Carol Carter

30 May 2010


I am most concerned about the wildlife along the Gulf Coast.

This unmitigated disaster -- that's unfurling in front of our eyes...


is quite upsetting.

I plan to do some visual statement about what's occuring... to give voice to what I feel inside.

After returning from a month in the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK... a pristine natural biodiverse environment--

it shocks me that it might be threatened-- and/or destroyed.

Let us all... be outraged.... and find a way to help those in harm's way.

Speak out.
Drive less.
Turn off lights.
Save energy.

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29 May 2010

Irrigation- Florida Style

When I was leaving the Everglades National Park -- I came upon these giant agricultural fields. They were watering the crops in such a magnanimous way... it was arresting.

Water was shooting all over the roads in various directions.

These giant cannons of water are apparently very effective and transportable. The trucks can go up and down the fields and specifically cover certain acreage.

This is the price the Everglades Park is paying.... it has to share it's water-table with the huge demand of agriculture.
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27 May 2010

Trip North

I returned to my life in the midwest on sunday. Before I cleared completely out of the swamp ... I stopped off at Corkscrew Nature Preserve outside of Naples, Florida.

It is a pristine slough-- offering a boardwalk that's about 2 miles long. It meanders through the wild -- gentle slow moving RIVER of GRASS.

I saw so much - cypress, Alligator Flags... turkey vultures....

It was fun to have yet another chance to see a swamp.

Hopefully I will get back down here this winter to see the migrating birds.

By the way... Corkscrew was rather tame... as it's the end of the dry season...and not much wildlife or activity.

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22 May 2010

Cypress Dome

Yesterday evening... Cerisa and I went to Double Dome-- cypress dome to stomp in the slough and look for birds and animals.

We found a GATOR... [see below photo].. and a cottonmouth snake. Both of them HUMBLED me.

When I went into the dome... I felt in control --- but after seeing the animals... I felt very strange and uninvited. I felt like I was in a zoo... and this was THEIR space!

So.... very informative.

Definitely OUT OF THE BOX for me. I can't say I am quite comfortable being in the outdoors.... but I am learning!

The above photo of the gator.. is a photograph I shot this morning.

It's a gator doing the mating-call. So SO interesting! He/she flaps air through the jowls ... and vibrates the water in a "growling" sound. This alerts the other gators to the arousal and intent.

Depending on who's in the area...they either leave or respond.

[I have seen gators leave an area in a hurry ... if they feel a larger male is approaching. I have also see a female come to the call...]

I am so amazed at the gator life. I feel privileged to have gotten to know it these past few weeks.

This particular gator did not find a mate today.... perhaps later! [later-gator.]

But.. I also want to add.... that I did see three courtship-romance ventures between gators. The month of May is the time for them to get together.

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21 May 2010

Talk Today

I was invited to do a talk today... at the Royal Palm Trail in the Everglades National Park.

Although it was hot and windy-- we had a nice turnout and lively questions.

I showed my watercolors-- along with a small watercolor demonstration.

Lovely to conclude my trip this way!

Tonight... Double Dome....Cypress Dome for photos.. sunset... then star gazing.


Only two more days in the Park -- then back home.

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20 May 2010

Two Slices of Life

well.. today i spent the time making two smaller studies to go along with the rest of the work to share tomorrow at a presentation here in the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK.

These two paintings capture some of the brilliant light and clarity found here. I was stunned by the beautiful CLEAR sky today... the crisp clouds and deep turquoise sky. There was rain all day yesterday... and it washed the atmosphere clean!

Ahhh... each day is so different here.........

4" h x 20" w

5" h x 20" w
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19 May 2010

My Birds

These birds were very important to me over the last few weeks. They are everywhere.. and add a lot of activity, dimension, and life to your day.

Some times -- they take my breath away!

Blue Heron
Black Bird
Juvenile Egret

The poputlation of the birds is down during the summer here. I hope to return this winter to see the migrating birds.

Also, the population of the Everglade birds has been diminished by 90% since the turn of the century-- due to water table/habitat change, hunting, and robbing the birds for plumage for hats in the early 1900's.

