Campfire songs about nature
Nature is all around us …
And in our dreams.
Bobby Angel’s song about restoring nature
In this original song, singer/songwriter Bobby Angel explores the cross roads between the idealism of youth and the harsh realities of life, and in particular our relationship with nature. About those dreams: Sometimes those dreams inspire, other times they haunt. And each sunset is a promise to make it right the next day.
Stay on after the song to hear an interview with the artist.
Bobby Angel’s plays every night …
And his shows are usually sold out.
Rare interview with Bobby Angel
Typically he only performs around the campfire.
That means there isn’t much room except for an occasional raccoon or marsh rabbit hoping around. Some nights bobcats, bears and even panther show up. Rumor has it that Bigfoot even attended one show. Later footprint analysis revealed it to be a 6′ 7” park ranger named Rudi.
But to answer the question:
Start a campfire and don’t be surprised if Bobby Angel shows up.
Bobby Angel’s ballad of a Florida panther …
And the transportation engineer he teamed up with to fix a road.
Bobby Angel is a troubadour of the Nature Folk Movement (NFM)
Stay on after the song …
To hear Bobby Angel dish out the inside scoop on the making of his smash hit, including never before revealed details on his first sighting of (what he thought initially) was a “large dog,” why they used to be more rare than seeing Ivory-billed woodpeckers, the movie magic of he videos opening scene, and how the use of silhouettes make the video pop.
Bobby Angel brings down the house …
With his sprawling masterpiece on the destruction of the Everglades and the power of dreams to both haunt us and inspire a new way.
Keep listening after the song to hear an interview with the artist
If you’re a history buff …
You’ll rejoice in the many references to the pre-drained Everglades, how it changed over time, and the quest with hydrologic restoration to get it right. As an alternative to listening to the song, you may also be interested in River of Interest (2012) by Matthew C. Godfrey and Theodore Catton, or David McCally’s The Everglades an Environmental History (1999) or Michael Grunwald’s The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise (2006). However, if you are in a pinch for time, I recommend this song which was only written after extensive study of the books listed above. All of Bobby Angel’s song are similarly deeply researched as you’ll discover in the post-song interview.
Bobby Angel may not have all the answers …
But boy can he sing a Nature Folk ballad!
The plight of being a park ranger …
And being stuck in a visitor center.
The song as sung by Bobby Angel
Nobody knew that better than Ranger Rudi.
And nobody knew its history better either.
A photographic memory and reading a lot didn’t hurt. But mostly it was his penchant for delving into deep conversations about with anyone he met.
History was never a closed book with Ranger Rudi.
You rarely saw the man without a book in hand, dog eared at various spots. His pursuit of history has been a life-long never ending quest.
My name is Robert V Sobczak. I am a long-time National Park Service (NPS) hydrologist and blogger who got my start plotting data and “waxing poetic” (and scientific) about the water cycle in the early 2000s. Some people even say I resemble a water drop.
I am also an author – or rather, co-author – of three full-length novels called the Centennial Campfire Trilogy, including: (1) Legend of Campfire Charlie (2016), (2) Last Stand at Boulder Ridge (2018), and (3) Final Campfire(2020). The trilogy recounts the day-in-a-life of a park ranger. His mission: To make it through an epically long day at the Visitor Center to give a campfire talk at a nearby campground at 7 o’clock. Let’s just say it turns into a bit of a journey starting at the crack of dawn.
Did I mention “accidental” co-author?
Rudi and I never set out to write a book, let alone 3 of them. Our goal much simpler: All we wanted to do was team up to give a 30-minute “campfire talk” to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Birthday, also called the Centennial. A dozen campfire talks later we decided to try to put the story in a book. One book led to another until 6-years later the 3-book trilogy was finally done.
That major milestone complete, I set out to create an online home for the books. But instead of focusing on the books, I found myself creating Campfire Park – “Home of the Campfire Talk” – and specifically CampfirePark.org. To be clear: These are not your grandfather’s campfire talks, but rather a new take on the venue that blends a little bit of the old with the new — and most importantly brings the campfire talk to your, right in the comfort of your own home.
An unexpected surprise happened while making Campfire Park. And this is where it gets a little crazy, but in a good way. For many years I wrote and performed farewell songs to colleagues leaving Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve, usually for the greener pastures of other parks. Because Rudi and my original campfire talk featured three of those songs – one called Three Jacks, another called One More Melaleuca (for the Road) and another called Higher Moral Ground – it only seemed natural that I include those “campfire shanties” in the the Campfire Park website.
Oh, and by the way: my singer/songwriter alter ego is known locally, in the hallways of where I work – as Bobby Angel. Important caveat: I did not give myself that name. But you know how nicknames are. Sometimes they just stick. And Bobby Angel stuck. And over the years, as the songs piled up, people always (or sometimes) asked: Those songs deserve a home.
To be honest, I never thought about it that much. And sometimes I would go a year without picking up the guitar. But because Bobby Angel songs were featured in our original campfire talks, and because — and here is the really important point — Bobby Angel was featured as a “Bob Dylan-esque” character in 3 books Rudi and I co-wrote, the Bobby Angel website (BobbyAngel.org) naturally took form.
Bobby Angel’s specialty is penning and performing nature-folk/campfire shanties. My first album – New Pangaea – includes 10 nature shanties woven together with interviews on each song and a beguiling epilogue at the end, soon thereafter followed by my second studio work called The Green Album (and loosely modeled off of The Beatles White Album).
To bring this story home, the same creative process that fueled Campfire Park and Bobby Angel website inspired me to bring my Go Hydrology website into the Word Press website building platform. No longer a single website, I was managing multiple websites; but they all seemed connected, too, to a broader overarching concept called the Nature Folk Movement (NFM).
What exactly is the NFM?
In a nutshell, its goal is to reconnect society and individuals with the traditional activities and values that have been taken away, or devalued, by smart phone culture and the internet.
So there you have it,
That’s my story of how Go Hydrology got its start, and how it’s evolved over time. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to subscribe. You’ll get the Weekly Wave newsletter sent straight to your email inbox about the water about once per week.
Thank you for your support!!!
Just when we needed it most …
A new dawn is here at last.
That doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet, but in our darkest hour a new dawn does provide rescue and hope that better times lay ahead. And most of all, that we simply survived to see the new day. We are fragile, imperfect if also all resilient souls. Some days, months – years – are better than others. Just making it to the next day – that new dawn – is sometimes both salve … and good enough.
Here’s to a new dawn for everyone and happy and healthy days ahead!