Camera Roll: Greenway Disappointment

Visited the Miccosukee Canopy Road Greenway here in Tallahassee this afternoon. I wanted to film a “Minute Wild” video, but cars hissing by on the busy road about two hundred yards away ruined that plan. An unseasonably gentle storm had just passed through, too, so it was miserably humid. Most living things–excluding all of us insufferably industrious humans, of course, who were out jogging or taking photos–were in deep hiding, waiting for the temperature to drop as the evening settled in. I thought the languid tones of this pasture captured the atmosphere perfectly, however, so I was at least able to salvage something from the trip. Here’s to better luck tomorrow.

Minute Wild: Lake Jackson

Here’s a new little project I’m working on: short, unedited videos for the nature-deprived. I’m calling these videos “Minute Wild” and have a few ready to go. Here’s the first one, recorded at Lake Jackson here in Tallahassee.

Not much happens here, and that’s kind of the point. “Nature” is hardly ever as exciting as it appears in documentaries. In reality, the natural world simply exists. We project onto nature our own ideas about ourselves. These little unedited shorts are the most sincere way I could think of to explore that idea.

If anyone wants to make anything out of these as I go along, let me know and I’ll be glad to share the files if you credit me.

Architecture and Travel: The Grove

The Grove is a historic house that has been converted into a museum in midtown Tallahassee. It stands, behind a screen of stately oaks, next to a busy intersection amid attorney’s offices, stores, and restaurants. The mercury was hovering around 100° F when I visited recently, and the traffic on Monroe Street nearby was raging, but the Grove was like an oasis of shaded calm. The staff offer tours of the home at the top of every hour, and visitors are free to walk the grounds and soak up some peace before heading back out into the busy capital city. Check out the Governor’s Mansion next door if you have a few minutes to gawk. Though the Governor’s Mansion is not open to the general public, it is possible to schedule a tour during the legislative session.

Information at “Indian Key,” 1840

If you ever find yourself bored with the internet, tired of movies and music and magazines and books and so on, take a moment and think about the world of information available to Henry Perrine’s teenage children on a tiny, 12-acre island in the Florida Keys in 1840.

We had an abundance of books and papers, but only a monthly mail. This mail we generally had brought in a bushel basket & had our arrangements so made that for at least a week after its receipt our household duties should not seriously interfere with our enjoyment of it.

Hester Perrine Walker, 1885

A whole week to bask in the glory of the monthly mail! I spend less than a second with most of the things I see online. For young Hester, each piece of information must have been a treasure, a thing to be turned over and over in her mind and discussed again and again. It’s difficult for me to imagine as I go about my historian’s work of empathizing and visualizing.

We are blessed and cursed with information. Blessed by abundance, maybe we don’t take the time to really process the things we read and see. I know I don’t.

p.s. — in light of last night’s post, think about what it means that the first group of settlers in this extremely remote area decided to put down roots in a place they called “Indian Key.”