Author: Hilary Swain
April 22nd, 2020 marked the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. On this day in 1970, 20 million Americans — one tenth of the U.S. population at that time — joined together across hundreds of cities to demand a new path forward for our planet. There were protests about declining air quality, reduced water quality, and loss of habitat and species, but Earth Day has also always been a celebration of nature, and an acknowledgement that nature is essential to a sustainable life on Earth. The first Earth Day is credited with galvanizing millions of people worldwide to help protect the planet.
To celebrate Earth Day, and to serve all those anchored at home seeking inspiration and solace from the beauty of nature, Archbold Biological Station launched its latest short video ‘Colors of the Florida Scrub’ filmed by Into Nature Films. This new online offering is part of Archbold’s ‘Wonders from Wonderland’ series. Filmmaker Jennifer Brown shared, “The film begins with a flaming orange-red sunrise and a time-lapse of a bright yellow Prickly Pear cactus flower opening. I organized colors into sequences so there is a yellow sequence, a green sequence, a pink sequence, and so on. Florida Scrub-Jays doing different behaviors add splashes of blue and some drama throughout the film. Macro close-up shots of tender pink oak leaves and multi-colored blueberries represent the joy of Spring in the scrub. There are two sequences in the white-brown-black-gray spectrum as a juxtaposition to the more vivid color sequences. In the tradition of abstract expressionism art, I played with removing recognizable forms so viewers can really ‘see’ the colors.”
You can view the 2-minute video from Archbold’s Facebook page and from its YouTube Channel. Also on Earth Day, Archbold hosted a ‘Zoom webinar’ with a viewing of the film followed by a few Archbold panelists on hand to share their personal perspectives of color in the scrub, and to answer public questions about the ecosystem and the film. Please check out Archbold’s YouTube page and its Facebook page to see the replay of the panel discussion.
Archbold Biological Station was established in 1941, nearly 30 years before the first Earth Day. Executive Director, Dr. Hilary Swain describes Richard Archbold, “As a visionary who founded an organization that was way ahead of its time and with a mission, core values, and purpose that have proven timeless. For nearly eighty years, since the day it was founded through to the modern era, it’s been Earth Day every day at Archbold. The organization has always worked in service of the Earth: collecting and nurturing data and findings, managing lands and waters, informing wise policy decisions, and sharing this knowledge with schoolchildren, students, decision makers, and scientists around the world.”
She added, “By holding a mirror up to nature, Archbold allows us all to see the Earth from our own perspectives. The curious find out about the complexity of nature, the analytical explore how things work, artists interpret the intriguing beauty and meaning of colors, shapes and shadows, activists find motivation and inspiration, and those who grew up with the scrub ecosystem as their back yard recall childhood memories and reflect on the heritage of place. All are wonderful reasons to join us to celebrate Earth Day.”
For more information on Archbold events, please visit www.archbold-station.org.