Kai: I just finished my very first non-fiction book! The Art of Florida Birdwatching.
Being a bird watcher all my life, I knew I wanted to create a work of non-fiction themed around my knowledge and experience. In addition to the information, I was still able to utilize my more aesthetic side, using art and photography as the pictures.
This book features over 30 species of birds that can be found right here in Florida, and includes an artistic depiction, fun facts about the bird, and stories about my personal encounters. Many were photographed at Grand Lagoon State Park, Myakka River State Park and Wakulla Springs State Park.
I really hope you enjoy this book, as it is one I am quite proud of. These are the wild birds I know best, many of which are quite dear to me. If you are interested in birds, or are just getting to know them, I hope you’ll take a look at this book and be inspired to continue your birding journey!
Kai: Here is the last book for 2021! January would be our chicken-keeping anniversary, but I thought I’d put this kids book out a little sooner. The book is written by me, and illustrated by Arianna and I. Digital effects were created by Avery.
Our chicken keeping experience has been both fun, challenging, and surprising, especially with the appearance of a neighborhood rooster that showed up not long after we got our first two girls, a Brahma, and a Wyandotte. Later in the year, we felt we could afford to expand, and adopted two other ladies, our beautiful easter egger chickens. Throughout all of this, that little neighborhood rooster stole our hearts, and has kept the girls safe from hawks despite his size. In thanks, we’re keeping him warm this winter, and he has been paid in many treats.
While we’re still mastering even the basics of chicken keeping, I think we’ve learned a lot in just one year. We still hope to expand in this area of permaculture, but for now, we shall take care of our small flock. If you are a bird lover, or just want an interesting addition to your backyard garden, I highly recommend this pleasing, and colorful domestic fowl. I feel like they are a great tool to help children learn about animals, nature, and the “backyard” ecosystem. Be sure to get hens from a crazy chicken lady if you want a sweet bird you can pet and hold!
“Spirit Animal Meditations” is a project we started last year. We released the first set of meditations in August 2020, with the 2nd set released later that November. The first album consists of three tracks- “Mother Bear”, “Loving Dog”, and “Magical Rabbit”. The 2nd album was Ocean themed, consisting of- “Peaceful Whale”, “Happy Dolphin”, and “Wise Sea Turtle”.
“Spirit Animal Meditations” is a new project we have just completed. I had a stroke of inspiration to do something different than the usual art I create, and the idea of recording a guided meditation came to me. Because of all of the stress and upset that has been going on in the world for many months now, I know a lot of us are needing a way to get calm, regain some clarity and just breathe! Adults are surely stressed, but this has been very hard on children as well. A guided meditation seemed like a good way to offer a space for some relaxation and centering to take place. Kai suggested I use the animal themed meditations she had written awhile ago. These were written with kids in mind, though adults can enjoy them as well! I had a good time narrating Kai’s lovely journeys with the Mother Bear, the Loving Dog, and the Magical Rabbit. And as always, Avery’s audio ambience adds a calming background music. I am very pleased with how these turned out, and I feel this was a project I was called to do during this difficult time. So please enjoy these, whether you are a child or adult. I encourage parents to participate in the meditations with your children. We wish you all love, courage and clarity in these changing times.
Please take a look at I and Arianna’s new art and poetry book. I have joined our poems, photos, art, and a few of my comics into an entertaining compilation of funny and amusing poems we’ve written over the years – some of them, more relevant than ever. Much of the content is based on the joy and humor our beloved companions share with us, including a comic/short story called Milo the Millionaire! I wish to make light of some of the things we’ve all been going through lately, so I hope this book can bring a laugh, a smile, or even if just a little breather to your day. This is sure to bring pet lovers a little joy, so please share!
On May 18th, we began creating a new mural at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Center in Crawfordville, Florida (near Tallahassee). Around this same time last year we had been painting a large outdoor mural in their courtyard, completed in June. This year we had the opportunity to do another mural of a smaller scale, this time indoors.