In a move that could be the beginning of the end for a great magazine, Disney-owned National Geographic has permanently laid off all writers, some with as much as 40 years of experience. All writing will now be outsourced to freelancers.
My interview with David George Haskell, a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, appears in the online magazine, The Hellbender Press https://hellbenderpress.org/news/the-sounds-of-science. Another of Haskell's books, The Songs of Trees, won the John Burroughs Medal awarded by the John Burroughs Association.
Miscellaneous Published Works
My nonfiction piece, “How I Became a Poet appeared in Waxing and Waning
My article telling the story of the Audubon Acres property appears in The Tennessee Conservationist
My article about snorkeling in Appalachia appeared in Appalachian Voice
https://appvoices.org/2022/08/25/snorkelers-explore-appalachia/. An earlier version appeared in a previous issue https://appvoices.org/2020/09/09/snorkel-appalachia-freshwater/
My article about hawk migration also appeared in Appalachian Voice https://appvoices.org/tag/hawk-count/.
My short story “Family” appeared in the 2022 edition of the Mildred Haun Review, page 55,
My fictional work, "Life After Writing," won the Chattanooga Writers Guild October 2020 Contest prose division and appeared on their web page. https://chattanoogawritersguild.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/10-2020-ray-zimmerman-life-after-writing.pdf
My poem, "Hellbender," won the third-place award in the Age 65 and Older division of the Poets Playground contest of Tennessee Magazine and appeared on their web page.
My photograph of a green heron appears on the May page of the Chattanooga Audubon Society's 2021 Calendar.
We’re delighted to announce our latest anthology, coming in August.
Spark Birds gathers the best stories, essays, and poems about birds from forty years of Orion. In it, you’ll find owls, cranes, thrushes, finches, penguins, petrels, and buzzards—and the people who love them, including Brian Doyle, John Freeman, Elizabeth Kolbert, J. Drew Lanham, Mary Oliver, Emily Raboteau, Sandra Steingraber, and Terry Tempest Williams. Co-edited and introduced by Jonathan Franzen.
In the spirit of the trees that provide birds shelter, the book will be printed as gently as possible on 100% post-consumer waste paper, processed without chlorine, and kept free of plastic.
This is a press release from the Tennessee Aquarium
View footage of two Arakan Forest Turtle hatchlings at the Tennessee Aquarium at https://youtu.be/X2tw0QXUc24
Attached images (credit: Tennessee Aquarium/Doug Strickland)
Writer: Casey Phillips
Tennessee Aquarium hatches two critically endangered turtles, first by a zoo or aquarium in six years
Chattanooga, Tenn. (March 30, 2023) – From being exploited for food and collected to supply a bustling pet trade to the catastrophic destruction of their habitat, many Asian turtles’ prospects for survival are new-moon dim.
However, this week, a glimmer of hope arrived for one tremendously imperiled species with the hatching of two Arakan Forest Turtles at the Tennessee Aquarium. No zoo or aquarium has successfully bred this species since the hatching of a single individual at the California-based Turtle Conservancy in 2017.
A predominantly terrestrial species, Arakan Forest Turtles are only found in bamboo and old-growth forests in the Arakan Mountains of extreme southeastern Bangladesh and western Myanmar. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now classifies the species now as critically endangered.
“It feels pretty good to see these guys hatching,” says Bill Hughes, the Aquarium’s herpetology coordinator. “This species was managed under a Species Survival Plan, but it’s not anymore because so few zoos and aquariums have Arakan Forest Turtles.”
“But,” Hughes adds, “I maintain the official records for all of institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that care for this species. I don’t get to do many updates for the book these days, so if nothing else, now I have some data entry to do, and that excites me.”
As rare as they are today, Arakan Forest Turtles were once believed to be extinct. They disappeared from view in 1908 but were rediscovered at an Asian food market in 1994.
Since its reappearance, only a handful of accredited zoos and aquariums, including the Tennessee Aquarium, have worked to harbor and breed a population of Arakan Forest Turtles to remain protected in human care.
The parents of these adorably teeny turtles are a pair of adults hatched at Zoo Atlanta and sent to the Aquarium as juveniles. The female laid a clutch of five eggs in late November of 2022. The first hatchling, measuring less than three inches long, emerged overnight from its oblong egg in an off-exhibit incubator on Thursday, March 23. The second followed four days later.
These are the first Arakan Forest Turtles ever hatched at the Tennessee Aquarium. Viewable inside the working turtle nursery in the Aquarium’s Turtles of the World gallery, these latest additions to the population of Arakan Forest Turtles will serve a vital role as representatives of their wild brethren to the public, Hughes says.
“This is a big moment for us as an institution,” he says. “Most people don’t know what an Arakan Forest Turtle is, and if you don’t know about something, maybe you don’t care about it.
“By hatching some little, obscure turtle from Myanmar and Bangladesh and going — ‘Look at this interesting little turtle. It’s rare and endangered in the wild’ — these guys act as ambassadors for their species, letting the public know there’s a problem.”
These hatchlings are the latest success story in the Tennessee Aquarium’s long history of preserving and protecting imperiled turtles. In 2007, the Aquarium celebrated the first-recorded hatching of the critically endangered Beal’s Four-eyed Turtle at a North American facility. Since then, the Aquarium has hatched 18 Beal’s Four-eyed Turtles and 47 of the closely related Four-eyed Turtles, which is also classified as critically endangered.
The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and inspire them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Admission is $39.95 per adult and $29.95 for youths ages 5-17. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $9.95. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities
My Works in the Chattanooga Pulse:
An Article About Chattanooga Conservationist Robert Sparks Walker
An article about the Chattanooga open mic poetry scene just before Covid-19 hit.
An article about fresh-water snorkeling
A Review of a Poetry Collection by Helga Kidder
A Review of a Poetry Collection by Finn Bille
A Prize-Winning Essay
Here are links to a few of my published works.
This first batch in from Hellbender Press
These photos are courtesy of the Oceanic Research Group. The following information is from their press release. Ancient Caves 3D Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSZL9YbXDGs
Flight of the Butterflies 3D Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nww3L5b0wno
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqGjhVJWtEg
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itnqEauWQZM&t=75s
The Flash Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hebWYacbdvc
Attached images: Credit Oceanic Research Group
The Chattanooga chapter of TOS will have its monthly meeting at 7:00 PM this Thursday evening (June 8) at Ascension Lutheran Church, 729 South Germantown Rd in East Ridge, Tn. 37412. The program will be presented by Eliot Berz, who is with the Tennessee River Gorge. Eliot's program will be about their research tracking the movement of Belted Kingfishers in our area. Also he will give us an update on tracking the movements of Louisiana Waterthrushes and Worm-eating Warblers.