Palm Harbor is an unincorporated community in Pinellas County, Florida, United States with a population of about 70,000. The total area of the town is 26.6 square miles with 17.4 square miles of land and 9.2 square miles of picturesque lakes, ponds, and winding creeks.
The following artwork was created from scenes, wildlife, and flora found in Palm Harbor.
Roseate Spoonbill populations in north Florida along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere are stable and even increasing in some places, which is where I first spotted these amazing birds for the first time on Lake St. George in Palm Harbor. However, spoonbill numbers are declining in the broad estuary sandwiched between the Everglades, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Keys. The key offender is poor water management in the Everglades, which has dramatically altered water depths and salinity levels in Florida Bay. For a wading bird on a special diet, this is life threatening.
In addition to the conservation of these beautiful birds, there’s more at stake. The Florida Bay and the greater Everglades provides millions of dollars to the state’s economy through recreation, tourism, and commercial fishing, which has kept teams of scientists on the job. The survival of the spoonbills, will only come with the survival of the everglades.
“Spoonbills have become the indicator for the overall health of the Everglades,” explains wildlife conservation biologist, Mac Stone. “They’re representative of the whole ecosystem. They require the fish, and the fish require the submerged aquatic vegetation, and the submerged aquatic vegetation requires the input of freshwater.” The warning is quite clear; “As goes the spoonbill, so goes the bay.”
The great blue heron in this image is standing at one of Spadecaller’s special places, Lake Tarpon. The freshwater lake is located about 10 miles west of Tampa in Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs, Florida. It is the largest lake in Pinellas County with a surface area of 2,500 acres.
Bordering the southeast portion of Lake Tarpon is John Chestnut Park state preserve with miles of trails that meander through pristine wetlands. Palm Harbor nature artists can find inspiration by observing a plethora of wildlife including: alligators, turtles, frogs, hawks, owls, hummingbirds, deer and wild turkeys. The lush and diverse plant life and flora is a treasure trove for Palm Harbor nature artwork.
A Poem by Helen Deutsch
The year when I was twenty-one,
(John that year was twenty-three)
That was the year, that was the spring,
We planted the white magnolia tree.
"This tree," said John, "shall grow with us,
And every year it will bloom anew.
This is our life. This is our love."
And the white magnolia tree grew and grew...
Oh, youth' a thing of fire and ice,
And currents that run hot and white,
And its world is as bright as the sun...
I was twenty-one...
And I wore a plume in my hat.
And we went to the movies and wept over" Stella Dallas",
And John sang "Moonlight and Roses"
(a little off-key, but very nicely really),
And we hurried through our crowded days
With beautiful plans, boundless ambitions, and golden decisions.
There is so much the young heart clamours for,
That it must have, and that it cannot live without,
And it must be all or nothing,
For aren't we the masters of creation?
Oh, valiant and untamed were we,
When we planted the white magnolia tree!
And the white magnolia grew and grew,
Holding our love within its core,
And every year it bloomed anew,
And we were twenty-one no more.
No more untamed, no more so free,
Nor so young, nor so wild and aflame were we.
Dearer to us grew other things:
Easy sleep, books, a day's quiet holiday,
Good talk beside a fire, the beauty of old faces...
We have known many things since then:
The death of a child and the bitter lesson
That a heart which breaks can mend itself again
(That it can and must be done),
And what loyalty can mean,
And how real a word like courage can become,
And that solitude can be rich and gratifying
And quite different from loneliness...
There is so little the serious heart requires:
Friends, faith, a window open to the world,
Pride in work well done,
And strength to live in a world at war
And still maintain the heart's own private peace...
Dear Heaven, I give thanks to thee
For things I did not know before,
For the wisdom of maturity,
For bread, and a roof, and for one thing more...
Thanks because I still can see
The bloom on the white magnolia tree!
“The meaning of a flower can sometimes be so personal; the death of a child or the loss of a cherished dream, or even a joy too dangerous to speak about. That is one reason I love my art. I can express myself without giving up my soul or hurting anyone.” - Spadecaller
The white magnolia in this image is native to the balmy Southern states and the Gulf of Mexico. Just beside Spadecaller’s home in Palm Harbor a huge magnolia tree blooms in early summer. Palm harbor nature artwork always lures artists to paint and photograph the splendor of these magnificent blossoms.