Thursday, March 29, 2012

Florida Wildlife Corridor

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Imagine a contiguous chain of properties – public and private – that together form a corridor reaching from the Everglades in South Florida to the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge  in South Georgia.  Now imagine this land to be forever protected for wildlife to be able to move freely along the entire corridor.  That was the vision of photojournalist Carlton Ward Jr who began acting on it several  years ago.  After making connections and promoting the idea (at least for consideration) to many private landholders and ranchers, the corridor began to move from dream to reality.  
Today, Carlton -- along with  conservationist Mallory Dimmitt, bear biologist, Joe Guthrie, and videographer, Elam Stoltzfus -- is two-thirds of the way through an ambitious expedition – walking, paddling, and bicycling 1000 miles in 100 days, -- following what will hopefully become  the Florida Forever Wildlife Corridor. Learn more at the link
I am one of a cadre of photographers participating in the project by documenting parts of the journey and photographing key properties along the way.  My assigned property is the Kissimmee St Johns River Connector  a bit north of Lake Okeechobee where I spent 3 days shooting earlier this month.  Here are a few images from my mini-expedition (including photos above).
Later that week, using coordinates forwarded to me by Carlton, I drove further north in search of the expedition team.  My phone gps led me onto a working cattle ranch west of Melbourne, along a maze of private dirt roads, and through four gates before it declared that I had arrived.  Hmmm… I was still in a cow pasture.  I switched to compass and chose additional (and deteriorating) roads that moved me closer to Lake Winder where the group was supposed to be camping that night.  Passing through one last primitive barbed-wire gate and down a narrow lane bordering a wetland, I was thrilled (astonished really) to see kayaks, tents, and trekkers under a big live oak near the lake right in front of me.  Here are some photos I made while visiting with the expedition that afternoon and the next morning.


Florida Wildlife Corridor Pathfinders: may your journey succeed in every way!

Monday, March 19, 2012

H2O -- Solo Art Show at the Artport Gallery


Please join me at the Artist's Reception
April 13th from 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Tallahassee Regional Airport
Artport Gallery
Several stories are on my "blog-post back burner" as I learn how time-consuming it is to print and frame, write and plan for a big art show.  From March 27th through May 29th, my images will grace the walls of the Artport Gallery at Tallahassee's Regional Airport. Seeing 30 or so of my photos in print, BIG, beautifully framed, and all together will be a thrill, especially for me.  Here is a small sample.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to praise the element of Water through my photographs.  As home, as mirror, as sculptor, as life-giver, as art, Water is ubiquitous.

In one segment of the show, Water’s Edge, I celebrate the lush diversity of my home state.  Tropical and subtropical beauty reigns in the Sunshine State in and along our rivers, springs, lakes, marshes, sinkholes, and vast coast.  Share my awe as you catch glimpses of the Fountains of Youth in La Florida through my camera’s viewfinder. 
In the other segment, I extol water’s varied forms – ice, snow, steam, fluid,  fog,  mist – in my  Fire and Ice portfolio from visits to Iceland and Yellowstone National Park.  In these geothermal landscapes, hot mineral-laden water flows from fiery depths to Earth’s surface creating blasting geysers, bubbling mudpots, simmering hot springs,  and steaming travertine vents.  Ancient waters, frozen for millennia, flow seaward as massive, slow-moving rivers of ice – our glaciers.  As giant chunks break and fall into the sea, icebergs form, become sculpted by the elements… and then melt.  In this time of rapid climate change, Earth’s icy lands are dwindling faster than anyone imagined possible.  
You will find a short reflection beside each photograph to connect you to the moment, place, or feeling.  My hope is that you enjoy the show and leave with a new appreciation for our planet’s most precious natural resource.  This essential resource deserves to be valued, protected, and honored.  So raise your glass with me… A Toast to Water!