I think I have fallen in love, again. I have written about my love of the Michigan countryside and the Upper Peninsula; I’ve also written that I’m having a hard time adjusting to the Florida countryside. It seems scrubby and unkempt. Then I remember that rural Michigan has fallen trees and limbs and leaves in the woods that I find beautiful – it touches my soul. Don’t try to find the logic in all this because the logic is emotional and our emotions have a different logic – one we don’t analyze very often.
We live about a half mile off US 41, the Tamiami Trail, that turns east in Naples to go through the Everglades to Miami. It is a two lane highway through the Everglades with very little civilization along it except for a good number of airboat ride companies. This is the Everglades National Park so it is protected lands. Twice in the past two weeks we went exploring. My goal was to capture the personality of the Everglades because the Everglades define southern Florida. There are major urban areas along the west and east coasts but they were carved out of the Everglades by draining the land, dredging drainage ditches, creating areas that could be built on. But some very wise people stepped in to protect the Everglades before it was destroyed by development.
Due to the global significance of Everglades National Park, it has been designated a Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. (Source: Everglades National Park website)
The Everglades is a 500 mile wide shallow river slowly flowing to the ocean. It covers almost 11,000 square miles covered with ponds, sloughs, sawgrass marshes, hardwood hammocks, and forested uplands. I visited some attractions on the edge of the Everglades, close to where I live, where I read about it and walked through small parts of it. It wasn’t until we drove in it, until I tried to capture its personality with my camera that I fell in love with the Everglades. This ecosystem is unique to southern Florida – it is southern Florida.
This just doesn’t do justice to the wide variety of images that make up the personality of the Everglades but that just means that I’ll have to spend more time there with my camera and write more posts.