▪ Wading birds in the Everglades: Nesting season has ended in Everglades National Park, and Paurotis Pond has reopened. The pond and surrounding area are closed to the public each year to protect nesting birds, beginning in January when roseate spoonbills form their nesting colonies. The area reopens after the birds leave, and the public can canoe, fish and observe wildlife there.
Paurotis Pond is a crucial site for the threatened wood stork; about 400 pairs of the threatened birds have nested there in recent years. Other wading birds that gather there in winter include the the white ibis, anhinga, and several varieties of egret and heron.
The area is 24 miles from the main park entrance in Homestead. Details: www.nps.gov/ever.
▪ Art exhibit in Marco Island: An exhibition of works by Collier County artists goes on display Aug. 11 at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The show, put on in conjunction with the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, will feature items such as paintings, jewelry, photographs, and quilts and will explore the artists’ techniques. The exhibition will run through Sept. 19. Admission is free. Details: www.colliermuseums.com or 239-642-1440.
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▪ Wildlife art: The sixth annual St. Augustine Art Association Nature & Wildlife Exhibit runs through Aug. 31 and showcases a wide range of nature-themed art. Artists from around the world submit their work and compete for $5,000. The exhibit takes place at the St. Augustine Art Association Art Center, located in the hub of the historic city’s arts district. Details: www.staugustineartfestival.com/naturewildlifeexpo.html.
▪ New artificial reefs: Grayton Beach State Park in the Panhandle has a new cluster of artificial reefs in the shape of a sea turtle. About 25 reefs were dropped earlier this month to create an attraction for snorkelers. The reefs are made of limestone embedded in concrete and are set on pilings sunk in the seabed.
The South Walton Artificial Reef Association deployed the artificial reefs, almost half the the structures planned for the area, a few hundred feet offshore. The association reported that within days, new marine life was sighted.
▪ Beatles in Orlando: The latest characters at Madame Tussauds Orlando: the Beatles. John, Paul, George and Ringo are portrayed in an Abbey Road-style walk on a Florida Beach, a tribute to the Abbey Road album cover and the band’s first trip to Florida more than 50 years ago.
Madame Tussauds says the company has a long history with the Beatles, who were the first rock band to appear in the grand hall at Madame Tussauds London. All four members met with studio artists in 1964 to take measurements for the creation of their original wax figures. Details: MadameTussauds.com/Orlando.
— Miami Herald staff and wire reports