Guardians of the Everglades®

To introduce the public to the fragile beauty of the Everglades and its unique ecosystem; to honor today’s leadership in conservation and restoration through great art and compelling human stories; and to encourage the public and policy makers to participate in the protection of the Everglades.

From Paradise to Enchantment

An Exit and an Entrance

We began the Guardians of the Everglades® multi-media project with great hopes of reaching and educating a broad range of individuals in the benefits of Everglades conservation.  We are very grateful for the eleven Guardians who, together, stand as role models for various ways of serving conservation.

As you know, and as our web site states, the purpose was “To introduce the public to the fragile beauty of the Everglades and its unique ecosystem; to honor today’s leadership in conservation and restoration through great art and compelling human stories; and to encourage the public and policy makers to participate in the protection of the Everglades.”

Sadly, our efforts to secure financial support to bring the project to the public through exhibitions, a documentary film and book, or even any of those, were insufficient.  Thus, we have had to conclude that we must abandon the project, at least for the time being, and focus our efforts elsewhere. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you what efforts we have made to raise funds through grants, auctions and individual donors. If you want to know more or offer other sources, please contact us. We will always be open to bringing the Guardians’ extraordinary stories, and our love of the Everglades to the public.

We will be moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 17.  We will be living in an adobe by artist Nat Kaplan, big enough to embrace us, our cockatoo, a studio for each of us, and plenty of room for friends. If you plan to use the mails or visit us, contact us and I will send you the street address in the village of Los Ranchos, NM. Phone numbers and emails will remain the same.

Desert Rose.jpg

Desert Rose

New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment — big sky, embracing mountains, supporting earth in soft greens and tans, clear air, multiple cultures, comfortable and familiar. We chose a home near the bosque, alongside a major acequia with walking trails through our cottonwood forest.  When we first arrived at the house a covey of quail scattered through the yard, sandhill cranes rattled as they lifted off, and robins scolded from a big cottonwood. We saw a road runner, too, and each day a plethora of balloons.

The magical light is eternal. 

Balloon Capital of the World.jpg

Balloon Capital of the World

Land of Enchantment.jpg

Land of Enchantment

From Connie:  In NM, we embrace our varied cultures completely. When you come from a place whose history is as rich as New Mexico’s, as I do, you can’t deny it or hide from it.  Who we are in relation to this place compels us to move forward, somewhat exposed, regardless of our personal circumstances.  And that makes for some serious creative energy. New Mexico allows — encourages — eccentricity. Aldous Huxley chose New Mexico for his maybe-not-so-fictional non-conformists in ‘Brave New World’. Yea!

El Rancho, Santa Fe County.jpg

El Rancho, Santa Fe County

Devotion at Santuario Chimayo.jpg

Devotion at Chimayo

Navajo Code Talkers.jpg

Navajo Code Talkers

Nicholas “got it” first visit, years ago.  We hit the ground, visited my parents’ graves, then headed straight up the tram to Sandia Crest to have a look — 100 miles west across the valley to Mt. Taylor.  The Sandia Mountains are named for the watermelon color they wear reflecting the setting sun.  He loves the space, the freedom, the painter’s light, and the changing seasons. 

Sunset across the valley & the volcanos to Mt. Taylor.jpg

Sunset across the valley and volcanos to Mt. Taylor

Chile Capital of the World.jpg

Chile Capital of the World

This may seem sudden.  It is not.  For five years or more we invited friends, colleagues and strangers to visit and to help bring Guardians of the Everglades to a greater audience. We wrote dozens of grant applications, proposals, and knocked on many doors. Several stepped forward to help and we thank:  Sandy Cannon-Brown, The Mamdani Foundation;  Lighthawk;  Puffin Foundation;  Franklin Adams, Deb Jansen, Mary Barley, Lee Tiger, Ed Carlson, Nat  Reed, Clyde and Niki Butcher; local newspapers, NPR, Naples Illustrated, Gulf Shore Life, and most recently and exuberantly, éBella Magazine for its Arts Edition feature of Guardians of the Everglades. There were many, many, many others who offered support, guidance and encouragement. Thank you.

In my opinion, it matters not whether you “believe in” climate change or have drunk the Kool-Aid of denial.  For 20 years I have seen, photographed, talked about, written about and understand that the changes are well underway all over the world, with south Florida especially vulnerable. It is not a pretty picture.  We are moving from flood to drought, but we all live in the extremes. We see it coming. With great regret we leave a fractured more violent world to our children and grandchildren. 

My dear friend, Amb. Cinnamon Dornsife, has the last word:  “Keep upbeat, dear Connie - the negativity is intense, but all that you are doing is too important to let languish - or to allow circumstances and political climate to make you feel like it is too hard to succeed.The negative forces win, if you let that happen...hard as it is to keep positive, you must challenge yourselves to do so.”

We will.

