Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Carlton Ward frames Florida’s wild side

March 22, 2014
An Ogeechee tupelo tree on an island in the Suwannee River (photo Cartlon Ward)

An Ogeechee tupelo tree on an island in the Suwannee River (photo Cartlon Ward)

One of my favorite nature photographers, eighth-generation Floridian Carlton Ward Jr., recently opened his first public gallery. Hooray!

The Carlton Ward Gallery in Tampa, where Carlton is based, displays about 30 of his award-winning fine-art prints from assignments and adventures around the state. Carlton is known for his striking environmental photographs, which have been seen in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and other publications. Now you can see them up close and personal, in frames!

When I visited the gallery, photo locations included the Everglades, Gulf Coast, Tampa Bay, Florida cowboys, and his most recent project, the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Carlton brings out the best of Florida, and is quite the intrepid adventurer. You’d have to be to get the shots he does.

For the Wildlife Corridor project, in 2012, Ward and two scientists trekked 1,000 miles from the Everglades to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia to document the state of wildlife habitats, watersheds, and ranches. “The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition” book and DVD also are available at the gallery.

Here are the basics: Carlton Ward Gallery, 1525 West Swann Ave. (in Hyde Park), Tampa. 813-251-0257,


Florida bound? Don’t forget your free juice

November 7, 2008
Free orange  juice at the state Florida Welcome Center on I-95

Free orange juice at the state Florida Welcome Center on I-95

It’s the time of year for tourists and snowbirds to make the trip south to Florida. We’ll be heading down in December for the Christmas holiday.

If you’re driving in, make sure to stop for free orange or grapefruit juice at one of the state’s five Official Florida Welcome Centers. I always look forward to a break at the center on I-95 north of Yulee and Jacksonville. It’s loaded with brochures and maps, helpful and friendly staff, and, best of all, yummy free juice. The restrooms are plentiful and clean, and Sabrina and Roxy have found the pet-walking areas to be to their liking as well.

Other welcome centers are located on I-10 west of Pensacola, U.S. 231 near Campbellton, I-75 at Jennings, and at the west entrance of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

Don’t be fooled by the state’s many commercial “welcome centers” that try to sell you hotel and attraction packages. Stick with the real thing, or visit the state’s tourism site at

1,500 miles and counting…

December 16, 2007

cover2007_small.jpgI know you’re out there because I’ve seen you all the way down in Florida, those of you crazy enough to *drive* down the East Coast from New England to the Sunshine State. Yeah, I’ve done the deed too. The only way it can be kind of fun if you stop and smell the exits. Road maps and highway signs tell only half the story, which is why I enjoy carrying a copy of “Drive I-95,” by Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner. The 4th edition, just out, costs $23.95 at bookstores or online at or by calling 888-GUIDE95. (I hate those annoying alphabet phone numbers, which is why I refuse to translate it for you. Sorry).

Some of the invaluable information the Posners impart: detailed services at exits, radio stations, places police officers like to point their radar guns from, Internet availability, pet-friendly accommodations (which Roxy the Doxy greatly appreciates), travel trivia, and off-beat stops. Could you find the Ava Gardner Museum (Exit 95, near Smithfield, NC) on your own? I didn’t think so.