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Nature Challenges: easy & fun and serious & difficult...

Welcome to the Paul Rebmann Nature Photography Newsletter January 2023 edition.

Starting out this new year we take a look at some very different nature challenges in Florida.

First a fun and easy nature challenge in Volusia County.

My local Florida county - Volusia - is sponsoring a monthly nature challenge at a different county preserve each month on iNaturalist. According to the challenge coordinator Trey Hannah "The Explore Volusia Challenge was designed to get people out to the wonderful Volusia County conservation Lands", and in my case it has been working.
 Amanita mushroom
The challenge started last October and is running through May of this year. I have participated in each month so far and plan to continue both submitting the five challenge observations and more of what I experience in these natural areas of Florida.

For more about my experiences and observations during the nature challenge, check out the Paul Rebmann Nature Photography Nature Challenge blog post .

Now to a serious and difficult challenge. My long time friends and followers will know that I am passionate about the restoration of the Ocklawaha River. This unique Florida treasure was ravaged by the ill-fated Cross-Florida Canal project and despite overwhelming public support, restoration is hampered by the lack of action by the state of Florida. For more about the Ocklawaha River and the reservoir that is a blight upon this scenic Florida tresure, visit the Ocklawaha River page at Wild Florida Photo.
Now is the best opportunity for restoring the Ocklawaha River to its original grandeur, reopen Silver Springs access for manatees, improve fish and other wildlife habitat, and more. The Rodman dam has been identified as structurally deficient and in danger of failing. Restoration would be as simple as making an opening in the earthen part of the dam where the original river channel was and allowing nature to take its course towards recovery.
 Ocklawaha Oxbow
Several organizations are promoting this scenario for restoration, and in celebration of this, multiple events called the Great Florida Riverway Reunion are being held on Saturday Feb 4, 2023. The schedule of events include:
10 am - Lake Apopka Facebook Live Launch at Magnolia Park, Headwaters of the Ocklawaha River
1-3 pm - FREE Reunite the Rivers Concert at Riverfront Amphitheater at Jacksonville University.
4-7 pm - Great Florida Riverway Reunion at Azalea City Brewing in Palatka
2-6 pm - FREE Family Fun Afternoon at the Ocala Boat Club near Silver Springs and
6-8 pm - Dinner, Program and Music at the Ocala Boat Club near Silver Springs ($20 per person)
Go to for details on these events.
I will be attending one of the above events, I hope that some of you will also.

Paul Rebmann will be leading a kayak tour out of Gamble Rogers State Park on Saturday Feb. 18. During this two hour tour we will explore the salt marsh estuary adjacent to the park which is part of the Tomoka Marsh Aquatic Preserve. For more information visit Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park website, email or call the ranger station at 386-517-2086 to reserve a spot.

Paul Rebmann will be leading a nature hike for the Florida Native Plant Society Pawpaw Chapter on Saturday March 18 on the Chuck Lennon Hiking Trail. This trail is about a one mile loop and is located at Chuck Lennon Park, 5000 Greenfield Dairy Road, DeLeon Springs. Visit for more information and contact Sonya Guidy to reserve a spot on this field trip.

New images available include Forked Fiddleheads and Giant Airplant. Below are just a few examples of the many items that can be purchased with these images.

Thank you, and I hope that you enjoy my photography.
Paul Rebmann
Wild Florida Photo
Twitter @WildFlPhoto

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