Books & Essays
Jekyll Island: An Audio Tour of a Barrier Island
Georgia Sea Grant 2005
The Seasons of Cumberland Island
University of Georgia Press 2004
A breathtaking look at one of America's most beautiful barrier islands
Cumberland Island is the largest and most beloved of the Georgia barrier islands. Although it can be reached only by boat, more than forty thousand people make the trip each year to enjoy the island's natural splendor and solitude. As on most barrier islands, human activity has long been a shaping force on Cumberland. It is among the few islands, however, that we have let return to a relatively natural state. With its expansive oceanfront beaches, dunes, interior maritime forests, freshwater ponds, tidal creeks, and salt marshes, Cumberland is all the more special for its restored natural environment.
In The Seasons of Cumberland Island, naturalist and photographer Fred Whitehead captures the unique allure of the island's flora and fauna in 118 stunning full-color photographs. Moving through seasons punctuated by the comings and goings of such animals as the migratory birds that pass through in autumn and spring and the loggerhead turtles that nest here in summer, the photographs reveal the subtle but important effect of cyclical change on the island's ecosystem. The lush color images, which are often paired with detailed captions, include spectacular views of muscadine vines and Virginia creeper in autumn, a prowling bobcat in winter, a nest of pileated woodpeckers in the spring, and a green tree frog announcing an impending summer rain shower.
Featuring an introduction on the importance of the complex ecosystems of barrier islands like Cumberland, the book informs as it enchants. Here is a stunning tribute to Cumberland's sublime treasures that also serves as a thoughtful reminder to respect and protect the wildness of our barrier islands. This book was a Finalist for the Southeastern Booksellers Association award and is a Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book.
Book Review #1:
"[A] lovely book . . . The photographs are simply stunning, and brilliantly capture the drama and beauty of this remarkable landscape. There may be a more wonderful place in the National Park System than Cumberland, but I have yet to find it." ?John A. Murray, The Bloomsbury Review
Book Review #2:
"Fred Whitehead reminds readers why we must protect natural areas like Cumberland Island. . . . His knowledge and respect for the area are evident in his stunning photographs."
Book Review #3:
"You must get this wonderful book with the beautiful photos of the birds, the horses, the deer, the plants, trees, everything so that you can see for yourself all about this place. Having this book is the next best thing to being there and seeing it for yourself. . . You must get this wonderful, exciting, beautiful book and enjoy it for yourself."
?Valdosta Daily Times