I had the chance to film a special for Audubon Magazine on one of the Everglades' conservation giants, Nathaniel Reed. Florida's Everglades have a huge advocate in Reed, who's been fighting for decades to preserve the vast ecosystem. Here, he reflects on the condition of the Everglades' lifeblood—Lake Okeechobee.
These image sequences were all part of an effort to make a unique photograph of burrowing owls in their natural habitat. As diurnal birds, they spend most of the day outside their burrow keeping watch for predators. In order to get really close without scaring them, I placed my camera inside a road cone which they had grown accustomed to as a marker for their burrow. Leaving my camera in the cone-hide, I could let it cycle a photo every 2 seconds, offering a rare glimpse into the secret life of burrowing owls.
Eight months out of the year National Audubon's Tavernier Science Center conducts field research in the Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. We are researching fish populations, water salinities, aquatic vegetation, and the roseate spoonbill as a way to monitor and support Everglades restoration efforts. Many of our sites are located in some of the most remote areas of the national park and getting there is only half the battle. While the hours are long, the conditions fickle, and the obstacles aplenty, it's still hard not to look back and think how much fun it really is.
While working on a video series for Audubon Florida to highlight their special places, the first location I visited was Corkscrew Swamp in Naples, FL and arrived just in time to catch the peak blooming of wild sunflowers. Director Ed Carlson, assistant director Jason Lauritson, and director of education Rebecca Beck took the time to show me around the swamp and explain the importance of Audubon's presence in the area.