October is the month where things really pick up speed for outdoorsy types in Florida. I've been running nonstop around the state visiting festivals and events, shooting video, and I even had a chance to squeeze in a short hike and paddle trip, too. With so much going on, I haven't had the opportunity to catch The Big Year until just a couple of days ago. It's still in theaters, but just barely.
Most of us at some time or another dreams of putting life on hold and escaping to pursue our passions. That's what The Big Year is all about – three pretty obsessed birders (Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson) set out on the adventure of a lifetime, hoping to nab the coveted "World's Best Birder" title. All three men are at different stages of life, and have to face family, financial and work obligations during their 12-month quest while they visit some of the most productive birding spots on the planet. The scenery and locations in The Big Year are incredible, and even if you aren't a birder, the movie will pull you in with stunning visual scenes from around the globe.
It's part comedy, part light drama, part adventure film, and it's no surprise that The Big Year features a few scenes and mentions from birding hot-spots in Florida. The Sunshine State is the most diverse birding state east of the Mississippi River, with a whopping 485 species on the official Florida list. That's more than enough to get you started on your own Big Year – or maybe just a big week or weekend! Get out on the Great Florida Birding Trail and start adding to your life list.
The movie may be a little slow paced in the comedy department (I give it two thumbs up, personally) to those who have seen Black, Wilson and Martin in other films – but to birders and outdoor lovers, it soars high above the clouds. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire some to get out there and experience something new. Go see it!