January 28, 2021
In This Issue

The DDWS staff has been busy bringing the healing sunshine and beauty of the Refuge to the public through 30-second social media videos. Follow on Facebook to see our 
#DailyDoseofDing, brief virtual visits to the Refuge for those who can't make it. The posts have become a much-anticipated feature, boosting Facebook numbers to nearly 16,000 followers. 
Whether you live on Sanibel Island or in a completely different environment in faraway places like New Mexico or Wisconsin, we want to see what you're seeing in your habitat while you are staying safe at home. 

Thank you to Kathy Ann Randall for sharing this image of this ponded wetland along the Stavich Bicycle Trail, Mahoning River Valley, west of New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Thank you to Gail Sanders from New Hampshire for this image of Mascoma Lake.

Please email your nature photos so we can share them in "Ding" on the Wing and by social media. Include details about the photographer and where the photo was taken.
TOMORROW, January 29
Guggenheim Ocean Doctor Lecture

Dr. David E. Guggenheim works in the field in a submersible vessel. Credit: Todd Warshaw
As founder of the nonprofit organization Ocean Doctor, dedicated to advancing ocean conservation worldwide, David E. Guggenheim will share "Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters" at the first free "Ding" Darling lecture of the season. It will take place at The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 29.

Guggenheim - a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer, submarine pilot, and educator - is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and creator of the Cuba Conservancy. He has worked in Cuba for more than 20 years leading collaborative research and conservation efforts focused on advancing economically and environmentally sustainable solutions for coastal communities to READ MORE

Special thanks to our sponsor for this lecture:

Missed the lecture? Head to our web page the Tuesday following each lecture to view a recorded video.
Lecture Series Protocols

The upcoming season's "Ding" Darling Lecture Series evolves with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to a larger venue. Following CDC guidelines, there will be socially distanced seating for the free lectures.  Seating will be limited and available on a first-come basis. DDWS asks guests to avoid lining up before 8:45 a.m. Staff will be distributing a limited number of entry wristbands to attendees beginning at 9 a.m. that day, after taking touch-free temperature readings. Guests must be wearing wristbands and facemasks to enter the lecture room. Early arrivals may save their seat and one other with personal items. Saved seats must be filled by 9:45 a.m.
Thursday, February 4: The Clyde Butcher Family Lecture

Clyde and Niki Butcher
On the heels of the release of his latest Florida photographic collection, The Everglades, Clyde Butcher will be presenting at a February 4 "Ding" Darling lecture at The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island starting at 10 a.m., along with his wife, fellow photographer-artist, Niki Butcher and daughter-manager Jackie Butcher-Obendorf.

Clyde Butcher is known world over for his large-format, black-and-white nature photos that take the craft to levels of composed artistry. His wife, who will be mounting an exhibition at the Refuge starting in mid-November 2021, specializes in hand-painted photographs that also glorify nature's beauty.

Called "his most comprehensive collection of Everglades photography," the oversized coffee-table book The Everglades showcases Clyde's work in a collectible edition with READ MORE
Thanks to sponsors Wayne & Linda Boyd for supporting this lecture.

Want to learn more about the legendary Clyde Butcher? Visit his web site and read this article from AARP Magazine
Please cover your face and maintain a safe distance on all Refuge lands to help keep staff, volunteers, and visitors safe.
Facemask Guidelines

Reminder: All staff, volunteers, and Tarpon Bay Explorers employees are required to wear facemasks anytime they are outside of their offices, in all indoor and outdoor public places. The Refuge requests that all visitors follow the same guidelines, wearing masks and keeping 6-feet distance on all Refuge lands and buildings including the Visitor & Education Center, restrooms, Tarpon Bay Explorers facilities, and outdoors wherever people are gathered, including the parking lot, trails, tours, and Wildlife Drive.

More Artist-in-Residence Journal Walks

Artist in residence, Rachel Pierce, leads the free Art Journal Walks.

Due to the popularity of the first Artist-in-Residence journal walk earlier this month, the Refuge has added more walks to the monthly event. For the remaining journal walks on February 5, March 5, and April 5, there will be three times offered. 
Each time slot is limited to 10 participants, so make your free reservation today for 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or noon on your preferred date.

New Refuge Sign Interprets Mosquitos

Eric Jackson, Deputy Director of Lee County Mosquito & Hyacinth Control Districts, and Refuge Manager Kevin Godsea dedicated the new interpretive sign this week. 
One of the Refuge's unsung wildlife residents received its due this week when representatives from a partnership with Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) dedicated a new interpretive sign at the historic Colon's Point along Wildlife Drive.
"The Salt Water Mosquito: A Mighty but Tiny Resident" reveals how mosquitos are responsible for the building of Wildlife Drive as a result of drainage ditches dug in 1962. Colon's Point memorializes LCMCD heavy equipment operator Colon Moore, who did most of the digging. The new signage lays down some positive facts about mosquitos and their island populations. Refuge management created the panel as part of last year's Refuge 75th Anniversary Celebration.

WoW Public Appearance
Our new Wildlife on Wheels (WoW) urban mobile classroom has begun its weeklong visits to schools around the five-county area, with its first school as Tice Elementary. In between school engagements, the education team is scheduling appearances open to the public. Plan your safe, guided tour of WoW's hand-on exhibits (disinfected by staff after each use) at this upcoming FREE event.
Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: IMAG Science Saturday at IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, downtown Fort Myers
Donate to support WoW's mission to reach schools, libraries, community centers, and events in under-represented neighborhoods to instill interest in the Refuge and a connection to nature.

'America's Best-Kept Secret'
In each issue of "Ding" on the Wing, we showcase one of the more than 560 refuges across the U.S.A. that is open to the public. 
Images courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Greater Prairie Chicken

Dakota Skipper butterfly
Location5,000 acres; Balaton, Minnesota

Totemic Flora and FaunaDakota Skipper, Grasshopper Sparrow, Greater Prairie Chicken

Visitor's Tip: The refuge complex's "Touch the Sky" unit in Rock County offers hiking trails and interpretive kiosks.

Click HERE to see this week's wildlife sightings.

Photo by Rebecca Clemens

American White Pelicans have been spotted along Wildlife Drive in large numbers. As a reminder, the best time to see many of our avian species along the drive is during low tide.

To see more wildlife photos click on our social media links:
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If you have taken any beautiful, interesting, or just plain goofy photos at the Refuge, send them to Development Officer Sierra Hoisington for a chance to be 
featured in upcoming newsletters.
Face masks have become as essential to carry around with us  as our house keys and cell phones. Research is suggesting that masks help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, however millions of disposable face masks are ending up in landfills and abandoned elsewhere. Contaminated and not reusable, masks are rivalling the dreaded plastic bag as yet another waste product making its irreversible, mark on the environment.  Reduce your impact and use reusable masks.
Monitor our COVID-19 page for news of event cancellations or reschedules.
Artist-in-Residence Plein-Air Demos - Through April, 2021 

Virtual Film Series - Through April 12, 2021   

Go Wild for Jeopar-Ding - March 31, 2021

Earth Day at the Refuge - April 22, 2021

Artist-in-Residence Exhibition - October 1 - November 10, 2021

Niki Butcher Photographic Exhibition - Mid-November - December 2021
These are just snapshots of some of the things taking place at your Wildlife Refuge. Please check our website to learn more!

Birgit Miller, Executive Director

"Ding" On The Wing composed by Chelle Koster Walton.  Designed by interns Julie D'Agostino and Hollis Hatfield.

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