Tidy Tidbits: Culture & Nature


In addition to the other lectures and cultural events we regularly attend, this year we added Town Hall, the lecture series that benefits the Ringling College Library. Former CIA director John Brennan was the leadoff speaker, and his discussion of intelligence gathering, the United States’ place in the world, and what should be required of anyone holding public office was focused, pointed, and oh, so very timely!

Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion at the Ringling Museum. My sister Sally paints in watercolor and her husband Bruce works with fused glass to make jewelry so a trip to the art museum was a perfect outing. We were all impressed with the wide range of glass pieces on display here. This new gallery just opened and is a marvelous addition. Everything from blown glass to cast glass to slumped by artists from Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands, and Japan as well as the U. S. We also visited the Asian Center (opened in 2016) and explored some of the permanent collection in the main building. If you like glass, this gallery is a must and it’s free!

Shakespeare in Love at the Asolo Rep Theatre gets off to a slow start and then becomes lively and delightful! As always, the acting is wonderful, the staging creative, and the music an essential and lovely counterpoint to the action. Full of humor and fun.



We live on a small island surrounded and bounded by mangroves, our buffer against tides and wind. The Chief Penguin and I took advantage of the opportunity to see less visible parts of the island, particularly two salt flats, each very different in character. One was dry and gray and bare except for the skeletal remains (gray limbs) of some very dead mangroves.  

The other salt flat gets covered over when it rains, but this day was just a damp stark black with scattered patches of a low ground cover with tiny red flowers and some bits of green foliage. The black surface looked soft, but it was actually about an eighth of an inch thick, and if you peeled up a piece, very leathery. Underneath was some pinkish brown earth.

Our guide and resident naturalist, Bruce, shared some of the history of the island and also showed us the three different types of mangroves we have: red, that are always in wet ground with new growth and curved shoots down to the earth; green, that often have traces of excreted salt on their leaves; and white ones on which some leaves have a small notch at the tip. Both the green and the white mangroves can tolerate a drier setting than the red ones.  You might say, “mangroves are us” here.


Note:  All photos ©JWFarrington (some rights reserved).





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