Friday, June 26, 2009


Today is another off day. I had a few work related calls, but nothing too stressful. I went over to the park once. When I left the house, I grabbed my sunglasses because it was so bright out. When I left the office again just minutes later, it looked like it could have been 8pm. The sky was dark and I could hear thunder in the distance. I was hoping to see something photo-worthy while I was out, but instead, I went home to avoid the rain. So today, I hope you all like left-overs. I have two photos to share, but they were taken earlier this week. I mentioned on Sunday that I had stopped to photograph a flower when I saw the owl. Here is the flower shot. The next image is the same type of flower before the bloom opened. This flower is a Swamp mallow in the Hibiscus family. I look forward to seeing these beautiful flowers each summer. I have so many photos of them!

Because this blog is not about me, but my experiences as a park ranger, I won't bore you all with the details of sleeping late, catching up on DVR'd TV, and laundry. Instead, I would rather share with you the reasons that I started this blog and to give you a little bit of background.
I have been a Park Ranger with Florida State Parks for almost 4 years. I have been interested in photography for 14 years. I love being a park ranger because I can use so many of the skills that I have acquired throughout my life. I can be a teacher and a handyman and a gardener/landscaper and an inventor and a mechanic and and a writer and best of all, I can enjoy the outdoors while I do all of that. It has taken me a few years to realize all that I can do in my job and I am definitely still learning and growing, but I feel like I have more to give. I love using my photos in my job to document, to educate, and to share things that only I saw. I have also enjoyed using my photos as gifts in the form of note cards, magnets, or as framed art. I began to wonder, what else can I do? It may be the quiet, loneliness of the park since the flooding, or it may be the pressure of the depressed economy keeping my mind on money and the future, but whatever the deep-down reason may be, I have decided to start this blog. When the idea came to me, I thought it would be a great way to get my photos out to the world. Maybe someone will discover me. Maybe someone will ask me to write one of the children's books that are bouncing around in my head. Maybe I will use a year of blog to prove to someone that my words and my photos are of interest to people. Maybe I can publish a coffee table book. As the blogging idea developed in my mind, I realized that many people are curious about my job. I get questions from park visitors and others that lead me to believe that the job of the park ranger may be one of the great mysteries of the universe. To illustrate my point, here are some of my favorite comments and questions: "Doesn't the park just sort of run itself?" "Are you gonna arrest me?" "You have my dream job!" "Ya saved any picnic baskets from cartoon bears today?" "My son likes nature, how to you get to be a ranger?" So the blog serves multiple purposes. I can share my photos with the world, and hopefully educate a few people as well.
I have really been amazed by the interest and support that I have received for this project from family, friends, and most impressively, total strangers. I hope that all of the viewers of this web page will help to shape it into what they want from it while I achieve my personal goals at the same time. I hope that you will comment and tell me what you like or what you want to know. I welcome any and all questions (just keep them PG-13). I hope that you will all enjoy this project as much as I do.


Miner Fan said...

How do you get those amazing shots? What camera do you use? Wht kind of lense?
I think you should tell us about your monthly nauture craft.

Ranger Amy said...

Thanks for the question, Jen! My camera is the Canon PowerShot A640. It has an excellent macro focus feature which allows me to get close to bugs and flowers and capture all of the detail that I want. I also have an underwater housing that allows me to take my camera under water... you will all have to wait for that!
I'll tell you about the monthly craft project when I put the new one out, July 1.

Linda Conyers said...

Yes, Amy, that was a good question. I'm sure your readers would enjoy seeing many blogs over the next year about your photography strategies, especially underwater. (And the members of that strange two-legged, gogggle-eyed, sign-holding species found at the Ichetucknee head spring!) Beautiful mallows!