Wayne Taking in the Sunset (photograph made with the iPhone and the Schneider wide angle lens) and Quirky Tree Pointing the Way, Robinson Preserve (photograph made with the Nikon D700)
© Lynne Buchanan, All Rights Reserved, Watermarked by Digimarc
These photographs were taken on a recent expedition from Robinson Preserve, a beautiful area in Manatee County where residents can launch kayaks, walk, ride bicycles, fish, and otherwise commune with the nature after a hectic day. I was stunned to find such a beautiful and pristine setting so close to downtown Bradenton. After paddling through areas with mangroves and birds, we reached the place where the Manatee River merges with the bay. You can see the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge in one direction all the way to Ana Maria Island in the other. It was so peaceful and quiet and the vista was so broad and expansive. The water was very shallow though the sandbars were still submerged, so we got out and walked our boats to travel further along the coastline. Immersed in this setting, it felt as if the whole universe was before us full of potential and devoid of problems. I looked over at my friend Wayne in the light and watched him take it all in, recharging himself from all his cares. It wasn't hard to figure out why he also said yes to becoming a Global Climate Reality Leader.
On the way out, I had noticed this quirky tree and was captivated by it's charming, crooked way of being, standing there above all the other trees, in such a non-ordinary way. I didn't stop to photograph it on the way out since I had arrived late and knew we were heading to the bay, but I made a mental note of how unusual it was and thanked it for being. On the way back to the launch, I was rewarded by this incredible view of the tree in sky just after the sun had set. I loved how the arc of the tree seemed to carry through in the wisp of white clouds, and the way it was framed by the orange sky and blue clouds. There was so much movement and stillness at the same time, all held together in that precious moment by the complimentary colors nature had painted across the sky. This was the kind of scene that spoke to me. We each had our feast and were ready to return to shore, renewed and ready to face another day.
There is a reason places like this exist and a reason they are called preserves. Cities make conscious decisions to ensure the continued existence of green spaces and natural environments for their citizens because they are aware of how beneficial it is for people to take time out and recharge, so they can be better citizens of the planet. As climate change is becoming more severe every day, we have to extend our thinking beyond preserving little areas of nature to preserving the whole natural world. Climate change brought about by carbon pollution and other human induced factors is threatening the earth. The rise in sea level is an imminent threat to our beautiful coastlines in Florida and is creating a myriad of problems that will affect the entire state. The letters so many people, even those with inland homes, have been receiving about drastic hurricane increases is evidence of this already. Spending time in nature in my home state helps open my eyes to the value of all life, and every time I am given the opportunity to appreciate such moments I am deeply grateful. This gratitude makes me want to help preserve what I love, so this beautiful coastline will continue to exist for years to come.