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‘It’s been a thrill’

Local resident publishes book on her bird watching experience

Never in her wildest dreams did Medford Lakes resident Nancy Mullins Fewer think she would ever publish a book, but the unlikely became reality thanks to a few thousand fine feathered friends.

Fewer and her husband moved to the area more than a decade ago and currently live in Oakwood Lakes, but the move brought with it the ability to participate in a lot of outdoor activities. And the ability to be on and near a lake – whether it be afternoon fishing or a morning kayak trip – brought with it plenty of opportunities for Fewer to see wildlife, especially birds.

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“I don’t think that we ever thought that we would live on a lake, but we were happy to find this place,” she said. “Now, we love lake living.”

An amateur photographer and birdwatcher herself, Fewer would often take photos of birds in and around the area, compiling an impressive collection.

Not all can she identify by species, but the ability to see so many birds brought with it a unique catalog of images.

“Because I love to kayak and I love my camera, I went out in the kayak and started noticing that the birds are very diverse,” Fewer explained. “I started taking pictures, and over the last 10 years, I must have accrued about a thousand … It was the exotic birds that first got me, the Great Blue Heron, the ospreys.”

What better to do with the photos than to create a full-color book of her best photos taken over the years. The idea, originally suggested to Fewer by her husband Jack, was something she took and ran with, and all of the sudden, a 33-page hardcover book celebrating the art of bird watching and the ample wildlife that exists in the region came to be.

It’s called “Birdlife of Oliphant’s Lake.”

“I talked to Jack about it and he said, ‘You’re probably never going to do this again. Do it,'” Fewer said recalling their conversation,” Fewer recalled. “I spent a couple of months organizing the photographs and writing the text. The outcome has been fantastic. …

“I could have done it as a softcover book, but I chose to do it in hardcover,” she added. “I just felt that it warranted that.”

Fewer went the vanity publishing route, putting her all into the book. But even with printing a few dozen copies, it became quite the expense. She knew that going in, originally publishing books for family and friends. But something else happened that truly turned her into a published author. 

In going over “Birdlife of Oliphant’s Lake,” sehe pitched the idea of selling copies of the book at that location during the holiday season last year. It got a resounding response and Fewer has sold several dozen copies since.

While there’s no telling if she’ll embark on that journey again, the ability to bring the beauty of Oliphant’s Lake and its wildlife to those around the area made this entire process well worth it.

“If I wanted to do a photo book, I should do it as well as I possibly could,” she pointed out. “… I’m happy that I’ve been able to sell some copies. I didn’t think that in the beginning, I would be going through this process, but I’m very happy to be working with them.

“It’s been a thrill.”


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