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about beth

  • In the early forties, Florida had a wildness in its undeveloped jungle landscape. For half of year, each year, I was immersed in these spoiled tropics. The sound of the ocean rocked me to sleep each night. Beaches were crowded with shells, not people. Their polished shaped rained through my fingers as I played in the ocean's wash. The humid air was salted, filling my nose, turning the copper screens in my house green and making my fine blonde hair sticky and almost impossible to comb. My father talked of trappers in the Everglades and several times took me down the Loxahatchee River, where the tangled, untamed jungle decorated our passage. I remember seeing high piles of discarded oyster shells called "midden," the ancient leavings from Seminole Indians who once lived there and were masters of this mysterious, uncharted place.
  • These gifts were all around me to see, touch and smell and I know now they effortlessly shaped how I saw the world. They gave me a sense of adventure, and appreciation for different people, colored my eyes, changed my eyes.
  • In 1975, I first went to Africa where I re-experienced a complete immersion into nature. Africa, then and now, has been generous to me, exposing me to her savannahs of waving grass, her bountiful parade of mammals and birds of all shapes, sizes and adaptations. She has taken me on her rivers where I have listened to the grumbling snort of hippos. I have hardly dared to breathe observing her thirsty changes as they came in for a last drink at sundown. She has let me consort with her night life, to hear the shriek of a Bushbaby as it hunts, the chuff of a lion as it talks.
  • Her rich and varied aspects have changed me forever, captured my essence, underscored my appreciation for all forces of life. Africa has prompted me to become one with the camera in an effort to capture part of her "Ark" and its character. She has titillated me with odd details, raised the lid on her box full of surprises. Standing under Africa's vast sky roof, whether it be studded with stars or traveling clouds, i am aware at the play of light, its mercurial and magic changes as it sculpts a dune or plays with ripples on water. Let's say Africa has made me aware that, everywhere I go on this world, I am indeed blessed.