The Floridian Peninsula – Daniel G. Brinton 1859

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Book Plate

Daniel Garrison Brinton 1837-1899, physician, anthropologist. Born in Thornbury Township, PA. was a pioneer in the field of academic anthropology. As with most academics in the 19th century, his wealth allowed him the freedom to pursue other studies.
“Notes on the Floridian Peninsula, its Literary History, Indian Tribes and Antiquities” is a book about Florida history written in 1859, reprinted in 1969. Uses an incredible amount of reference material. If I needed reference to primary source material concerning early Florida history – this is it. There are some things we now know not to be true, but we must consider when it was written. His literary history documents sources of Spanish, French, English, and American history, and also the Native Americans who lived in Florida.
The section on Native Americans covers both what was known of indigenous tribes Apalachees, Caloosa, and Ais, as well as the Creek/Seminole migration. His section on antiquities covers investigations of shell mounds and other ancient areas.
In keeping with my main interests this book contains geographic, geological, flora, and fauna information.  The appendix about Silver Springs and the Oklewaha River (his spelling) are particularity interesting.
This fascinating book gives a perspective of Florida history that we seldom see. I was able to get a copy from the University of Central Florida library. Another book I would recommend is John Lee Williams Territory of Florida around 1839, there are electronic copies around for free.

Who is the Next Rachel Carson?

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Great Falls National Park – Virginia – August 2015

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson
I’ve just finished reading a biography of Rachel Carson “On a Farther Shore” by William Soudor and I realized how much we need another Rachel Carson. She had a style of writing that translated technical scientific information into something that was accessible and enjoyable to non-scientific folks. She forwarded the notions of environmentalism,  ecology, and the interrelationship of all things in nature. Before her, people thought of earth as dirt, she promoted the idea of “the earth” as an entire planet with an ecosystem of interdependent life forms.
In addition to her literary prowess she was a scientist, familiar with the scientific method and capable of processing vast amounts of information. She spent 15 years working as a writer for the federal government in the fish and wildlife service. Eventually becoming editor-in-chief of all publications for that division.
When her fourth book “Silent Spring” arrived people paid attention. Published in 1962, this book was instrumental in raising the public’s awareness of the dangers of pesticides, particularly DDT and it’s derivatives.  And tangentially radioactive fallout from nuclear testing. The book ultimately led to creating an environment where restrictions on the use of DDT and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency became possible.
Fortunately her publisher Houghton Mifflin was prepared for the backlash that would follow publication and backed their writer against industry and government criticism. Without this support the book may have failed.
Amazingly, she knew and was writing about global warming in the 1950’s. I’m sure given enough time she would have figured out what was causing it. Unfortunately she died much too young from cancer.
So where is the next Rachel Carson, who is the next publishing house willing to back that person and fight corporate and governmental issues?
Further information

Wildflower Wednesday

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Fewflower Milkweed – Orlando Wetlands Park – June 2015

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Unidentified – Orlando Wetlands Park – June 2015

“Behind the squaw’s light birch canoe
The steamer rocks and raves,
And city lots are staked for sale
Above old Indian graves.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

While Whittier was speaking of his native New England this verse is true of most of our country.

Quote found in Out of Doors in Florida by Charles Simpson Torrey.

Florida

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Leavenworth’s Tickseed – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Alone with uncovered head I bared my life, my all to the Great Power of the Universe, call it Nature, God, Jehovah, Allah, Brahma or whatever you will, and reverently worship.” – Charles Torrey Simpson

This is how I feel – early in the morning – camera in hand – walking in the sunshine. The quote is from the book Out of Doors in Florida written by Charles Torrey Simpson in 1923. He was a naturalist and who, like me, has made Florida his adopted home. More on the book over the next couple of days.

The tickseed is Florida’s state wildflower.

Out of Doors

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Sunrise – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

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Dawn Flare – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“Nature is not easily discouraged, she recreates again and again that which has been destroyed” – Charles Torrey Simpson

Current read is a book about Florida called Out of Doors in Florida by Charles Torrey Simpson. Simpson was a naturalist who lived and studied Florida’s environment in the first part of the 20th century. While the above quote was specific to the roll fire plays in the Florida environment, it is true no matter what or who is the destroyer. And it applies to us as well.

Green Heron

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Scratching – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

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Lines – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”- Henry David Thoreau

The more I read in Florida’s American Heritage River by Mallory M. O’Connor and Gary Monroe the greater appreciation I have for the lands along the St Johns River. I need to schedule a trip north a bit to explore Payne’s Prairie and the Oklawaha River – a tributary of the St Johns. It may have to wait until fall, dawn is getting to be too early for long range exploring, unless I leave at 4 AM – early even for me.

Quote found at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/earth

Morning Gathering

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Morning Gathering – Orlando Wetlands Park – May 2015

I have been inspired by the Heritage Rivers book about the St Johns. So as the spring turns into summer here I’m going to focus more on landscapes. Here in Florida we are challenged by the terrain – there are vast expanses of flatness and this does not lend it self to traditional landscape photography. So please bear with me on my journey and perhaps we can discover something! But don’t worry there will still be ample birds, bugs, and flowers.

In Marjorie’s Wake

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St Andrews Cross – Savage/Christmas Creek Preserve – April 2015

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Flower – Orlando Wetlands Park – April 2015

“I do not understand how a man can live without some small place of enchantment” – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Watched a video last night “In Marjorie’s Wake” from PBS by Equinox Documentaries. Highly recommended to all. It is about 2 women who recreate a trip that Marjorie Rawlings and a friend took over 75 years ago along the St John’s River. She was an author who preserves the memories of old Florida in her fiction. Cross Creek and the Yearling are two of her most famous.

This video goes through my “place of enchantment” not so small but magical.

Quote found at https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/46158.Marjorie_Kinnan_Rawlings

Still More Rousseau

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Bald Cypress – UCF Arboretum – April 2015

“Nothing makes me so happy than to observe nature and paint what I see” – Henri Rousseau

Finished my last available book on Rousseau Portrait of a Primitive by  Ronald Alley excellent biography and a good chronology of his works.

I continue my quest to capture greenery and portray it in Rousseau’s style. I’ve said this before, I need to develop some contrast somehow. I’ll continue to work on it.

Quote found at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/henri_rousseau.html

The Accidental Universe

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Ibis – Blanchard Park – April 2015

“Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.” Alan Lightman

I’ve been delinquent on my book reporting. I am behind a few. The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman is a wonderful collection of essays guaranteed to keep your brain tumbling for days.

My favorite segment was when he explained why bees make hexagonal wax compartments in the honeycombs. Turns out that the hexagon is a shape that can be made and fitted together with the least amount of wax, and it will always fit anywhere so bees can work independently on their chambers and connect them later – assured that the comb will be perfect. Amazing!!

Quote found at https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/8933.Alan_Lightman?page=1