Attention: It is very important if you wish to attend that you completely read and understand the details provided in the event description below.
12-11-2018 Event Schedule Update – This information supersedes all previously posted information below and there is a new sign-up form!
The weather looks pretty bad for the event. It is currently forecast to rain Thursday, Friday, and into Saturday and it will be very cold as well. This means that the site and the access road will be wet, muddy, and possibly not easily negotiated with 2-wheel drive vehicles. There is a possibility that SWFWMD will close the site and cancel the permits as they have done in the past when similar conditions have been forecast. They don’t want the site and the access road to get torn up by vehicles that get stuck in wet conditions. So far there hasn’t been an official announcement of site closure but it remains a possibility. I will make another announcement if that happens. In any case there will be no photo opportunities Friday afternoon/evening based on the current forecast. I’m officially canceling the planned activities for Friday under the circumstances. Saturday afternoon may hold some possibilities if the rain ends at a reasonable time. If the site does not close I will be there all day Saturday and will lead some late day photo activities and host a campfire meal in the evening as planned and hope for some night sky photo opportunities if the skies clear. If you wish to attend on Saturday please be aware that access road conditions may be bad and that you should bring rain gear and cold weather garb. I have removed the old sign-up form and have replaced it with a new one. Even if you signed up already please take a moment to fill out the revised form. Thanks for your understanding – Jim.
12-9-2018 Updated information:
If the road and/or field aren’t too muddy when you arrive feel free to drive your vehicles all the way into the field to unload your gear and then park on the edge of the field to keep them out of the way but close by. We want to keep the field as open as possible for campsites to be setup and to allow ample room for people and camera gear to be setup for night photography.
Remember – cell phone service is spotty to nonexistent in the preserve. Make sure you are familiar with driving directions and have your GPS running well in advance of arrival. If you are using cell phone GPS navigation consider downloading an offline map of the area in advance to use. It is not certain that you will be able to call me or anyone else that has already arrived for directions or help.
If there is anyone that is interested in attending overnight Saturday but doesn’t have a tent please contact me. I can arrange for a couple of extra tents and camping hammocks to be available. jim @ jrsphotos .com (spaces added to keep spam robots away – leave them out to get in touch with me).
Remember to bring your own food, snacks, and drinks for daytime Saturday. Jim will provide food and drink for Saturday dinner.
I’m looking forward to sharing a weekend of outdoor photography with everyone who can attend! – Jim
Jim Sykes is hosting a weekend of photography and fun at Pott’s Preserve on the Withlacoochee River. (2988 N Hooty Point, Inverness, FL 34453) It is scheduled to coincide with the Geminid meteor shower, often the best meteor shower of the year. Arrive late Friday afternoon or early Friday evening, December 14th and bring something to eat and drink. At approximately 8:00 pm Jim will give a primer on night sky/meteor photography in order to help everyone to be able to use their equipment to photograph the meteor shower as it reaches the peak Friday night through Saturday morning. There is also an option to arrive on Saturday if you are unable to attend the Friday night event. On Saturday morning, December 15th you are free to roam the many trails of the preserve and do landscape photography, flower photography, macro photography, etc. On Saturday afternoon Jim will be guiding a waterborne photo trip into the Gum Slough spring run. If you wish to take part in this portion of the event you are responsible for providing your own canoe or kayak and all legally required safety equipment. (Personal flotation device, audible signaling device, etc.) Saturday evening Jim will provide a campfire meal for attendees and Saturday night will provide another option for night sky/meteor photography. You may camp overnight on Friday night and/or Saturday night. Pott’s preserve is a primitive campsite. There are few amenities beyond a no-frills restroom. It is suggested that you bring your own toilet paper. If you are camping you are responsible for providing your own tent, or hammock for sleeping. Sites are first come, first served. There are fire rings and picnic tables located at various campsites as well as a few charcoal grills. Jim will provide the firewood for a community campfire on Friday and Saturday night and as mentioned above Jim will provide food and drinks for the Saturday evening meal.
There are 2 permits in place to accommodate a grand total 25 people for the event. The event will be strictly limited to the first 25 people who sign up using the form provided below. Do not reserve a spot unless you are very sure you will be attending. There is a $10 suggested donation per attendee per night to cover the cost of firewood, food, drinks, ice, etc. You have an option to attend Friday only, Saturday only, or both. Campsites must be vacated by 11:00 am Sunday morning. If possible please arrange to carpool with other attendees to limit the number of vehicles and cut down on traffic within the campsite area. It is suggested that you consider parking your vehicle in the open area at the kiosk that is inside the gated area halfway to the riverside campground (not the one located at the entrance outside of the gate) rather than driving all the way in to the riverside campsite field if you do not have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Vehicles can get stuck on the last section of dirt road or in the field if there has been rain. You will be emailed a copy of the campsite reservation and it must be printed and displayed on your dashboard. We do not have exclusive use of the venue so be aware that there will probably be other campers there during the course of the weekend. Be respectful of other campers especially with consideration to noise, lights, etc after 10:00 pm.
Other important information:
If you plan on doing any night photography Jim will be enforcing a rule that you must only use a flashlight or headlamp with a red light and never point it in any direction other than downward to your camera. This is to prevent ruining other peoples photos. Cell phone service is spotty/unavailable in the preserve depending on your carrier. Familiarize yourself with the location using online maps and if possible print a map and directions for yourself. You will not be able to reach Jim for directions or help once he has arrived on site. There is no electricity and there is no potable water. The entrance gate remains locked at all times. You will receive a gate code if you are attending. It will be on the reservation that you must print and display on your dashboard. You must lock the gate behind you when entering or leaving. There are multiple combination padlocks on the gate, your code will open the lock that has the letters “REC” engraved on it. You must read and abide by the following SWFWMD rules:
(other site-specific rules may apply)
- Camping is allowed in designated campsites only and requires a free reservation.
- Campfires are permitted only in fire rings.
- Firewood should be collected from the ground; DO NOT cut any standing trees, dead or alive.
- Campfires must be put out completely.
- To protect the natural experience for all campers, no loud music is allowed at any time.
- Built-in generators are allowed at equestrian campsites only.
- Horses are only permitted in camp areas designated for equestrian use. Horses are not allowed in primitive campsites.
- Where permitted, dogs must be on a six-foot leash and be well-mannered at all times.
- Dog owners are required to pick up after their dogs; do not allow your dog to wander outside your campsite. No other pets are permitted on District lands.
- Quiet time is from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- Any additional rules and regulations will be provided on the reservation or posted at the campground kiosk.
Please visit the official SWFWMD Pott’s Preserve website to familiarize yourself with the venue in advance: https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/potts-preserve
Suggested items to bring:
Camera and lenses of your choice
Spare charged batteries
Headlamp or flashlight with red light capability
Water, snacks, food for Friday night dinner and/or Saturday lunch (Jim is providing the Saturday night meal)
Canoe or kayak and legally required safety equipment.