Amy Bennett Williams' Essays

Fridays @ 8:45am

Amy Bennett Williams touches our hearts each week with a special essay. From the beauty found in Southwest Florida to heart-warming stories of family, friends and neighbors, her essays take us around our community and often into our past.  Her essays extol the beauty found in the commonplace objects and places – and are delivered with a touch of tenderness.

Williams is a long-time writer for The News-Press who started emptying ashtrays and writing obits and now has the coolest job title she can imagine: Storyteller. She's also author of the pictorial history book, "Along the Caloosahatchee" and is at work on another. She and her husband, Roger, also a writer, live in rural Alva with their two sons and way too many animals.


Jun 1, 2018
Katja Schulz via Flickr Creative Commons

The return of the summer rainy season has provided a reprieve from dangerous drought conditions, but also heralds the return of thick swarms of mosquitos.  In an effort to combat the blood-sucking insects, on June 2, Hillsborough County Mosquito Control officials will be giving residents free gambusia to place in pools, retention ponds and fountains.  Also known as “mosquito fish,” the gambusia are voracious cons

Eastwood ENCORE

May 25, 2018
Peter Massas via Flickr Creative Commons

In this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she recalls several months spent caring for a rather charismatic specimen from Southwest Florida’s avian community and the mixed emotions that come with the transition from a helpless fledgling into a self-sufficient adult slowly drawn back to his wild roots.

"Petrichor" ENCORE

May 18, 2018
Krasniza via Flickr Creative Commons

In consideration of the factors that create one’s sense of place, it can be easy to overlook one powerful characteristic:  the smells.  In this week’s encore essay, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams takes us on an olfactory journey through some of the common and not-so-common scents associated with the Southwest Florida experience including her favorite; a smell named by geologists in the 1960s, and one that Southwest Florida residents have certainly been experiencing in recent days with the return of summer rain storms.

Amy Bennett Williams

Southwest Florida’s recent bout of dry windy weather has left vegetation and many creek beds dry and created dangerous drought conditions for fire crews as they continue battling several wildfires still burning in the Big Cypress National Preserve.  However, a reprieve could be on the way as weather forecasters are calling for widespread showers and thunderstorms beginning next week.  In anticipation of the return of our subtropical summer rainy season, this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams has her pondering the great variety of rainstorms in our region a

Alan Schmierer

In his seminal work, “The Immense Journey,” author and anthropologist Loren Eiseley penned the often cited quote:

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in the water.”

That sentiment is certainly shared by News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, who is just as likely to find magic in the palmetto scrub around her Alva homestead, exploring an old growth cypress forest, or even in a rare encounter with a powerful bird of prey while walking along a creek bed, as she tells us in this week’s encore essay.