Everglade Birds
4" h x 11" w
2010 each
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I am no Audubon

I am no Audubon artist--- but I LOVE his work -- and am influenced by his vision and style.

I tried my hand at capturing some birds of the Everglades that have been of interest to me.

I painted them on TWIN ROCKERS handmade paper -- complete with the dramatic deckle edges.

I only used three pigments-- Daniel Smith Shadow Violet and M. Graham Cobalt Teal and Winsor/Newton Charcoal Grey.

Together.. they made a view of the Glades that's fitting today... rainy, wet, grey, humid and mysterious.

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Everglades Watercolors

The watercolors that didin't come through with the post below!
20" h x 7" w
9.5" h x 13.5" w
8.5" h x 13.5"w
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18 May 2010

Three new Watercolors from the Everglades

I had a chance to paint yesterday and I finished these three watercolors. I am getting ready to wind up my trip here.. and want to finish as many watercolors as possible for my talk at the Ernest Coe Center on Friday. I will show 16 watercolors and give a demonstration of my technique.

Cerisa and I [my park ranger friend] went to Double D Cypress Dome yesterday. It was a magical experience-- with wading in the water and muck in bare feet!

It was absolutely astounding to see the reflections and reverence of the trees!

Cerisa went before me to ward off gators [seriously!]... and I stayed behind to snap as many photos as I could.

All was well.. until the loads of hungry mosquitoes descended on us.. and ate us alive!

There are not bugs like the bugs in the GLADES!

Anyway, we hightailed it out ofthere.. and went on the Mahogany Hammock until the sunset. We photographed the sunset until evening.

Upon driving home we found crossing the road -- first a Tegu Lizard...and then a corn snake.
Such a great evening!

Thank you Cerisa~

17 May 2010

Taylor Slough!

THIS is my favorite spot in the EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK!! Taylor Slough... where you can see gators and birds-- morning, noon, and night.

It is like being in a ZOO... without the bars.

I have walked this trail -- twice a day-- dawn/dusk...for the past 2 + weeks. Every time.. it is magical and different. Nothing is EVER the same here.

Have been painting today ... but a little frustrated with the conditions. I hope to post the paintings soon.

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15 May 2010

NEW WATERCOLORS from the Everglades

Well, after biking the Shark Valley yesterday... and photographing till the later evening. ... I decided to stay indoors today and paint.

I worked on 4 watercolors-- finishing them in time to post.

I am using Fabriano hot press paper... which gives a different effect.

The slicker surface is better for detail work.

I saw an owl last night-- and another incredible sunset.

Will go this evening to do the same.

I am reading Marjorie S. Douglas -- EVERGLADES: RIVER OF GRASS


9.5" h x 13.5" w

9.5" h x 13.5" w

9.5" h x 13.5" w

9.5" h x 13.5" w

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14 May 2010

Gator Romance

Here is a sequence of photos that describe the courtship and romance that's happening in the alligator kingdom this month. T

he month of May is the time for the alligators to mate. The eggs are laid in June and July. The nests are guarded by mama.

Come September -- the babies hatch -- and are completely dependent on Mom -- all 50 of them! She guards and protects them ... because there are many predators-- included other gators!

They are born ready to eat -- and completely self-sufficient predators.

Mom provides safety for a year... until the process starts over again.

Dad's are prone to eat the young ones -- because they are competitors for the food.

Out of 50 gator-babies.. only 3 will survive till adulthood.

There are a million gators in Florida -- with about 50,000 in the Everglades.

There are 1500 crocodiles here too. Only two places in the world have crocodiles AND alligators. The Everglades is one.

Alligators are fresh water. Crocodiles are salt water.

Both are fascinating to see in the wild.

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13 May 2010

Everglades Watercolor

Here are the first 9 watercolors from the Everglades.

I can't say that they convey the stunning beauty found here... but it's a start!

I believe it's important to begin the series-- as I've already amassed 1500 reference photos to work from.

There will be more paintings to come in the next year.

9.5" h x 13.5" w

9.5" h x 13.5" w

Lily Pad
9.5" h x 13.5" w
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