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Refuge lecturer to reveal ‘improbable tales’ of real Florida

By Staff | Feb 18, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Jeff Klinkenberg sloshes through Fakahatchee Strand waters in the Everglades.

Jeff Klinkenberg engaged a professional symphony orchestra tuba player to determine whether bull gators would respond with thunderous bellows to a low B-flat note during mating season; thus the name of his book, “Alligator in B Flat.” The award-winning journalist will present two programs on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Subtitled “Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida,” Klinkenberg’s collection of essays covering all facets of life in Florida were culled from nearly 40 years as a chronicler of Florida culture for the Tampa Bay Times, formerly the St. Petersburg Times. In 2018, his latest book, “Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life,” was published.

“Nobody writes about the real Florida with as much insight and affection as Jeff Klinkenberg,” Florida columnist and novelist Carl Hiaasen said. “His essays – spanning the length and breadth of this intoxicating, infuriating state – are pure gems.”

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 the lectures, Klinkenberg will sign copies of his books, which are available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store. Store sales from the book will benefit conservation and education programs at the refuge.

PHOTO PROVIDED “Son of Real Florida: Stories from My Life,” by Jeff Klinkenberg

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

– 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.