Monday, April 28, 2008

Timucuan Preserve

More and more the internet is losing its isolationist stigma and truly becoming a tool that allows people with similar ideas and interests to connect with one another, not simply in a virtual space through the glow of a computer screen but face-to-face in the physical realm.

On Saturday, April 26 we met up with a small group of Jacksonville photographers at the Timucuan Ecological Preserve and Fort Caroline National Memorial. While I don't believe any of us had previously met in person, we were all familiar with one another to a certain extent as this event was arranged through the message board for the Jacksonville group on Flickr. It was great to meet and interact with the eyes behind the lenses of so many great portraits of life throughout the Jacksonville region and discuss the photographic art for which we have so much passion.

Getting there a little late, we found everybody down at a pier between the Visitor Center and the Fort where you'll find a nice view of the river. Fort Caroline itself is fairly small, really just a wall with some cannons but there are some nice flowers and shrubs around the edges that make for good subjects. I believe guided tours are available for those interested in the history but we were all far too wrapped up in taking pictures of weeds, bushes, and butterflies to pay attention to what the guides were telling the groups they brought by.

Rather than go back towards the Visitor Center after the fort, you can take a nice leisurely walk through the surrounding woods on the nature trail where there are plenty of interesting plants and animals to see living under the cover of majestic old oaks.

After tackling the small trail some of us decided to head over to the Theodore Roosevelt Area, a 600-acre preserve donated to the National Park Service by its former owner, Willie Brown, whose gravestone can be found off one of the trails. Truly one of the best nature trails I've have the pleasure of walking and teeming with all sorts of fascinating creatures. The trail we took lead out to a marsh with a lookout platform for those interested in surveying the wetlands and its inhabitants. Apparently the Theodore Roosevelt Area is good for bird watching and your almost guaranteed to see some of Florida's varied species hanging around the marsh from the platform. From there you can either take the trail loop back to the parking area, head along the marsh on a bigger loop, or even take a trail all the way to the Fort Caroline National Memorial again.

The Timucuan Preserve areas are free and open to the public so, coupled with the convenient location, there's really no excuse not to visit this place if you're a fan of the outdoors or Florida history. Additionally, if you're an avid photographer and want to meet fellow Jacksonville photographnerds, please join the Jacksonville, Florida Flickr group and be on the lookout for future meets.

More Pictures

Timucuan Ecological Preserve and Fort Caroline National Memorial
Visitor Center
12713 Fort Caroline Road,
Jacksonville, Florida 32225
(904) 641-7155

No comments: