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Mangroves and Everglades

I've returned from paddling among mangroves and exploring the Everglades. It's hard to know where to begin, so I'm going to just plunge in any which way, and probably intersperse Florida-related LJ entries with other entries.

Why the Everglades? Many reasons. But, most basically, how could I not love a place that is neither water nor land. It's interphase, neither solid nor liquid. The sky is under your feet; the water is in the air; it's a supremely liminal place.

Along the horizon, you could see rain falling in one spot, bright skies in another. Here's what Marjorie Stoneman Douglas wrote in The Everglades: River of Grass about the rains around this time of year:

You can see it raining darkly and fiercely far off over their at the horizon across the scorched saw grass. The sky will be a boiling panorama of high and low cloud shapes, cumulus, strato-cumulus, alto-cumulus, dazzling and blue and dun ... When the clouds lift, the long straight rainy lines blow and curve from the sagging underbelly of the sky in steely wires or long trailing veils of wet the glitter in some sudden shaft of light from the forgotten sun.

Where you see dark steel blue toward the right, on the horizon, rain is falling
storm on the horizon, Everglades

Rain is falling on the right and left edges of this photo's horizon


And here's the other end of those trailing clouds--the water underfoot around the grass, and the sun sparkling in it:

Everglades grasses

... And a swamp lily, because they were blooming everywhere, and they're beautiful:

swamp lilies


( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2016 04:03 am (UTC)
How beautiful. It looks much different than I expected.

Those swamp lilies are lovely.
Jul. 4th, 2016 04:07 am (UTC)
This is the grassy part--the river-of-grass part--but there are also cypress domes and tropical hammocks that look more like a jungle. Pictures of those parts will come later!
(no subject) - queenoftheskies - Jul. 4th, 2016 04:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)

Thank you

Jul. 4th, 2016 11:28 am (UTC)
It is my great pleasure--you are very welcome!
Jul. 4th, 2016 07:11 am (UTC)
It's interphase, neither solid nor liquid. The sky is under your feet; the water is in the air; it's a supremely liminal place.

That's lovely.

Thank you for the photographs! I'm glad you had such a place around you.
Jul. 4th, 2016 11:27 am (UTC)
Thank you; me too! It was everything one could hope for in a vacation. It did have some awful disasters, but they were oddly concentrated in one day, and despite feeling awful while we were in them, they all ended well--and so became stuff of story. I couldn't ask for a better time.
(no subject) - wuweibaby - Jul. 4th, 2016 01:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 11:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oiktirmos - Jul. 5th, 2016 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thewronghands - Jul. 5th, 2016 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sovay - Jul. 7th, 2016 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 08:28 am (UTC)
The sky is under your feet; the water is in the air...

Fabulous. Thank you.

Jul. 4th, 2016 11:25 am (UTC)
My pleasure--too wonderful not to share.
(no subject) - thewronghands - Jul. 5th, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 11:07 am (UTC)
I love marshland of any sort- a magical place as our ancestors also believed.
Jul. 4th, 2016 11:25 am (UTC)
Another thing that drew me to the Everglades is the Seminole Indians--they did and do live here, and some of them managed to keep out of the US government's clutches and avoid ethnic cleansing. I'll do another post on visiting the museum they maintain.
Jul. 4th, 2016 12:29 pm (UTC)
How gorgeous. There's something magical about swamplands - liminal spaces, as you say, neither one thing nor the other.
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:20 am (UTC)
And here I've focused on the river-of-grass nature of the Everglades, but there are also "islands" in it, where you get cypress trees growing, or other saw palmetto, or other semitropical trees, and those can be deep, dark, and mysterious. And there's the Big Cypress National Preserve, which we visited as well, which is a whole region, sitting just on top of what remains of the Everglades, that is all jungle-like.
Jul. 4th, 2016 01:14 pm (UTC)
I have never been to Florida at all, and my swamp experience is way too limited.

