandra Sallee and Executive Director Kathleen Brady will take our group on a scavenger hunt and see what Mother Nature has to offer! We want to give you and your youngsters an opportunity to really practice your nature observation skills – […]

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Full Moon Night Flight

Grab your headlamps and zip through the tree-tops at Tree to Tree Adventures while conquering aerial obstacles and soaring over the cypress swamp. Registration required.

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Longleaf Forest stamps_200ppi

Seeing the forest and the trees

published in Tallahassee Democrat July 25, 2015 It’s well-known that Red Hills hunting estates have some of the finest examples of old-growth longleaf pine forests left on the planet. This is a treasure for which we should all be thankful, but these old-growth forests should not be viewed as exhibits in a dusty antiquated museum. […]

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ecoshakespeare by Rob Diaz de Villegas

Clearcutting the Longleaf forest

Oberon and Titania’s martial strife has led to ecological upheaval. What does Shakespeare have to say about man’s relationship to nature? In EcoShakespeare, scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream take on new meaning as we superimpose them on the ecology of north Florida and south Georgia. Episode 1 takes into a rare old growth longleaf […]

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Sharing Water Conference-Farmers work to protect aquifer

On October 2 through 4, 2014, Monticello, Florida hosted the Sharing Water Conference. Legislators, geologists, legal experts, water managers, and farmers met to discuss the future of the Floridan aquifer. Extending from South Carolina to Orlando, the Floridan is not only large, but has been well protected by its geology, housing what is considered to […]

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Exploring the Small Farms of Florida’s Red Hills

Have you ever drunk tea made from the petals of Roselle flowers? Have you ever seen a miniature Tennessee Fainting Goat? The Red Hills Small Farm Alliance is a collective of small scale food producers located within 100 miles of Tallahassee. Many of these farms practice sustainable agriculture and grow crops not likely to be […]

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harvesting at Orchard Pond Farm

Small farms of the Red Hills

The Red Hills Small Farm Alliance will join Tom Flanigan on WFSU-FM’s Perspectives radio show this week.  Topics include sustainable food sources, gardening and farmers’ market.  You can call or email your questions and comments to the show. The numbers are 850-414-1234, or 800-926-8809. You can also e-mail your questions and comments to perspectives@wfsu.org .

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Finding the Red Hills: the most beautiful scenic drive in Florida

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 6/12/14 The scenic, landscaped corridor linking historic districts in Monticello and Tallahassee is best known as Fred Mahan Drive. Easily the most beautiful 25 miles in Florida, it started as a tribal path and became the Old Spanish Trail. It is now US 90, once the main east-west route across pay for […]

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The emerald necklace known as the Red Hills

published in Tallahassee Democrat 5/4/14 The Boston, Massachusetts, area is famous for its “emerald necklace” of park lands, designed more than a century ago by Frederick Law Olmsted. But take out a map of the Tallahassee area and you’ll see a wide swath of parks and conservation lands that are unparalleled. Start at the north […]

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The Ochlockonee River is dynamic, navigable

published in Tallahassee Democrat 6/26/14 Coursing through the Red Hills, emptying into Lake Talquin and then stretching out into the north Florida coastal plain is the Ochlockonee River. All parts of the river are navigable, although snags are possible in low water. I’m most familiar with the 76-mile stretch from the dam along Highway 20 […]

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Seminole Ball, 1823

published in Tallahassee Democrat 6/14/14 In June 1823, after two sessions of alternating between St. Augustine and Pensacola for meetings of the territorial council, Governor William P. Duval appointed commissioners to select a more permanent seat of government for the Florida Territory. The two men chosen for the mission, John Lee Williams and Dr. William […]

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Watermelon Festival strongly linked with Monticello’s history

Monticello will be celebrating its annual Watermelon Festival beginning on June 13. The festival will culminate on Saturday, June 21, with the annual parade and other celebrations throughout the city. The Red Hills region, and especially Monticello and Jefferson County, has a long history relating to watermelons. According to historian Jerrell Shofner in his “History […]

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Tallahassee Museum youth at Birdsong Nature Center

A Red Hills wonderland: connecting kids to their natural world

published in Tallahassee Democrat 7/10/14 There was a noticeable burst of energy when I announced to the soon-to-be hot and sticky summer day campers that, “Miss Kathleen said you should climb on this tree after lunch.” A few minutes prior, they had voraciously consumed the contents of their lunch boxes. This group of eager Red […]

