According to Clyde Butcher, you can't appreciate the subtle beauty of nature while flying along the highway at 70 mph -- the way most of us do our sightseeing. And if slower transportation -- say, biking or hiking -- makes for better viewing, Butcher has taken it to the next level, capturing lush natural scenes in black-and-white photographs. One of his favorite subjects is Florida, and he's gotten so much positive feedback about how his images promote environmentalism in the state that he's begun a campaign to help save the entire planet. The photographer plans to show his work across the country, and, to illustrate the diversity of nature's bounty, he'll include photographs from all over. With that in mind, he recently trekked to the Pacific Northwest to shoot old-growth forests. Those pictures, along with plenty of Florida landscapes, are included in "Visions For the Next Millennium," which opens today and runs through January 13 at Okeeheelee Nature Center, 7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4:45 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Call 561-233-1400.
For much of his career, Dave Mason has gotten the short end of the stick. The British singer-guitarist was a cofounder of Traffic, but he left in 1968 after arguing with singer Steve Winwood over artistic direction. He was jamming with Eric Clapton and the rest of Derek and the Dominos during the band's formation but quit before the release of its seminal album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. He went solo in 1970, releasing Alone Together, which was hailed as one of the great rock recordings of all time. But he had a bumpy solo career, with more valleys than peaks, and wound up singing for beer commercials during the tough times. In 1994 he joined Fleetwood Mac, which was way past its prime at the time, only to bow out before the band made a big comeback last year. Bad timing aside, the guy can rock, and he'll perform tonight at the Back Room, 16 E. Atlantic Blvd., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $20. Showtime is 10 p.m. Call 561-243-9110.
Thanks to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on the edge of town, Delray Beach already has a shrine to Japan's ancient past. So when Michael Weiner and others in the community tried to come up with a Japanese-themed event for the city's Cultural Heritage Month, they thought: Why not modern Japanese culture? Weiner, a Delray attorney and member of the Morikami Gala Committee, says that at first they toyed with the idea of getting a hold of pachinko machines and Japanese cartoons. But the machines proved hard to find, and Japanese cartoon collectors are scarce. Brainstorming further, they settled on three ubiquitous Japanese cultural items; hence the name of the event, Godzilla-Sushi & Hot Bikes Festival. "As we started putting this thing together, we found out there were a lot of people with motorcycles sitting around collecting dust." Hundreds of riders from around the state will dust off their pre-1987 Japanese motorcycles and show them off during today's festival, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ocean City Lumber Co. (25 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach). And the winner of the Godzilla costume contest will receive $50 worth of sushi. Admission is free. Call 561-279-1380, ext. 16.
Falcons are hawks, but not all hawks are falcons. And that's one of the first things you'll need to know during the hawk watch today at Hobe Sound Nature Center. "This is their migration time, and they start moving here just like the two-legged [snowbirds]," says staffer Debbie Fritz-Quincy. "They migrate down the coast, so that's why they're using the sanctuary." From the vantage of the Palm Beach County park and wildlife refuge, birders will check out flight silhouettes to spot the hawks, which have long, pointed wings and a long tail. For closer inspection they'll raise their binoculars to the sky and zoom in on the details. The kestrel falcon is the smallest, about the size of a morning dove, only it's a little fatter and has a 23-inch wingspan; merlins are somewhat larger falcons; and peregrines are biggest, with a wingspan of 36 to 44 inches. Admission is free; reservations are required. The center is located at 13640 SE Federal Hwy., Hobe Sound. Call 561-546-2067.
The term "starving artist" didn't mean much during the Great Depression, when it was tough for anyone to put food on the table. The New Deal, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt's economic-recovery program, put construction workers and other laborers back to work, of course, but teachers, artists, performers, and musicians still had it tough. So in 1935 Federal Project No. 1 was established to put them to work, too. The WPA: An Exhibition of Works Progress Administration Literature and Art From the Collections of the Bienes Center contains 261 books, pamphlets and works of art produced through the WPA's arts programs. Among the items on display are a compilation of tour guidebooks for the (then) 48 states, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, and 54 Florida books and pamphlets, including titles such as Broomcorn Growing, Florida Seafood Cookery, and Spanish Land Grants in Florida. The show is on view through December 31 at the Bienes Center For the Literary Arts, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Call 954-357-8692.