Pine Island, Secret Places (Part One, The Land)

Pine Island is a quiet, beautiful place in Southwest Florida. This video, part one of two parts, showcases the unique mixture of plants and trees that grow on our verdant island.

On Pine Island the land is never far from the water. Indeed, It is the water that defines the island, and the land that holds back the water. To the birds and animals the distinction does not matter a great deal. The land and the water is all part of the environment they call home, sometimes one more than the other, but always there to provide security and sustenance.

I hope these unique views of the island help people appreciate the treasure that is Pine Island and can help stave off the developers for at least a short while longer. The politicians, builders and developers will have their way with Pine Island ultimately, I have no doubt. But perhaps these videos will remind someone someday what was lost when Pine Island came under the bulldozers.

I have been flying one type of airplane or another since I was 22 years old, pretty much continuously. I flew Navy fighter-bombers off of the USS Enterprise in Vietnam. I flew aerial surveillance for the government for many years in Cessna’s. Then I flew powered parachutes, a type of ultralight aircraft where one sits in the open and flies at only 30 mph. During all those periods in my life I took movies and pictures to show people the amazing things I was seeing. I thought that if I were amazed certainly everyone else would be equally amazed at the unique perspectives and beautiful panoramas that unfold beneath one from an airplane. Fifty years later I thought that as an old man my days of flying were over. But apparently I was wrong. Someone invented the drone.

These tiny little marvels have amazing capabilities. They navigate through the use of GPS satellites. They fly using four motors, each coordinated and finely tuned by a small computer. They take amazing ultra-high definition video from a camera the size of a golf ball. And they are remotely controlled from the ground. So I am back in the flying business and happily taking pictures and video once again. And sharing them with you.

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