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male RCW by Tara Tanaka

A roller coaster ride with red-cockaded woodpeckers

published in Tallahassee Democrat 8/7/14  photo by Tara Tanaka The phrase “wildlife management” seems oxymoronic at first blush. Can you really mange something that is wild? This thought came up frequently during efforts to re-establish red-cockaded woodpeckers on Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy. The Red Hills region supports the largest population of this […]

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Piney Woods - Annie Pringle - Sitting on fence

Thomas County. . . A Place Apart

published in Tallahassee Democrat 8/21/14 “Thomasville is growing metropolitan: Governors, great railroad Kings, the prominent millionaires of the country come and go without causing a ripple.” The Thomasville Times, December 1886 The existence of stately stands of longleaf pines that distinguish the Red Hills region today owes much to Thomasville’s fame as a winter resort […]

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Jefferson County’s wild lands hold secrets

published in Tallahassee Democrat 9/4/14 The flatwoods of Jefferson County Florida are a world out of time. This remote and mysterious area seems somewhat undiscovered except by local hunters, fishermen and scientists. The tangled woods and swamps are bordered on the east by the Suwanee River and on the west by the Wakulla. The area […]

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Lane Green scouting for blue-winged teal by Shane Wellendorf

Early waterfowl hunting season

published in Tallahassee Democrat 9/18/14 There are hints of autumn and a promise of cooler days ahead when September finally comes around. September also marks the beginning of hunting and it starts off with one of my favorites, the early waterfowl hunting season. The early waterfowl season provides opportunities to hunt resident wood ducks, raised […]

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mound research by Terri Messler

Indian mounds get modern day dig

published in Tallahassee Democrat 10/2/14 This past summer, Florida State University teamed up with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR) to conduct the six-week 2014 Archaeology Field School. The research was conducted at two of the most significant sites in North Florida: Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park and Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. […]

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Goodwood celebrates hunting heritage with new exhibit

published in Tallahassee Democrat 10/16/14 Hunting season has begun in the region, and to celebrate, Goodwood Museum & Gardens is having an exhibit of vintage hunt clothes, a hunt picnic and a fashion show featuring the latest hunt season fashions for partying afterward. Although Goodwood is now located in what is considered Mid-town Tallahassee, it […]

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winter walk

Get fit with nature’s gym

published in Tallahassee Democrat 10/30/14 Tired of sweaty, crowded gyms packed with grunting and grimacing workout partners? Try a breath of fresh air. Really fresh air. Consider replacing what amounts to a month or so of a gym membership with an annual state park pass, good at any state park in Florida 365 days a […]

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Aucilla River flows from Georgia to Florida’s Apalachee Bay

published in Tallahassee Democrat 11/12/14 The Aucilla River begins in a small creek in lower Georgia and meanders south into the Red Hills of Florida where it creates most of the eastern border of Jefferson County. It flows slowly at first; passing close around Paleolithic burial mounds; skirting the edge of ancient pre-historic campsites and […]

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canopy road sign on Old St  Augustine by Doug Alderson

Take a scenic drive through the Red Hills

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 12/4/14 Our area has an abundance of scenic canopied roads north and east of Tallahassee through the Red Hills region. Take Centerville Road, for example. Soon after leaving Capital Circle, arching live oaks seem to embrace the road while neighborhoods give way to pastoral horse farms, vintage barns and country churches. […]

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Stoddard pioneered land management in Red Hills

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 1/2/15 If you perform an internet search using the phrase “ecosystem management”, you’ll find over a million entries that are largely associated with management of our cherished national forests, state parks, and wildlife preserves. Did you know this approach to land management arguably was first developed and practiced in a meaningful […]

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Mildred Newton

Remembering Thomasville teacher Mildred Newton

published in Tallahassee Democrat 2/24/15 If Mildred Williams Newton glanced downward and removed her eyeglasses while standing in front of the classroom, the students instinctively knew this signaled big trouble. The infraction was likely grammar or punctuation related and all braced for an impromptu lecture. Newton taught at Douglass High School in Thomasville, Georgia, from […]

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trout lillies by Shane Wellendorf

Trout lilies carpet forest floor at Wolf Creek Preserve

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 3/13/15 Even folks who live in the Sunshine State get the winter blues, especially those of us who live in the Panhandle, where we get milder versions of the seasonal changes experienced by our northern neighbors. I found the antidote to the February blahs a couple of weeks ago when I […]

