Sunday, September 7, 2014

Things happen for a reason

In June 2013, I had an exhibit accepted for the Ernest Coe visitor center's art gallery in Everglades National Park. It was scheduled for September 2014, which is right now. Why September? Only the off season months were offered and September seemed to be the best of the lot. Regardless, for the past 15 months I have anticipated this exhibit with pride. So imagine the let down when I learned a month or so ago that the visitor center building was closed for roofing which was scheduled to be completed at the end of August. At worse, my exhibit would be delayed a few days. OK, no big deal.

You know how renovations go, a few days became a week and then finally yesterday, I was told that it would not be ready for another week or two. I did not see any benefit to hanging my art work for a week in September, especially given that it is the second slowest month of the season. The exhibit coordinator, park ranger Ryan Meyer told me he would give me the first available month, which is January 2016. Whoa! That's over a year from now! Many people might look at that as totally unacceptable and would stomp away taking their art with them.

I considered Ryan's offer to move another artist's exhibit from the month of November 2015 or go with January 2016. So I looked up the park's recent statistics. The monthly traffic count through Royal Palm entrance was 4716 in September 2013, 9,525 in November 2013 and 18,652 in January 2014. September was a tad busier than October coming in with 3559 counts. Which month was the busiest? Well, March beat out January with 187 more vehicles, probably on account of the spring breakers. February ran a very close third at 17,279.

So if the 2015-2016 season is anything like the 2013-14 season, I figure there could well be four times as many visitors to my art gallery in January 2016 than in September 2014 and twice as many as November 2015. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure this out. At the end of the day, Ryan confirmed January 2016 for my gallery exhibit.

Things happen for a reason and the best things are worth the wait.

I am on a quest to improve my Everglades photography and I have 15 months to do it. With new techniques and equipment ready to go, the plan is to spend long periods of time in specific locations. My upcoming paddling trips will not be about covering great distances or even exploring new locations. Instead, I will be focused on a few of my favorite places. I will spend a concentrated amount of time in each and see what happens.

by January 2016, I will present a gallery more worthy of the Everglades than I could have imagined in September 2014. Loving the freedom to make mistakes, having the luxury to move at my own pace, and never getting tired of learning, photographing the Everglades has become my bailiwick. It's where the canoe takes me.

This is going to be a good year.

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