Piney Woods Festival Draws a Crowd

By Rose Rodriguez, Information Services Manager

Almost 500 folks attended Tall Timbers Piney Woods Festival on Sunday, October 14 on a warm, sunny, fall day. The biennial event began at 12 noon, but about a dozen early birds came for a walk through the piney woods with Tall Timbers ornithologist, Jim Cox, earlier in the day.

Bird walk with Jim Cox

Jim Cox, at left, leads a group of bird watchers on the Henry Stevenson Bird Trail.

Girl with terrarium she planted.Festival activities included wagon rides through the pine forest, tours of the historic Beadel House and Jones Family Tenant Farm, natural history exhibits, and a prescribed burn demonstration. WCTV’s senior meteorologist Mike McCall  talked about fire and weather, and there was a Florida Forest Service Fire Helicopter to view. Many hiked on the Henry Stevenson Bird Trail to the Gannet Pond Birdwatch. At 1:30 p.m. there was a dedication of the Birdwatch, which has been restored in honor of Betty Komarek, co-founder of Birdsong Nature Center. Betty Komarek originally designed the bird window in 1964.

Children’s activities were ongoing. Children learned to make a terrarium and leaf bouquet centerpiece. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission brought their youth archery range, and there was a Florida Forest Service helicopter to view.

Bobby Crawford with bookThe new history of Tall Timbers, Legacy of a Red Hills Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy was available for sale, with author Robert L. Crawford there to sign the book. The book has been nominated by the University Press of Florida for the American Society for Environmental History George Perkins Marsh Prize.

At 2:00 p.m. the Pickin’ in the Pines concert began with the stage overlooking scenic Lake Iamonia. One of Tallahassee’s most beautiful voices, Velma Frye sang; the Hot Tamale Duo will gave lively performancs; the Katie Geringer Trio played Irish dance tunes; and there were ballads from Frank Lindamood.The concert ended with Eclectic Acoustic playing a wonderful mix of traditional tunes. 

A new addition to the event were food trucks. Five of Tallahassee favorite food trucks provided a variety of fare. But many visitors packed picnics. Gift certifcates were given to the best picnic and best table, with judging by Tall Timbers alumni and foodie Kathy Marois. We greatly appreciate the Black Fig (in Tallahassee) and Relish & Dash (in Thomasville) for donating the gift certicates for our winners.

We thank all our volunteers who made this event possible. And also thank Capital City Bank for the loan of their pop-up tents. They were much appreciated during the warm, sunny afternoon.  roceeds from the event benefited the Wade Tract Preserve and programs at Tall Timbers.

Piney Woods Festival Album

Florida Forest Service Fire Helicopter

Florida Forest Service Helicopter at the prescribed burn demonstration.

Children's archery

Kid's activities included archery provided by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

At left, Kathleen Brady, Director of Birdsong Nature Center and Lane Green, Tall Timbers Executive Director, at the dedication of the Gannet Pond Birdwatch in honor of Betty Komarek.

Tall Timbers land manager interprets on a wagon tour.

Tall Timbers land manager, Eric Staller, interprets on a wagon tour.

Hot Tomale Duo             Velma Frye             

At left, the Hot Tomale Duo; at right, Velma Frye.

Katie Geringer Trio

Katie Geringer Trio

Best picnic table

Best picnic "table".

Best picnic fare

Winning picnic.

Research Director and Emcee Bill and picnic judge Kathy Marois announcing winners                      

Research Director and MC Bill Palmer, and picnic judge Kathy Marois announcing winners.

Judge Kathy Marois with Best Picnic Fare winners

Judge Kathy Marois, center, with Best Picnic Fare winners.

Nice picnic

Friends, family, volunteers and staff enjoy the concert and their picnic at the end of the day.

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