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by Brian Proctor

Drawn by gobble as spring turkey

published in the Tallahassee Democrat, 3/28/15.  Photo courtesy of Brian Proctor The majority of turkey hunters I know are passionate about their springtime pursuits; some may even be viewed as obsessed. But why? What is it about trying to coax a 20 pound male turkey gobbler within gun range using romantic overtures that keeps people […]

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Aaron Griffith, turkey researcher

Talking turkey trapping–patience pays off

The cold air wrapped me as I sat in my camp chair. Concealed by my camouflaged blind, I went through my mental checklist. I rummaged through my backpack for my continuity tester and blaster. “OK check the wires,” I thought. I touched the ends of the wires to my tester. “Red light, that’s good. Put […]

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by Rob Diaz de villegas

Explore wilderness close to home at Lafayette Passage

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 4/9/15 I have to be one of the luckiest people ever! I paddle somewhere most every day. As a guide and instructor for the Florida Kayak School, I travel around the region and share my love of the outdoors and being on the water with like-minded people. Though I would be […]

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woman paddling upper Sopchoppy River Feb 2015 by Georgia Ackerman

What’s in a name?

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 5/26/15 The Tallahassee region’s Native American history is revealed in the many names of its rivers, lakes and the name of the Capital City itself. According to the book, Florida Place Names of Indian Origin by William A. Read, the name Tallahassee comes from the Muscogee Creek Indians who came here […]

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paddlers on Lake Iamonia at dawn April 2014 by Georgia Ackerman

Unearthing trash at Lake Iamonia

Convincing family, friends and colleagues that crawling through the woods or trekking along roads picking up trash is great fun is typically a tough sell. Just ask my kids. Luckily, I have learned a reliable formula for volunteer recruitment for such events. Experience has demonstrated that ingredients for successful involvement typically include chips with salsa, […]

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S. Prenitss Baldwin courtesy of Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy

Baldwin played pivotal role in Red Hills conservation

published in Tallahassee Democrat, 6/11/15 A seemingly trivial historical event that would nonetheless have profound environmental repercussions in the Red Hills of south Georgia and north Florida occurred when Samuel Prentiss Baldwin married Lillian Converse Hanna on Feb. 15, 1898. Both were from prominent Cleveland families. Baldwin was a retired lawyer with a peculiar hobby: […]

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Monticello Opera House is a downtown jewel

published in the Tallahassee Democrat, 12/8/14 The Monticello Opera House has been the jewel in the heart of downtown Monticello since the late 19th century. Built in 1890 by entrepreneur John H. Perkins and designed by W.R. Gunn, it was described shortly after its opening as “the handsomest business block in town.” It is listed on […]

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store front courtesy of Bradley's Country Store

Historic Bradley’s Country Store offers link with the past

published in the Tallahassee Democrat January 15, 2015 Since 1927, travelers have ventured along red clay canopy roads to Bradley’s Country Store, located on the picturesque Centerville Road. A step into the tin-roofed store is a step back in time. Hanging from the horizontal board interior walls are washboards, pitch forks and mule harnesses of […]

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tree climbing by Georgia Ackerman

Red Hills summer adventure is all around us

published in Tallahassee Democrat July 7, 2015 Nostalgia hits me hard every May with the first flickering of fireflies and the steady approach of the June solstice. Jubilant kids bid farewell to school routines while camps and backyard adventures beckon. Parents patch together their childcare and vacation plans and suddenly summer commences. In our Red […]

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Thomasville Summer Exhibition, artist collective

Artist Collective Thomasville Summer Exhibition

Opening July 17 at Grassroots Coffee.  Join the Artist Collective Thomasville summer exhibition opening Coastal, a photography and painting exhibition. Tallahassee artists Katie McTigue and Hali Tauxe are rising photographers and have zoomed in on iconic American summer culture. McTigue’s work centers on water using perspective techniques and Tauxe’s work is of coastal towns shot at […]

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African American Espionage exhibit

African American Espionage during the Civil War

The John G. Riley Museum is pleased to offer a new exhibit entitled: “African American Espionage during the Civil War” which features the authentic weaponry of Harriet Tubman. Visitors will get a glimpse into the world of the African American spy network and the ways in which covert information was used to secure the Union […]

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Purple martins at Birdson Nature Center

Summer Birding at Birdsong Nature Center

Join us for a leisurely morning of early summer birding with Marvin Collins. We will visit a variety of excellent birding habitats including open old-field, pine woods, swamp and mixed hardwoods. The hike will wrap up with a visit to the Bird Window, which is typically a very busy place this time of year. Dress […]

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