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Birding at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge & the St. Johns River

by Arnette Sherman

Arnette Sherman

Arnette Sherman

Arnette enjoys bird watching and photography, and is very involved with the West Volusia Audubon Society where she currently serves as Co-president. She is a member of the Museum of Art, DeLand, Florida, and is on the Executive Board of MainStreet DeLand. Her photos are featured in downtown windows are part of MainsStreet DeLand’s Art Expose program.

You can find Arnette volunteering for many local events, such as DeLand Fall Festival of the Arts & the Defending Freedom Warrior Week-end. She received the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the West Volusia Board of Realtors and Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012 from the MainStreet DeLand Association.

Arnette and her husband Ed have lived in the DeLand since 1977, and work together as Realtors at Ed Sherman Realty, LLC. They enjoy biking together at the Lake Beresford Trail in DeLand. Arnette enjoys meeting new people through her work as a Realtor, and at the many cultural and outdoor events along the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. Please take a moment and check out the Arnette Sherman Photo Gallery on our site.

Arnette can be reached through her work website, which also features more of her photography: www.edshermanrealty.com.

I have always enjoyed nature and especially birds. Moving to Florida from Illinois made it possible to enjoy birding year round. The variety of species found here is amazing. One of the first places I discovered to go walking and birding was Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge in DeLeon Springs – it became my “special place.”

You feel like you are going back in time walking along the miles of dykes around the impoundments. It encompasses over 21,000 acres and includes wooded uplands, freshwater marshes, streams & lakes bordered by Cypress & mixed hardwood swamps, a favorite roosting site for Swallow-tailed Kites. You can get a bird’s eye view from the Audubon Lookout built by West Volusia Audubon in 1997.

You never know what wildlife you might encounter. Hiking in the Wildlife refuges, you could see a variety of birds, alligators, turtles, Gopher Tortoises, marsh rabbits, otters, bobcats, & even bears. You can spot Bald Eagles, Limpkin, Black Neck Stilts, Wood Storks, White & Glossy Ibis, hawks, ducks, herons, egrets, rails, & Sandhill Cranes. A few years back I was lucky to photograph a pair of very endangered Whooping Cranes that wintered at the Refuge. That was very exciting for me, as these amazing birds struggle to survive but have made a comeback.

I love photographing the wildlife, birds and beautiful landscapes. My friend who was visiting said she expected to see a dinosaur roaming around in the primitive looking terrain. For me it is almost a magical place where I can relax and get recharged. I feel very fortunate to live in DeLand.

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