Jeff's Jungle Part I: Stargazing & Campfires

Winter camping is one of the beautiful things about living in Florida, so we jumped at the chance to camp with our friends at Jeff's jungle. He and some friends are planning to farm the 40 acre plot with plants, fruits trees, and potentially pigs and beef cattle using permaculture methods. After navigating the ruts and twists of backroads in the dark, where unusual landmarks outnumber street signs, we finally found the jungle.
A raccoon scuttled past us on the drive in. The sun had set awhile ago which made it a bit more challenging to set up camp. But I always love the mystery of arriving to a new place after nightfall. With our vision reduced to moonlight silhouettes or flashlight pathways, our other senses grow stronger- sounds of howling and leaf crunch, the smells of the campfire, of sizzling meat, and the freshness of the air, and the feel of the earth underfoot.  Tako cooked some amazing chicken, pineapple, steak, broccoli and pepper kebabs on a cast iron griddle. We also had the best furry entertainment anyone could ask for- watching a city fox pup interact with the wild! :)

I always feel incredibly refreshed after taking time to clear my mind of the busy modern world.  There is such magic in being able to look up and see an ancient galaxy, instead of merely the faint glow of stars that survive the past our lighted cities. I tried to capture a bit of that magic through these thirty second long exposure shots with my 5D Mark III and a Canon 24-70mm 2.8f L Lens, using the car and some jackets on the ground in place of a tripod. I'd love to do more Florida camping in 2015- maybe return to some of my favorite spots- Paynes prairie preserve, Cumberland Island State Park, San Felasco Park, or do some canoe and beach camping down in the keys at Lignum Vitae or the 10 Thousand Islands region of the Everglades. 


Hope you enjoyed this mini adventure in the night forest! Check out what the land looks like by day, and the diverse native wildflower, grass & tree species found on his land here: 


  1. very nice picture. I like camping. outdoor is the best way to chill out and go out and enjoy yourself. this will be a refreshing experience to enjoy camping in the natural climate. Thank's for sharing.

  2. I usually really like the particular unknown involving showing up into a fresh spot after nightfall. With his eye-sight diminished for you to moonlight silhouettes or maybe torch path ways, your various other senses grow stronger- sounds of howling and leaf crunch, the particular aromas in the campfire, involving alluring various meats, plus the quality with the air flow, as well as the sense in the globe underfoot.


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