Category Archives: Natural and Wildlife History

Scallops-The Seas Comfort Food!!!

American Press Travel News–News Release pass-on-Feb. 20th, Florida—

Oh boy! Scallops, clams, shrimp–Scallops are the finest seafood comfort meal!!!

FWC sets Gulf County 2019 bay scallop season; moves forward with draft scallop seasons for 2020 and beyond in all open areas
At its February meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the 2019-only bay scallop season for Gulf County to be Aug. 16 through Sept. 15.
Other 2019 bay scallop seasons were set earlier this year for all open areas except Gulf County. View season dates, regulations and more at by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops” which is under the “Crabs, Shrimp and Shellfish” tab.
The Commission also moved forward with the following proposed changes for 2020 and beyond that will be brought back before the Commission at its May meeting for a final public hearing:
Setting the bay scallop season in state waters from Franklin through northwestern Taylor County and Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties to be July 1 through Sept. 24 each year.
Setting the bay scallop season in state waters for Pasco County to start the third Friday in July and run 10 days each year.
Setting the bay scallop season in state waters for Dixie County and the remaining portion of Taylor County to start June 15 and run through Sept. 10 each year.
This proposal will include a reduced bag limit from the start of the season through June 30; with the regular bag limit beginning July 1.
Setting the bay scallop season for Gulf County to be July 1 through Sept. 24 for 2020 and beyond unless modified by Executive Order.
Allow the direct transit of legally harvested bay scallops across areas that are closed to harvest.
FWC will further discuss the draft proposal for Dixie and parts of Taylor County at a public input gathering workshop in Steinhatchee Tuesday, March 5. 

Koko Crater Botanical Garden Oahu, Hawaii

Signage allows casual visitors to understand the what Koko Crater Botanical Gardens is all about. Image: Richard Hines

American Press Travel News-January 20th, Hawaii, USA–Columnist, Richard Hines at Koko Crater Botanical Garden in Oahu, Hawaii–My wife, Pam and I decided to make one more early morning trip before our 6:00 PM flight out of Honolulu. Pam is active with our local Garden Club and one of the Master Gardner’s in our home county in Kentucky. With these credentials, it was obvious flowers were on the agenda, so we opted for the Koko Crater Botanical Garden. It was our third garden tour this past two weeks and while she was busy checking out the names of flowers, I concentrated on photographing some of the local birds.

During the entire trip bird photograph was a high priority and because Koko Crater was not crowded, I was able to photograph as many if not more birds in this garden than any other location we visited. On this morning, I was able to add several birds to our life list plus photograph Zebra Dove, White-rumped Shama, and Red-billed Leiothrix among others.

The 50,000-year-old crater has created perfect growing conditions for barrel cactus and other desert species across the 60-acre garden which is within the 200-acre crater site. We saw an interesting mix of desert plant species from America, Africa, and Pacific locations

White Rumped Sharma. “I enjoy finding birds that live in exotic locals.” image Richard Hines

When you drive in the parking area, you won’t find a visitor station as at other gardens and as we walked through the gate you will find a sign and information brochures near the gate. This the area where you will first notice the grove of Plumeria trees which provided a unique scent as we walked along the trail.
The Koko Crater Botanical Garden is located on the eastern end of Oahu, Hawaii. You will find four major collections which are organized by region (Africa, the Americas, Hawaii, Madagascar). In all there are around 500 trees comprising 200 species that you will see around the 2-mile-long loop trail.