Greetings from the watery world that is South Florida. Although I grew up in this sultry, soggy land, it’s always an eye-opener to return here after having been away for so long. When you spend most of your time along mountain rivers, the flat expanses of water and cypress here seem otherworldy. The mangroves, bromeliads, alligators, and cormorants of the swamps provide stark contrast to the maples, firs, salamanders, and boulders of the Southern Appalachian’s tumbling streams.
Even within the swamps of South Florida, the contrasts between open marshes and cypress forests are stark, connected by the charismatic creatures that move between these landscapes.
And while I find this place amazing and delightful, the contrasts make me realize with greater clarity that the landscapes that speak to me most are mountains and rivers. It’s there that I find the greatest comfort and ease. Having now taken in the rare beauty of Big Cypress Swamp for a time, I can return to my mountains with fresh eyes, ready to delight in their remarkable contrasts.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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