Monday, August 25, 2008

Wildlife 2060

(Click on any image for a better view - then Back button)

"Florida's population to DOUBLE over the next 50 years!" That was the conclusion of a research project called Florida 2060 released by 1000 Friends of Florida two years ago. Maps delineating urban sprawl were shocking, showing the loss of 7 million acres (equal to the state of Vermont) of rural and natural lands.

In response, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission prepared a follow-up report to show the impact that 18,000,000 more humans will have on Florida's wildlife. It is called Wildlife 2060: What's at Stake for Florida? And it has just been released. You can view and download a pdf of the report at And that's worth doing!

I feel honored to have a number of my photographs included in this impressive, if dire, report. I have included some of the images here to entice you to have a look at Wildlife 2060. The report is short but powerfully written by Susan Cerulean (, and the creative graphics designed by Faye Gibson, illustrate some of the points -- for example how many other animals and what types might be lost from the development of one black bear's home range of 25,000 acres.

There are stories about the plight of the sea turtles, the fragile state of our freshwater rivers and aquifers, and various Floridians' efforts to set aside land for conservation and restore lost habitat.

Check it out, become more informed and inspired to join the voices calling for careful balanced growth. dm

Monday, August 18, 2008

Coolness on a Hot Day

Can you believe this place is in central Florida?! I made this photo on Friday at a little-heard-of place called Devil's Den about 10 miles from Gainesville. Essentially the Den is a dome-shaped cavern with a spring water floor and a smallish hole in its roof ringed by the drapery of vines. Through this ceiling window bursts a shaft of light which illuminates the depths. Upon entering through a small side cave, I was stunned by this view. To add to the surreal effect, there are enormous catfish, some 3 feet long, gliding slowly about in the pool.

This is a scuba diver's destination. (There are twenty or so steps down to a floating platform - I was near the top of the steps.) The cavern is said to be so enormous underwater that it requires 2 to 3 tankfuls of air to see the whole submerged room. No divers here Friday.

For this photo, I had to make several exposures and combine them to get the wide range of light in the darkness. Click on the image above to see a larger version.

What a cool place!