VIDEO: Florida’s Forgotten Coast

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 4.12.18 PM
This post is part 6 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 6 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten Coast Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA. SUBSCRIBE for a chance to WIN A signed edition of The GAIAD. Join the conversation. EARTH. SPACE. INSPIRATION. EVERY 10th subscriber will receive a print edition of THE GAIAD, a new science fiction novel, signed by the author. Subscribers will also receive a 20% discount on the book—our thanks for being part of a conversation that WANTS TO BE HAD.    

The Florida Wildlife Corridor

FF Map
This post is part 5 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 5 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten Coast   THIS SERIES BEGAN WITH A QUESTION. It was born from a thought I had while jogging an empty beach along the Gulf the first day I arrived on the Forgotten Coast. The uniqueness of the area had already struck me, obviously and immediately apparent from the beginning. The natural-ness, the ubiquity of the birds on the wing, the wildlife, the native plants—all these things seemed new, experienced in Florida only once before during a trip to the Everglades. My question was simple, but embodied others that came with it in a cascade. Is the Forgotten Coast unique? Is it “natural?” Has development been balanced with a respect for natural environments, for native habitats, for biologically active and unique areas, such as those presented by the biomes of this place? If it is presently—balanced—can this situation be sustained? … READ MORE…

East to West and Back Again

DSC_0235 copy
This post is part 4 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 4 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten Coast The Span of the Forgotten Coast in Pictures and Words   THIS IS A DIVERSE PLACE, as much as it is relatively unspoiled. Heading west along Highway 98 from the “Nature Coast” and “Big Bend” areas of northwestern Florida, the farms, acreages, and small rusting towns like Cross City, Salem, and Perry slowly morph into more natural, protected spaces. There is a growing sense that rather than just being an out-of-the-way place that people would rather not be, the area has been consciously conserved and protected. You encounter various “conservation” and “wildlife management” areas first. They’re heavily managed, the forests harvested and thinned, but they obviously lack condos, hotels, or the staples of other parts of the Florida coast. These then give way to Econfina State Park and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge—true protected lands that still … READ MORE…

Prodigious

DSC_0033 copy
This post is part 3 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 3 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten CoastVines below! (disclaimer) These are all small, relatively low-res cuts of a larger video I’m editing… THE LIFE HERE, the abundance. It is prodigious. My first night here was warm and wet and clear. I was staying at a house surrounded by acres of woods outside the small town of Sopchoppy, about 10 miles inland from the coast and known for its annual (yeah!) “Worm Gruntin’ Festival.” I stepped outside around 9PM to look upward—at a sky free of clouds, of stratospheric aircraft, of anything but stars and the familiar galactic haze of the Milky Way. The clarity, the visual lucidity of the night was striking—the scene in stark contrast to the nearly terrifying, natural din of the surrounding forest. The tumult came from every direction. Owls hooted, bullfrogs croaked and rumbled, their smaller cousins in the trees … READ MORE…

Dark Water

Tannic water, Ochlockonee Bay.
This post is part 2 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 2 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten Coast THE WATER HERE is dark. The color of black tea, or even coffee—on first encounter it can look dirty or even foul. It isn’t. The water of multiple, major rivers flows into the bays defining the Forgotten Coast. It is tannic for the most part—tinted dark by chemical processes inherent to the decaying of vegetation—it is rich with organic matter, rich with the stuff of life. The color of the water is testament to the biological productivity of an inland Florida to the north—and the effluent of that productivity flows down and out, meeting the fluid of the Gulf in places like Ochlockonee Bay, Apalachee Bay, Apalachicola Bay. It is in stark contrast to the clear water of the popular Gulf beaches to the west and south. On my first encounter with it, on a warm day in … READ MORE…

The Forgotten Coast

Salt marshes abound. Rich in life, they're equally rich in beauty.
This post is part 1 of 6 of the series Florida's Forgotten Coast

This post is part 1 of 6 of the series Florida’s Forgotten Coast APPROXIMATELY 40 MILES EAST of Panama City, Florida there exists a special place. Geographically close to other areas of the Florida shoreline known affectionately by some as the “Emerald Coast” (and not so affectionately by others as the “Redneck Riviera”), this area remains separate and distinct. The beaches are not as expansive, the water not as clear, but the natural soul of a state more often bought and sold, remains here. This is Real Florida, as they say. This is the Forgotten Coast. Though some locals might argue the exact boundaries of this place, the 100 mile stretch along US-98 beginning at Mexico Beach and ending at St. Marks, is a general and approximate definition. Strangely enough, what is more distinct than a numerical configuration on a map is the feel of this place, the sense of it … READ MORE…

Resistance

DSC_0275 copy 2

(Just outside of Moab, Utah. The sun was setting behind my burning bush.) I kept second-guessing myself on this one.  Self-Talk: “You’re setting a very serious tone, and it’s just the beginning.  It could be too serious.  You’re going to turn people off—” Well, whatever.  It’s who I am.  I’m pretty serious.  Not all of these blog entries will be like this.  I promise.  Some might even have video of cute puppies doing cute things, or me dancing, or some other thing. Resistance!  Specifically the resistance we as writers encounter within ourselves when we set out to create something real, something good. And I should qualify this first.  Not all writers will encounter it.  Some writers produce, write, from a different place within.  For some, I think, it’s a necessity—a kind of outlet, an internal valve—and if they don’t write the pressure builds up within until something bad happens.  The curse … READ MORE…