You know, though, I'm not sure Chun Woo would want to go. He's not very interested in plants or critters, which seems odd to me. OTOH, it was because of Chun Woo that I have been on a swamp tour near New Orleans.
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:21 am (UTC)
So when Chun Woo requested the New Orleans swamp tour, was it the landscape (i.e., the scene) that attracted him? The overall effect as opposed to the component parts?
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 5th, 2016 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 8th, 2016 11:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 8th, 2016 11:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Jul. 8th, 2016 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 02:15 pm (UTC)
That isn't mist, that's Sterling Archer's three biggest fears manifesting into a locale.
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:21 am (UTC)
Sterling Archer doesn't like getting his feet wet?
(no subject) - yamamanama - Jul. 5th, 2016 12:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 04:28 pm (UTC)
How lovely and amazing! Thank you so much. I look forward to the other entries.

One of the things I loved about North Dakota when we would drive to Winnipeg for Keycon was that you could see whole thunderstorms minutely on the horizon, which was far far away because of the flatness of the land.

Jul. 5th, 2016 11:28 am (UTC)
I loved that--seeing different weather on the horizon. Visually, the Everglades reminded me very much of what I imagine savannah or prairie must be like--the only difference being that there's no firm footing.

I was realizing I never get broad sky vistas like this except when I visit the sea. We were right by the sea several times during this trip, but even when we were as far away from it as you can get in southern Florida, the horizons and sky were still huge. For the first time, I could understand people from plains states coming to Massachusetts and feeling oppressed by the closed-in feeling. In Massachusetts, if you're not at the top of a high, bare hill or standing on the coast, your view of the sky is like that of a frog in a well. I've never minded that--never even noticed it--but coming home, I did. (Notice, I mean. I still didn't mind.)
(no subject) - pameladean - Jul. 5th, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 4th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Such wonderful photos!
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:29 am (UTC)
There's a metric ton more where these came from! (But I'll try not to overwhelm people with too much all at once.)
Jul. 4th, 2016 07:52 pm (UTC)
I love the Everglades! When I was looking at colleges, in high school, we drove from one school to another through the Everglades one evening and it was the most magical thing ever.
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:29 am (UTC)
Oooh, I like that approach to looking at colleges--a road trip to get to know the country!
Jul. 5th, 2016 12:09 am (UTC)
They are such beautiful photos!

I feel like I'm missing something when people talk about how wonderful it is. I was born in a swamp (New Orleans) and moved to a new swamp (Florida) and living cheek-by-jowl with swamp has made me realize why people left these areas whenever possible for more temperate climates. :,
Jul. 5th, 2016 08:35 am (UTC)
I understand what you mean. I love the idea of swamps and like to visit swamps, but I would not want to live in or too near to one. :P
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 11:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Jul. 5th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 5th, 2016 02:18 am (UTC)
Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the photos.
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:32 am (UTC)
It's my very great pleasure! Thank you for stopping by and taking a look!
Jul. 5th, 2016 08:42 am (UTC)
Those swamp lilies are beautiful.

The bit about seeing rain on the horizon really spoke to me because (and I think perhaps I've told you this before) I was born and raised in the wide open West, and it was not until I worked a summer in the Rockies that I understood how important it was to me to be able to see far! far! off. Then I moved to France and ached for the open vistas of my childhood where the sky was wide and high enough to showcase cumulonimbus clouds in all their towering, thundering glory.

ETA: Oops. Junebug informed me that his plastic horse wanted a kiss from me, and I forgot to say that your talking about the rainfall on the horizon made me realize that not everyone grew up being able to see that sort of thing.

Edited at 2016-07-05 08:44 am (UTC)
Jul. 5th, 2016 11:36 am (UTC)
You did tell me! I remember some stories of you and your sister.

Here (and now I mean western Massachusetts, not the Everglades), if you're somewhere where there's farmland, you can get some pretty wide views--enough to see those cumulonimbus cloud towers--but still it's somehow much more closed in. You can't see miles, the way you could in Florida. I can really understand how you'd yearn for it.
Jul. 6th, 2016 06:53 am (UTC)
I'm from FL, but never have been to the Everglades. The pics of rain in the distance makes me miss Florida (I haven't lived there since 2003).
Jul. 6th, 2016 10:58 am (UTC)
Re: beautiful
I understand how that goes! I grew up in New York State, but have never seen Niagara Falls. Especially when you're a child in a place, you don't necessarily get to see much beyond your own neighborhood.
( 48 comments — Leave a comment )

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