SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

In the Calm of the Storm, after Matthew

For the first time in many years as a Floridian, a last week’s hurricane made our city nervous. It is rare that hurricanes impact our little part of Florida. Jacksonville, our city lies, tucked away in the northeastern part of the state, we are usually protected. Last week on October 7th, the First Coast prepared for what looked to be a catastrophic event, it’s name was Mathew. After seeing the devastation left in its wake in Haiti. Our city began to prepare for the worst case scenario of a direct impact. Evacuations were ordered, store shelves emptied. The closer Matthew got to our coast the more time I spent circling my house and neighborhood in prayer. In times of despair and worry, we tend to turn to prayer as our salvation. Perhaps if we turn to Him in times of peace and tranquility, he will listen more carefully to our prayers. Wind and rain picked up, waves crashed ashore. Images of Matthew’s wrath covered the headlines of every channel. Fear was evident as the forecasters spoke of our imminent doom. Covering our home in prayer for protection, we chose to stay and see what the storm might bring. Flooding, downed trees, power outtakes, history washed away while other remnants washed ashore. Homes and roadways turned to rubble. As Matthew weakened and turned to the north, we began to breathe a sigh of relief. Our comfort took over as we thought the worst had passed. My wife and I sat down and started to watch a […]

A Hidden Treasure, St. Augustine Wild Reserve

Lions in your neighborhood, or wolves just down the street, how about a Tiger lurking near by? These are all the animals and more that you will find at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve. I had the pleasure recently to visit the St. Augustine Wild Reserve, and sit down and talk with one of their veteran volunteers Karen Malfry. We spent the good part of an hour talking as Karen shared one story after another about the animals at the reserve. While Karen and I talked, you could not help notice the deer, turkeys and the Siberian Lynx eavesdropping nearby. Karen was open about her experiences at the reserve; you could tell her obvious passion for helping the animals. The St. Augustine Wild Reserve is the “last resort for unhomed exotics” in Florida. It was founded by Deborah Warrick, a carnivore biologist, and wild animal handler, to educate the public about exotic animal ownership as well as prevent future animal abuse.The facility spans over seven acres, tucked away among other lots and farms near St. Augustine, Fl. It was a hidden secret of sorts, well that was until they became a hit on Trip Advisor. As a non-profit, the reserve is strictly volunteer run and donation sponsored, as they do not receive any federal grants or funding. Q. Can you describe the St. Augustine Wild Reserve as if no one knew about it? It is principally a rescue facility; they are not breeding animals. They are a home of last resort for many animals that would otherwise be euthanized. […]