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Refuge lecture to looks at rains impact on nature, culture

By Staff | Feb 10, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Cynthia Barnett will share her delight for rain on Feb. 14.

Cynthia Barnett’s book “Rain: A Natural & Cultural History” begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. On Feb. 14, she will deliver two lectures about her book at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel.

Rain weaves together science – the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains – with the human story of our ambition to control rain. The book is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the Mackintosh raincoat and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

“I’m crazy about rain,” Barnett said. “I am a native of Florida and have always loved its sun showers and dramatic rain storms. Over my years as a journalist specializing in water, I came to appreciate rain as life’s elixir – marveling at its work to fill aquifers and rivers, its cycle from sea to atmosphere.”

Co-sponsored by HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management and Sanibel Carts, with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, the free lecture series is held in the admission-free Visitor & Education Center’s auditorium.

Following Barnett’s lectures, she will sign copies of her book, which is available at the Refuge Nature Store. Store sales from the book benefit conservation and education programs at the Sanibel refuge.

PHOTO PROVIDED “Rain: A Natural & Cultural History” by Cynthia Barnett.

The remaining schedule, including some book signings, is as follows:

– Feb. 21: Author Jeff Klinkenberg, “Alligator in B Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida”*

– Feb 28: Author Craig Pittman, “Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Endangered Florida Panther”*

– March 6: Author and photographer Paul Bannick, “The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America’s Most Iconic Birds”*

– March 13: Upcycle Designer Nancy Judd, of RecycleRunway.com

– March 20: Author Eliot Kleinberg, “Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928″*

– March 27: Author Jack Davis, “All About Eagles and Other Florida Eco-Topics”*

– April 3: Jeri Magg, “Remarkable Women of Sanibel & Captiva”*

*book signing to follow

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Staff will hand out wristbands to those in line. Wristband wearers can save seats with personal items and then explore the center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture’s start time.

DDWS will film most of the lectures and broadcast them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling. For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.