of events
in the Big
Bend of Florida
Rocket scientist
Harry Levin's
world of flowers.
and passion
tell secrets
Passion flower
in painting
is mystery
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Dedication of Gholson Nature Park with Angus Gholson

Spring is Blooming in Chattahoochee (Gholson) Nature Park 

Deer Enjoy a Good Licking  in Torreya 

Heron Snacks on a Rat in St. Marks Refuge 

     If you have a moment, click on any or all of the above headlines,  go get a cup of coffee, come back and enjoy. These movies, shot with a Sony Digital 8 Handycam model TRV525 take a few minutes to download, but if you happen to have a DSL or cable, so much the faster.

   These movies, which, I admit, are amateur, do require that you have the free Quicktime on your computer, which most new PCs and MACs have. Some of the scenes are set to the banjo music of my brother, Rick Abrams, who won the national clawhammer banjo championship. Rick, who spent most of his life as a newspaper reporter,  was taken from us by cancer in 1997 at age 47. His band, the Piney Creek Weasels, made recordings for Hay Holler records.
He was highly regarded by the most famous banjo players of this era, and his talent as a writer of prose and writer of music stood him in high artistic regard among the many people who were fortunate to know him.  He is missed greatly by all who knew him.

   This Sony camera used to take these movies is very nice in that the viewfinder is in color, making it much more convenient to use than most of the line of less-expensive Sony cameras available at the time. The model 520, for instance, only has a black and white viewfinder. The TRV 525 takes the old Digital Hi-8 film, which is relatively inexpensive. I edit my movies with I-Movie on my Macintosh computer. I would recommend this camera if you can find one on E-Bay. I use an NP -F960 Sony Lithium battery which lasts many hours and have purchased a remote microphone set and a gun-microphone that mounts on the camera. Both are Sony brands, as is the recharger I purchased.

In Memory of Dr. Bob Godfrey

     On this page, we also honor the memory of one of the eminent botanists of Florida and of the nation, Dr. Robert K. Godfrey, known affectionately as "Dr. Bob" by his students and friends.The emeritus professor was the author of many botanical books and articles and was the retired curator of the Florida State University Herbarium. Those who would like to honor his memory might want to donate to the Florida State University Friends of the Herbarium, in care of Dr. Loran Anderson, Biology Building, FSU, Tallahassee. Godfrey is shown here in the marsh at St. Marks, observing the bloom of a new species of spider lily he has helped to identify, now known as Hymenocallis godfreyi. His name is attached to several of the wildflowers growing in North Florida.

We're indebted to Dr. Gerald Smith of High Point University in High Point, North Carolina and Melanie Darst of the U.S. Geological Survey in Tallahassee who described the new species of spider lily discovered by Dr.Godfrey (photograph above by Darst).

     Clifford Pelchat, a Florida photographer,  has added the rare leafless beaked orchid Campylocentrum pachyrrhizum; the Spiranthes lanceolata, praecox and vernalis, the Habenaria odontopetala and the beans of the Vanilla planifolia. His new close-up of Spiranthes lanceolata is gorgeous. We've also added three more -- Epidendrum conopseum, Habenaria repens and Platanthera ciliaris. Pelchat's trips to the Fakahatchee Strand have been particularly productive, recently with the Vanilla phaeantha.

     Where would flowers be without insects? The ferocious Green Lynx spider (Peucetia viridans-"Spider on Bog Button") and Clifford Pelchat's handsome yellow crab spider on the vernalis can be discovered on these pages.  The spiders like to make their presence known in the fall. They prey on much larger insects.

    Florida boasts more than 3,000 species of flowering plants, from the endangered-- such as the Harper's Beauty (Harperocallis flava), a yellow lily occurring only on a small strip of highway in North Florida -- to the pink and white mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) on the sandy bluffs above the Apalachicola River. 

    Most flowers on these pages are from slides. However, I am now using a Nikon D40x digital camera (see below) for much if not most of my work.  I highly recommend this camera for wildflower photography. It is compatible with older Nikon manual lenses, like the 55 mm macros that are the best macro lenses I have used.

   My older but still very special cameras are the manual Nikon FEs - including an FE2 - with the 55 mm macro lens. With that I have been using the newer Fuji Velvia 100 film, which took over from Velvia 50.  However, Fuji, I understand, is now bringing back the 50. I also a Nikon 105 mm macro lens, which I am learning to use.  

    Some of the pictures that were first slides were transferred to Kodak CD ROM by an Atlanta firm, Imagers, and then saved as medium resolution JPEGS through Adobe Photoshop. Others were developed locally and scanned on a Nikon Cool Scan V. 

       I like the depth of color of Fuji film. However, it's not an all-purpose film and if you shoot landscapes with variations in contrast you may want to polarize the skies or use some other filter. 

     We would be happy to consider submissions of pictures of Florida flowers and insects, or both, by e-mail or CD to Michael E. Abrams, 2120 Great Oak Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32303. Tel. 850-386-2310. If I use your photo, I will credit you on the page. In real life, I teach journalism at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. I have founded the city's first online newspaper.  We print the news and opinion pieces as we see fit. 

     There is much to learn about our natural surroundings, and the accompanying problems are too great to ignore. The heedless rapacity with which Florida's natural environment has been destroyed by development and the dire need to educate the public on these issues casts a pall over the "progress" of our state. Your comments by email are welcome.

EMAIL AT   - (change "world" to "earth").


The above ad for Nikon is there because this is what we are using now.
We like the D40x because it meets our photographic needs in the field.
It also works with our old manual Nikon lenses from the Nikon FE,
including the excellent manual macro 2.8  55mm lens. There is a
workaround for almost any Nikon lens. We bought the D40x with
the regular lens and with a 55-200 VR for distance. It's a great lens.
The 18-200 does the job of both of them.

Click on the ad to go to Amazon for reliable service and decent prices.
Michael E. Abrams, publisher, Florida Wildflowers