Friday, June 17, 2016

Conference Comics

Connie Thompson, head of JLBCP's Design/Layout/Pagination Department, and Dar Bagby, JLBCP's Senior Editor, recently exhibited and spoke at two conferences in the state of Michigan. One was for small and rural libraries in the state, and one was for Michigan homeschoolers. The first was on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel; the second was in Lansing, Michigan's capital. Even though many hours were spent professionally representing the company, there was also some leisure time, a bit of which was put to use just clowning around!
                      Selfie on the ferry
"Is this the party to whom I"m speaking?"
Don't you love my bling?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 3 Monkeys...Really?

Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, From the Nose of Our Kayak. JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives, we began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak 
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 3 Monkeys...Really?

Silver River's beauty never leaves you wanting, but this particular outing left us go back time and time again! We began to realize, you never know what you're going to see on the shoreline, beneath the water, on the water, in the woods, high in the trees, or even higher in the sky.

View of Silver River in mid October 2009
from the nose of our kayak
The deer drag had worked like a charm and we had portaged to the launch area in no time. We excitedly launched the kayak at Silver River State Park for the second time. We knew we had 2-1/2 miles to paddle up river before we could coast back down on the river's gentle current to the launch area. At the time, 2-1/2 miles paddling up stream was quite the undertaking for us beginners. 

We cleared the markers and were deep within nature in seconds. Ahhhhh...peace and serenity at last.

Before we could even get to the first bend a green heron greeted us in the marshy terrain near the shoreline. His glossy green, well-outlined feathers, and chocolate coloring around the neck are what caught our eye. His large non-webbed feet gave him the balance he needed whether on a branch or walking across the mossy top of the water. Thrilled beyond belief, Don stopped the kayak, and I snapped a few shots as this was a first sighting for us to add to our birding list. 

Green heron from the nose of our kayak
The scientific name for a green heron is butorides virescens. The word butorides is from Middle English - butor "bittern," and
Ancient Greek - oides, "resembling." The word virescens is Latin for "greenish." 

They are  a smaller water fowl, but impressive nonetheless. They can quickly change from a short stubby appearance to a long-necked stately sight. 

Just past the green heron a great blue heron stood poised, ready to pierce its unsuspecting lunch. 

The proper name for the great blue heron is ardea herodias. Ardea is Latin for heron. Herodias was a princess of the Herodian Dynasty of Judaea during the time of the Roman Empire. So you
Great blue heron
from the nose of our kayak
could say this bird has a "royal" appearance. To Don and I, they are magnificent no matter how many times we see them.

As if that weren't enough eye candy within a very short period of time, we spotted an anhinga perched high above. 

Being it was October, the sky was as blue as the top of our kayak, and the leaves were somewhat starting to dwindle, so it made for an easy sighting. 

Anhinga drying its wings above our kayak
Anhingas are diving birds, and are known by many names including snakebird, darter, American darter, or water turkey. When their swimming is done, they perch on branches, stumps, or logs and spread their wings to dry. Males are black and white, females boast a brownish neck. Their distinct "ow waa waa waa" grunting sound is strangely unique.

We have to admit, the first time we saw an alligator it was a bit intimidating from the low angle of the kayak. But we soon learned that if, you keep your distance, don't antagonize or feed them, and for heaven's sake don't kayak with raw chicken in your boat, you're probably going to glide right past them unnoticed. We've had a few encounters that have startled us (no immediate danger), and have learned how to keep a watchful eye at all times for these prehistoric beasts...on any fresh water we kayak in Florida.  

Florida alligator from the nose of our kayak
As the shadows began to lengthen we found ourselves looking for monkeys. Monkeys...Really? Yes, believe it or not, there are monkeys in central Florida. 

How did we know to look for monkeys on Silver River? Silver Springs amusement park has always been known for its glass bottom boat rides, and monkeys. But how did the monkeys get there? There are rumors. One rumor is that the monkeys were released after the filming of the 1939 movie Tarzan Finds a Son. Another rumor says that in the early 20th century a river boat pilot purchased the monkeys to bring in tourism. He put them on an island not knowing they were swimmers, so the fury critters spread throughout the area. Regardless of the rumors, the monkeys are here but they're not native to the area according to wildlife experts (who are not fond of them for ecological reasons). But that doesn't seem to douse the thrill of seeing the monkeys as you're paddling up or down this pristine river. 

First monkey we ever saw
from the nose of our kayak
Feeding the monkeys is prohibited, and for good reason. They should not become "comfortable" with human interaction, but rather remain curious from a distance. They can become mean, jump in your watercraft after more food, bite you, or if you're enjoying a trip up or down the river with your pet it too can be in danger from being attacked by the monkeys. We enjoy watching them from a safe distance, and using our zoom lens to photograph the adorable, yet menacing, creatures. Don and I actually have sat and watch them for hours sometimes.

Needless to say, we left Silver River that day wanting...but only wanting more surprises on the same river, and could not wait for our next day off!


Kayak nature viewing tip: When you're kayaking through nature, remember that you are the foreigner. Respect what nature allows you to see.

Monday, June 13, 2016

FREE Alert!

Testimonials from Journey to Publication
writing enthusiasts

Welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog. We're so glad you stopped by today to check out our FREE Alert!

What's FREE you ask? Well let us tell you.

We are honored to be able to publish such amazing talent from participating Journey to Publication writing enthusiasts. We are excited to let you know that we recently released the 2016 Anthology and three novellas. 

If you're not familiar with the Journey to Publication writing program here's the scoop. JLB Creatives Publishing's top team members along with Pickford Community Library's Young Writers Workshop participants are the the creators and authors of this amazing curriculum. We publish selected aspiring authors who have completed the program. These particular Ebooks are made available around the globe for free, and can be downloaded by visiting JLB Creatives' Ebook Shoppe.

If you would like more information regarding this writing program curriculum we invite you to visit

JLB Creatives

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts

JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)