January 18, 2013 Rookery Bay Nature Festival: Although Florida is the lightning strike capital of the country controlled burns like this one on the Rookery Bay Preserve remain necessary for healthy habitat maintence. Native species like this Sabal Palm suffer only mild exterior signs. Photo by Gordon Campbell/Special to the Daily News.
Friday was the kickoff for the 2013 Rookery Bay Nature Festival. The weekend will be highlighted by about 40 guided field activities including bird watching and kayaking. There's also a guided trek around the Shell Island Preserve area where participants will get an insight into native Calusa and post-Civil War settler lifestyles. Film maker Elam Stoltzfus will discuss his adventures in filming the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition ('1000 miles in 100 days') on Saturday. Go to www.rookerybay.org for more information.