Times' Outdoors writer Terry Tomalin knew the swamps, beaches and forests of the Sunshine State about as well as anyone. He brought them all alive for readers with dozens of first-person narratives, often funny, sometimes poignant, always pure Florida. Here are a few from over the years.
In pursuit of the famous Skunk Ape
Knife in hand, Tomalin hopes to capture one of Florida's most elusive creatures. He wrote:
"A couple more feet and I would be famous. 'Man captures Skunk Ape,' the tabloids would scream, 'and lives to tell the tale.'
One man, a kayak, the open, angry sea: Solitude is the quest
Tomalin loved a good adventure. In this one, he took on "The Outside," the 75-mile stretch of unprotected waters down the west coast of Florida ... in a kayak ... all alone.
The power of the paddle
In 2003, Tomalin took readers on a trip to Bimini by canoe. "Keep paddling," yelled one crew members as waves broke across the deck. "Keep up the speed!"
Big fun for small fry
Tomalin often included his family of his adventures. In this 2003 story, he wrote about fishing with his then 2-year-old son.
Portrait of a nephew as a young, happy camper
Family was also featured in Tomalin's 1991 column about taking his 6-year-old nephew Tyler camping for the first time.
Tomalin went looking for ghosts in the Florida wilds, including Edgar J. Watson, the planter, trader and murderer who terrorized swamps at the turn of the century.
He also explored the art and science of telling a good campfire ghost story.
The grouper catch: You order grouper; what do you get?
Father's Day means lure of memories
Fishing with his father wasn't so much about catching as it was talking, Tomalin wrote. "It was just he and I, pals for life."