In just one year, Kevin Fleming shot tens of thousands of beautiful snow geese, two endangered piping plovers and one precious ruby-throated hummingbird.
Don’t fret. He was using a Nikon.
Fleming captured thousands of spectacular images of these birds and scores of other flora and fauna for his most recent book, “Wild Delaware.” The 240-page publication, scheduled to hit bookstores November 1, includes essays from locals who are well versed in the First State’s natural world.
“I’ve admired Kevin’s photography for years,” says Jim White, who works for the Delaware Nature Society and contributed a piece on reptiles and amphibians. “He has always taken the angle I had never seen before.”
Fleming’s photos, many posted on a website that serves as a daily diary of his adventures, capture minute details such as dewdrops on a dragonfly’s wings or scraps of raw fish meat on a young osprey’s sharp beak. The photos reflect the great colors found in nature, such as the traffic-cone orange of an oystercatcher’s bill or the rich red and orange hues of a sunset at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
Fleming, a Delaware native who has published numerous books about the First State and traveled the world as a photographer for National Geographic, has shot plenty of wildlife in his time. Just not like this.
The key, he says, was putting himself in the right place at the right time and finding the perfect light.
“I had to learn about wildlife and wildlife behavior,” says Fleming, who shot 300 images on good days. “I got good at finding stuff and predicting where they’d be. It was a combination of random and predicting and hoping.”
Memorable shots include two piping plovers in a tug of war over a worm and an up-close visit with a venomous copperhead snake. Fleming even hopped on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry to capture an intimate shot of an elusive northern gannet.
One of the few that got away: an albino whitetail deer. Fleming was foiled twice by a passing walker and once by perhaps being too good.
“I could set my watch by where he was going to be,” Fleming says. “I went inside the woods where he had gone. It was perfect. The dewdrops were in the trees, the sun was rising and there he was. He was too close. I had too big a lens on. That’s my white whale.”
Fleming says the driving force behind this project is that he’s seen acre upon acre of wonderful land turned into subdivisions. He’d like to help save what’s left.
“I have the lofty goal of getting people to see what’s here and that it’s worth protecting,” Fleming says. “I don’t know if I can stop anything, but I can do something to make people aware.” —Drew Ostroski
Page 2: SpinTwo | After a sip of international superstardom, Delaware’s own Spinto Band is back with a new album.
After a sip of international superstardom, Delaware’s own Spinto Band is back with a new album.
Two summers ago, the Spinto Band—six floppy-haired, kazoo-tooting guys from Wilmington—hit the big time. The quirky indie band found success and lots of fans thanks to some poppy, super-catchy tunes. The response in America was favorable. The response in England was rapturous.
Their debut LP, “Nice and Nicely Done,” struck a cord overseas, when it was released there in 2006. Perhaps the pinnacle of their stardom occurred in August that year, when the Spinto Band took the festival stage at Bramham Park in Leeds, England, in front of thousands of screaming Brits. That May, they performed on “Later…With Jools Holland,” a late-night BBC program.
“We were kind of pegged as the next big thing over there,” says Spinto keyboardist Sam Hughes. “We sold a lot of records over there. We still struggle to get that much popularity in the U.S. Still, it’s weird going over to the UK and having people recognize us.”
The band’s long-awaited sophomore album, “Moonwink,” came out October 7. Hughes says the band retained the bubbly pop joy of previous albums, but the new disc has a bit more, shall we say, gravitas? “It’s maybe not as easily accessible as the last album,” Hughes says, “maybe just a bit more complex in some of the arrangements.”
After much deliberation and shopping for a new record label, the Spintos landed on Philly-based Park the Van Records, a hip, smallish label home to Philly groups like Dr. Dog, National Eye and the Capitol Years.
Hughes says the Spinto Band will continue playing its home state despite its fame, at venues like Mojo 13, Arden’s Gild Hall and East End Café in Newark. Catch them around town this fall. —Matt Amis
Page 3: Hardbound History | “Historic Photos of Delaware” recalls a simpler time.
“Historic Photos of Delaware” recalls a simpler time.
History buffs have a lot to love about Delaware. And those buffs have a lot to love about Ellen Rendle.
Curator of maps and photographs at the Delaware Historical Society in Wilmington, Rendle has taken the museum experience out of the galleries and onto bookshelves with her latest book, “Historic Photos of Delaware.”
Sifting through more than 500,000 black-and-white photographs from the historical society and the Library of Congress, Rendle captioned and detailed 199 pictorial records of social and civil history in Delaware, the earliest accounts dating to the 1860s—in other words, back when Old New Castle was simply New Castle.
“I tried to figure out what would give the best representation of home life, national life and work life,” she says. “This book gives a very well-rounded view of all of that.”
Pulling from city directories as early as 1814 and compiling information from the historical society’s research library, Rendle spent a month filling in the interesting facts and details spotlighting the mosaic of railroads, steamboats, storefronts and cityscapes.
Rendle is especially fond of the photos of butchers and farmers at local farmer’s markets, the views of old train stations and the Delaware Memorial Bridge under construction.
The 216-page book will be the topic of discussion during Rendle’s book signing at 9th Street Books in Wilmington on November 13. The event will last from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and copies will be available for $39.95. —Emily Riley
Page 4: Eating to Nirvana
Aileen McCabe-Maucher and her husband, Hugo, wrote “The Inner Peace Diet” to show you how to eat your way to spiritual fulfillment while losing weight. Aileen is a life coach and former counselor. Hugo is a professional chef who specializes in organic cuisine.
There’s a little more to the diet than limiting fats and carbohydrates. “The Inner Peace Diet” explains which foods nourish each chakra, energy points along the human spine and head that, in ancient Eastern cultures, were believed to affect well-being.
“You won’t see chakras on an MRI or X-ray, but each has a specific function that helps spiritual growth,” Aileen says.
Each chakra is represented by a different color, which represents a certain food. So in the chapter describing red chakra, which governs basic instincts, Hugo composed recipes that feature red vegetables and fruits such as peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.
“There is an old saying that you eat with your eyes,” Hugo says. “Seeing the colors of the chakra automatically triggers your body to accept the benefits to that chakra.”
Diets often fail because they do not address the personal and spiritual growth people need to maintain weight loss and happiness, Aileen says.
“People think if they lose weight they will feel fabulous,” she says. “But then they reach their goal and they still aren’t happy.”
The Inner Peace Diet can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com for $16.95. It will reach bookstores in December. For more information, visit www.innerpeacediet.com. —Sara Kenney