Christopher Tozier is the author of Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus, the award-winning, middle-grade fantasy series set in the wilds of central Florida and published by Pineapple Press. He was selected as a 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient and his poetry has appeared widely.
I received a photograph in my email today from a Florida native and award-winning author Lowell Teal. Lowell and his family have been living in Florida for a long time. Suffice it to say, Lowell has covered a lot of central Florida on horseback. Gradually, they have sold off the land that used to support their cattle farming. In a recent sale this past fall, Lowell noticed a stunning display of flowers so he took a photo. I opened it as one opens an envelope purportedly containing evidence of Bigfoot. I wasn't disappointed. Lowell told me he has never seen this flower anywhere else and I have to agree with him. I know I know. Climbing Aster isn't supposed to be so rare according to the books. But I have never seen it and Lowell has only seen this one. Between us, we've covered a lot of Florida! Of the other pictures I've seen on the internet, none of them even come close to the grandeur of this beautiful monster.