Every year, thousands of birds make their way to Georgia’s coastline during their migration. One vital resting place for these birds is the estuary found at the mouth of the Altamaha River, where they eat and recover en route to their final destination. One species called the red knot heavily depends on Georgia’s coast to help complete its 19,000 mile journey. The industrious bird is the subject of Deborah Cramer’s most recent book, The Narrow Edge, where she follows the red knots’ dizzying migration path. We talk with Cramer about her favorite avian subjects and ask her what makes the Georgia coast an important ecological destination.
Plus, the rhythmic songs of birds and frogs have inspired modern music compositions. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers joins some birdwatchers to learn about the variety of chirps, tweets and calls among Georgia’s bird populations. Then, we talk with North Carolina State University professor Jonathan Kramer about whether it’s accurate to describe these sounds from animals as songs.
Most people take cough syrup or ibuprofen when they're sick. But the Gullah Geechee people used to gather an herb called "life everlasting" and boil it into a tea to settle coughs and congestion. Gullah Geechee culture is endangered as population numbers dwindle and land disputes threaten their way of life. That includes their medicinal traditions. We speak with with Lynn Ravare, the owner of Back to Nature in Hilton Head, and Tiara Banks, who wrote her master’s thesis on Gullah Geechee medicine, about efforts to bridge the gap between Gullah Geechee medicine and westernized medicine.
And a new Georgia museum that opened up earlier this year tells the story of the legend of Bigfoot. “Expedition Bigfoot: The Sasquatch Museum” is located in Cherry Log, Georgia. We talk with the museum’s co-founder, David Bakara, about why he wants to educate others about what some believe is a myth. We also hear from Georgia resident Keith Bearden, who says part of the secrecy behind Bigfoot is for the creature’s own good. He came out with a book recently about his own Bigfoot encounters, and tells us about the campouts he organizes to help people get a glimpse of the creature.