Through the camera’s eye, palms sway in the gentle breeze just off the Smith Entry Prow. The Steelroot sculpture (part of the Steve Tobin: Nature Underground exhibition), looks as if it’s about to walk out of the frame — yet of course remains stationary. On another midday view, the air hangs still. So still, one would think there was a blip in the livestream, that is, until a butterfly twirls by. A closer look reveals the surface of the water in the Kapnick Brazilian Garden lapping at the edges of delicate waterlilies.

The nature viewing at the Garden has never been better. In case you’re wondering, this staff member is not stationed on a bench on site, but rather, from her far-removed workstation, taking it all in. Thanks to the Garden’s new EarthCam, installed the week of May 17, it’s something you can do, too — anytime, anywhere. The camera’s presence means the Garden joins the ranks of hundreds of affiliates within the EarthCam network, which allows people to see far-flung destinations across the globe.

The EarthCam provides live streaming 24-hours a day, so at the click of a mouse, you can catch a glimpse of the events, passersby, weather, and happenings in the Garden. Or linger in the brilliance of an afternoon rain shower, sans-humidity. Come back from time to time, and notice the changes to the Brazilian Garden, thanks to seasonal shifts and the tireless work of our horticulture staff. You’ll want to bookmark this one!

The camera is placed, appropriately, at the first vantage point our guests glimpse upon stepping foot off the Smith Entry Prow, so it’s only appropriate to have our EarthCam perched there.

“That first vista from the Prow is the establishment of your experience at the Garden — regardless of time of year, or day,” says Renée Waller, the Garden’s Director of Communications & Marketing, who led efforts to purchase and install the EarthCam. “It’s colorful, it’s lush, it reflects the passion of our staff and volunteers for these incredible collections. Having this livestream will hopefully maintain and help create that connection, even without an imminent visit planned.”

Plans for an EarthCam began before COVID-19 was even a reality, Renée shares.

“Pre-pandemic, there were discussions on how to bring the Garden to those unable to visit in person. During the pandemic, we found our answer and kicked off the project,” Renée says. “While we encountered delays, knowing that we were bringing this to our audience helped us create and shape additional opportunities — especially via increased video on social media.”

The EarthCam isn’t the only viewfinder you can spot in the Garden. Wildlife cameras grace the trunks of several trees dotting our 170 acres. While those cameras capture nighttime views of a host of creatures, EarthCam is best enjoyed during the day, though we expect you’ll enjoy quite a spectacle during Night Lights in the Garden.

Meanwhile, near the Entry Prow, a trio of adults mosey on by. The conversation appears casual, as they glance about at their surroundings. At one point a leaf makes its descent from the branches above, coming to rest along the pathway. Surely, there is much to see in the Garden when you’re here — and even when you’re not.

Discover what’s happening in the Garden with EarthCam. And after, plan your visit to experience summer in the Garden, 9am – 2pm daily, through September 30.

About the Author

Jenny Fuentes is the Content Manager at Naples Botanical Garden. She is a communications professional with experience in the nonprofit and higher education arenas. It’s the thrill of a good story that keeps her anchored to this profession.

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