My Books!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wild Times on Skidaway Island

Welcome to my blog. Karen Dove Barr is my special guest today. Karen and I share a vision of a world where humans and animals can co-exist in harmony. Readers, Karen is giving away
a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at

 Karen, welcome to the blog.
1.How did you find Skidaway Island?


            As a resident of Savannah I knew Skidaway Island was a tropical paradise separated from Savannah by miles of marshland and two rivers, one river being part of the Intracoastal Waterway.  The Savannah Morning News announced the State of Georgia agreed to build a causeway and bridge to the island after Robert C. Roebling, whose grandfather built the Brooklyn Bridge, donated the land he owned in the northwest quadrant of Skidaway Island to the State of Georgia for a marine science center and Branigar Corporation donated a piece of the land it owned on the western side to the State of Georgia for a state park.

            The announcement created a great buzz in Savannah, especially after Branigar Corporation announced it planned to build a luxury retirement development on some of its remaining Skidaway land.  I went to check out the planned home space and was greeted at the gate by a beautiful herd of deer.  The deer deserve a cut of the realtor’s commission because they sold me on moving to the island.

2.What's your favorite animal on the island?

            I love all the animals on the island but the masked bandit, against my wishes, holds a special place in my heart.  Raccoons are related to bears.  They are extraordinarily intelligent.  I put out cat food for feral kitties, but the raccoons get more than their share of it.  When I shoo them away, the cats run from me, but raccoons put on their “cute” face and beg to stay.  Raccoons have worked out that if they let the cats have the first bites I will go back in the house and they can then steal the rest.  They sometimes cooperate with cats, even sharing a food bowl under a cat trap I used to have the feral cats neutered and vaccinated.

            Maybe the raccoons knew they would be freed instead of making the trip to the vet.

            The raccoon on the cover of Wild Times on Skidaway Island , had a guilty expression on his face when I caught him eating out of the bird feeder.

3.  How did the island come to be an Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge?

            To become an Audubon-designated Important Bird Area, a community must apply and meet specific criteria.  Actually the six golf courses on Skidaway Island are the areas that attained Audubon Important Bird Area designation.  To qualify the site must support:

  1. Species of conservation concern
  2. Restricted-range species
  3. Species that are vulnerable because their populations are concentrated in one general habitant type or biome
  4. Species, or groups of similar species (such as waterfowl or shorebirds), that are vulnerable because they occur at high densities due to their congregatory behavior.

 4. What is the most important thing you'd like the public to learn from your book?

            I’d like the public to learn that there are unexplored consequences to protection of endangered species and that it takes more than increasing animal populations to successfully create a climate where animals and people coexist and thrive together.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that it sounds like you live in a wonderful place. Readers, let's take a look at an excerpt from Wild Times on Skidaway Island.

Wild Times on Skidaway Island
by Karen Dove Barr
 Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia's Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.
 Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.

When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years.  Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology.  Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated woodpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population.  Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members.  She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.



Andra Lyn said...

HA! What a crazy excerpt! I can almost hear the clangs of the woodpeckers on the tin roof right now! Must have been a long few weeks for the two of them!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Barbara Casey said...

I have this book and have bought two more to give as Christmas presents. It is beautiful, informative, and Karen's sense of humor is wonderful.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Karen Dove Barr said...

Good morning, Elaine! Thank you for hosting me.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I'm very glad to have you, Karen. Your book sounds fascinating.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I'm very glad to have you, Karen. Your book sounds fascinating.

Karen H in NC said...

Love the excerpt. Sounds like an amazing book. I'll be following your tour to learn more about it.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Rita said...

Nice excerpt, thank you.


MomJane said...

I didn't realize that this was a real place. Great excerpt.

Chelsea B. said...

Thanks for sharing with us such a great and informative interview!:-)


Catherine Lee said...

So...Is this non-fiction? I lived in Macon, GA for several years and never heard of Skidaway. How interesting!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Sounds like a nice place to visit

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Karen Dove Barr said...

To Catherine Lee- What a coincidence! I was born and raised in Macon and never visited Savannah until my ex-husband was transferred here.

The bridge to Skidaway Island was built in 1970. The homes are heavily marketed in New York and Chicago, not in the south.

Mary Preston said...

So Skidaway Island is a real place?


Ranya Elmoursi said...

Can you tell us more of the history of Skidaway Island?

Karen Dove Barr said...

My book includes many stories about the history of Skidaway Island. When I built my house there in the forest I sensed the presence of all the residents who came before me. Indians camped on Skidaway until they were run off by the Spanish. James Oglethorpe settled debtors from England there. Later slaves were brought from Africa and Benedictine monks came to educate their decendants. After the hurricanes of the 1890s the island was abandoned except for rumrunners and moonshiners for nearly 100 years. I think there is a little more history in one of my later tour posts.

Natasha said...

Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
Sounds like a great read!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Eva Millien said...

Thanks for sharing the excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

Theresa said...

I would love to visit Skidaway Island after reading the blurb!

Bobbye Hope said...

Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway, Take me away to the island :) bobbyehopebooth at yahoo dot com

Emily said...

LOL, I love the raccoons. They are smart little buggers, they act all sweet and innocent, but we know better :)