Season's Start in Naples

iLCP WILDSpeak Electrifying

We come from 28 countries, joining to share our conservation projects and explore current critical issues.  All 108 of us have earned the title of “Fellow.” I am proudly a Senior Founding Fellow and current Board member. We represent the world’s leading nature, wildlife and cultural photographers and filmmakers. At WILDSpeak we join with scientific and conservation organizations as well as interested individuals to explore shared goals. WILDSpeak 2017 comes at a time of major policy shifts and in the environmental landscape, when foundations of historical, hard-fought wins in conservation feel as if they are disintegrating, causing opinions to rage. As the emotional stakes are high, it is crucial that we discover sound solutions and ways to push our shared conservation goals forward.

WILDSpeak 2018 is planned for Washington, DC, November 13 & 14, 2018.  Subsequent venues are being considered for India and Germany. Everyone is welcome.


“On the left, Fellow Jeff Orlowski, Director of Chasing Coral, which can be downloaded on Netflix.”


“Public Lands are under political threat.  You own them.  They are ours!  On the left, Caroline Niemczyk of the Trust for Public Lands.”


“South African Ranger Peter Chadwick exposed the complex human/animal challenges in supporting Africa’s Conservation Ranger Force.”


We’ve Been Scouted — Again this Season

The Scout Guide Naples is a city guide that highlights the premier independent businesses in Naples, FL, and its surrounding areas. We are honored to be featured in this prestigious publication. Stop by for your free copies.


As seen in The Scout Guide.

Note:  We are still digging out from Hurricane Irma, seeking roofers, landscapers, fence builders and all.  The pain does not stop when the film crews move on, but at least we now have power, clean water and a dry, sturdy house and studio.  The Everglades ecosystem is still under very high water.  How the changes such as the salinity balance will affect the flora and fauna is still unknown.  What Caribbean seeds may have been blown into our sub-tropical paradise?

AOL is OUT. 




Home Again After Hurricane Irma

The eye of Irma went right over our house, according to a neighbor who stayed. We followed mandatory evacuation orders and fled to Orlando till yesterday. Both house and studio fared well. Lots of downed trees and trashed garden as well as torn screens which we are cleaning up. No power for another 10 days. No gasoline which makes me love my Prius even more. No ice but we have plenty to eat. Hot. Hot. Hot. We will report more when we can. Till then think cool thoughts. I love the rainforest but not this!

Connie & Nicholas


Buddy is happy back home too.


Good News. The docks survived the 5 1/2 foot surge.


My mangled mango tree

Change Email

PLEASE NOTE: Our AOL email addresses will disappear August 31st — at long last!




Other than re-organizing the studio, and looking forward to éBella Magazine’s featuring Guardians of the Everglades® in its 2017/2018 Arts Guide, we are enjoying the rainy season — great clouds, clear, warm light!

Summer Fun - and CHANGE


Well, not really a rollercoaster but the second longest tramway in the world - from the Albuquerque foothills to Sandia Crest — and back.  We took a vacation, a real vacation in the high, dry Land of Enchantment and we were, indeed, enchanted through our skin, our eyes and through our stomachs.  I’m Green and Nicholas is Red, and if you know New Mexico, you’ll know I am referring to your chile (yes, chile, not chili) preference. You may know that I was born and raised there, still have family there, and even went to UNM Law School in the 70s, so the land and sky and cool, dry air are all “home” but the growth and sophistication of this multi-cultural, unique piece of the USA is all new.  

Sandia Peak Tramway ©Connie Bransilver

Green Burrito ©Connie Bransilver


I have hated AOL for years, but seemed to be locked in because of the effort required to change.  Lately, AOL has simply not delivered a number of emails — not in Trash or Junk or anywhere.  So, we are biting the bullet.  AOL will be discontinued as of August 31st so...






Season Closeout - Last Public Lecture April 11, 2017

Evenings at the Conservancy of SW Florida lecture series is featuring Guardians of the Everglades April 11.  It’s our last public appearance of the season, so come, enjoy and let’s Sell It Out!  It’s the glory of our unique Everglades in photos, rough cut video clips, portraits, and even a song, “River of Grass,” written for Guardians of the Everglades.  It’s a high tech iMovie presentation followed by talk of the 11 Guardians’ portraits and what the project means for all of us.  Maybe even some of the Guardians themselves will be there to speak for themselves . . . Register here:

WHEN: Tuesday, April 11 @6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Conservancy of SW Florida - next to the Zoo on Goodlette Frank Road, Naples

Nicholas at the podium at a private event earlier this year.

We've Been "Scouted" Again

The prestigious Scout Guide to the best local businesses in the Naples area has again selected us for inclusion in the 2017-2018 Scout Guide.  We are captioned as “Luxury Home and Corporate Art” for both Connie’s “Dramatic Images from Around the World” and Nicholas’ “Oil Portraits and Commissions.”  Bud. E. Cockatoo Bird supervised the shoot last week.

To create your own legacy with a commissioned portrait of a loved one, your family, your business, or to honor a public or religious figure, please click here for information.

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