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December 6, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In Person: An Evening With Kirsten Hines and Liz Gushee


Books & Books


December 6, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


zArchive2-Books & Books Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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Books & Books presents…


in conversation with

Liz Gushee


Wild Florida: An Animal Odyssey

(University Press of Florida, $42)

Wednesday, December 6th, 7:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books is delighted to present an evening with Kirsten Hines discussing her fascinating book: Wild Florida: An Animal Odyssey (University Press of Florida, $42). She will be in conversation with Liz Gushee.

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event so make sure to stay after the talk for a book signing! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

“It is rare to find a dedicated biologist and conservationist who also happens to be a passionate and accomplished photographer. Kirsten Hines is among the best in each of those arenas… In Wild Florida, Kirsten Hines helps to teach us about the wonders of Florida’s wildlife in hopes that we will better understand it and in turn come to love it and protect it for future generations.”

—Ron Magill, Emmy Award-winning wildlife expert and communications director, Zoo Miami

Florida is widely known for its alligators, panthers, pythons, and pesky mosquitoes, but did you know it also has crocodiles, bears, scarlet-striped snakes, and more species of fireflies than any other state? How about a tiny lizard that swims through central Florida’s ancient sand dunes, a red widow spider that hides in palmettos, or that wild flamingos, common two centuries ago, are slowly reappearing. In her latest book, wildlife photographer and writer Kirsten Hines takes audiences on her three-year journey into Florida’s wilds to explore its impressive array of animals.

In WILD FLORIDA: An Animal Odyssey Kirsten Hines shares her ongoing passion for Florida’s incredible array of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, both native and introduced. Weaving over 200 striking, intimate photos with her personal stories of discovery and fascinating natural history insights, Hines covers over 100 Florida animals, many found nowhere else in the world, as well as ecological concepts such as the “why” behind Florida’s animal diversity – its climate gradient from temperate north to Caribbean-like south, its habitats from Appalachian ravines, to ancient sand hills to the Everglades, and its blending of animals from the tropics with those from North America. Florida and its animals are like no other. And, as Hines makes clear, that very uniqueness makes Florida’s wildlife amazing, and vulnerable.

Bringing her expertise as a biologist, conservationist, and environmental educator along with her firsthand experiences and enthusiasm, Kirsten Hines reveals:

· The unique variety of Florida’s native animals, including such endemics as the red widow spider and the Florida Scrub-Jay that live nowhere else. Florida is the only place in the continental US where tropical birds, such as Masked Boobies, Sooty Terns, White-crowned Pigeons, Snail Kites, and Magnificent Frigatebirds nest. And Florida is the only place in the world where American alligators coexist with American crocodiles.

· Her adventures crisscrossing Florida from Pensacola to the Dry Tortugas to experience its animals in their natural habitats, sharing such stories as how after two years of being evaded by bears she found herself watching a pair mate, how she photographed a gray fox up a tree in Miami’s historic cemetery, and how a large python totally disappeared under water.

· The complexities of having so many nonnative species established in Florida. Some are more commonly seen than Florida’s natives, others are thrilling rarities that draw gawkers from across the country. Some have little to no ecological impact while others, like the formidable Burmese python, wreak environmental havoc.

· Glimpses of Florida’s characteristic ecosystems that are protected in an array of conservation areas and are critical to the state’s wildlife. For example, the thermally-constant waters at Blue Springs State Park that warm manatees on cold winter mornings, or the towering pines at the Blackwater River State Forest where Red-cockaded Woodpeckers nest.

· Examples of Floridians working to ensure the survival of the state’s most vulnerable species, like a University of Florida laboratory breeding Miami blue butterflies to release in the Keys, and the Miami Bat Lab that’s installing homes for the Florida bonneted bat throughout Miami-Dade County.

· Simple steps everyday Floridians can take to help protect their state’s animals. At the top of the list? Use native plants to re-create wildlife-friendly habitats at home, even if the only available space is in a pot on the balcony.

“With a little foresight and strategic planning,” Hines assures, “people can continue flocking to Florida to walk its beaches, snorkel its reefs, fish its waters, kayak its springs, and view its unique array of animals for many generations to come.”


About the Author:

Kirsten Hines aims to inspire nature appreciation and conservation action through wildlife photography and writing. Florida-based and globally travelled, she lectures, leads photography workshops, and guides wildlife experiences, sharing insights from her years as a biologist and environmental educator. Her writing and photography have appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions. Her previous books on Florida’s nature and history include three on South Florida’s national parks and the award-winning gardening reference, Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens.

About the Moderator: 

Liz Gushee is the Associate Dean for Digital Strategies &Scholarly Communication for the University of Miami Libraries. In this role, Liz provides leadership and direction for the Libraries’ technology infrastructure, digital initiatives, and publishing & scholarship services. Liz’s background includes extensive experience with special collections and archives, with a deep knowledge of photography and print-making processes. Liz is an advocate for the natural world and its connection to well-being. She has been a birder for over a decade, and is an active member of the Miami-based birding group: The Phoebes.